UFC 117 Predictions

MMA UK lead writers and general MMApedias Kris and JB give their predictions on UFC 117 on Saturday night.

Below is Countdown to UFC 117

Roy Nelson Vs Junior Dos Santos

Kris

Man, I’m looking forward to this fight. Two of the division’s top heavyweights. Both well rounded and both like to bang. Junior Dos Santos has destroyed everyone put in front of him including a number of big names. However, I have a feeling that the pure genius of Big Country will allow him to find his way to victory. He is great at sticking to his game plan and has a significant advantage on the ground (especially from top position).

Roy Nelson via submission Round 2

JB

Show of hands: how many people are giving Roy Nelson a shot here? From where I’m standing this comes down to striker versus grappler. While both guys can strike and grapple they both have slight edges in either department; Roy Nelson has a very legitimate black belt in Jiu Jitsu while Dos Santos, well, has knocked out everyone they put in front of him. The deciding factor for me then becomes who can get on top of the other. If Nelson can take Dos Santos down and keep him down he’s got a very good chance of winning this fight. If he ends up on the bottom or on the business-end of Dos Santos’ punches however…

I’m going to bet on the underdog here, Nelson by TKO round 2

Nelson by TKO Round 2

 

Matt Hughes Vs Ricardo Almedia

JB

This might seem like a random match up to the layman but there is a method to this madness: wrasslin-like storytelling!

Yeah, just like the “rivalry” between Paulo Thiago and all the welterweights at AKA, Matt Hughes has now sparked a rivalry with, well, all of Renzo Gracie’s students apparently.

If this had been a couple of years back I’d have given this fight to Hughes, no questions asked, but he’s getting up there in age and has lost a lot of his edge (i.e. his strength) and as of late he hasn’t really fought anyone but so-so veterans of the sport. While Almeida hasn’t been as successful in MMA as he has been in grappling he’s definitely got the skills on the ground to deal with Hughes and if he works on his stand-up this could be a short night.

Almeida, Submission, Round 2

Kris

Arguably the most dominant welterweight of all time vs. arguably the best jiu jitsu practitioner in the division. With Matt Hughes coming off a win against Ricardo’s mentor, Henzo Gracie, Almeida is looking for revenge. However, every fight starts on the feet. Their stand up ability is pretty similar and they are both good on the ground. I believe Matt Hughes will be able to take him down and nullify Ricardo’s jiu jitsu with his solid base and ground and pound. I see a VERY long and frustrating night for Almeida.

Matt Hughes via Decision

Clay Guida vs Raphael Dos Anjos

Kris

This is my personal choice for fight of the night. The word that pops into my mind is SCRAMBLE. Both competitors are explosive guys with insane cardio. I think that Clay’s aggressive style and pace might prove to be too much for Dos Anjos. I think Raphael presents some interesting challenges for Guida but I think he will narrowly avoid the danger ahead.

Clay Guida via Decision

JB

Fight of the Night. Guida by Unanimous Decision. Next fight!

Jon Fitch Vs Thiago Alves

Kris

The most anticipated fight on the card in the eyes of many (including myself). Both fighters have improved leaps and bounds since their last meeting, more so Thiago, he has matured as a fighter and is a lot better at cutting weight which helps every aspect of his game. However, I believe Fitch is going to show us that wrestling is still the best discipline to walk into MMA with and I believe that Thiago might show signs of ring rust.

Jon Fitch by way of Jon Fitch (Ground and pound ass whooping decision)

 

JB

Those of you who think, and with good reason perhaps, that Jon Fitch tends to be a bit slow should thank Joe Silva for this match-up because there is no way Alves will go easy on him. Fitch already beat Alves once and this could very well be for either a shot at the title or for a shot at a shot at the title so both guys want this win bad (even though I can’t see either of them beating GSP anyway).

Alves hits hard as hell and has some nasty leg kicks but Fitch has already proven that he can take inhuman amounts of punishment and somehow survive. Fitch also has pretty good takedowns so he could go for the, as Alves himself would put it I guess, safe way to win and pretend he’s GSP for three rounds. That’s unless Alves “plays it safe” himself and just keeps it standing instead of risking everything and pulling guard, the pussy.

Jon Fitch by Unanimous Decision

 

Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen

JB

 Those of you who are familiar with my first news segment on this site will remember me being pretty ambivalent towards this fight. Basically I see this fight either being domination from either side, in which case it will most likely be a boring affair, or an all-out war where both guys have their moments on their way to a decision or a late round finish. The deciding factor in this is Chael Sonnen’s wrestling and how good it really is. The only man to take a round against Silva in the UFC was Henderson, who was an Olympic level Greco-Roman wrestler, and colour me sceptical as to whether Sonnen’s wrestling is on the same level, especially lacking the clinch work of Henderson which allowed him to survive as long as he did at close range.

Because of this I’ll have to lean in favour of the champ,

 Silva by TKO round 3

Kris

The 2nd best pound for pound fighter in the world vs the 2nd best trash talker in the world. This battle of silver medallists has KO of the night written all over it. Anybody who thinks anything different is sadly dreaming. Chael will struggle to take Anderson down, he will get hit on the way in and he will not be able to do it for 5 rounds. Anderson Silva will finish him. . . . . . Period

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