Is there any need for an introduction? It seems like every time there is a title on the line the UFC does its best to try and penetrate MMA enthusiasts’ minds with fear of the impending horror ahead for the champion. Each and every title defense in each and every division is always “the hardest challenge of their career.” I see through the hype. I don’t buy into the BS. However, this time, there may be cause for concern if you are an Anderson fan…
So, let’s get into the meat and bones of this card:
Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman
UFC betting odds are leaning heavily towards Silva. Everyone keeps talking about Anderson’s glaring weakness playing right into the strength of Chris Weidman. But, I think people are logically flawed in their analysis. It’s not about being a better wrestler than Silva, he has fought plenty of people who were better wrestlers than him (Franklin, Henderson, Sonnen, Maia). It’s about HOW you wrestle with him. And, more importantly, how you fight him that is going to be the determining factor.
Not ONLY do you need to have an elite caliber wrestling repertoire, but you also have to wrestle (and fight) like a total bully. Anderson is a martial artist in the truest sense. He is EXACTLY what people perceived Bruce Lee to be. Anderson is the true personal expression of techniques from various disciplines all merged together in a harmonious symphony of violence. How do you beat that? In my opinion, you have to be the ying to his yang.
In order for Chris Weidman to win, he’s going to have to fight like a bully. He’ll have to give no f$*#s about getting hit in order to take Anderson down. He’ll have to be relentless and mean. What does that mean exactly? He’ll have to employ the Sonnen strategy to a “T.”
From what I’ve been reading and seeing, I don’t think Weidman is going to fight that way. He undoubtedly wants to take the fight to the ground, but he believes in being slow and methodical. He believes that he can pick his shots against Silva and slowly ground and pound Silva into making a mistake in which he can capitalize with a submission. I’m going to say that, no, that’s not how you will beat Anderson. The man that will beat Anderson, if there is such a man, will have to fight with reckless abandon. He’ll have to throw punch after punch and break Anderson’s spirit (if that’s even possible) and never let up until the last bell rings.
Prediction: Anderson Silva by sheer Anderson-essness (shout out to Kelly El).
Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira
Despite being one of the best pound for pound fighters in the UFC Frankie Edgar has lost three consecutive fights. Normally, that’s about the time fighters start to get cut from the UFC roster, but Frankie has lost three fights to very dominant champions in very close fights. With that said, he cannot afford to give any ground to Oliveira in this fight. Frankie needs to win and win convincingly if he ever hopes to have a shot at another title down the road.
Oliveira is a very exciting fighter whose skill set is comprised of the aggressive Brazilian style of Muay Thai and modern Jiu-Jitsu. He is a fighter I have been following due to his exciting style of fighting. He’s lost a couple of fights, and I chalk that up to growing pains but he is dangerous and can definitely finish Edgar in more than one way.
But, I still think Frankie has the edge with overall experience, unbelievable cardio and maturity.
Prediction: Frankie Edgar by unanimous decision
Roger Gracie vs. Tim Kennedy
Kennedy is a grappler, Roger Gracie is a 10x jiu-jitsu black belt world champion. Do we need to break this down? Is this necessary?
Prediction: Roger Gracie by head and arm choke in the first round.
Mark Munoz vs. Tim Boetsch
This is going to be a good fight. Mark Munoz knows how to dish out the punishment. Boetsch has proven to have a pretty solid chin as well as a very resilient fighting spirit. This won’t be going to decision.
Prediction: Mark Munoz by atrocious violence.
Cub Swanson vs. Dennis Siver
Watch this fight, trust me. This is why:
- Siver was a very big lightweight (Sean Sherk status), how will he look at featherweight?
- Siver is a very good kickboxer who always tries to finish.
- Swanson is a very good boxer with heavy hands.
- Siver has some bad habits in his guard and defense.
- Someone will get KOed, badly.
Prediction: Cub Swanson by KO in the 2nd round.
Chris Leben vs. Andrew Craig
If there’s ever a match up for Leben to take advantage of and making himself look like the Crippler of old, it’s this one. Craig is underwhelming in his current skillset and progression. If Leben can’t win this fight, it’s time for him to retire. He has been looking a little aged in his last couple of fights.
Prediction: Leben by TKO in the 2nd round.
Norman Parke vs. Kazuki Tokudome
This fight is going to be a boring 3 round decision. Take the time to eat some food, check your facebook newsfeed, or stare at a wall.
Prediction: 3 round snooze-fest.
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Dave Herman
As much as I like “Napao” (although he ruined Crocop) his chin has been proven suspect recently. Then again, Dave Herman doesn’t exactly strike me as a guy who executes strategies well. This fight might also be very boring if Napao can’t finish it on the ground quickly. If Napao doesn’t finish this fight early, I see him winning in a dominating, albeit, lackluster 3 round decision.
Prediction: Gonzaga by submission.
Lets get ready for an awesome UFC!
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