Posted 05/22/2013 by admin in Untethered MMA

UFC 160: Velasquez vs Bigfoot 2 Preview

By Mike Fagan, May 22nd, 2013

Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva

-Velasquez and Silva meet 364 days after the former blitzed the latter at UFC 146. In those 364 days, Velasquez avenged the lone loss on his ledger and regained the heavyweight title from Junior dos Santos, Silva derailed the UFC’s plans to place Alistair Overeem in a title fight, and the heavyweight division failed to produce a viable alternative to this matchup. So, here we are. Velasquez making the first title defense of his second title reign as a 7-1 favorite against a man whose face resembled B.J. Blazkowicz’s low-health hamburger mug in their first meeting.

-And there’s no reason to expect a different result this time around.  Velasquez was only 20 seconds quicker than teammate Daniel Cormier’s deconstruction of Bigfoot in September of 2011. Bigfoot, simply, is too slow. His hands are too slow, his feet are too slow, and his head is too slow. And the cardio game he played against Alistair Overeem won’t work against a guy who can outpace every heavyweight in rounds one through five. Velasquez wins this however he chooses, and all of his choices involve high violence.

-Cain Velasquez holds the records for most strikes landed per minute (6.37) and biggest strike differential (4.76) in UFC history.

Junior dos Santos vs. Mark Hunt

-Mark Hunt entered the UFC with a 5-6 record before losing to Sean McCorkle of all people. Four fights later, he’s 9-7, and seemingly one win away from fighting for the heavyweight title. His reversal of fortunes didn’t come against the Chris Tuchscherers of the world. It started with THE Chris Tuchscherer of the world, then continued with wins over Ben Rothwell, Cheick Kongo, and Stefan Struve. That’s a legitimate, if surprising, winning streak.

-It’s also a winning streak that is likely to end. Junior dos Santos is a better, more well-rounded fighter than Mark Hunt, and, barring some residuals from the Velasquez beatdown, this fight should set up a very special heavyweight title trilogy.

-Seriously, though, we’re one perfectly placed punch away from Mark Hunt fighting for the UFC heavyweight title in 2013.

Glover Teixeira vs. James Te-Huna

-Glover Teixeira made his long-awaited entrance into the UFC, finished the likes of Kyle Kingsbury and Fabio Maldonado, and was championed as a serious threat to Jon Jones. Then he carried Quinton Jackson for three rounds. That seems to have done the trick. Jon Jones smashes Glover Teixeira.

-James “Bumble” Te-Huna. I wonder if I’m the first person to think of that. Turns out I’m not (but I am).

Gray Maynard vs. T.J. Grant

-This fight screams upset. Maynard is 34 years old, hasn’t fought in nearly a year, and faces a 29 year old who’s been born again with violent revelation in a new division. He shows up old or rusty or both, and he’s in trouble.

-Grant is the more active and accurate striker To exploit that advantage, he’ll have to improve on his 37% takedown defense, which plays into the 2.5 takedowns Maynard completes per 15 minutes.

-UFC President Dana White anointed the winner of this fight with a title shot. Just ask Hendo, Shogun, Machida, etc. about those title shots. This is just another fight where the winner may possibly sometime down the road get a title shot. So, like, every fight ever.

Donald Cerrone vs. K.J. Noons

-Noons enters Saturday’s fight as a 3-1 underdog, but he’s the heavy favorite for Hair of the Night. MMA’s pound-for-pound hair king for five years running, Noons looks dashing whether close and cropped; long, luscious, and pulled back; or left as boyish shag. Cerrone’s skinhead snip stands no chance against Noons’s dynamic ‘do.

-Cerrone SHOULD win this, but he also has the mind, body, and soul of Matthew McConaughey. Sometimes you put a durable, technical striker in front of him, and he goes all “Hey, man, you know, haha, that’s not cool” before taking his shirt off and so on. (Confession: Sometimes I make fun of Matthew McConaughey, but I think I kind of like him? As a movie star, not a crush. Weirdos.)

Preliminary Notes

-Call off the search parties! Brian Bowles has been found! Bowles and his Young Republican haircut (no match for Karl James Noons) return after 18 months to fight the skeletal remains of George Roop.

-Jeremy Stephens will have fought twice since an arrest prevented him from fighting Yves Edwards at UFC on FX 5. The accusations against him include the following paragraph: “The victim’s wife helped him get into their car and was trying to lock the doors when Bachman reportedly pulled the victim out of the vehicle by his feet. Stephens and Bachman then allegedly punched and kicked the victim on his head and body for about a minute, authorities said.” Stephens is on a three-fight losing streak (he ended up losing a rescheduled bout with Edwards) and 7-8 lifetime in the UFC. Makes you wonder why they’re giving him a very winnable fight in his featherweight debut (i.e. “I’ve lost a few fights, I bet the problem is my weight”).

-A drinking game you can play on Saturday. 1) Drink every time Rogan or Goldberg mispronounce “Nurmagomedov.” 2) Drink every time Rogan or Goldberg say “Khabib” in lieu of “Nurmagomedov.” 3) Drink everytime Rogan or Goldberg pronounce “Trujillo” with hard, American “Ls.” (Note: I take no responsibility for alcohol poisoning, death, waterboarding, etc. that may result from playing this game.)

Other Notes

-Alistair Overeem was booked to fight Junior dos Santos, but a torn quad forced his removal. Mark Hunt, Overeem’s replacement, ran into his own issues: he didn’t receive a work visa until Sunday.

-The UFC has signed Josh Barnett to a multi-fight deal. Barnett once suggested the he pee inside UFC President Dana White’s mouth as a kinky alternative to drug testing. The early Twitter chatter wants to see Barnett make his debut against Frank Mir. Maybe we can put the heavyweight titles they won 10 years ago and never defended on the line.


Mike Fagan writes a weekly column for MMA Owl, and hosts Untethered MMA every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET at