Even though UFC 111 is fresh in everyone’s minds we have to prepare for the next event, UFC 112. In unusual form this event is coming just two weeks after the last but hey, I’m not complaining at all. This UFC event is also taking place in Abu Dhabi, Dubai. Which I think we should all take a moment and repeat where it is going down. Abu Dhabi. Isn’t that fun? Also, in addition to the globalization UFC is obviously going for, this will be the first UFC event held outdoors in an open air arena. In addition to that, the fights will be broadcast live from Dubai, which means somewhere around the ball park of 9:30 AM here on the West Coast. I am going to have to manage to not find out who won until I can watch it later on in the day. Even with that hassle it still sounds like it’s going to be sweet. The Main Card for the fight is not a letdown either. Let’s take a look at it.
(C) Anderson “The Spider” Silva (25-4) vs. Demian Maia (12-1) Middleweight Championship
Originally Silva was to defend the Middleweight Championship against Vitor Belfort but Belfort suffered a shoulder injury while training. They then decided to put him against Chael Sonnen but he was unable to participate due to the laceration he got during UFC 109. This left us with Demian Maia. Though not the first choice, he is still good competition. I’m really hoping that Silva comes out for this bout and just goes right after Maia. Mainly because his last two fights weren’t all that fun to watch. About a year ago at UFC 97 he went against Thales Leites and it went to decision only because Leities stayed on his back the whole time trying to get Silva to go to the ground. Silva countered by standing for 5 rounds and it was easily the worst fight I have ever watched. The most recent fight was against Season One Ultimate Fighter Champ Forrest Griffin. This fight actually looked fixed as Silva won by knock out punch 3:23 in the 1st round. He landed a straight left while on his back foot. It really didn’t look all that powerful but I guess I’ll never know until Silva himself punches me. His competition is stiff in Demian Maia. A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practioner, he has only had 1 of his 13 fights go past the second round. His only loss came at UFC 102 against Nate Marquardt where he was knocked out only 21 seconds into the bout. During UFC 109 he fought Dan Miller and won by decision without going to the ground, which had been his trademark. He did this in an attempt to show his peers that he was able to strike. The skill between both of these fighters will make this a great fight to watch. Both fighters can stand up all 5 rounds and they are both comfortable going to the ground as well.
Prediction: Silva over Maia, Round 2 Knockout (Punches)
(C) BJ Penn (15-5-1) vs. Frankie Edgar (11-1) Lightweight Championship
BJ Penn is one of the fastest fighters I have ever watched and easily has the strongest legs too. This is why I think this fight will go to the mats rather than become a stand up brawl. Penn may have 5 losses but I think we can scratch two of them because they were to super freak Georges St. Pierre. Penn is a little guy but once he gets you into a full mount the fight is usually pretty close to over. Edgar won’t be a cake walk for Penn though. Edgar is a very good wrestler and very good with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but there is one problem. Penn is better. Penn is also bigger than Edgar, who could probably fight as a featherweight if he wanted too. The bottom line is that this fight will entertain but I don’t think Penn lets it get out of his control. I can’t see it going all five rounds either.
Prediction: Penn over Edgar, Round 4 Submission (Rear naked Choke)
Matt Hughes (43-7) vs. Renzo Gracie (13-6-1)
Ok, this might not be a championship bout but it should be entertaining. By entertaining I mean probably going all 5 rounds with a decision. Look at Hughes record. Fifty fights. Are you kidding me? How do you go against a guy that has 50 fights under his belt and does skull crushers with Toyotas? Gracie has a better ground game than Hughes, but like I just said Hughes is bigger than Gracie. Where one of these guys lacks, the other makes up for it. This is why I think it will be a drawn out “slobberknocker”. I know I said it would probably go all 5 rounds but something in my gut, and it could be my lunch, tells me that Hughes will take care of business before the final round.
Predicition: Hughes over Gracie, Round 3 Knockout (Punches)
All in all I expect this to be an entertaining event. Obviously, these next couple UFC events are going to be something to tide us over for the Carwin vs. Mir UFC coming in July. Until then, all we can do is sit back and enjoy the shows. Below is the full card coming from Abu Dhabi (love saying it).
- Champ Anderson Silva vs. Demian Maia (for middleweight title)
- Champ B.J. Penn vs. Frankie Edgar (for lightweight title)
- Matt Hughes vs. Renzo Gracie
- Rafael dos Anjos vs. Terry Etim
- Kendall Grove vs. Mark Munoz
- Phil Davis vs. Alexander Gustafsson
- John Gunderson vs. Paul Taylor
- Nick Osipczak vs. Rick Story
- Brad Blackburn vs. DaMarques Johnson
- Paul Kelly vs. Matt Veach
- Mostapha Al Turk vs. Jon Madsen