UFC 141 Fight Card: Predictions for KO, Submission and Fight of the Night

First LastCorrespondent IDecember 27, 2011

The UFC returns Friday with a stacked year-end card featuring the return of former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, who will be facing former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem in the main event.

Lesnar returns from over a year-long absence from the sport due to diverticulitis while Overeem was last seen beating Fabricio Werdum in a June rematch.

In the co-main event, lightweight contenders Donald Cerrone and Nate Diaz will battle it out for a possible shot at a No. 1 contender's bout. Whoever wins, it promises to be exciting.

Other main-card bouts include Jon Fitch vs. Johny Hendricks, Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Alexander Gustafsson and Nam Phan vs. Jimy Hettes.


Fight of the Night: Donald Cerrone vs. Nate Diaz

Cerrone comes into the bout with four UFC victories under his belt in 2011. Of those, he has earned three bonuses, including submission, knockout and fight of the night.

For non-champions, Cerrone could be considered a worthy candidate for Fighter of the Year if he gets past Diaz, who has never been stopped in the UFC despite coming up short five times against tough opposition in both the welterweight and lightweight divisions.

This is one of those fights that promises to go the distance considering the toughness of both competitors, but it can't be overlooked that both are finishers. Of their 31 combined victories, 27 have ended by submission or knockout.

With the constant shifts in momentum that this bout promises to deliver, it will be the most exciting fight on the card and deserve the Fight of the Night bonus.


Submission of the Night: Jacob Volkmann

Lightweight standout Jacob Volkmann will welcome back The Ultimate Fighter winner Efrain Escudero, who is stepping up on short notice to replace T.J. Grant.

With two experienced wrestlers like Volkmann and Escudero, this fight has the potential to play out and be determined by who gets the more dominant positions over their opponent on the ground. Either that, or it will be fought entirely standing, which favors Escudero.

If Volkmann is to get a submission victory, it will probably come late in the fight when the wear and tear begins to get the best of Escudero, who has been submitted twice before in his career.


Knockout of the Night: Brock Lesnar

It won't be the flashiest knockout, but former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar should be able to get the best of Alistair Overeem sometime in the second or third round of their main-event matchup.

It might not be the finish that is impressive, but the firepower that Lesnar will have to go through to win will showcase one of his best abilities, and that's he can take a lot of punishment and still come out on top.

Lesnar will be at a big disadvantage standing, but he will only have to take so much before he tries for the takedown and most likely gets it. Overeem won't have the same option to get the fight back to the feet if he is stuck on bottom and can't get out from underneath the former NCAA Division I wrestler.

Outside of Cain Velasquez, who is unquestionably a much better wrestler than Overeem, nobody has been able to get up after being taken down by Lesnar.

Cardio will also come into play as this fight hits the second and third rounds. Overeem has only been outside the first round twice in the last five years and hasn't shown the best cardio in the past, especially when he is on the receiving end of getting hit. The blows he will take on bottom will only zap his energy a lot quicker until the stoppage occurs.