Thursday, May 24, 2012

UFC 146: A heavyweight preview

For the first time in UFC's history, they are going all in with a main card chock full, (no pun intended), of heavyweights. UFC 146 is so big, they couldn't fit them all on the promotional poster; besides this card has been stricken so much by suspension and injury, the poster has changed a few times already. Nonetheless, here's my "heavyweight" preview of UFC 146.

With heavyweights, there is always the strongest of possibilities that the fight could end at any moment. Such is the case with the main event as champion Junior Dos Santos (14-1, 10 KO's 2 subs) defends his title for the first time against former two-time champion Frank Mir (16-5, 3 KO's 9 subs). This fight alone is worth the price of admission. Unfortunately, it may be a quick finish for the money.

Dos Santos is easily the best boxer in the heavyweight division today, with power packed in every punch as is evidenced by his 10 KO's. That said Mir is actually bigger and possibly stronger than the champ, probably outweighing him by at least 20 pounds due to his power lifting regimen the last few years. So it's the bone crusher, due to his put you to sleep stand-up game, Dos Santos vs. the bone breaker, due to his limb snapping ground game, Mir. Who wins?

As is evidenced by my photo above, I'm going with the favorite JDS. I personally don't think this fight will get out of the first round and I think Dos Santos ground game is proficient enough to keep him from getting taken down. He'll eventually catch Mir with one of his right handed bombs to end the fight. This is a scary pick though as Mir is just as dangerous. At a current -350 betting odd, it wouldn't be a bad bet to lay some sugar on him.

In the co-main event, things are just as big and dangerous as you have former champ Cain Velasquez (9-1, 8 KO's) taking on the giant Antonio 'Bigfoot' Silva (16-3, 11 KO's 3 subs); talk about not blinking or you'll miss it. This is another fight I'm not sure will make it out of the first round; as a matter of fact, this has the potential to be the quickest ending card in UFC history. Velasquez is a wrestler, who has become better with his hands every fight and Silva is the Brazilian-Jiu Jitsu black belt that pummeled the legendary Fedor Emelianenko. Who wins?

Another tough pick, but I am going with the former champ Velasquez for two reasons. One is that in his defeat to Dos Santos in his last fight, he was coming off an injury that had him out of commission for over a year. He was clearly not in his best shape and definitely feeling the rust. Second is that Silva is coming off a KO loss to none other than Daniel Cormier; who just happens to be Cain's teammate at American Kickboxing Academy. Velasquez is bigger and faster than Cormier and I believe he'll touch Silva quickly and often enroute to a TKO victory.

As for the other fights on the main card, here are my quick picks:

Dave 'Pee-Wee' Herman (21-3 15 KO's 5 subs) vs. Roy 'Big Country' Nelson (16-7 9 KO's 5 subs):

Whenever you have a "big" anything versus a "pee-wee" anything, the big should win out. Such is the case here as I anticipate Nelson's experience against better quality opposition will help him take out Herman in the end; probably by second round TKO.

Shane Del Rosario (11-0, 8 KO's 3 subs) vs. Stipe Miocic (8-0, 6 KO's 1 sub):

Somebody's '0' must go, the question is who? The determining factor for me is Del Rosario coming off an injury that has kept him out of the cage for 15 months. Plus, he's never fought in the UFC, while Miocic is coming off two big UFC wins; thus, I am picking Miocic by decision here.

Lavar 'Big' Johnson (17-5, 15 KO's 2 subs) vs. Stefan 'Skyscraper' Struve (23-5, 6 KO's 15 subs):

Wow, what a way to start of this card; expect fireworks from the start and don't expect it to last long. I saw Johnson in person just three weeks ago when he dispatched of Pat Barry. He was impressive, but in that fight he was also taken down by Barry, mounted and almost submitted. Struve is much better on the ground than Barry will ever be; so with a pretty good chin to outlast Johnson's bombs, I see the 'Skyscraper' catching Johnson in a submission and ending the fight in the first round.

I'll be in Vegas this weekend amidst all the fanfare, so my recap probably won't come till Monday. If things go off as I expect, I don't think I'll have much to write about anyway as I anticipate an early night of fights. Enjoy!

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