The first major show of the year bears a striking resemblance to the last of 2013 with two title fights and a huge heavyweight clash as the stand out match ups. A great mix of speed and power should set us up for a great night of fights!

UFC 169 Preview

Renan Barao vs Urijah Faber – UFC Bantamweight Title

This is a fantastic fight considering Faber is a replacement for Cruz who was the champion. After being out for so long, Cruz had to give up the belt but no-one can argue that Barao fully deserves his new title as champion rather than interim champion. Barao has won 33 straight fights and since beating Faber for the Interim title in 2012, has dominated in his two title defences. Improving all the time, Barao looks almost unstoppable but Faber had a brilliant 2013, winning 4 fights which included 3 submissions and his striking is also much improved. Both these fighters are worthy champions but it just seems like Barao’s time in the sun at the moment. Whatever happens, this will be a great fight.
Prediction: Barao via Decision

Jose Aldo vs Ricardo Lamas – UFC Featherweight Title

On a 16 fight win streak, Barao team-mate Jose Aldo is as dominant a champion you will see and undoubtedly one of the best, if not the best pound for pound fighter in the world. His opponent, Lamas has won his four UFC fights but hasn’t really faced the top level opposition that Aldo is accustomed to. Lamas will try to use his power and explosiveness to dictate the fight but it will take a herculean effort to dethrone Aldo.
Prediction: Aldo via TKO

Frank Mir vs Alistair Overeem

You have to think that this is a fight to stay in the UFC as Mir has lost his last 3 and Overeem his last 2. The fight should be fairly simple, if Mir can get Overeem to the ground, he will submit him and if Overeem can prevent the take-down, he should knock out Mir. It would be no surprise however if Mir believes he can knock out Overeem so don’t expect Mir to go straight to the ground, we could see them going toe to toe until one falls as they both have plenty of power.
Prediction: Mir via Submission

John Lineker vs Ali Bagautinov

An interesting clash between the #5 and #7 contenders in the flyweight division. The Russian is on a 10 fight streak, has plenty of hype and the UFC will be hoping for another win as they try and move into Russia. Linekar is a solid all round fighter winning his last 4 fights and will be looking for a strong performance to put him into title contention. Bagautinov may well be too much for him though.
Prediction: Bagautinov via Decision

Jamie Varner vs Abel Trujillo

With both fighters currently having 2 wins and a loss or 2 in the UFC, it is a really important time for them both to kick on. Varner is a veteran and previous WEC champion but has just those 2 wins since losing the title in 2010 and that’s pretty lean for 8 fights in that period. Trujillo hasn’t faced the same level of competition as Varner so experience may well tell in what should be an evenly matched fight.
Prediction: Varner via TKO

UFC 169 Prelims Predictions

John Makdessi vs Alan Patrick – Makdessi via TKO
Chris Cariaso vs Danny Martinez – Cariaso via Decision
Nick Catone vs Tom Watson – Watson via Decision
Al Iaquinta vs Kevin Lee Iaquinta via TKO
Clint Hester vs Andy Enz – Hester via TKO
Tony Martin vs Rashid Magomedov – Martin via Decision
Neil Magny vs Gasan Umalatov – Umalatov via Submission

This is a great card! Here are the viewing times:

Online prelims: Saturday 1st 23:30
Prelims – BT Sport: Sunday 2nd 01:00
Main card – BT Sport: Sunday 2nd 03:00

Like it? Love it? Hate it? What are your predictions?

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