UFC 162 takes place tomorrow night and we’ve got our predictions for all the evening’s fights for you below.
Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman
I do buy into the idea that Weidman could be one of Silva’s toughest opponents. Not so much on the feet – Weidman’s robust, but his stand-up isn’t anything anything special – particularly against someone of Silva’s caliber. However he’s good on the ground and we know Silva’s been challenged there before, especially by Chael Sonnen.
Weidman’s likely to employ a similar strategy to Sonnen, but he’s got better BJJ so will be less threatened by submissions and probably won’t be as likely to have the lapses in concentration that have cost Sonnen dear in his two fights with the champion.
That being said, I just can’t pick against Silva. Sure he’s 38 years-old now, but so far there hasn’t been any indication of that in his performances. I think he’s got the skills to make Weidman look very ordinary on the feet and that magic ability to produce a fight-ending punch, kick or submission out of thin-air. In a three round fight perhaps Weidman could avoid that, but over five rounds I’ve still got to side with the champion to find a way to emerge with his hand raised.
Anderson Silva to win by TKO in Rd3.
Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira
This is a fight I’m looking forward to between two very crafty 145lb’ers. Edgar’s more methodical with his output, maintaining his distance well, using his speed to get in and out of danger while landing point-scoring combinations, and while he’s not shown too much of it in his recent fights he’s very capable on the mat too.
Oliveira has more creative flair – he’s somewhat unpredictable and will try things like flashy kicks or pull guard as he goes all out to find a way to win inside the distance, never contemplating a decision which it could be argued is the opposite of Edgar’s style.
I think Oliveira will making it entertaining and I do believe he’s a very talented fighter, but I don’t believe he’ll catch Edgar out on the ground, and on the feet he’ll leave holes which Edgar will be able to exploit using the his solid, dependable boxing fundamentals which will stand him in good stead when this goes to the judges scorecards.
Frankie Edgar to win by decision.
Roger Gracie vs. Tim Kennedy
Kennedy has a jack of all trades, master of none approach to fighting – decent boxing, solid wrestling, reasonable BJJ. On the other hand, Gracie is a specialist, being one of the modern masters of the Jiu-Jitsu game, whereas the other aspects of his game are a work in progress.
One of Kennedy’s biggest strengths is his work-ethic and that could be valuable here as he looks to make life uncomfortable for Gracie on the feet and in the clinch. He should be able to push the pace for the full three rounds and I think if this one goes the distance then he’ll emerge victorious – but he can’t afford to spend much time on the mat with Gracie or he’ll risk being tied up in knots.
Tim Kennedy to win by decision.
Cub Swanson vs. Dennis Siver
Another great featherweight fight on the main card. Swanson and Siver are currently racking up wins in the decision and so will look at this as a fight to push closer to title contention.
Both men like to stand and trade, with Siver having solid boxing and fast, hard kicks, while Swanson’s much lighter on his feet, more creative and still packs a punch.
I think Swanson’s speed and overall output will be the biggest difference between the two men, but I don’t think he’ll be able to stop the always-tough German.
Cub Swanson to win by decision.
Mark Munoz vs. Tim Boetsch
A well-rounded main card is opened up by a competitive middleweight match-up between former title hopefuls Munoz and Boetsch.
Munoz is coming back after a lengthy injury layoff in which he ballooned in weight so conditioning and ring rust will be a factor for him. He’s still got fairly good boxing however, although range is something he’s not entirely comfortable with, while he’s especially dangerous if he gets on top on the mat due to his particularly vicious ground and pound.
Boetsch has fairly similar attributes, but is more comfortable on his feet and isn’t quite as deadly on the mat so it’s likely he’ll look to keep this one standing.
I think he can do that – for all his wrestling credentials Munoz has trouble switching from striking to takedowns smoothly and I anticipate that Boetsch will see them coming and defend appropriately. It’ll be fairly close on the feet, and perhaps a little untidy at times, but in the later rounds Boetsch should be the fresher fighter and will take advantage with a late TKO stoppage.
Tim Boetsch to win by TKO in Rd3.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Chris Leben vs. Andrew Craig
Kazuki Tokudome vs. Norman Parke
Gabriel Gonzaga Vs Dave Herman
Edson Barboza vs. Rafaello Oliveira
Seth Baczynski vs. Brian Melancon
Mike Piercee vs. David Mitchell