Read on for our full predictions for this weekend’s UFC 155: Dos Santos Vs Velasquez event in Las Vegas.
Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez
I still think this heavyweight title fight is a finely balanced one despite the outcome of their first encounter. Velasquez never had a chance to get going on that occasion, but if he can start working his wrestling and relentless ground and pound he’ll give JDS everything he can handle.
Dos Santos clearly has the psychological edge though after KO’ing Velasquez last time out and should have the edge again if he can keep this fight standing. That’s not to say Velasquez can’t compete in that regard, but if it becomes a battle of the chins I think the Brazilian’s wins out.
If it goes to the later rounds I see Velasquez cardio being an advantage and could help him to grind out a decision win, but instead I’m picking Dos Santos to use his takedown defense and boxing skills early in the fight and then stop Velasquez in the third.
Junior Dos Santos to win by TKO in Rd3.
Joe Lauzon vs. Jim Miller
Considering Miller was brought in as a late replacement this is still a very well-matched fight and it’ll be intriguing to see who comes out on top between these two crafty lightweight competitors.
For my money Lauzon is the more creative player on the ground and can hold his own on the feet, but overall I feel Miller brings a little more to the table as he should be able to cancel out his opponent’s BJJ and is the stronger wrestler.
While Lauzon usually starts strongly I think Miller can match that pace and then continue it onwards for the full three rounds which will allow him to grab a competitive decision victory.
Jim Miller to win by decision.
Tim Boetsch vs. Costa Philippou
This is an interesting middleweight encounter between two men who’ve been consistently racking up wins recently, but haven’t yet managed to wow the UFC and the fans enough to get into the title reckoning at 185lbs so they’ll want to put on a show tomorrow night.
Both of these fighters can mix it up a little, but ideally Philippou would like to keep it standing where he can utilize his boxing skills and will be a little lighter on his feet, while Boetsch will be looking to make it an uglier fight, getting in close for clinch work, takedowns and ground and pound.
In the end I see Boetsch having the strength and durability to make his gameplan work and result in his hand being raised at the end of the fight, but probably not doing much to enhance his chances of getting a fight for the belt.
Tim Boetsch to win by decision.
Yushin Okami vs. Alan Belcher
If Belcher can keep this one standing then he has the ability to trouble Okami with a diverse mix of punches and kicks, turning this into the kind of battle that he can win.
Okami is likely to have other plans though. He should be bigger and stronger than Belcher and will look to use that to his advantage through his wrestling advantage.
The Japanese fighter’s ground game is notoriously efficient, though often lacking in action, which will give Belcher little room to manufacture a submission attempt or escape, and therefore I think it could end up being a frustrating night for Belcher.
Yushin Okami to win by decision.
Chris Leben vs. Derek Brunson
Returning after a suspension and apparently ‘clean’ after battling with his demons behind the scenes, Leben returns and should be his usual hard-headed, hard hitting self.
In Brunson he meets a wrestler who’s been plying his trade in Strikeforce recently with mixed results. He’s got decent power, but going toe-to-toe with Leben would be foolish so expect him to go for the takedown.
For all his brawling mentality Leben is actually good off his back though and I like him to keep this one off the mat long enough to rock Brunson on the feet and then finish off the job to end the year on a positive note.
Chris Leben to win by KO in Rd1.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Brad Pickett vs. Eddie Wineland
Erik Perez vs. Byron Bloodworth
Melvin Guillard vs. Jamie Varner
Michael Johnson vs. Myles Jury
Phil De Fries vs. Todd Duffee
Chris Cariaso vs. John Moraga
Max Holloway vs. Leonard Garcia