UFC 162 goes down tomorrow in Las Vegas, Nev., which features an intriguing middleweight championship between Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman. Both of these warriors bring exceptional skills to their fight, and it will be interesting to see who sets the pace first.
Also, Frankie Edgar will get back in action against Charles Oliveira, and it’s an important featherweight bout for both fighters, as the loser may never fight for a title. Let’s now take a look at the rest of the card and make some predictions.
Mark Munoz vs. Tim Boetsch: This middleweight bout is important, as the winner puts their name in the hat again to challenge for the title. Munoz was dominated by Weidman in his last UFC outing, forcing him to rethink his career. Now, he looks to be in phenomenal shape, and he will need this going in against the strong, durable fighter in Boetsch. Despite looking flat in his Weidman bout, Munoz will control the wrestling in this matchup. He will get much-needed takedowns against the heavy-handed Boetsch and will land some good shots while on top of Boetsch. Final Prediction: Mark Munoz wins via unanimous decision.
Cub Swanson vs. Dennis Siver: All signs point to Swanson winning, as he has been on a tear as of late in the featherweight division. He has stopped Oliveira and Ross Pearson in impressive fashion, and earned an excellent win against Dustin Poirier. Against Siver, he will be the better boxer and he also holds the edge, in terms of submissions, when the fight hits the mat. He will control his range against Siver, setting up his combinations each round. Final Prediction: Cub Swanson wins via TKO in the third round.
Tim Kennedy vs. Roger Gracie: Gracie is the very best grappler in MMA. Having submitted Ronaldo Souza and Fabricio Werdum, he will be far superior to Kennedy if the fight hits the mat. However, this being MMA, Roger has to get the fight to the mat in the first place, which is no easy task against Kennedy. Kennedy has great takedown defense and he can hold his own on the ground. He will also have the better conditioning coming into this bout, which will be his key to victory. He will tire out Gracie, who will be competing in the UFC for the very first time. Kennedy is also the better stand up fighter, and he mixes his kicks with his punches quite nicely. Final Prediction: Tim Kennedy wins via unanimous decision.
Edgar vs. Oliveira: Edgar has never needed a win more than he does now. He is on a three-fight losing streak, which were against elite competition. Edgar’s will to win will be at an all-time high, which doesn’t bode well for Oliveira, who has been finished by Donald Cerrone, Swanson and Jim Miller. Edgar will evade Oliveira’s punches, and will counter with his crisp combinations. He will also take down Oliveira on several occasions, doing enough to earn a decision. Final Prediction: Frankie Edgar wins via unanimous decision.
Silva vs. Weidman: Silva has been one of the most dominate champions in MMA. He has pin-point striking and can end the fight within seconds. The way he moves around the cage is analogous to The Matrix; he simply can do things no one else can do inside the cage. However, he is not invisible and does have his chinks in his armor, mainly his wrestling.
Against a high-caliber wrestler in Sonnen, Silva was taken down at will. But, Sonnen never really threatened Silva from the top, which is why many peg Weidman to be Silva’s greatest challenge. Weidman has excellent top control, and is a prodigy when it comes to jiu jitsu. After only three months of training, Weidman was able to hang with the very best of them in the ADCC tournament. He went the distance with Andre Galvao, who is considered one of the best grapplers in the jiu jitsu circuit right now.
In Weidman’s latest outing against Munoz, he seemed to put everything together with his striking, wrestling and grappling. It’s this three-dimensional attack that makes Weidman a formidable foe. Weidman will start off strong in the early rounds, forcing Silva to his world (on the canvas). From there, he will land some good shots and threaten with submissions. Silva will survive and land some devastating strikes in the latter rounds, but Weidman will remain composed and get the fight back to the mat via his wrestling. Expect to see a similar fight like Silva vs. Sonnen 1, except Weidman will not fall victim to a submission. Final Prediction: Chris Weidman wins via unanimous decision.