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UFC 169 Preview: Barao Vs. Faber II

UFC 169 previewAs I mentioned, in 2014, we’re going to keep track of our picks for most of the UFC main card fights. In addition to the FGB crew, included in our picks will be John LaRocca, president of Premier Wrestling, Heidi Fang from MMA Fight Corner, and Alex Goff from Online World Of Wrestling.

Here’s how we’re doing so far:

Duan: 4-0
GG: 4-0
Heidi: 3-1
Jim: 3-1
Alan: 2-2
Alex: 2-2
John: 1-3

Here’s our UFC 169 preview:

Jamie Varner vs. Abel Trujillo

Duan: Jamie Varner
Alan: Jamie Varner
John: Abel Trujillo
Heidi: Jamie Varner
Alex: Abel Trujillo
Jim: Jamie Varner
GG: Abel Trujillo

John Lineker vs. Ali Bagautinov

Duan: Ali Bagautinov
Alan: John Lineker
John: Ali Bagautinov
Heidi: Ali Bagautinov
Alex: Ali Bagautinov
Jim: John Lineker
GG: John Lineker

Frank Mir vs. Alistair Overeem

Alan: Frank Mir by 1st round submission
Mir vs. Overeem is your classic PRIDE matchup of two guys who should not be contenders at all, but have name value and presence so it’s exciting. If this goes more than 3 minutes it could be historically bad though. These guys are not made to have long fights at this point. I’m not unearthing any revelations by saying I think we either get Reem blitzing Mir with strikes and getting the ref to stop it or Frank manages to get things to the ground and gets a very quick submission. I’m going to lean towards the latter purely on the premise that I think Mir is the smarter fighter.

GG: Alistair Overeem by 1st round TKO
Does the 2010 UFC champ Frank Mir beat 2010 Alistair Overeem? I don’t think so. So what has changed? Well, outside of their age, it does seem like both fighters are easier to hit, less explosive, and don’t have their intimidation factor any longer. So what gives here? Like Alan said, I think it’s quick. Mir can win by submission. Either guy can win by knockout. I’m taking Overeem here for the mere reason (no pun intended) that I think he can get to Frank before Frank gets to him. Whoever lands the cleanest punch first wins.

Duan: Alistair Overeem
John: Alistair Overeem
Heidi: Alistair Overeem
Alex: Frank Mir
Jim: Alistair Overeem

José Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas

John: José Aldo
Ricardo Lamas has waited a long time to get a shot at the UFC Featherweight Title against Jose Aldo. I like Lamas, but Aldo is just the superior athlete of the two. I see Aldo winning and in convincing fashion.

Heidi: José Aldo by 4th round TKO
It’s hard to see anyone stopping the featherweight kingpin José Aldo anytime soon. The Brazilian is in his prime, riding a 16-fight win streak and can maneuver with lightning speed through the octagon. His takedown defense is impeccable and his knockout power can spell doom for anyone within arm’s reach. In 13 fights with the WEC and UFC, 8 of those being title fights, Aldo has only been taken down 5 times, twice by Frankie Edgar. Eight of his wins have been by KO, while Lamas’ only losses were by knockout. While I do think Lamas will take Aldo into the championship rounds, I see Aldo finishing the fight no later than the 4th.

Alex: José Aldo by 3rd round TKO
José Aldo reminds me a lot of Anderson Silva. Fighters would work their way to a title shot then not be able to execute the techniques that brought them to that point. José Aldo has two points of concern. I think he cuts way too much weight and it causes him to have endurance problems. I think a grinder wrestler would have good chance of beating him. If Lamas avoids leg kicks early in the fight and is able to push the pace later, he can beat Aldo. I don’t think he will be able to that. Aldo conditions his opponents early to his thunderous leg kicks to employ the striking style that best benefits Aldo. I think this technique will work on Lamas and I predict Aldo will win by knockout in the 3rd round.

Duan: José Aldo
Alan: José Aldo
Jim: José Aldo
GG: José Aldo

Renan Barão vs. Urijah Faber

Duan: Renan Barão by 4th round TKO
It’s close to impossible to see a way for Faber to win this one. In 2012, he was virtually shutout by Barão and that was with full camp to prepare. This time he goes in two years older, taking the fight on short notice, and hoping for a different result? It’s not happening! Yes, Faber has been impressive in the four fight run since to put himself back into contention, but the fact of the matter is the guy is 34. There’s only so much room for improvement that late in your career, and it won’t be enough to close down the gap between him and Barão. If anything, it should be widening with Renan approaching his prime. Same result again only quicker. Barão first takes out the legs and then finishes late.

Jim: Renan Barão by decision
Urijah has been very active and very successful in the last year winning all 4 of his fights. His title performances, however, have not yielded him a win since he first lost the title in 2008. Is the recent activity an advantage coming into this fight or at 34 years old, is so many fights, his last fight being just 6 weeks ago, in such quick succession not enough time to let his body heal and be at peak performance? Barão on the other hand has had 5 months off since his last fight and has a 31-1 record having fought the best in the world. In this fight I think Barão will use wicked leg kicks to cripple Faber, limiting his mobility and making him an easy target. Urijah doesn’t know the meaning of quit and will hang in there until the end, but aside from landing a miracle shot and taking Barão out I think we will see a one sided beating and Barao victorious.

Alan: Renan Barão
John: Renan Barão
Heidi: Renan Barão
Alex: Urijah Faber
GG: Renan Barão

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