UFC 160 has an excellent slate of bouts to catch.
But before the main event of Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva, this fight card provides fascinating matchups. If anything, the diverse array of martial arts experience between all of the competitors is appealing.
Unlike boxing, martial arts runs deeper as a combat sport with broader dynamics. The following matchups feature quite a bit of that on May 25, as well.
Maynard vs. Grant
Who ya got?
Gray Maynard sports a record of 12-1-1, and he suffered his only loss to Frankie Edgar in 2011. As a former collegiate wrestler, Maynard typically wins the battle on the ground.
That said, he's also a better boxer and defender on his feet than he's given credit for. Possessing the stamina to match any pace, Maynard is a solid opponent for TJ Grant.
And speaking of Grant, he'll take the fight to Maynard. Grant's best chance is to stay on his feet, land punches and avoid takedowns.
While he's not the takedown artist that Maynard is, Grant's ability to adjust on the ground will counter Maynard's impressive wrestling.
Nurmagomedov vs. Trujillo
Khabib Nurmagomedov owns a perfect 19-0 record and has 14 victories via knockout or submission.
Fusing a background of sambo, wrestling and judo, Nurmagomedov strikes with great power and precision while also dominating the ground game. Add in the defense to set up counterattacks, and he's a great challenge for Abel Trujillo.
Trujillo's record is not as impressive (10-4), but he enters on a five-match win streak.
What favors Trujillo here is his athleticism. Along with the ability to neutralize Nurmagomedov on the ground, he has the quickness to defend consistently and counter explosively. Whoever wins the takedown battle will gain an advantage in the bout.
Bowles vs. Roop
It's been an up-and-down career for George Roop, who has a 13-10-1 record. Obviously, that's less stellar than the record of his opponent, Brian Bowles (10-2).
That said, Roop owns the height advantage at 6'1" and is capable of escaping unfavorable situations from the ground. The obstacle against Bowles, however, will be more than just getting out of jams.
Bowles brings the speed and ability to generate nice power when attacking. Mesh that with solid strength to win on the ground, and he'll limit Roop's evasive tactics.
Interestingly enough, Bowles has only gone the distance one time, when he won a decision over Takeya Mizugaki. So, the longer Roop can hang around in this matchup, the better his chances will be.