Top MMA News Breaks Down UFC 112
I am a big supporter of UFC President Dana White bringing events to exotic new markets. This both creates a bigger stronger fan base and also pushes interest in the sport. Another accomplishment of more shows in more places is the encouragement it gives fans to go out, joining a local gym and reap the physical and mental benefits that come from practising martial arts. I read a lot of negative criticism on blogs, forums and websites about the “moral attitude” the natives of UAE will have on the UFC coming to their doorsteps. I personally think the event will be a success, all cultures have a history of training for combat and some form of competitions to demonstrate the skills acquired in this training, UAE is no exception. Now will we see the beautiful Arianny Celeste in her work attire between rounds? I suppose we will find out on Saturday. Only time will tell whether the people of UAE accept the sport and continue to host events. I am as anxious as the next guy to see how things work out. The forecast calls for cloudy skies. Let’s hope it stays dry and dust free in the desert for this outdoor event.
Anderson Silva (-714) vs. Demian Maia (+400)
***UFC Middleweight title***
With 11 consecutive wins, 10 straight in the UFC, Anderson Silva (24-4) is looking to defend his title yet again maintaining the longest running win streak in UFC history. Throughout Silva’s career we have seen everything from decision victories to submissions to astonishing crowd pleasing knock-outs. Silva is ranked by most as the best pound for pound fighter in the world and holds a black belt in BJJ, Tae Kwon Do and Judo and is also known for his amazing Muay Thai abilities.
Although Silva was originally supposed to fight Vitor Belfort, but Belfort pulled out due to injury. Dana White’s next choice for a contender was Chael Sonnen who proved himself worthy after out-wrestling Nate Marquardt at UFC 109; however, Sonnen also had to turn down the opportunity due to injury. Next in line for title contention is another BJJ black belt, Demian Maia (12-1). Maia is considered by many to be the best BJJ practitioner in the world, winning five BJJ world championships and demonstrating his skills in key wins over Jason MacDonald, Nate Quarry, Chael Sonnen and his latest over Dan Miller. It’s believed that in this fight Maia’s only hope to win is to take Silva to the ground as soon as possible, receiving the least amount of collateral damage as possible and try to crank out an early submission. I don’t believe this tactic will be an easy task for Maia, especially with Silva being an expert on the ground as well.
My Prediction– I think we will be treated to another brilliant display of striking from the champion, Silva to win by TKO in less than five minutes. (-164)
B.J. Penn (-1000) vs. Frankie Edgar (+500)
***UFC Lightweight title***
In another title bout, lightweight champ BJ Penn (15-5-1) will look to defend his title for the 4th time against number one contender Frankie Edgar (11-1). Penn is considered by many fans to have the lightweight division locked down, much like GSP at welterweight and Anderson Silva at middleweight.
Although Edgar’s only loss was by decision to Gray Maynard back at UFC Fight Night 13, I don’t think he is at the same level as the champ. I think Edgar will utilize what he knows and try to take down and out-wrestle Penn to a decision. Penn will more than likely look to strike his way to an early victory and prove he owns the division.
My Prediction– BJ Penn by TKO before the end of the third round.
Matt Hughes (-556) vs. Renzo Gracie (+330)
I’m again going to go with the favorite, Matt Hughes (43-7), in this fight over the Gracie Barra black belt, Renzo Gracie (13-6-1). Renzo has stated in previous interviews that he plans to rock a strong guard and try to land a finishing submission. I think that the strength of Hughes, along with his wrestling skills will be too much for Renzo. Hughes will probably try to keep this fight standing and trying to finish Renzo the same way he finished Royce with some solid strikes. If Hughes can’t finish Renzo by way of KO or TKO and the fight makes it to decision, the man with the most take-downs will likely be the winner. Given that Gracie has only been KO’d once by Dan Henderson back in 2001, I think this fight will go the distance.
Prediction- Matt Hughes by Unanimous Decision.
Kendall Grove (+119) vs. Mark Munoz (-164)
Mark Munoz (7-1) is coming into his fourth UFC bout with an eye to KO TUF Season Three Champ, Kendall Grove (11-6). Grove, who went 2-1 in 2009 with wins over Jason Day and Jake Rosholt will likely look for take-downs to set up a ground and pound or submission over Munoz. Munoz went 2-0 in his short stay in the WEC and is now 2-1 in the UFC winning his last two fights over Nick Catone and Ryan Jensen respectively. I think Munoz will come out swinging and attempt to end this fight in the first round.
Prediction– Mark Munoz by TKO in round 1.
Terry Etim (-169) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (+121)
This battle of the grapplers has submission of the night written all over it. Terry Etim is coming off of a four fight win streak with the last two by in the second round. Dos Anjos has won his last two fights over Robert Emerson and Kyle Bradley with both fights going the distance. I think we see some creative ground work in this fight by both fighters, with Etim emerging the victor with another submission, this time in the first round.
Prediction- Terry Etim by submission at around four minutes in round one.