UFC 141 Fight Card: 13 Predictions You Can Take to the Bank
On Friday, December 30th, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will cap off a year to remember when it travels to Las Vegas, Nev. for UFC 141.
UFC 141 will air live on pay-per-view television from the jam-packed MGM Grand Garden Arena beginning at 7:00 p.m. PT and 10:00 p.m. ET.
After being off for more than a year, former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar will make his return to the Octagon to take on dangerous striker Alistair Overeem.
Also featured on the main card is up-and-coming lightweight Donald Cerrone, who will square off with submission artist Nick Diaz.
In total, UFC 141 is built upon five main-card fights along with six preliminary bouts.
While there are many things that could occur when action begins on December 30th, there are a few that will definitely happen.
The following slides display 13 predictions you can take to the bank.
Diego Nunes Gets Back on the Map
After winning 16 of his first 17 career bouts, Diego Nunes hit a roadblock in a unanimous decision defeat against Kenny Florian at UFC 131.
However, at just 29 years old, Nunes remains one of the most promising featherweights in the UFC today.
Nunes is set to square off with Manvel Gamburyan when actions begins on December 30th at UFC 141.
While Gamburyan will certainly be looking to make a statement and attempt to avoid a three-fight skid, Nunes' well-rounded skill set will be too much to handle.
The longer the bout progresses, the more likely it is Nunes takes home the crown.
Matt Riddle Outlasts Luis Ramos
Matt Riddle will enter the Octagon to take on Luis Ramos in a welterweight showdown at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
It's clear as day that neither Riddle nor Ramos brings a serious threat to the 170-pound weight division, as their inexperience or lack of significant wins has placed them in the middle tier.
But a win for either Riddle or Ramos will be the biggest of his career and slowly push him up the welterweight ladder.
Unfortunately for Ramos, Riddle is the better-conditioned fighter and will look to grind out a one-sided decision victory.
Jacob Volkmann Submits Efrain Escudero
After winning Season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter, Efrain Escudero went in the tank, as he not only lost two of his four UFC fights but failed to make weight as well.
In result, Escudero was removed from the UFC only to now return against Jacob Volkmann at UFC 141.
It won't be smooth sailing for Escudero in his return, as he'll be battling against an exceptional submission artist in Volkmann.
Volkmann can overwhelm Escudero with not only his submission game but also his ability to take a punch and not lose a beat.
Dong Hyun Kim Dominates
Not many are familiar with the name of Dong Hyun Kim.
But Kim has quickly emerged onto the scene, only having lost one fight in his MMA career at the hands of Carlos Condit at UFC 132.
Kim has been nearly flawless, as he's defeated the likes of Nate Diaz, Amir Sadollah and Matt Brown.
The only man standing in Kim's way now is Sean Pierson, who is coming off a recent defeat to Jake Ellenberger at UFC 129.
While Pierson may hold his own in the early minutes of Round 1, it will be Kim who prevails in dominating fashion.
Danny Castillo Impresses on National Television
In the first of two televised preliminary bouts, Danny Castillo will meet Anthony Njokuani for a lightweight showdown.
One of the reasons Castillo has been selected for the televised placement is his ability to finish fights, as it's rare he ever finds himself approaching the judges' scorecards.
Castillo will be taking on Njokuani, who's currently in the worst stretch of his career, as he hasn't used his knockout power but once in the last two years.
Castillo won't disappoint when fans and viewers tune in across the globe for this 155-pound piece of entertainment.
Ross Pearson Reigns Supreme in His Featherweight Debut
After coming up short in a controversial loss to Edson Barboza at UFC 134, Ross Pearson declared an immediate change, as he decided to make the transition to the featherweight division.
Pearson will take on fellow 145-pounder Junior Assuncao, who's been just as impressive, if not more so.
However, Pearson will hold the advantage heading in, as he's a much stronger featherweight and has faced tougher competition.
In what has potential to be the "Fight of the Night," it will be Pearson who grinds out a submission or decision victory in his featherweight debut.
Nam Phan vs. Jim Hettes Wins "Fight of the Night"
Fans in every part of the world have come to know and appreciate Nam Phan solely on his exciting fighting style that he brings to nearly every single one of his bouts.
While Phan rarely fails to deliver an exciting performance, Jim Hettes isn't too far behind.
Hettes is a world-class submission artist who's yet to fall to defeat in his MMA career.
In fact, every one of Hettes' wins has come by way of submission.
Those in attendance can expect to be on their feet, as Phan vs. Hettes will take home "Fight of the Night" honors.
Alexander Gustafsson Continues the Climb
Fans are slowly but surely becoming acquainted with the name of Alexander Gustafsson, as he's emerged as a legitimate contender in the light heavyweight division.
Even more so, Gustafsson brings an electrifying skill set to the table, which was displayed in his recent victory over Matt Hamill at UFC 133.
Gustafsson has been part of just one fight that's gone to the judges' scorecards and will look to keep it this way when action begins on December 30th.
"The Mauler" will prove once again that he's the real deal.
Jon Fitch Goes the Distance over Johny Hendricks
Jon Fitch hasn't finished a fight for as long as most of us can remember, and fans shouldn't expect a change anytime soon.
With his fighting style, Fitch has evolved into a fighter who can not only remain conditioned throughout three to five rounds but also withstand a punch.
Fortunately for Fitch, he'll be squaring off with a fighter who's also been known to grind out a decision.
A Fitch finish hasn't come in nine consecutive fights, and the chances of it arriving on December 30th are slim to none.
Donald Cerrone Becomes a Top-Five Lightweight
We're all aware of the hype Donald Cerrone has received over the course of his past few fights.
However, "The Cowboy" will prove he can hang with the upper-echelon fighters of the lightweight division, as he'll stand across the Octagon from submission artist Nate Diaz.
While Diaz is certainly capable of catching the high-flying Cerrone, the chances of it happening aren't worth your money.
Cerrone's aggressive style and quickness have helped transform him into a legitimate contender.
A win over Diaz will catapult Cerrone into the top five of the 155-pound weight class and move him even closer to a title shot.
Alistair Overeem Will Get Taken to the Ground
In the most talked-about fight of the year, Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem will take part in what many consider to be a black and white bout.
That means if Brock Lesnar can capitalize on his double-leg takedown, he'll have no problem finishing off Overeem.
On the other hand, if Overeem stuffs Lesnar's takedown attempts, he'll finish Lesnar by way of strikes in the standup.
While Overeem is a fairly large heavyweight, he lacks Lesnar's power, as Lesnar is one of the most explosive fighters in the UFC in terms of the takedown.
Overeem may be successful in remaining on his feet early, but Lesnar will eventually put him on his back.
Brock Lesnar Earns a Title Shot
In arguably the most anticipated fight of the entire year and what some consider the most exciting fight of all time, Brock Lesnar will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon.
After being off for a full year, Lesnar will be thrown to the wolves immediately, as he'll face UFC newcomer Alistair Overeem.
While Lesnar is considered by many to be the underdog heading into their heavyweight clash, he will prove ring rust is not a factor.
Filled with a game plan of avoiding the standup, Lesnar will look to take the bout to the ground and impose his will via power punches and elbows.
A win over Overeem will earn Lesnar a second shot at UFC gold against Junior dos Santos at some point in 2012.
UFC 141 Will Bring Record-Breaking Numbers
Hats off to UFC president Dana White, who may have put together one of the most exciting fight cards of all time in reference to UFC 141's event.
Not only is UFC 141 filled with excitement and uncertainty, but it will also come at just the right time.
Instead of having the highly hyped event take place on New Year's Eve or even New Year's Day, White and company have chosen to air the fight card on a Friday.
As previously mentioned, the fight card will revolve around three of the UFC's hottest names in Brock Lesnar, Alistair Overeem and Donald Cerrone.
UFC 141 will produce record-breaking numbers when all is said and done.
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