UFC 160 and the Heavyweights
By Christopher Jester
The Memorial Day’s weekend UFC 160 event is full of attractions including Gray Maynard vs. T.J. Grant that will establish the #1 contender in the lightweight division. However, it is the co-main and main event that will highlight the card. Junior dos Santos vs. Mark Hunt is a heavyweight clash of heavy-hitting titans who both should be one fight away from a title shot. In the main event, Cain Velasquez looks to successfully defend the title he won back from Junior dos Santos for the first time against Antonio “Big Foot” Silva. To say the least, there are some heavy repercussions at UFC 160.
After pulling off a combo straight out of a video game, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva earned himself a shot at the UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez. Velasquez, who just came off a five round demolishing of Junior dos Santos, is looking to defend his title against a man whom he had beaten just a fight earlier by bloody first round TKO. That definitely swings the favor of bets into Velasquez’s corner.
Can the Brazilian turn the odds and avenge his lopsided loss to Velasquez? It will honestly depend on how much “Big Foot” learned from that first loss. What makes the odds not favor Silva is how brutally the first fight went. Not only could he not stop the takedown but he appeared not to have the skill to scramble from the bottom. Cain Velasquez unleashed a flurry of punches and elbows that stopped the fight in the first round. It is hard to say that this fight will be any different. The one thing that the Brazilian has going for him is that he is coming off two knockout victories since that loss. He has momentum, but he will have to conjure up another Mortal Kombat Fatality type KO to win this fight.
In the opposite corner is Cain Velasquez. Cain Velasquez is simply a beast of a heavyweight. He may not be a mountain of a physical specimen, but his endurance and technique draws no comparison at heavyweight. Takedowns, speed, and underrated striking are his biggest tools – tools that he showed quite well when he recaptured his title from JDS at UFC 155. The one thing that Velasquez has looming over his head is a dark cloud that sprinkles talks that he cannot take a punch. Velasquez has only lost once in his career and that was to Junior dos Santos. Velasquez has not struggled much in his career, but he has fallen victim to a heavy hand on a couple of occasions. Cheick Kongo rocked him and nearly finished him back at UFC 99. He suffered the KO loss to Dos Santos, so, it demonstrates that Silva may have a puncher’s chance. After all, this is MMA and this is the heavyweight division.
In the co-main event, Junior dos Santos gets an opportunity that most former champions dream of; one victory leads him back to a title shot. For a while, Junior dos Santos appeared to be an unstoppable monster at heavyweight but Cain Velasquez silenced that thought by working a five-round clinic on JDS.
Dos Santos will look to get himself back to the title but standing in his way is Mark Hunt, who is riding into the fight with a Rocky Balboa type story. Just a few years ago, the UFC attempted to pay out Hunt to not fulfill his contract. That is just how down on his luck Hunt’s career was at the time. Despite losing his first UFC fight against Sean McCorkle, Hunt has won by KO in three of the four fights that have seen him the victor. Famous for the walk-off KO, Hunt will be fighting another boxer with heavy hands. This is a golden opportunity for Mark Hunt and a victory over the former champion could lead him to front of the pack at heavyweight.
This can be a tough matchup for both fighters. Dos Santos is the more technical boxer. His speed will definitely be his greatest advantage in this fight as Hunt sometimes lumbers around the Octagon looking to land one heavy punch. Hunt will land one of these punches, but Dos Santos will have to withstand the power to survive a three-round fight with the “Super Samoan”. Look to see if Dos Santos attempts a takedown. It will not be surprising. He pulled off a successful takedown in his fight with Shane Carwin and even attempted to go for a rear-naked choke. The Brazilian needs to change up his style and stray away from the one-dimensional punching only gameplan. Hunt has struggled off his back before, and a takedown from JDS could lead to some time on the mat that could help demonstrate why he has a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt in the first place.
With these powerful strikers on full display at UFC 160, it is not likely that these fights will go the distance. And if they do, it will be a brutal and violent affair. Each fighter has an opportunity to prove why they are the best. Cain Velasquez and Antonio Silva will clash once again with the title on the line. Junior dos Santos will aim to knockout Mark Hunt, whose journey to the top is a story to behold. These titans will clash on the grandest stage of them all in matches that will define the future of the heavyweight division.
UFC 160: Power vs. Power
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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