Top MMA News Breaks Down UFC on FOX 1
The UFC has found a home on network television as they will make their debut on Fox with a one fight attraction at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on Saturday, November 12th. The UFC Heavyweight Championship will be on the line as title holder Cain Velasquez will defend the belt against challenger Junior ‘Cigano’ Dos Santos. This fight will be the only one broadcasted live on Fox in the U.S. and Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. The remaining nine bouts will be aired live on Facebook and FoxSports.com.
Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez (9-0) vs. Junior Dos Santos (13-1)
In what is expected to be the most important fight in UFC history, Heavyweight Champion, Cain Velasquez, will be fighting in his first ever title defence against Junior Dos Santos. To claim that this fight is huge is an understatement. Through the years of MMA, we have witnessed some Heavyweight tilts that have helped revolutionize the sport such as Fedor Emilianenko fighting Mirko Filipovic. Pride FC was able to display the two best Heavyweights in the world at the time and finally we have reached a point where we are able to witness the very same scenario in the UFC. What makes this fight even more valuable is that it will be the UFC’s first event on network television and this will be the one and only fight on Fox. These are two dominant fighters that have won 7 fights each in the Octagon and have yet to lose. A contrast in styles will determine how the battle will turn out, as this should become a striker versus wrestler match unless Cain is willing to go toe to toe with one of the most impressive boxers in MMA. Cain has proven that his ability to strike has improved light years in comparison to the fighter we seen early in his UFC career. Against Cheick Kongo, he was brutally rocked and almost knocked out twice but was able to recover and wrestle his way to a unanimous decision. Since that poor display on the feet, he managed to figure out the stand up game and showed unbelievable performances against Ben
Rothwell, Brock Lesnar, and Junior Dos Santos’ mentor and legend, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. His training at AKA has made him a different fighter and he is now able to have success anywhere the fight goes. His best chance at success, however, will be to take the fight to the ground to at least test Junior in an area we have yet to really see. Junior has shown no flaws in all of his fights, which is even something Cain is unable to say. The main reason we have yet to see much from Junior is because he has forced other fighters to fight his game, and that usually ends with them eyeing down the ceiling without a clue as to where they are or have their face flat on the canvas like Fabricio Werdum. He trains Brazilian jiu-jitsu
with some of the best in the world but there is no real way of knowing how effective he can be off of his back if Cain can get it there. What we have witnessed is fairly decent takedown defence and a real knack for throwing solid right uppercuts for those who shoot for his legs. This fight will likely not last very long despite being a five round title fight and it is as close as a fight could get. Cain is coming off of a year long layoff so there is no telling how prepared he will be but there is always certainty that he will come out as explosive as ever. Junior may not have the cardio of Cain, but he will be sure to rock him early and often with any opportunity presented to him. Look for Cain to try to find openings for takedowns as he
keeps his distance but expect Junior to work his well rounded boxing game to force Cain to think twice about any decision he makes. It will be a war but Junior Dos Santos should use effective sprawl techniques and test Cain’s chin over and over. There is a good chance there is a new Heavyweight Champion Saturday night.
Prediction: Dos Santos via TKO Round 2
Clay Guida (29-11) vs. Ben Henderson (14-2)
The unfortunate reality of the UFC going mainstream for a one fight network television debut is that there were at least two fighters that were bound to undeservingly be sent to the prelims. Ben Henderson and Clay Guida are always ready to put on a good show for fans and their exciting style combined would be fantastic for a co-main event. Unfortunately, they have to settle for the main event of the preliminary card. Rarely do you see a potential number 1 contender fight not a part of the main card, but considering the intention of this card, it should be understandable. These two long haired scrappers have similar styles in the sense that they both move forward constantly and work off the cage using dirty boxing and strong wrestling to move the fight to the ground. Clay Guida has been on a tear of late, coming off of a win over former WEC Lightweight Champion, Anthony Pettis. Though he was criticized for his very safe performance, he won three straight before that, all by submission. Ben Henderson has yet to lose ever since he entered the UFC as he most recently derailed the hype train of Jim Miller. Both guys will likely look to get the advantage against the cage and try to have as much Octagon control as they can through what will most likely be a three round war. Guida has found a lot of success against his opponents but Henderson has the ability to cancel out all of Guida’s strengths and implement a few of his own advantages. Henderson will hold a striking advantage and he will use that to the best of his ability. Henderson will use his quickness on the feet, forcing Guida to try to turn this into a dirty fight. Henderson should be able to overpower Guida and get the fight to the ground where he will beat him up intensely
and look to finish the fight. Good chance Guida will be a bloody mess as we have often seen in the past.
Prediction: Henderson via Unanimous Decision
Dustin Poirier (10-1) vs. Pablo Garza (11-1)
A battle of two top Featherweight prospects should be another reason to get onto Facebook to check out these preliminary bouts. Dustin Poirier has fared very well since making his move to the UFC as he defeated Josh Grispi and Jason Young in his first two fights with the promotion. Pablo Garza could arguably be the most exciting prospect in the UFC as both his victories have consisted of a devastating flying knee and a remarkable flying triangle choke. Both fighters are around two wins away from earning a shot at the title and with the excitement both guys bring to the table, you could expect the UFC to push them into the big scene in their next appearance. It is unfortunate they have not received a shot at the main card but they will make their way there soon. Poirier is the more well rounded fighter overall but he has not shown the killer instinct of Garza. Anything can happen in this fight and it will be so hard to predict, especially with the spectacular and unexpected finishes of Garza. Poirier will most likely try to use his better wrestling and try to work off the cage to control the fight but his crisp striking will likely be his key to success. Garza is a dangerous fighter wherever the fight goes so it is probable that Poirier takes the safe route as he did against Jason Young. This will be a wild fight at some points but anytime Poirier is in trouble, he will undoubtedly not take any risks against one of the more impressive Featherweights in the division.
Prediction: Poirier via Split Decision