UFC 112 Breakdown: Can Maia Submit The Spider?
On Saturday, April 10, the UFC will make its debut in Abu-Dhabi, and there is no shortage of stars on the card.
In the main event, Anderson Silva looks to continue his reign as Middleweight Champion as he takes on Jiu-Jitsu master Demian Maia.
In the co-main event, BJ Penn looks to remain the most dominant Lightweight in the world, but the scrappy Frankie Edgar will look to pull off an amazing upset.
Also on the card is a battle between MMA legends as former Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes takes on Renzo Gracie.
Kendall Grove vs. Mark Munoz [Middleweight Bout]
TUF 3 season winner Kendall Grove returns to the octagon in what looks to be a must-win fight against NCAA National Wrestling Champion Mark Munoz.
Grove comes off a dominant disposal of Jake Rosholt on the UFC 106 SpikeTV prelims, while Mark Munoz is coming off a two-fight win streak over Ryan Jansen and Nick Catone.
Munoz is looking to remain undefeated at the middleweight division after dropping down at UFC 102. Munoz looks to have the advantage on the feet, but Grove has shown that he is a force to be reckon with on the ground.
This is Munoz's biggest test at middleweight, and I don't think he can handle it. Kendall Grove will take this fight by Unanimous Decision.
Terry Etim vs. Rafael dos Anjos [Lightweight Bout]
Two up-and-coming lightweights step into the octagon for their first fight on a UFC Pay-Per View main card, as Terry Etim takes on Rafael dos Anjos.
Etim is on a four-fight win streak after losing to Gleison Tibau and Rich Clementi; he has since defeated Sam Stout, Brian Cobb, Justin Buchholz, and Shannon Gugerty.
Dos Anjos has won his last two against Rob Emerson and Kyle Bradley after losses to Jeremy Stephens and top contender Tyson Griffin.
Both men are based around submissions meaning this fight could very well come down to whichever man is better on their feet.
In that case, I think Etim's long legs will come into play and he will showcase Muay Thai in route to a TKO victory to continue his climb up the lightweight ladder.
Matt Hughes v. Renzo Gracie [Welterweight Bout]
Two legends collide when former welterweight champion Matt Hughes steps into the cage against Renzo Gracie.
Hughes is fighting for the first time in almost a year since his defeat of Matt Serra at UFC 98, while Gracie hasn't been in a cage since early 2007, where he defeated Frank Shamrock by disqualification.
Hughes shouldn't have much of a problem defeating another Gracie, he handled Royce Gracie and Matt Serra very well on the ground, making it hard to imagine Renzo will have much of a different outcome.
Hughes will use his wrestling to take down Renzo in order to execute his ground and pound to pull out the unanimous decision victory.
B.J. Penn vs. Frank Edgar [UFC Lightweight Championship Bout]
BJ Penn returns to defend his lightweight championship against number one contender Frank Edgar in the co main event of the evening.
Penn is coming off of the destruction of Diego Sanchez at UFC 107, while Edgar is coming off of a three-fight win streak against Hermes Franca, Sean Sherk, and Matt Veach.
Penn should not have much of a problem in this fight, unless he is more focused on moving up to welterweight than he is Edgar.
An interesting thing to point out is that Edgar has not been knocked out or submitted in his five year MMA career, the same statistic Diego Sanchez had going into his fight with Penn and I think we all remember the outcome of that one.
Penn should be able to outbox Edgar, take him down easily, and just pound his way to a third-round TKO victory but don't count out Edgar's ability to scrap out a decision. It could be something to watch Saturday night.
Anderson Silva vs. Damian Maia [UFC Middleweight Championship Bout]
In what looks to be a complete mismatch, middleweight champion Anderson Silva looks to face arguably the best jiu-jitsu fighter in MMA, Demian Maia.
Silva last competed at UFC 101 where he destroyed Forrest Griffin in the first round, while Maia defeated Dan Miller at UFC 109.
The only way Maia stands a chance in this fight is if he can get it on the ground and pull off a submission, He is dealing with one of the best strikers in the game, and he was just knocked out cold by Nate Marquardt seven months ago.
I expect Silva to finish him in the late first round or early second round with a KO, unless Maia decides to pull a Thales Leites.
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