We are back and better than ever. What a great week to return, two UFC events in less than a week. The fight night event on Fox Sports 1 had some good fights, but Saturday has one of the most anticipated rematches in a long time. The main event pits the 155 lb champ, Benson Henderson, against the man who turned him into a high light reel, Anthony Pettis. The last time these two fought was in the WEC (World Extreme Cagefighting) where Pettis leapt of the cage and kicked Henderson in the face for the defining moment in the fight. We’re getting a little ahead of ourselves, so let’s start with the beginning of the main card.
Date: August 31, 2013
Time: 6 pm ET/3 pm PT Facebook Card. 10 pm ET/7 pm PT Televised.
Location: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Benson Henderson (19-2) vs. Anthony Pettis (16-2)
Frank Mir (16-7) vs. Josh Barnett (32-6)
Chad Mendes (14-1) vs. Clay Guida (30-13)
Ben Rothwell (32-9) vs. Brandon Vera (12-6-1)
Erik Koch (13-2) vs. Dustin Poirier (13-3)
Jamie Varner (21-7-1) vs. Gleison Tibau (27-9)
Louis Gaudinot (6-2) vs. Tim Elliott (9-3-1)
Pascal Krauss (11-1) vs. Hyun Gyu Lim (11-3-1)
Chico Camus (12-4) vs. Kyung Ho Kang (11-6)
Preliminary Card on Facebook:
Soa Palelei (18-3) vs. Nikita Krylov (14-0)
Ryan Couture (6-2) vs. Al Iaquinta (5-2-1)
Jared Hamman (13-5) vs. Magnus Cedenblad (10-4)
Main Card Preview
Koch v. Poirier- The pay per view begins with a battle of former featherweight contenders. Erik Koch squares off with Dustin Poirier. Koch had a shot lined up for the title, but an injury forced him off the card and back in line. A victory over Poirier would put him back up near the top for title contention. Poirier, like Koch, is coming off a loss and was also very close to a shot at the champion Jose Aldo. Both guys are very well rounded with the striking edge leaning towards Koch and the grappling to Poirier. I expect fireworks and a great start to the PPV main card.
Rothwell v. Vera- The second fight is the first of two heavyweight bouts on the main card. Ben Rothwell has very heavy hands, but his cardio has always been his weak point. Brandon Vera has bounced between the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions throughout the years, and has had a roller coaster of a career being on the good and bad sides of devastating knockouts. Vera’s striking and speed should make the difference in this bout, but you’ve always got to be weary of the one punch knockout ability of the larger athletes.
Mendes v. Guida- One of the most interesting fights of the night in our opinion is Chad Mendes and Clay Guida. Mendes has been an absolute wrecking ball since his controversial KO loss to Jose Aldo in UFC 142. Guida made the move from lightweight to featherweight, but recently has been shying away from the action during his fights recently. Guida has a relentless pace, but the team alpha male standout Mendes has dynamite in his hands. Guida’s game plan of sticking and moving might work for a little, but we don’t see Mendes losing this one.
Barnett v. Mir- The last heavyweight battle of the night is a showdown of two former UFC champions. This fight is Josh Barnett’s long awaited return to the UFC after 11 years since he was stripped of the title for steroid use after beating Randy Couture . He meets fellow former champion Frank Mir who looked a bit sluggish in his last outing against Daniel Cormier in UFC on FOX in April 20, 2013. Both guys have decent striking, but the grappling is what will be on showcase in this one. Mir snapped Nogueira’s arm recently and Barnett has over half of his wins by submission. This is a hard one to predict, but it might end up in the hands of the judges.
Henderson v. Pettis- Finally we have arrived at the main event of the evening. Ben Henderson is looking for his fourth straight title defense as well as vengeance for his last loss and aforementioned highlight reel embarrassment. Anthony Pettis was the last WEC lightweight champion before they were absorbed into the UFC. Pettis has some of the best striking in the UFC, which was last put on display in his devastating first round tko of Donald Cerrone. Henderson has been very content with squeaking out close decisions and he hasn’t finished a fight since 2010. On the other hand, Pettis is coming off back-to-back Knockout of the Night Awards in his last two bouts. We don’t think Henderson is going to leave with the belt this time, but you never know and that’s why we’ll see when they settle it in the cage.
Enjoy the fights everybody.
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