UFC 163: Predicting Winners For Event's Biggest Fights
The Octagon returns to Brazil in UFC 163, and the featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Chan Sung Jung will cap off what is sure to be an explosive night of action.
Veteran Lyoto Machida and up-and-comer Phil Davis will whet fans' appetites before the title bout in a co-main event.
Before they mix it up, Brazilians Thiago Santos and Cezar Ferreira will compete against one another to the delight of the home crowd.
In total, there are 12 fights scheduled to go down on Saturday night, Aug. 3 at the HSBC Arena. While it may not feature the star power of past UFC events, fans of mixed martial arts won't be disappointed at the end of the night.
Here's a closer look at the biggest fights of the night, along with my personal predictions.
Jose Aldo vs. Chan Sung Jung
You have to go all the way back to 2005 to find the last time Aldo lost a professional fight. He won the UFC featherweight title in 2009 and has successfully defended his title six times since then.
He'll be defending his title once more against the man known as "The Korean Zombie," and there's reason to believe this fight could end his long winning streak.
Can Jung defeat Aldo and take his belt?
Jung is an experienced fighter who is somewhat of a legend when it comes to submission victories. As noted by ESPN Stats & Info on ESPN.com, he's won eight fights by way of submission—including five by choke.
But the same article also notes that Aldo has never been submitted in his career in the UFC and WEC. He'll look to keep the action off the mat and will attempt to defeat Jung with his superb striking.
Prediction: Jung will get Aldo to the mat and choke him out to claim the featherweight title.
Phil Davis vs. Lyoto Machida
Though not a fighter many casual fans are familiar with, Davis will challenge the veteran Machida from the outset.
With a 7-1 record in the UFC, Davis has been working his way up the ranks in the light heavyweight division. He lost to Rashad Evans in January of 2012, however, in his only fight against a bankable star of the Octagon.
Fighting Machida gives Davis a second opportunity to prove he's capable of defeating a top fighter. A former champion, Machida is coming off of his second straight victory and looks to be in the title hunt once again.
The two fighters feature contrasting styles, as Davis is a phenomenal wrestler while Machida is known for his striking.
Prediction: Davis will look to avoid Machida's striking by taking him to the mat early, and he'll win by way of a unanimous decision.
Cezar Ferreira vs. Thiago Santos
Just as we see in the Davis vs. Machida fight, this is a classic case of an up-and-coming fighter being paired with a wily veteran.
Santos—not to be confused with Big Monster—is a newbie to the UFC who has an 8-1 career record. Though he possesses some power and knows what he's doing on the ground, he will need to be perfect on Saturday night to defeat Ferreira.
The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil winner, Ferreira, has laid low for the past year, but as we saw from his performances during that show, he's a formidable opponent.
Prediction: Ferreira will dictate the action, get Santos on the ground and methodically work him into a submission by the middle of the third round.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78.
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