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UFC 155 Fight Card: Info and Predictions for Dos Santos vs. Velasquez

Sean SmithAnalyst IJanuary 10, 2017

UFC 155 Fight Card: Info and Predictions for Dos Santos vs. Velasquez

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    At UFC 155, the world's top MMA organization will close out 2012 with a bang in the form of a heavyweight title fight between champion Junior dos Santos and his predecessor, Cain Velasquez.

    In November 2011, Dos Santos dethroned Velasquez with a first-round knockout. However, both fighters were injured heading into that bout, so fans have been awaiting an inevitable rematch between the two elite heavyweights.

    Saturday's event will also feature a number of other important bouts in other divisions. So, let's take a look at which fighters should walk away from the UFC's final event of the year with a victory.

Leonard Garcia vs. Max Holloway

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    How to Watch

    Facebook at 6:30 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    Leonard Garcia has kept his spot on the UFC's roster by being one of the most entertaining fighters in the featherweight division. However, a loss at UFC 155 could mean Garcia's release from the organization.

    If Garcia can take Max Holloway down, he could have a chance at breaking his losing streak. However, Garcia is a brawler who rarely opts to look for takedowns.

    This fight will most likely remain standing, which will heavily favor the technical striking of Holloway. 

     

    Prediction

    Holloway defeats Garcia by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Chris Cariaso vs. John Moraga

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    How to Watch

    Facebook at 6:30 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    John Moraga is a member of a flourishing team at The MMA Lab, where lightweight champion Benson Henderson trains most frequently. In his UFC debut, Moraga impressed with a first-round stoppage of well-known flyweight Ulysses Gomez.

    Though Chris Cariaso is more experienced inside the Octagon than Moraga, he wasn't as dominant as many expected him to be in his 125-pound debut against Josh Ferguson.

    Moraga is a solid grappler who showcased some knockout power in his first Octagon appearance. Look for him to pressure Cariaso into a corner early and score a takedown. On the ground, Moraga should be able to lock up a submission in this matchup.

     

    Prediction

    Moraga defeats Cariaso by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:29 of the first round.

Phil De Fries vs. Todd Duffee

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    How to Watch

    Facebook at 6:30 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    More than two years after his surprise release from the UFC roster, Todd Duffee is set to return to the Octagon. It's hard to say how Duffee's absence has impacted him, but he should be hungrier than ever to prove himself inside the cage.

    In his first three UFC bouts, Phil De Fries has proven to be more of a one-dimensional grappler than a well-rounded fighter. 

    Though he's not the best wrestler out there, Duffee's size and strength will aid him in keeping this fight standing. If he does so, it shouldn't take long for the American Kickboxing Academy product to end this fight.

     

    Prediction

    Duffee defeats De Fries by knockout (punches) at 0:39 of the first round.

Michael Johnson vs. Myles Jury

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    How to Watch

    FX at 8:00 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    Since a disappointing submission loss to Paul Sass, Michael Johnson has won three straight fights and finds himself a couple wins away from becoming a contender in the lightweight division.

    A fellow alum of The Ultimate Fighter, Myles Jury was victorious in his UFC debut against Chris Saunders. The 24-year-old has plenty of potential, but he's taking on a more experienced opponent at UFC 155.

    Johnson will use his solid wrestling to keep this fight standing, while his quickness and boxing should be enough to gain a noticeable edge over Jury on his feet.

     

    Prediction

    Johnson defeats Jury by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Melvin Guillard vs. Jamie Varner

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    How to Watch

    FX at 8:00 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    Melvin Guillard and Jamie Varner are two lightweights who are going to come out swinging early.

    Both fighters have solid chins, though, with Guillard's knockout loss to Donald Cerrone being the only one either has suffered. Therefore, there's a good chance this bout will last longer than the initial onslaught and possibly go to the scorecards.

    Guillard is known for having poor submission defense, and Varner does have a number of submission wins. However, most of those victories came against low-level competition.

    After both fighters survive a back-and-forth slugfest in the first round, Guillard will focus more on his wrestling in the second frame. Then, there's a good chance Varner could take control, as Guillard fades in the final stanza. Ultimately, a close decision will be decided by the opening moments, and whichever fighter got off to the stronger start will walk away with the victory. 

     

    Prediction

    Guillard defeats Varner by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).

Erik Perez vs. Byron Bloodworth

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    How to Watch

    FX at 8:00 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    This matchup heavily favors Erik Perez, who has finished his first two UFC opponents in the first round. Meanwhile, Byron Bloodworth was defeated by Mike Easton in his Octagon debut and has not fought in more than one year.

    Perez is more talented than Bloodworth on his feet and on the ground. Throw ring rust into the equation for Bloodworth, and this fight should provide Perez with his third victory inside the Octagon.

     

    Prediction

    Perez defeats Bloodworth by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:57 of the first round.

Brad Pickett vs. Eddie Wineland

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    How to Watch

    FX at 8:00 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    With back-to-back wins to follow a loss to interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao, Brad Pickett is looking to become a serious contender by defeating Eddie Wineland.

    Wineland recently bounced back from consecutive losses with one of the biggest wins of his career, a second-round knockout of Scott Jorgensen.

    If Wineland was able to keep his fight with Jorgensen standing, he should be able to do the same against Pickett. While Pickett is as tough as they come, he'll be at a reach and technique disadvantage on his feet.

     

    Prediction

    Wineland defeats Pickett by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).

Chris Leben vs. Derek Brunson

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    How to Watch

    Pay-per-view at 10:00 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    Chris Leben has been out of the game for more than a year due to a failed drug test following a loss to Mark Munoz in November 2011. 

    Due to a Karlos Vemola injury, Derek Brunson has become the first Strikeforce fighter to join the UFC ranks since news broke that Strikeforce would be closing after its January event.

    While Leben may have to shake off some rust for this fight, the nerves Brunson will be dealing with should be much more significant. Leben is too experienced and scrappy to fall to an unproven UFC newcomer like Brunson.

     

    Prediction

    Leben defeats Brunson by knockout (punches) at 0:34 of the first round.

Yushin Okami vs. Alan Belcher

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    How to Watch

    Pay-per-view at 10:00 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    Yushin Okami's loss to Tim Boetsch in February created the illusion that the Japanese middleweight is beginning to fade. However, buying into that idea would be jumping to conclusions.

    Aside from being overwhelmed in that third round against Boetsch, Okami has only lost to Anderson Silva, Chael Sonnen and Rich Franklin since joining the UFC. He's still an elite middleweight and will have the chance to prove it in a rematch with Alan Belcher.

    Okami took Belcher down repeatedly when the fighters first met in August 2006. Though much has changed since then, Okami still has the ability to shut Belcher down with his wrestling. He can also hold his own on his feet as long as he doesn't allow himself to be cornered against the fence like he was against Boetsch.

     

    Prediction

    Okami defeats Belcher by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Tim Boetsch vs. Costa Philippou

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    How to Watch

    Pay-per-view at 10:00 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    Tim Boetsch quickly became a contender in the middleweight division following a move from light heavyweight. On UFC 155, Costa Philippou will try to slow his momentum and become a top 185-pound fighter himself.

    Look for Boetsch to take away Philippou's boxing by utilizing leg kicks and scoring takedowns when an opening presents itself.

     

    Prediction

    Boetsch defeats Philippou by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Jim Miller vs. Joe Lauzon

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    How to Watch

    Pay-per-view at 10:00 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon have been looking to become breakthrough fighters and earn a title shot for quite some time, but both fighters have suffered setbacks every time they've gotten close to the top of the division.

    Lauzon is the jiu-jitsu equivalent of a home run hitter. He won't wow anyone with his speed and athleticism throughout a fight, but he has the ability to make any opponent pay for the slightest mistake.

    That said, Miller won't be forced into a desperation takedown attempt like he was against the slick boxing of Nate Diaz, and he won't fade like Jamie Varner did against Lauzon.

     

    Prediction

    Miller defeats Lauzon by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez

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    How to Watch

    Pay-per-view at 10:00 p.m. ET

     

    Preview

    Junior dos Santos is already one win away from tying the record for the most consecutive heavyweight title defenses in UFC history, and he'll be facing an opponent that he's already defeated at UFC 155.

    Since losing the heavyweight belt to Dos Santos, Cain Velasquez has picked up one win, a dominant beating of Antonio Silva.   

    We may not have learned everything we need to know in the first meeting between these heavyweights, but we learned enough. It will only take one punch for Dos Santos to remain champion, and he has the takedown defense to remain standing long enough to land that punch.

     

    Prediction

    Dos Santos defeats Velasquez by technical knockout (punches) at 3:00 of the first round.

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