UFC 160: Valesquez vs ‘Bigfoot’ Silva
It’s all about the heavyweights at UFC 160 this weekend, with a rematch between Velasquez and Bigfoot for the UFC Heavyweight belt and a number one contender bout between Dos Santos and Hunt to back it up. Let’s take a look at the main card fights and offer some UFC 160 predictions.
Cain Velasquez vs Antonio Silva – UFC Heavyweight Title Fight
When these two heavyweights step in to the Octagon on Saturday, it will be pretty much a year to the day since Velasquez secured a first round TKO over Silva. Cain is a hugely well rounded fighter with his only loss coming to Junior Dos Santos in a title defence 18 months ago, a loss which he punished Dos Santos for just 6 months later. Silva is no slouch however; he is huge and has great power to go with it. Wins against Fedor, Overeem and Arlovski prove that Silva is a top contender and not to be underestimated. There is every chance that Velasquez can get caught but that’s not where I would put my money.
Prediction: Velasquez via TKO Round 2
Junior Dos Santos vs Mark Hunt
As with the headline bout being a rematch from a year ago, Dos Santos also fought that night but successfully defended the heavyweight title. The big question for this bout is how Dos Santos has recovered from the savage beating that Velasquez gave him. Hunt is on an impressive four fight win streak and despite having a pretty poor record of 9-7-0, he is actually 4-1-0 in the UFC. With Hunt being an ex champion K1 kickboxer and Dos Santos having great technical boxing this should be a superb stand up war. Expect Dos Santos to take the fight to the ground if he isn’t feeling it on the feet as he will have a considerable advantage there. If Hunt can keep this standing, his amazing chin could keep him standing long enough to knock Dos Santos out and that is how I see this finishing, it is very tight however and if Hunt gets taken down, it could be all over very quickly.
Prediction: Hunt via TKO Round 1
Glover Teixeira vs James Te Huna
Both these fighters are on a win streak, Teixeira’s is eighteen fights dating back to 2006 with three in the UFC and Te Huna with four, all in the UFC. The opponent list for Glover is of a high calibre with Rampage Jackson being the last so a win here could see him one or two fights away from a title shot. This fight is a real step up in competition for Te Huna so winning would make everyone stand up and take notice. It will be crucial for Te Huna to dictate where this fight ends up, although Teixeira is dangerous both on the feet and on the ground. This could be a gruelling three round fight and perhaps not very pretty on the eye but you never know what can happen.
Prediction: Teixeira via submission Round 1
Gray Maynard vs TJ Grant
Another top contender fight, this time in the lightweight division sees the number 3 and 5 ranked lightweights in the UFC square off. Now, Maynard hasn’t won a fight by anything other than decision since September 2007 but also has only lost one and drawn one in that time as well, winning the rest. Grant has also been to decision in five of his last seven fights so the likelihood of a stoppage seems slim. There may be a chance for Grant to finish this on the ground but I’m not sure either fighter really has the power the knock the other out on the feet.
Prediction: Maynard via decision
Donald Cerrone vs KJ Noons
Another lightweight fight sees KJ Noons potentially fighting for his UFC survival, having lost his last two fights, not many fighters are kept by the organisation after losing a third straight. This is not to say that Noons is a bad fighter, he has previously beaten Nick Diaz via cut and lost a five round decision in a title fight so has great credentials. Cerrone, also coming off a loss has two previous defeats to current lightweight champion Henderson and will be looking for a title shot in the near future with a win here. Sadly I think Cerrone will be too much for Noons so it might be the last we see of him for a while.
Prediction: Cerrone via TKO Round 2
UFC 160 Predictions Prelims
Mike Pyle vs Rick Story – Pyle via TKO Round 1
Dennis Bermudez vs Max Holloway – Bermudez via decision
Colton Smith vs Robert Whittaker – Whittaker via TKO Round 2
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Abel Trujillo Nurmagomedov via TKO Round 1
Stephen Thompson vs Nah-Shon Burrell – Burrell via decision
Brian Bowles vs George Roop – Bowles via submission Round 1
Jeremy Stephens vs Estevan Payan – Stephens via decision
This has the potential to be a very exciting card even though a few of the fights will go to decision, here are the UK viewing times:
Facebook fights: Saturday 25th 23:00
Prelim fights: Sunday 24th 01:00
Main card: Sunday 24th 03:00
Like it? Love it? Hate it? What are your predictions?