UFC 160 goes down in Las Vegas tomorrow night and we’ve got our predictions for all the evening’s fight for you below.
Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva
The UFC have done their best to hype up Silva’s surprising rematch with Velasquez by emphasizing his KO win over Alistair Overeem – but honestly, I feel like ‘The Reem’ was his own worst enemy in that fight with his lack of defense, showboating and lack of cardio.
It’s fair to say Velasquez isn’t going to replicate any of Overeem’s mistakes, and really I just see this as a repeat of their first meeting with the champion just being quicker, operating at a higher tempo, having vastly superior wrestling and possessing the kind of relentless ground and pound that’s going to leave Silva in a heap on the mat again within 10 minutes.
Cain Velasquez to win by TKO in Rd2.
Junior dos Santos vs. Mark Hunt
What an interesting striking battle this could prove to be. Dos Santos has the better technical striking, piecing together combinations nicely and moving more fluidly along with packing a sizeable punch, but Hunt has the bigger overall KO power and a legendary chin to go with it which makes him a very dangerous opponent for the Brazilian to trade with.
Of course we can’t ignore the elephant in the room though which is that Hunt’s ground game still has plenty of holes in it and Dos Santos should be able to exploit them if he chooses to take the fight to the mat.
I think he will opt for that strategy the end. The former champion has a lot of pride in his boxing and will probably test his skills in the early going with Hunt, but he’s desperate to get back to the title and his safest play to achieve that is to get Hunt down and look for the submission victory. It might not happen right away, but I think a tiring Hunt will eventually give way on the mat in the final round.
Junior Dos Santos to win by submission in Rd3.
James Te Huna vs. Glover Teixeira
Te Huna’s pieced together a nice four-fight winning streak in the 205lb division, but I view him a little like Chris Camozzi last week in that there may be a ceiling to how far he can go, and I believe we’ll see that on Saturday night against Teixeira.
For my money Teixeira holds the advantage in all areas of the game, with his mixture of hard-hitting striking, vicious ground and pound and legitimate threat with submissions ensuring he’s going to give Te Huna a rough ride wherever this bout goes.
Te Huna’s shown vulnerability to the submission in the past, but despite his toughness I actually think Teixeira will win this one with his fists.
Glover Teixeira to win by TKO in Rd2.
T.J. Grant vs. Gray Maynard
For me this is the hardest fight on the card to predict with Grant currently bulldozing through his opponents since a move down to lightweight, while Maynard has been one of the division’s top contenders for an extended period of time.
Both men have improved their striking significantly over the years, with Maynard being the harder hitter and physically stronger of the two, but a little predictable, while Grant is more versatile, more energetic and has particularly nasty elbows.
Maynard’s the better wrestler, but Grant’s certainly no slouch in that department and will also pose a real threat via submissions.
There’s certainly the potential for an upset decision for Grant here, but it’s hard to overlook the fact that Maynard’s been exceptionally hard to beat over the years against a string of top contenders and for that reason I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt here. I expect it to be very close though.
Gray Maynard to win by decision.
Donald Cerrone vs. K.J. Noons
This is a fun fight to start off the card. Noons will be hoping that Cerrone indulges him in a stand-up war which would be his best chance of winning thanks to his finely tuned boxing skills.
Cerrone may well oblige and if he does he’ll need to make use of his superior kicks to take Noons out of his comfort zone. Cerrone has a major advantage on the mat though and given that he was TKO’d last time out for the first time in his career I think he’ll be happy to exploit that.
Noons has good takedown defense, but Cerrone transitions from striking to takedowns smoothly and should be able to catch him off-guard eventually, and once on the floor he has the submission prowess to end Noons night inside the distance.
Donald Cerrone to win by submission in Rd2.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Mike Pyle vs. Rick Story
Dennis Bermudez vs. Max Holloway
Colton Smith vs. Robert Whittaker
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Abel Trujillo
Nah-Shon Burrell vs. Stephen Thompson
Estevan Payan vs. Jeremy Stephens
Brian Bowles vs. George Roop