UFC 169 Preview and Predictions
UFC 169 is following in the footsteps of the one of the most exciting UFC pay-per-views ever (UFC 168) – but with two title fights and a couple heavyweight monsters on the card, the potential is definitely there. Keep reading (and watching) to see my breakdown of the top three fights on this card and my picks for each.
Frank Mir vs. Alistair “The Reem” Overeem
Let’s start with two beasts from the heavyweight divison. With Frank Mir at 6’ 3” – 250lbs and Alistair Overeem at 6’ 5” – 265lbs, they don’t get much bigger than these guys. While I can’t imagine a title run in the future of either fighter, I have to think their UFC future, in addition to their pride, is on the line with this fight. Mir is coming off three straight losses (two by KO) and Overeem has dropped his last two fights (both by KO) – having said that, both guys are still ranked in the top 10 of UFC heavyweights (for now). The fact is, both men are MMA veterans with a lot of fights under their belt and a lot of miles on their bodies.
My prediction: I think Overeem’s striking is going to be too much for Frank. As much as I would like to see Frank win this fight (I am definitely pulling for him)…I’m gonna have to pick Alistair Overeem to win by KO or ref stoppage – and I don’t think this fight gets out of the first round.
Jose “Junior” Aldo vs. Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas
This fight is for the UFC Featherweight belt. Jose Aldo, the undisputed champ, has dominated the 145 pound weight class since it was introduced to the UFC back in 2011, and the WEC featherweight division before that. The fact is, Aldo hasn’t lost a fight since 2005 for crying out loud. The man is a stud! His opponent is no slouch though. Ricardo Lamas has an impressive 13-2 record and has beaten some tough guys in the past few fights. But the fact remains that Lamas hasn’t faced the level of competition that Aldo has – and nobody has really even come close to taking the belt away from the champ.
My prediction: I’ll be honest and tell you I don’t know a whole lot about Ricardo Lamas, but I don’t know that I need to. Jose Aldo is right there at the top of the list of pound-for-pound fighters, behind only Johnny “Bones” Jones. The only question I have to answer is HOW Aldo will win this fight. Is it gonna be a knockout or a decision? Ya’ know, I think this one goes into the championship rounds, and Aldo gets a stoppage in the 4th round.
Renan “The Baron” Barao vs. Urijah “The California Kid” Faber
The main event of the night is a rematch between these two guys battling for the UFC Bantamweight belt. They last fought in July of 2012 when Barao beat Faber by unanimous decision. Barao has gone on to successfully defend his belt two more times in 2013. But since that loss Faber has been one of the hottest fighters on the planet. An argument could be made the Faber had the best year of fighting in the history of MMA. I’m not trying to use hyperbole here, but the guy went 4-0 last year with three really impressive submissions and a dominant decision win. The question is – how will Faber handle the pressure of a championship fight? You see, Urijah Faber was a dominant champion back in the WEC, but has yet to win a belt in the UFC.
My prediction: This is a super tough fight to pick. I definitely think it goes the distance…but who’s gonna win. I’ll be honest, I’d like to see Urijah win. He would get the UFC that has eluded him for so long, and it set up a third fight between these two guys. So, I reckon I’ll go ahead and pick Urijah to win by decision.