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UFC 166 Predictions: Picking the Winner of Each Main Card Fight in Houston

SAN JOSE, CA - OCTOBER 10, 2013:  UFC fighter Cain Velasquez poses for a portrait during his media day workout at American Kickboxing Academy to promote his October 19, title fight with Junior dos Santos on October 10, 2013 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Alexis Cuarezma/Getty Images)
Alexis Cuarezma/Getty Images
Austin GreenCorrespondent IJanuary 7, 2017

The third bout between heavyweights Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos highlights UFC 166, but they aren't the only fighters worth checking out in Houston. 

The main card of Saturday's event is loaded with intriguing fighters, from flyweights John Dodson and Darrell Montague to heavyweights Roy Nelson and Daniel Cormier. 

It should be another great night for the UFC and fight fans everywhere. With the main card action set to kick off at 10 p.m. ET, let's get to the predictions. 

 

John Dodson over Darrell Montague

Oct 18, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; John Dodson, left, and Darrell Montague, right, during the weigh-in for UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

Darrell Montague, 25, is one of the most promising flyweights in the world, but I'm expecting him to struggle in his UFC debut. 

John Dodson is the No. 4-ranked flyweight by Sherdog, and although he lost his last bout, he is still dangerous.

He didn't go quietly in his loss to Demetrious Johnson, knocking down the champ twice before eventually losing by unanimous decision. And in his last bout against a fighter making his UFC debut, Dodson knocked out Jussier Formiga in the second round. 

Montague has a bright future, but look for a unanimous-decision victory from Dodson on Saturday. 

 

Gabriel Gonzaga over Shawn Jordan 

Oct 18, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Gabriel Gonzaga, left, and Shawn Jordan, right, during the weigh-in for UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

Once again, I'm going with the veteran. 

Gonzaga, 34, has been a force in the UFC since he burst onto the scene in 2005 with a superman knockout punch against Kevin Jordan. Now, facing a different Jordan, he will be looking for a similar result. 

Jordan, another heavy hitter, has knocked out his last two opponents, so don't expect this one to go the distance. 

I'm picking Gonzaga by second-round TKO. 

 

Gilbert Melendez over Diego Sanchez

Oct 18, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Gilbert Melendez, left, and Diego Sanchez, right, during the weigh-in for UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

After he lost his lightweight title fight to Benson Henderson in April, expect a hungry Melendez to wreak havoc on Diego Sanchez. 

Sanchez is one of the top fighters in his division and is coming off a split-decision victory over Takanori Gomi. However, the 31-year-old Sanchez isn't on Melendez's level. 

Melendez has never been knocked out or submitted, and with his hand speed and power, he should pick apart Sanchez from a distance. Look for a third-round TKO for Melendez. 

 

Roy Nelson over Daniel Cormier

Oct 18, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Roy Nelson during the weigh-in for UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

All eyes should be glued to the screen whenever Roy "Big Country" Nelson is fighting. 

The 37-year-old brawler is one of the most entertaining fighters in the UFC. He's won five of his last six fights by first-round TKO, so you can expect him to come out swinging. 

If this fight lasts longer than 1.5 rounds, Cormier will win. Unfortunately for the 34-year-old, I think Nelson catches him off guard and rocks him early to win by TKO. 

 

Junior dos Santos over Cain Velasquez

Oct 18, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Junior Dos Santos during the weigh-in for UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

Cain Velasquez abused dos Santos in their last bout, but I'm expecting "Cigano" to reclaim his heavyweight title. 

Dos Santos is the most dangerous puncher in the game, and he should be smarter about keeping his guard up this time around.

This one could go either way, but look for the Brazilian to win by second-round TKO. 

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