Cain Velasquez vs Junior Dos Santos
Fightlinker: I really think the UFC is gonna regret it’s decision to show the Dos Santos / Velasquez fight and ONLY the Dos Santos / Velasquez fight. Dana White already seems sweaty enough about the production for this show, and it’s gonna be interesting to see what they end up doing when Junior Dos Santos knocks out Cain Velasquez in round 2. That’s right, I’m calling it for Junior. Probably because I have a man-crush on my precious Cigano, but also because he hits harder and when it comes down to two men slinging bombs you pick the guy with more megatons in his fist. Junior Dos Santos via KO, round 2.
Grappo: My heart lies with Junior. My head is leaning towards Junior as well due to Cain’s long layoff, rumored knee tweaking in training, and the nature of the injury that has had him on the sidelines for so long. I’m dealing with a torn labrum myself so I know how devastating it can be, and what a complete bitch it is to rehab. Your shoulder is never the same. That said, I still have to go with Cain. I have little doubt that he can go full-bore for all 5, but I’ve seen Junior fade a bit in the later rounds against opponents that didn’t pressure him nearly as much as Velasquez will. Junior’s best shot is to finish it quickly, but I don’t see that happening here. Velasquez by TKO, 3rd Rd.
Dick: Of course no one really knows what’s going to happen here, but if Dos Santos couldn’t put away Nelson or Carwin, I don’t like his chances of putting away Velasquez. And if he can’t put away Velasquez, Velasquez will have the opportunity to grind with wrestling and ground and pound for as long as it takes, while Dos Santos is likely based on his history to get tired in the later rounds. The longer the fight goes, the more it favors Velasquez, and the tall height of Dos Santos will make it easier for Velasquez to get takedowns once he’s inside Dos Santos’ reach. Velasquez won’t let up. Velasquez TKO 4
Subo: Do I have concerns about Cain’s shoulder? Of course I do – he tore his rotator cuff (a really, really bad thing to tear if you’re a pitcher or a puncher) while beating Brock, and this will be his first time test driving the repaired vision. However, I also have concerns about Dos Santos’ cardio, as he went to the third round with Cro Cop and looked positively exhausted late against Nelson and Carwin. Dos Santos can certainly Kongo Cain into oblivion, but I just don’t see it. Cain’s DNA has had “SHOOT A DOUBLE” forcibly inserted, replacing “GO TO SLEEP”, when confronted with near-concussive symptoms. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: wrestling uber alles. Velasquez by TKO, Rd 3
Our Bendo vs Guida picks after the jump!
Ben Henderson vs Clay Guida
Fightlinker: Clay Guida is set to establish himself as a WEC spoiler. Having already clipped Anthony Pettis’s wings, he now has a chance to do the same with Bendo. It will be interesting to see how this turns out. Clay Guida’s gameplan is pretty obvious: he’s going to try and Clay Guida his opponent. How this will all turn out will really become apparent after round 1. Will Henderson be stuck on his back or can he spring back up? I’m expecting a little of both, leading to Clay Guida eeking out a 29-28 decision (perhaps even split, probably with a lot of controversy once the stats come out). Clay Guida via decision.
Grappo: I’m almost more excited for this fight than the title bout. Henderson has really stepped his game up since coming to the UFC. He’s got a mean streak in him now, and he’s great at capitalizing on any opportunities he can find to punish his opponents with brutal knees and elbows. If he were to rematch Pettis now, he would absolutely smash him. Guida has improved by leaps and bounds as well, but Bendo is just better than him in every area. This will be a war of attrition that will end with Guida taking the more serious damage. I expect it to go to a decision, but wouldn’t be surprised at all if Henderson were able to submit Guida, or pound him out on the ground.
Henderson by Decision
Dick: This fight will be decided based on who is the better wrestler. Henderson has looked positively scary the last couple of times out, and for my money he’s the most exciting fighter in MMA. Guida won’t submit him and therefore won’t finish him, and Henderson will keep on grinding for as long as it takes with a high offensive work rate. Henderson UD 3
Subo: #1 contender’s bout because Melendez is fighting Masvidal (why?). I can’t leap to the conclusion that Hendo is the better wrestler, though it’s possible – not sure Guida would’ve embarrassed Jim Miller like that, but then again, I’m inclined to believe the rumors that Jim Miller’s shell was what we saw in the cage that evening. Cardio? Both can bounce around until the heads of the hardcores detonate in unison. Annoying hair? You’d think you were at a (insert popular gathering). This is actually a tough fight for me to call – they’re both cardiotastic wrestlers that people hate. That’s normally my go-to. Where Godsquadding would normally disqualify Bendo here, I give three excuses: 1) Tim Tebow, 2)He didn’t do it after the Miller win, 3)he’s from Colorado Springs. Henderson by decision