Who’ll be picking up the fighter bonus awards following this weekend’s UFC 132: Cruz Vs Faber event in Las Vegas? Read below for our predictions.
Fight Of The Night:
It’s very tempting to go with Wanderlei Silva Vs Chris Leben here, but I fancy that one as a strong candidate for ‘KO Of The Night’ too, so let’s share things around a little bit.
The main event between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber also has the makings of a well-matched battle, but I’m going to push the boat out a little further and pick a fight from the prelims to take the award.
To my mind Anthony Njokuani Vs Andre Winner has all the makings of a great stand-up battle between two of the slickest strikers in the lightweight division, much like Njokuani’s UFC debut in March against Edson Barbosa which also picked up ‘Fight Of The Night’ honors.
Prediction: Njokuani Vs Winner
Knockout Of The Night:
The aforementioned Anthony Njokuani Vs Andre Winner fight could certainly also produce the big KO of the night, and the hard-hitting Melvin Guillard against Shane Roller is worthy of consideration too, but it’s hard to overlook the co-main event here.
Between them Wanderlei Silva and Chris Leben have a combined 36 wins by knockout, and with these two men being perhaps the epitomy of the toe-to-toe brawling style, it’s hard to imagine that that this one is going to end any other way than with one of them lying facing down on the canvas.
As to who’s more likely to land the killer blow…really you could flip a coin here, but given that Silva’s style has been a little more cautious lately and he’s coming off a long injury layoff I’ll opt for Leben.
Prediction: Chris Leben
Submission Of The Night:
If you’re picking out the two men on the card most likely to pull off a submission then look no further than George Sotiropoulos and Rafael Dos Anjos, two high level BJJ proponents who have won the majority of their fights with a sub. The catch is that at UFC 132 they are fighting each other, and given how adept they are on the ground I could see them canceling each other out in that regard.
Shane Roller looks a solid choice given his wrestling abilities and submission prowess going in against Guillard who’s submission defense has always been his achilles heel. Guillard’s game has come on leaps and bounds under Greg Jackson’s guidance however which gives me pause for thought.
Therefore I’m looking to the main event of the evening for the submission award. Urijah Faber already has a guillotine choke win over Dominick Cruz back in the WEC a few years ago, and though Cruz’s skills have improved drastically since then, it’s primarily his stand-up game that’s taken him to the title. Faber is very crafty on the ground, and if he can get Cruz down I think he can find a finish once again.
Prediction: Urijah Faber