When: Saturday – Nov 12th
Times: FOX – 7:00 pm MST
Facebook & FOXsports.com – 2:45 pm MST
Saturday night will mark yet another historic milestone for the Ultimate Fighting Championships.
The global MMA juggernaut will finally be able to televise their brand in a collaborated network broadcast with network giant, Fox. Together, they will present one of the most anticipated events in their history for a monumental fight on public television. The fight will feature the heavyweight title fight between Brazilian knockout artist Junior Dos Santos and American heavyweight wrestler/slugger Cain Valasquez in what many are calling the UFC’s version of, “Clash of the Titans”. Neither man has ever put on a boring performance in the hallowed Octagon and both men are promising to put on their best performances of their careers on Saturday night.
Aside from the heavyweight title fight, Saturday night’s card will surely be an event loaded with some incredible fireworks. This monumental fight will be the only aired fight on the broadcast, since the UFC and Fox are doing a big lead up to the aired fight. However, the other 10 fights on the card will be shown on both FoxSports.com as well as the UFC’s Facebook channel.
That being said, there are some INCREDIBLE fights on the undercard of this groundbreaking event and the amount of MILLIONS of “new” eyeballs that this television deal brings to the UFC could catapult this company into levels that have been unimaginable. So as always, let’s dive in and pick some winners from this epic event.
Heavyweight Champion Cain Valasquez vs Junior Dos Santos
Cain Valasquez is one of the most amazing stories in the history of the UFC. A Mexican American with very humble beginnings that had an indomitable work ethic instilled in him from his parents and especially his father. His father’s courageous journey coming here from Mexico and working the fields for 14 hour days to make a better life for his family is where Cain draws his inspiration. You can expect to see Cain’s inspiration in full force as he will carry the heritage of his people into the cage with his to face the Brazilian slugger.
Cain’s wrestling pedigree is some of the best in MMA and his cardio for a heavyweight is the stuff that legends are made of. Many forget that Cain was roughly 2 points away from winning an NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship against Bellator Heavyweight, Cole Konrad. Let’s not forget that the man has outstanding power in both hands as well as tremendous kickboxing to boot. Cain also has an iron chin to bolster all of the other tools I just mentioned too, so to say that he is a very well-rounded champion is an absolute understatement. Look for Cain to use his striking to set up that wrestling and control the fight from the top position. He can deliver swift, severe and fight ending punishment from that position as he has done before, if he can manage to keep Junior down. The question is….will Cain be able to avoid the longer reach of the powerful Brazilian bomber in the early stages of the fight.
Junior Dos Santos is a heavyweight that posses some serious tools and is absolutely worthy of this heavyweight title shot. He is a fantastic boxer in MMA and also comes from the famed Black House stable of exceptional Brazilian ground fighters. His takedown defense has also been outstanding as of lately and he’s always shown the propensity for the earth-shaking knockouts of big UFC heavyweights. My view is that Junior has really worked very diligently at becoming a more
well-rounded fighter, but he truly loves to throw bombs en route to victories. He has the power to know the expression off your face if he hits you cleanly and he has also shown improvements in his cardio leading up to this fight. The big question is will Cain’s wrestling prowess be the difference in this battle of titans. Only Saturday night knows.
Examiners Pick: I firmly believe that wrestling is the pillar of a successful UFC and MMA career. That said, I also know that Brazilians typically do not wrestle as much in Brazil as they do here & for the most part the ground fighting staple in Brazilian gyms relies heavily on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Now that the pleasantries have been stated….I don’t see Cain Valasquez losing this fight. He is just as big as Junior with National Champion caliber American wrestling. He has been raised “in the grind” and competed against larger men his whole life. His boxing is also outstanding and his cardio is better than most lightweights. I’ve see Junior struggle carrying his big frame in heated exchanges in the past where Cain just seems to get more comfortable as the pace of a highly charged fight escalates. Therefore I am taking Cain Valasquez to deliver the most severe beating Junior Dos Santos has seen to date in his MMA career. “El Toro” will show why he is an incredibly unique heavyweight and as the fight progresses will be able to stop Junior Dos Santos in the 4th round by a savage TKO to retain the UFC heavyweight championship.
Clay Guida vs. Ben Henderson
Clay Guida is truly the Energizer Bunny of MMA. He can go and go until you finally wonder if the man has 2 sets of lungs that he trades out in between rounds. Clay is also an outstanding wrestler that has controlled so many of his opponents with his smothering yet frantic style. He is not much of a powerhouse, but his relentless pace has been the demise of many men that I thought would beat him.
Ben Henderson is also a wrestlerwith a superb gas tank too. Ben also has a mind-blowing submission defense as well as an incredible guillotine from both the top and bottom position. He can push a frantic pace as well and he does not hold the rank of former WEC champion for no reason. Ben can fight….and since this fight has title shot implications for him, he seems as though he is as motivated for this fight as I’ve ever seen him in his career. Will he be able to keep off the Geico Caveman off of him enough to deliver his own punishment or will Ben also succumb to the dizzying pace of Guida?
Examiners Pick: I absolutely love both of these guys. Two fantastic representatives of the sport and two tremendous gentlemen as well…however, I see Ben’s skillset as being greater than Clay’s. I think his striking is much better than Clay’s and I also feel that his submission game is better that Guida’s. I also think that since Ben can almost see the title shot right in front of him…he will have just enough juice to get by the Carpenter from Illinois in a great back & forth affair. I’ve got Ben Henderson winning a split decision over Clay Guida in another exciting scrap.
Pablo Garza vs. Dustin Poirier
Pablo Garza is a terrific submission fighter. A rugged competitor and very tough guy, Garza brings so much experience to the table that this fight against Poirier should be an excellent fight.
Dustin Poirier is another exciting young fighter coming up in the UFC ranks with a bevy of talent. This Rajun Cajun has the tools as well as durability to make this fight an insane scrap. Question is….does he have the experience to deal with Garza?
Examiners Pick: I had the privilege to see Garza scrap it up here in Broomfield for the WEC and I can tell you that he’s a slick submission artist. I think he’s just a little too experienced for Poirier right now, but this one will be fun to watch. If Garza doesn’t get clipped early….he wins this one by submission in round 2.
Ricardo Lamas vs. Cub Swanson
Ricardo Lamas is another tough kid fighting out of Illinois. His wrestling and grappling background always make him a tough guy to deal with and he’s beaten some pretty big names in the 145 lb division including: Matt Grice and Bart Palaszewski. Look for Lamas to take this scrap to the ground right away and control this fight from the top to negate Swanson’s reach.
Cub Swanson is a former soccer player with a penchant to scrap it out. If Cub can find a way to bring back his mixed bag
Examiners Pick: I just think that Cub’s affinity to get caught up in the emotions of fighting cost him in many fights. I see Lamas as executing a more disciplined fight and therefore winning this fight in a unanimous decision.
Clay Harvsion vs. DaMarques Johnson
Clay Harvsion is TUF alum taking on another TUF alum in Johnson. These two guys have very similar skillsets, but I think Clay is a more controlled and patient fighter. He’s not big on power, but he may be able to frustrate the excitable and emotional Johnson to win the fight with smarts.
DaMarques Johnson is a very aggressive and forward moving fighter that has shown lapses in concentration against more cerebral fighters. If Johnson can keep his emotions in check, he may be able to put the pressure on Clay and eventually outgun Harvison to win by strikes.
Examiners Pick: I think Johnson will be just a bit too much for Clay in this battle and I actually see Johnson finishing this fight by overpowering Clay with strikes in the 3rd to win by TKO.
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto vs. Darren Uyenoyama
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto is another Japanese fighter that used to come with a lot of hype. That is until he met Denver’s Joe Warren. Since then “Kid” has looked almost like he’d rather be somewhere else during fights. His lackluster performances statewide have left an uninspired look to his game and he better be ready for the “San Francisco treat” coming his way on Saturday night.
Darren Uyenoyama has a pretty good opportunity here to send “Kid” packing for good from the UFC. If he can find a way to negate the wild striking attack of “Kid”, he should be able to control the fight on the ground and eventually grind out a win against the hyped up Yamamoto.
Examiners Pick: I’ve always thought that most guys that fought “Kid” back in the day were scared of his physique more than anything & therefore he could win fights before entering the cage. That is until he met Joe Warren. Joe showed that Kid ain’t all that and since then, he’s been very average at best. I see his best days as long behind him, and expect Uyenoyama to avoid the trouble spots and grind out a unanimous decision over the washed up “Kid” Yamamoto.
There you have it folks, another fight summary. This weekend will show again why the sport of MMA is the king of sports entertainment now and the incredible job the UFC has done to bring its brand to mainstream sports lovers is unrivaled. Do not miss these fights on Saturday night and enjoy the incredibly compelling story of the UFC’s heavyweight champion Cain Valasquez. He is an inspiring athlete and an even better human being….be a part of it all.
Enjoy the fights Colorado!