What an exciting card this will be! We will have a number 1 heavyweight contender crowned with Nelson vs Dos Santos, finally a legit opponent for Andersin Silva to face for his title, Clay Guida always brings the thunder to his matchups, and plenty more. I have to say, the UFC did an excellent job and constructing this card. All the fights will be quality, top-level matchups. If this card doesnt get you excited, you may want to find a new sport to watch! OK, forget all the “fluff”…lets get right down to the predictions.
Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen
Here we go……this has been built up to be a great fight. Silva has received the label as a “lazy” fighter and that his past recent fights have been against low level opponents. So, it’s a major proving ground for Anderson Silva. Chael Sonnen’s comments of late have called out Silva calling him overrated and although Sonnen acknowledges Silva’s overall skill, he has little to no respect for the champ. Ive seen SO MANY of these guy’s fights in the past, both being guilty of being involved in snoozers, but I think the time has come for a new champ to be crowned. Sonnen’s work ethic as of late has been unrivaled, he has the tools and I think he will be the one to dethrone Silva.
Pick: Sonnen by decision
Jon Fitch vs. Thiago Alves
This fight will showcase two of the best welterweights in MMA today,and possibly the best welterweight fight that could happen that doesn’t inlude GSP. Fitch already has a win over Alves via second-round TKO in 2006, however, Alves’ improvement since has far surpassed Fitch’s growth in the MMA game. Look for Alves to use his strength to take this to the ground and overpower Fitch. Fitch is a great wrestler but Alves’ determination for avenging his previous loss to Fitch will be the key to his victory.
Pick: Alves via TKO
Clay Guida vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Prepare yourself for the Fight of the night folks!! Both these fighters are ready for this battle, especially when you see Guida’s name on a card, you can guarantee top notch entertainment. One thing is certain , Guida will test dos Anjos cardio and mental stamina. Dos Anjos currently has a three-fight winning streak, including a textbook arm bar submission of Terry Etim at UFC 112. Although dos Anjos is the better BJJ player in this matchup, look for Guida to take him down and control this fight, ending it with some serious ground n pound.
Pick: Guida via TKO
Matt Hughes vs. Ricardo Almeida
To me this is the most appealing fight of the entire UFC 117 card. Although Almeida is the favored winner based on Las Vegas odds, I simply don’t see it! Anyone who is familiar with MMA knows who Matt Hughes is and what he brings to a fight. I will say this, if Hughes shows up in shape, he wins this matchup. Hughes has shown signs of gassing out in the past, but sources says he’s had one of his best camps ever in preparation for this fight against Ricardo Almeida. Hughes has only lost to Thiago Alves and George St Pierre in the past 6 years, and even though he is past his prime, look for him to control the fight, and grind out an impressive win at UFC 117.
Pick: Hughes via TKO
Roy Nelson vs. Junior dos Santos
The winner of this matchup will one becomes the next No. 1 heavyweight contender. That being said….this becomes an even greater reason for both fighters to leave it all in the cage for this battle.
Dos Santos has owned ever fighter he has faced, and has some of the best hands in the sports today. There is no doubt that his confidence in his standup game has caused fear in all opponents he has faced. This guy is simply the future face of the UFC.
But Nelson is a seriously dangerous fighter, and could beat anyone on any given night in the UFC. Roy Nelson is such a polished fighter that it makes it hard to pick against him, even against a beast like dos Santos. His knockout power alone makes him a devastating force against anybody.
I see this being a slugfest, both fighters swinging for the fences and rocking each other. I would think the crowd will be on their feet before the end of the 1st round. After exchanging huge blows I see it going to the ground, and this is where Nelson will impress. My heart says dos Santos takes this one, but my head says Nelson is the perfect matchup to pull off the upset.
Pick: Dos Santos via KO