UFC: The 7 Most Likely Underdogs to Win This Summer
Everyone loves an underdog story. A story about a person or team overcoming great odds to emerge victorious.
With the UFC planning six events between now and Labor Day, there will be plenty of opportunities for upsets.
In mixed martial arts, anything can happen and results can sometimes be hard to predict.
Nothing is better than watching someone do something that the majority of the world thinks he's incapable of doing.
That's why you will want to be certain to catch these seven UFC fights that are on tap over the course of the next couple of months.
Yes, you read that right. Chris Weidman, the No. 1 contender in the UFC middleweight division, is going to do the unimaginable.
Weidman is going to do what no man in the UFC has been able to accomplish. He's going to stand across the cage from Anderson Silva and he's going to beat the champion.
Weidman is perfectly built for beating the greatest MMA fighter of all time.
I expect Weidman to follow the blueprint first laid out by Chael Sonnen and use his superior wrestling skills to take the champion down and keep him there.
Once on the ground, Weidman will employ a vicious dose of ground-and-pound.
This fight will end when the referee calls a stop to it, with Weidman raining punches and elbows to the head of Silva.
Dennis Siver is currently sitting on a two-fight win streak with both wins coming after dropping down to 145 pounds.
Cub Swanson is currently on a four-fight win streak, with three of those wins coming by way of knockout.
This run that Swanson is on has placed his name comfortably among the elite in the division.
Swanson is a far more daunting challenge for Siver than Diego Nunes and Nam Phan, Siver's first two opponents as a featherweight.
I expect Siver to be more than up for this challenge.
Siver's going to use his strength and wrestling to control the tempo and the distance where the fight takes place. Essentially, he's going to negate Swanson's ability to fire off power punches.
With Swanson's biggest advantage stymied, Siver will grind out a decision win.
When Yuri Alcantara meets Urijah Faber in the Octagon, it's a safe assumption that fans and Vegas oddsmakers alike will see Faber as the overwhelming favorite.
This is speculation based on all of the success that Faber has enjoyed throughout his MMA career.
That's not to say that Faber will win the fight, however.
This fight will serve as the official coming out party for Alcantara.
The highly explosive Brazilian will use his vast array of weapons to control this fight from the opening bell.
Remember the name Alcantara. After he dispatches Faber, the sky is the limit for a talent like his.
Travis Browne will take his 5-1-1 career UFC record into his bout with Alistair Overeem on August 17 at the TD Garden in Boston, MA.
This tilt between the two massive heavyweights will not be reaching the judges' scorecards.
Whenever men this size strap on four-ounce gloves, a short night is sure to follow.
The question is: Who's more likely to put an end to this one quickly?
With both men likely to oblige one another in a stand-up battle, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Browne can land the first and last big shot in this fight.
Josh Barnett is a very good MMA fighter. He's one of the most versatile heavyweight fighters on the planet.
However, Frank Mir is one very difficult man to beat.
We've all seen Mir beaten and battered and still find a way to win fights. Mir has proven time and time again that there is no quit in him.
Whether it's overcoming a horrific motorcycle accident or a beating in the cage, he possesses a refusal to quit that few men know.
It's this combination of tenacity and skill that I think will allow Mir to add another submission win to his UFC heavyweight record total.
Is Jake Ellenberger as skilled an MMA fighter as Rory MacDonald?
No, he's not.
What Ellenberger does excel at is punching.
Ellenberger is one of the hardest hitters in the welterweight division. Of his 29 career victories, 18 have come as a result of a knockout.
Numbers like those are difficult to ignore.
While there are some glaring holes in Ellenberger's game, the one-punch knockout power, much like the three-pointer in basketball, is the great equalizer.
There is a better-than-fair chance that Ellenberger finds a hole in MacDonald's defense and tallies yet another knockout win.
Prior to Boetsch's loss to Costa Philippou, he had won four fights in a row. His victory against Yushin Okami was particularly impressive.
Boetsch was clearly down on the scorecards when the third round began. Knowing that he needed a finish to win the fight, Boetsch unleashed his full fury on Okami and eventually stopped him with punches early in the third round.
Mark Munoz, prior to his last fight with Chris Weidman, found himself on the verge of getting a title fight opportunity, if he could best Weidman in that bout.
What transpired was one of the more vicious finishes the UFC has seen.
The aftermath saw Weidman vaulted toward the top of the division, where he currently sits as the No. 1 contender.
It also saw Munoz battle injury. In fact, this fight will be the first for Munoz in nearly a year.
You can't discount the impact that ring rust can have on a fighter.
With all things considered, this is a prime opportunity for Boetsch—the underdog fighter—to make a statement and pick up another win.