Bold MMA Predictions for the Month of June
When the temperature heats up, so does the MMA action around the globe. Heading into the summer of 2013, fight fans have a lot to look forward to, and it all kicks off this month.
On Saturday night, the UFC gives us their first of two important offerings for the month. Plus, with the return of Bellator, World Series of Fighting and some riveting independent cards, the Zuffa boys certainly don't have a monopoly on the action this time around.
Here is a look at 10 bold MMA predictions for the month of June.
Bobby Lashley Will Underwhelm Once Again
On Friday night, Bobby Lashley meets Kevin Asplund in the main event of Titan FC 25. It's a fight where the former professional wrestler is sure to either win or prove his complete incompetence as an MMA fighter.
Who cares if Bobby Lashley gets a win in his next fight? The former ECW champion is facing a non-notable currently riding a three-fight losing streak. Aside from padding his MMA record, there is nothing that Lashley has to gain from this matchup.
Expect Lashley to gas out early before grinding out an unwatchable victory.
King Mo and Babalu Sobral Will Be Finalists in the Bellator Summer Series
Photo: Showtime Sports
Without booking marquee fights in the opening round of a tournament, it is quite difficult for Bellator to book the high-profile matchups that fans want to see.
In the 2013 Summer Series, the Viacom-owned company has decided to switch to a four-man tournament. Although they haven't come out and said it, this appears to be an attempt to get former Strikeforce champions King Mo and Babalu Sobral against one another in the light heavyweight final.
In the opening round, Mo takes on UFC failure Seth Petruzelli while Sobral meets the untested Jacob Noe. Despite rebounding from nasty knockouts in their most recent appearances, expect both men to move on with relative ease before meeting each other in late July.
Rashad Evans Will Out-Point Dan Henderson
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The main event of UFC 161 is a matchup between two hard-nosed wrestlers with knockout power and the ability to put most light heavyweights on their back. The attributes of Dan Henderson and Rashad Evans are close; however, it is Evans who has the more dynamic striking and better speed.
Henderson is a grizzled veteran who looked flat-footed in his most recent performance, a split-decision loss to Lyoto Machida. Don't expect Hendo to be able to match the speed or endurance of his younger, more athletic opponent.
Dan Henderson Will Retire
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Dan Henderson is currently 42 years old. Earlier this year, his momentum and title aspirations were brought to a screeching halt when he dropped a lackluster decision to Lyoto Machida.
Based on the last slide, you know that I'm predicting a second consecutive loss for Henderson at UFC 161. Once that happens, there is no chance that the Olympian gets the UFC title shot that he craves so desperately.
For that reason, Dan Henderson will retire in the wake of UFC 161.
Chael Sonnen Will Step in to Fight Shogun Rua
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
By now, you've likely already heard that Chael Sonnen has called out Shogun Rua now that UFC 161 opponent Lil Nog is out with an injury.
With less than three weeks notice, Sonnen is certainly the most high-profile fill-in available. Dana White and company will have no choice but to take the American Gangster up on his offer.
Update: This one has reportedly already become true. MMAJunkie.com (via Globo) is reporting that Shogun vs. Sonnen is now set for UFC 161.
Update Again: Apparently, the earlier report confirming Shogun vs. Sonnen was false. Shogun Rua has been officially pulled from UFC 161.
Tyron Woodley Will Demolish Jake Shields
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Strikeforce imports collide on the UFC 161 prelims as former title contender Tyron Woodley takes on former champion Jake Shields. Despite Shields having the more impressive resume, he is set up to take a nasty loss on the card.
Woodley was ultra aggressive in his UFC debut, where he earned a 36-second knockout over Jay Hieron. By utilizing rapid movement and power striking, the fight was over before Hieron even knew what hit him.
Considering that Shields is known to take considerable damage even in the fights that he wins, it is unlikely that he will be able to avoid the power shots that will be coming his way.
This fight won't be pretty, and it will not be close.
Jeff Curran Will Upset Flyweight Prospect Sergio Pettis
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
On June 21, undefeated prospect Sergio Pettis gets his first major test as a professional fighter. While competing for the Resurrection Fighting Alliance flyweight title, he meets UFC, WEC and Strikeforce veteran Jeff Curran.
Historically, Curran has come up short against elite fighters but performed admirably outside of the major fighting organizations. However, as evidenced by the photo above, Curran has spent most of his career competing against much larger opponents.
Curran has since dropped down to flyweight, where he looks to earn another ticket into the UFC. Expect the veteran to utilize his experience advantage and grappling prowess en route to an upset decision victory.
Fabricio Werdum Will Outstrike and Defeat Big Nog
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
As is commonplace in grappler versus grappler affairs, the fight's result is likely to be determined solely by striking prowess.
In their first meeting, Antonio "Big Nog" Nogueira outboxed Fabricio Werdum en route to a decision victory. That was seven years ago.
However, in the headliner of UFC on Fuel TV 10, expect to see the tables turned.
Werdum's striking has improved leaps and bounds since their original matchup, and with a solid chin and definitive speed advantage, it's hard to see the stand-up portion of this fight not going in his favor.
Thiago Silva Will Get Knocked out and Fired
Thiago Silva has some of the best striking defense in the UFC's light heavyweight division. In fact, the only time the Blackzilian fighter has ever been knocked out, it came by way of final-second flying punch from Lyoto Machida.
However, on Saturday night, Silva takes on muay thai machine Rafael Cavalcante in the co-main event of UFC on Fuel TV 10.
Cavalcante has picked up all 11 of his professional victories by way of knockout, including his stoppage of King Mo Lawal to win the Strikeforce light heavyweight championship in 2010.
With a pair of failed drug tests and three losses in his past five outings, Silva is already on thin ice with the UFC. After he gets stopped by Feijao, the 10-time UFC veteran will be terminated from his contract.