I screwed up. Rather than our normal preview where the FGB crew along with MMA writers across the land predict the fights, you get only me. I failed to get the engine started this week as I was busy with work, so I’ll preview the top two fights for UFC 160 myself.
UFC 160 is a better card than the last UFC, which I skipped entirely because I didn’t find the card compelling at all. And while I won’t be able to watch this show live because of an out of town commitment, it’s the kind of show that has a chance to be good. Heavyweights dominate the upper tier of the card while the likes of Glover Teixeira, Gray Maynard, TJ Grant, Donald Cerrone, and KJ Noons fill out the rest of the PPV card.
We’re only going to look at the top two fights, but if Gray Maynard beats TJ Grant, I expect that he’ll face Benson Henderson in the next shot at the lightweight title. Also, if Teixeira wins convincingly, he’s probably one fight away from a possible title shot.
Mark Hunt vs. Junior Dos Santos
Mark Hunt had issues with getting to Las Vegas for the fight because of visa issues. How that affects him is a big deal. I think most expect JDS to take control of the fight and show off that great boxing pedigree. And if he has to, we might even see the jiu-jitsu that we’ve heard is so good.
For Hunt, he needs to be able to withstand a ton of punishment in order to land a big punch. He didn’t get submitted by Stefan Struve, showing an improved ground game. And he even lasted long enough to knock Struve out gruesomely. While I think it’s very possible that Hunt can land a big punch or two to get the crowd excited, I expect Dos Santos to play it safe and use his jab to keep Hunt away. And when Hunt comes inside, Dos Santos can slide away and throw left hooks. While if he goes to the body early, I think he can cash in on the late knockout, I think he’ll take the third round off to make sure he doesn’t get caught.
Winner: Junior Dos Santos by way of decision
Big Foot Silva vs. Cain Velasquez
It will be almost one day to the year that Cain Velasquez destroyed Big Foot Silva when they step into the cage. On May 26, 2012, Cain Velasquez was coming off his only loss in embarrassing fashion on the biggest stage to Junior Dos Santos. He faced Big Foot and massacred him. When it was over, Cain looked like a monster again. One year later, Velasquez is the champion and he must face Big Foot again. What’s different this time? Silva is coming off a win against Alistair Overeem who was ahead in their fight but got tired which allowed Silva to take advantage and knock him out in the third round.
If you look at Big Foot’s last two losses, they come against AKA guys. Right before Velasquez beat him, Daniel Cormier beat him quickly in the Strikeforce heavyweight tournament. Big Foot is going to come into the cage with a much better game plan than the first fight, but I’m not sure if it matters. After beating Dos Santos in their rematch, Velasquez looks unbeatable. Can Silva knock him out with that huge right hand of his? Sure. But Velasquez is too smart to get caught. He’s also going to be in much better shape and will use the entire five rounds if he needs it.
Winner: Cain Velasquez by way of 3rd round TKO
I think we’ll end up with the rubber match between Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos in the near future. And I can’t wait to see it again.