ALar takes a look at the UFC 160 card
If you are a fan of burly dudes tossing haymakers at each other’s faces while locked in a cage, then UFC 160 might just be for you! After last week’s lackluster card from Brazil, (seriously 50/50 guard?!?! Really?!?) the UFC looks to rebound with a series of slobber knockers going down at the MGM Grand in Vegas tomorrow night. The card is particularly loaded with notable bouts taking place from top to bottom. Notable fighters throwing down on the undercard are Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Colton “The BackPack” Smith, and veteran Mike Pyle.
The Main Card features a Lightweight #1 contender fight (that I am not necessarily sold on…) between Gray Maynard and TJ Grant. Also, 205 pound rising star Glover Teixeira takes on the heavy handed Kiwi James Te-Huna. The last two Heavyweight fights on the card are a round robin tournament of sorts. Former Champ Junior Dos Santos takes on Mark ‘The KFC King’ Hunt in what HAS to be a Heavyweight #1 contender scrap and is my early pick for Fight of the Freakin’ Night. The night is capped off by the rematch that no one wanted to see. ‘Bigfoot’ Silva will be challenging Cain Velasquez for his Heavyweight gold. Just one year ago, Silva was drowning in a pool of his own blood after Cain unleashed an unholy salvo of elbows on the helpless Brazilian’s dome. Who knows if this fight will go down in the same fashion (Hint, Hint: I think it will…) but with a card as promising as this one, this could be the first must order UFC PPV in some time. On to the preview!
Facebook Prelims (Picks in BOLD)
Jeremy Stephens v. Estevan Payan
Brian Bowles v. George Roop
Stephen Thompson v. Nah-Shon Burrell
FX Prelims (8 PM)
Khabib Nurmagomedov v. Abel Trujillo
Colton Smith v. Robert Whitaker
Dennis Bermudez v. Max Holloway
Mike Pyle v. Rick Story
Main Card, 10 PM Eastern, Pay Per View
Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone (20-5) v. KJ Noons (11-6)
I will ALWAYS pay to watch Donald Cerrone fight. Win or lose, he is there to throw down. He looked off his last time out against Anthony Pettis, but ‘Showtime’ seems to have that affect on his oppents as of late. A healthy dose of KJ Noons could be just what Cowboy needs to right the ship. Noons is 1-4 in his last five, but to his credit I thought he beat Ryan Couture last time out, even though the judges saw it differently. Noons has been tough to put away recently so I think this one goes to a decision. Expect Cerrone to come away with a dominating decision win after throwing Noons a true beatdown. Cerrone by decision.
Gray Maynard (12-1-1, 1 NC) v. TJ Grant (20-5)
So the winner of this one really gets a shot at Benson Henderson, Okay… Lets face it, the UFC already has a problem marketing Henderson because he is a decision machine who I think CLEARLY lost to Gilbert Melendez and also has a few other questionable wins under his belt. And now you want to throw either another decision machine in Maynard at him, or a relative no name in Grant in the mix? It just doesn’t make sense to this guy. But again, I am just a dude sitting on a futon in his parent’s basement waiting for this weekend’s weigh ins to start…
As for the fight, I think Gray takes this in typical Gray Maynard fashion. He will grind TJ out with powerful takedowns and competent standup and earn a unanimous decision. Grant is a tough SOB who looked phenomenal against Matt ‘I’m too cool for sponsors’ Wiman back in January, but I am afraid that may just be his ceiling as a fighter. Maynard by decision.
Glover Teixeira (20-2) v. James Te-Huna (16-5)
Remember that thing I said about burly dudes tossing haymakers? That starts now. The online MMA community talk about Glover as though he is the next big thing in the Light Heavyweight division, but I just don’t see it. I could be a little bitter towards Teixeira after he beat up on my guy Rampage in January, but as bad as Rampage looked, the Internet’s next coming of Chuck Liddell should have finished the sluggish Jackson that night. Teixeira has all the tools, but I haven’t seen enough from him to consider him a 3-1 favorite like Vegas does. Te-Huna is a iron-chinned slugger with Maori blood running through him. I think he has a serious chance for the upset here. After committing himself to the sport after some early losses, Te-Huna is a scary dude and a tough match up for any 205er. Teixeira has won 18 in a row, but that ends Saturday. Te-Huna wins with the huge upset TKO.
Junior Dos Santos (15-2) v. Mark Hunt (9-7)
Taking in to account every UFC fight that has been announced for the rest of the year, THIS is the fight that I am most excited for. Two guys getting in the cage that have absolute adamantium chins and love to throw bombs with reckless abandon. Sign me UP! JDS took a hell of a beating from Cain Velasquez back at UFC 155 and I just hope that he comes back just as strong as he was during his championship run. I wouldn’t hate seeing JDS win here and set up JDS/Cain III, but something about Mark Hunt makes it impossible to root against the guy.
When he gets in the cage, he looks like he just rolled off the couch after killing a 40 of OE and polishing off a 12 pack of powdered donuts and proceeds to knock dude’s teeth into the sides of their face. From being unwanted by Zuffa when they purchased his PRIDE contract, to knocking on the door of a shot at the Undisputed Heavyweight title of the World has to be one of the best stories in the history of the sport. Vegas has Dos Santos as a 4-1 favorite over the KFC King and I think that is just about right. If JDS wanted, I think he could bring this thing to the mat and use that fabled BJJ he possesses. For some reason though, I doubt he does that. I see JDS and Hunt trading bungalows on the feet for a round or two and eventually JDS takes an exhaustive Hunto to the ground and earns a submission win. JDS is just a superior athlete and will wear the ‘KFC King’ down as the fight progresses. Third round submission for JDS.
UFC Heavyweight Championship Fight
Champion Cain Velasquez (11-1) v. Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva (18-4)
Cain could win this fight any way he wants. That is the simple truth. I give Bigfoot credit, he has vastly improved since his last loss to Cain, but he just doesn’t have enough to dethrone the champ. Bigfoot beat Overeem because the Dutch striker was acting like a cocky SOB in the Octagon and you just can’t do that against any UFC Heavyweight. Reem’s lack of respect put Bigfoot back in the cage against Cain Velasquez, but lets hope this one isn’t another Las Vegas sanctioned blood letting. To be honest, I am having an issue getting my blood pumping for this fight, I think it could be over fast. Bigfoot’s only shot is to keep it on the feet and use his massive honey glazed ham sized fists to get a flash KO on Cain. In all likelihood Cain chooses where this fight takes place, expect him to take it to the ground and earn himself an early TKO victory over the Brazilian. Cain Velasquez by TKO.
I hope you all enjoy the holiday weekend and make an effort to check out the fights tomorrow night. Check us out on Twitter, we may have some hilarious commentary for you during the card!