Preview and Predictions: UFC 141
Thursday, December 22, 2011 Leave a comment
Heavyweight bout: Brock Lesnar v. Alistair Overeem
Oh boy. The poster says it all. 521 pounds of pure manhood in the octagon. I can’t remember the last time seeing two giants/athletes like this in the cage. This is the first fight in awhile that I really have no idea as to what’s going to happen. Overeem clearly has the advantage when it comes to striking technique. Even though Brock can’t match Overeem’s technique, he still has power. Brock has the grappling/wrestling advantage. Brock hasn’t fought in over a year, since he lost the title to Cain Velasquez (watch here). Overeem last took Fabricio Werdum to a decision win in a pretty lackluster fight. He has won his last 10 fights, with 1 no contest. Can Brock handle the technical striking of Overeem? Can Overeem avoid being taken down by Brock?
Prediction: This is a tough one. Anything can happen. Brock is coming off a long layoff and an injury, so I’m going to have to go against him. Overeem by TKO round 1.
Lightweight bout: Nate Diaz v. Donald Cerrone
Ah, one half of the infamous Diaz brothers. Nate’s had an up and down career in the UFC. He’s looked great at times, and not so great at others. He’s currently on an upswing, as he won his last fight over Takanori Gomi via submission (watch here). This was his return to lightweight, and also was a submission of the night performance. Since coming to the UFC “The Cowboy” Donald Cerrone has been outstanding. He’s finished 3 of his 4 UFC fights by TKO or submission and is on a 6-fight win streak, dating back to his days in the WEC.
Prediction: Cerrone by decision. Cerrone has won the majority of his fights via submission, but I don’t see him making Diaz tap. Diaz has only ever been stopped once, and that was to Hermes Franca in 2006 via armbar. The rest of his losses are all decisions.
Welterweight bout: Jon Fitch v. Johnny Hendricks
A battle of two wrestlers. Both are former NCAA Division I wrestlers. Fitch isn’t the most exciting of fighters, but he’s the Tim Tebow of fighters. All he does is win. In his last 23 fights he only has 1 loss. And that was the beating he received at the hands of the champ: GSP. His last fight was a draw against BJ Penn. Hendricks has a solid record (11-1), but I don’t think he’s faced the level of competition that Fitch has.
Prediction: Fitch by decision in a 3 round snoozefest. I really hope this isn’t the case. I can’t rag on Fitch because he has tons of heart and stamina, but he’s just not a very entertaining fighter. His last 9 fights have ended by decision.
Light Heavyweight bout: Vladimir Matyushenko v. Alexander Gustafsson
A battle of two European imports. Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko is from Belarus, while Alexander Gustafsson is from Sweden. I’ll always remember Matyushenko getting destroyed by Jonny “Bones” Jones. But his record is actually pretty solid. He’s won his last two fights in the UFC, by KO and TKO. And really, in his last 23 fights he only has 4 losses, and they are all to seriously tough guys: Jon Jones, Rogerio Noguiera, and Tito Ortiz and Andrei Arlovski in their primes. On the other hand, he’s 40 years old and Gustafsson is 24. Gustafsson is an exciting fighter. His record is 12-1 and he’s only been to a decision once in his career.
Prediction: I hate to be an ageist, but I’m going to go with Gustafsson by TKO round 1.
Featherweight bout: Nam Phan v. Jimy Hettes
You may remember Nam Phan from The Ultimate Fighter. Or, you may remember him for his exciting fights with Leonard Garcia, or for his brutal body shots. Who knew a liver shot could be so effective? He’s shown he’s got a wicked one time and time again, each with devastating results. Jimy Hettes made his UFC debut against Alex Caceres in August. He’s a young fighter, and is undefeated. Every single one of his wins have come by submission. Nam Phan has never been submitted.
Prediction: This is a tough one. Can Hettes withstand the boxing of Phan, or will he catch Phan in a submission? I’ll go with Phan via TKO round 2.
Recap of UFC 140:
Loved it. Exciting fights with exciting finishes. I was 3/5 when it came to picking the correct winner. 60%, not bad. A “D” is passing in my book. Jon Jones was spectacular as always, though we saw that he’s not invincible. Mir came back from crazy odds, pulled off an amazing submission, and practically ripped off Noguiera’s arm in the process. Noguiera’s never tapped before this fight. It was gruesome. “Little Nog” made short work of Tito. I honestly thought Tito still had something left in the tank, but I guess I was wrong. And in a wild turn of events, Chan Sung Jung knocked out Mark Hominick in 7 seconds, officially tied for the fastest knockout in the UFC ever. Though unofficially it is tied for second. I originally had Jung winning by TKO round two. Should’ve gone with my gut. Of course, I never would’ve predicted that he would’ve won by KO that quickly. All around, a great night of fights. You can read my full preview here.