UFC 160 Preview: Antonio Silva vs. Cain Velasquez

Kevin HessAnalyst IMay 15, 2013

Dec 29, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cain Velasquez attends post fight press conference following UFC 155 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Featured as the UFC 160 main event, Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva will battle defending champion Cain Velasquez for heavyweight supremacy.

Silva is looking to redeem himself after a brutal first-round loss to Velasquez at UFC 146 and take the UFC heavyweight championship in the process. 

Silva is a massive heavyweight who weighs in at the maximum limit and will bring with him a 3-inch height and 5-inch reach advantage. He has very large hands that can deliver an instant knockout and has a notable ground game.

Silva also might be the luckiest fighter in the UFC. He has found himself with wins over Travis Browne due mainly to injury and Alistair Overeem by upset to get a championship fight with Velasquez.

Will the luck continue for the third consecutive fight?

Velasquez has made a statement after losing the UFC championship to Junior dos Santos. He dissected Silva at UFC 146 after opening a blinding cut and earning a first-round TKO stoppage. He then proceeded to redeem himself with a dominating five-round unanimous decision victory over dos Santos in their championship rematch. 

Velasquez brings with him to the table a relentless wrestling game and features the heavyweight division's best cardio. Velasquez is one heavyweight you cannot expect to run out of fuel.

In addition, he has an effective striking game but does lack consistent heavyweight knockout power. He usually has to dish out a lot of punishment to gain a finish. 

Silva will look to maintain his standing position in this fight so that he can use his strengths to his advantage. He will find victory only by knockout, and it is possible, but he might have to throw caution to the wind and forget about defending the takedown to do so.

If Silva is taken down, he has to make sure that he can defend himself from a full-guard position. Silva is more likely to defend himself from this position even though he will be at a disadvantage. 

Velasquez will want to use his strengths in this fight. If Silva comes out tentatively, he may be susceptible to Velasquez's punches, especially an overhand right or lead left hook—but I don't expect Velasquez to try to play games with Silva.

Expect a similar game plan as in his last fight—using his speed advantage, working for the takedown and then delivering some ground-and-pound offense.  

Though I expect this fight to go longer than their last, I expect Velasquez to gain the victory somewhere in the third round.