UFC 161 Preview

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistJune 15, 2013

Jun 14, 2013; Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; Roy Nelson and Stipe Miocic square off during the weigh in at UFC 161 at the MTS Center. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

It's safe to say that UFC 161 is going to provide some fireworks. 

The card isn't the most superstar-laden one in the history of the organization, but with fights like Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson, Roy Nelson vs. Stipe Miocic and Pat Barry vs. Shawn Jordan set to go down on Saturday night, it's not a card you want to miss. 

Evans and Henderson should give us a good idea of who will remain in the title picture at 205 pounds. Nelson will once again try to prove that he belongs in the heavyweight title picture and Pat Barry, well, Pat Barry just puts on great fights. 

Here's all the information you need to know to make sure you don't miss any of the action. 

When: Saturday, June 15, 2013

Where: MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Start Time: PPV at 10 p.m. ET; FX Prelims at 8 p.m. ET; Facebook Prelims at 6:35 p.m. ET

Live Stream Info: UFC.com

Full Fight Card

Main Card

Light Heavyweight Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson        
Heavyweight Roy Nelson vs. Stipe Miocic        
Light Heavyweight Ryan Jimmo vs. Igor Pokrajac        
Women's Bantamweight Alexis Davis vs. Rosi Sexton        
Heavyweight Pat Barry vs. Shawn Jordan

FX Prelims

Welterweight Jake Shields vs. Tyron Woodley
Lightweight Sam Stout vs. James Krause
Welterweight Sean Pierson vs. Kenny Robertson
Bantamweight Roland Delorme vs. Edwin Figueroa

Facebook Prelims

Lightweight Mitch Clarke vs. John Maguire        
Bantamweight Yves Jabouin vs. Dustin Pague

What to Watch For

Roy Nelson Should Be on Upset Alert

Everyone loves Roy Nelson. His penchant for putting on great fights and putting opponents on the canvas with his massive overhand right makes him a fan favorite. Well, that and he's the only guy that can fight at the level that he does and look like this:

However, he comes into UFC 161 in a dangerous position. He's a heavy favorite against Stipe Miocic in the co-main event (5/14 odds according to Bovada) and the mismatch was partially created because Nelson's contract expires in July according to MMAJunkie.com

But this mismatch isn't as lopsided as one might think. Yes, Miocic is coming off of a loss to Stefan Struve while Big Country just knocked out Cheick Kongo. But Miocic is statistically more efficient than Nelson in every category. 

Of course, percentages can't account for the sheer raw power of Nelson or the higher quality opponents that he's faced compared to Miocic, but it's clear that the underdog's chances are a little bit better than he's given credit for here. 

Jake Shields in a Must-Win Situation

Once upon a time, Jake Shields was considered one of the top two welterweights in the world. When he came over to the UFC after his reign as the Strikeforce middleweight champion, a fight against Georges St-Pierre was one of the most anticipated fights of 2011. 

Now he's going to have to pull off a decent upset to even be noticed in the welterweight division. 

Since losing to St-Pierre, Shields has been knocked out by Jake Ellenberger, won a decision against Yoshihiro Akiyama (who was on a three-fight losing streak) and had a win at middleweight over Ed Herman overturned for failing a post-fight drug test. 

UFC matchmaker Joe Silva was not kind to him in this one. Woodley won his UFC debut in just 36 seconds against veteran Jay Hieron and is on the rise. 

If Shields is ever going to climb the ladder again. He has to find a way to beat Woodley. 

Evans and Henderson Angling for Title Runs

The main event for this card is a dandy. Dan Henderson and Rashad Evans are two of the sport's most well-known light heavyweights and they've both put on spectacular fights throughout their careers. 

Henderson needs this win if he's ever going to get a shot at champion Jon Jones. Which, by the way, he does:

A loss to Lyoto Machida has him dangerously close to missing out on the opportunity, but a win over Evans would give him the momentum needed to make another run. 

Evans might have even more on the line than Henderson. He's 0-2 in his last two fights and has to avoid a three-fight losing streak if he ever hopes to regain his status as a top light heavyweight. 

His outing against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira was disappointing to say the least, but a win over Henderson would go a long way in making fans forget about it. 


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