UFC 160 is going to have a number of great matchups, and predicting the winners of these will be quite a challenge.
Everyone is looking for the main event between Antonio Silva and Cain Velasquez, the defending heavyweight champion. However, there are a few other fights that should be quite exciting as well.
Let’s take a look at each match and project the winner.
Donald Cerrone (20-5, 1 NC) vs. K.J. Noons (11-6)
Back in the day, Cerrone was a top lightweight contender. After going 2-2 in his last four fights, that hype has died down a bit, but he should still be the favorite to win this fight.
Noons is just 1-4 in his last five fights, and he struggles mightily with takedowns. On the other hand, Cerrone has some strong jiu-jitsu skills, with 14 of his 20 wins coming by submission.
If this fight is heavily on the ground, it’s going to be all Cerrone. He is just too dynamic of a fighter not to win this fight, even if there’s a bit of fighting on their feet.
Gray Maynard (11-1-1, 1 NC) vs. T.J. Grant (20-5)
This is going to be Maynard’s first fight in almost a year due to a knee injury, so there will likely be some rust to shake off for The Bully. On the other hand, Grant has been hot since making the switch to lightweight, winning all four fights in the division.
Grant is a solid striker as well as a dangerous fighter on the ground. He’s looked much stronger since becoming a lightweight, and has some power coming behind his punches on his feet. He must work on defending takedowns, as that’s been an issue for him.
For Maynard, he likes to focus on dragging out fights to decision. This likely won’t be the case against Grant, as he is a strong fighter that will likely extend his winning streak in the lightweight division.
James Te-Huna (16-5) vs. Glover Teixeira (20-2)
It’s hard to go against the fighter that’s won 18 straight fights with his last loss dating back to 2005. His latest win was against Rampage Jackson, winning by decision.
Te-Huna is replacing Ryan Bader, who had to withdraw due to injury. He’s pretty good on his feet, but he seriously struggles when a fight goes to the ground.
Meanwhile, Teixeira is a solid all-around fighter who prefers to be on his feet as a striker. His jiu-jitsu background shows, and he can be a solid player when it comes to the submission game, where Te-Huna really struggles.
Junior dos Santos (15-2) vs. Mark Hunt (9-7)
Winner: dos Santos
After losing his title belt to Velazquez in UFC 155, dos Santos is looking to finally get some revenge by getting a win and a chance to take back his belt in the near future.
I wouldn’t go against this guy when he’s motivated like that.
Both fighters love to duke it out on their feet, but dos Santos has an advantage in quickness. He’s around 25 pounds lighter, which gives him the ability to move around the Octagon more effectively.
Although Hunt has an advantage in power, dos Santos is probably the best fighter in the heavyweight division. Expect some big blows throughout the fight, but Junior should come away with the victory.
Cain Velasquez (11-1) vs. Antonio Silva (18-4)
This will be the first time Velasquez will have to defend the title belt in his second reign, but he should be able to successfully fend off Silva at UFC 160.
This will still be a close fight, however, as Silva is a monster striker who can knock out just about anyone, including Brock Lesnar.
Velasquez will need to get Silva to the ground to avoid his big shots as a striker. He is a strong wrestler and should do a good job making an impact on the ground, but it will be a very close match if they are on their feet.
This is a rematch from UFC 146 when Velasquez beat Silva by TKO, and there should be a similar outcome on Saturday.