Fan opinion UFC 117 Preview and Predictions

On August 7th at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California Chael Sonnen, the p4p verbal attacker, will finally get his shot at arguably the world’s best p4p fighter Anderson The Spider Silva.  Serving as the co main event will be the highly anticipated welterweight rematch between the high ranked contenders Jon Fitch and Thiago Pit Bull Alves.

Anderson Silva (26-4) vs. Chael Sonnen (24-10-1):

So far in Silva’s UFC career, he hold the most consecutive wins at 11, won knockout of the night twice, won submission of the night, has the most consecutive title defenses with 6, he holds the longest UFC title reign, and he unified the UFC middleweight and the Pride FC welterweight titles.  Silva hold notable wins over Hayato Sakurai, Carlos Newton, Jeremy Horn, Jorge Rivera, Chris Leben, Rich Franklin (X2), Travis Lutter, Dan Henderson, James Irvin, Patrick Cote, Thales Leites, Demian Maia.

Chael Sonnen was an NCAA division I All-American at the University of Oregon, two-time University National Champion in Greco Roman, and also a US Olympic team alternate.  Chael is an outspoken politician (Republican) who just recently dropped out of the State Representative in Oregon’s House District 37.  Sonnen also works as a real-estate agent.  Chael is the only man to have defeated Paulo Filho; he also holds notable wins over Jason Miller, Terry Martin, Tim Credeur, Kyacey Uscola, Dan Miller, Yushin Okami Nate Marquardt. Anticipation has been building up for this fight ever since Silva’s last title defence against Damian Maia at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi where Silva was heavily criticized for his in fight taunting and shenanigans.  Chael finds himself as the number one contender due to the misfortune of Dan Henderson leaving the UFC, and Vitor Belfort needing shoulder surgery.

The Keys to this fight will be for Silva to be able to keep this fight standing where he is the most dangerous. Silva will most likely take the first minute of the first round to gauge Chael’s timing.  Silva will look to counter strike, and bait Sonnen into leaving himself exposed, Silva will also be dangerous on the inside looking to get a hold of Chael’s neck in a Muay Thai clinch, and deliver devastating fight ending knees.  If Silva gets taken to the ground he has the BJJ credentials to submit Chael if the opportunity presents itself.

The Keys to Chael winning this fight will be to pressure Silva constantly closing the distance, and putting Silva up against the cage.  Trying to wear Silva down as much as possible, and expose Silva’s questionable gas tank.  Chael will also look to get Silva to the ground with his Olympic level wrestling, and engage in relentless ground and pound. Chael’s biggest weapon however may be his cardio which never seems to end.  If he can tire, and break Silva’s will Chael most likely will look for a decision or a TKO.

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Prediction:  Anderson Silva via TKO.

Jon Fitch (25-3-1NC) vs. Thiago Alves (22-5)

In the co main event we have Purdue wrestling Captain Jon Fitch taking on the always dangerous American Top Team striker Thiago Alves.  Both are looking to close in on their second welterweight title shot.  The winner of this fight will more than likely be deemed next in line after Koscheck, gets his shot at GSP.  This fight is a rematch from UFC Ultimate Fight Night Five where Fitch won by way of TKO.

Fitch started his career at 205, went down to 185, and now rest at 170.  At one point Fitch went on a 16 fight win streak.  He holds notable wins over. Shonie Carter, Brock Larson, Josh Burkman, Luigi Fioravanti, Diego Sanchez, Akihiro Gono,  Thiago Alves, Paulo Thiago, and Ben Saunders.

The Brazilian, Thiago Alves began his fighting career at age 15 and won his first fight by way of decision.  At age 19 Alves relocated to Coconut Creek Florida and joined the ranks at American Top team training fulltime.  Alves amounted a 7-3 record before being invited to the UFC.  Alves is known as one of the welterweight’s deadliest strikers, and heaviest kicker.  Alves hold notable wins over Marcus Davis, Derrick Noble, John Alessio, Tony DeSouza, Chris Lyte, Karo Parisyan, Matt Hughes, and Josh Koscheck.

For Jon Fitch the Keys to winning this fight will be to tie up Alves,  get the fight to the ground where Fitch is at his strongest, and grind away inflicting as much damage as possible while maintaining control.  Fitch does not want to allow Alves to stay on his feet, as well as give him any distance.  Fitch will either look for a sub or TKO on the ground, but probably settle for the decision after 3 rounds.

The keys to this fight for Alves will be to keep it standing where he has the advantage.  He will look to stay on the outside landing combinations with his hands possibly ending with a leg kick.  Alves will have to be careful of his kicks as he doesn’t want to get taken down so he will have to choose carefully.  Alves will be looking for a TKO and that is more than likely where his best chances of winning the fight are.

Prediction: Jon Fitch via decision.

Clay Guida (26-8) vs. Rafael Dos Anjos (14-4)

Clay the Carpenter Guida will be talking on the Brazilian Rafael Dos Anjos in is what will more than likely be a high paced lightweight matchup.

Clay Guida received that nickname the Carpenter because he was a carpenter while training, and fighting in his spare time, amazingly he amassed   a 20-6 record before being invited to join the UFC, Clay also did crab fishing on the Bearing Sea in Alaska which he claims gave him his relentless work ethic that he uses in training, and in his fights.  Clay was also the first Strikeforce Lightweight Champion until Gilbert Melendez took it from him.  Clay holds notable wins over Josh Thompson, Marcus Aurelio, Sammy Schiavo, Mac Danzig, Nate Diaz, and Shannon Gugerty.  Due to Clays fighting style he has garnered himself three fight of the nights, and one submission of the night bonus.

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Rafael dos Anjos is a black belt in BJJ, and is well versed in the ways of Muay Thai.  The native Brazilian made his UFC debut at UFC 91 Couture vs. Lesnar against Jeremy Stephen where he suffered at KO loss. Dos Anjos is currently ridding a three fight win streak with victories over Rob Emereson, Kyle Bradley, and Terry Etim.

The keys for Guida to winning this fight will be to push the pace and exhaust dos Anjos.  Guida will put combinations together as well as trying to wind up on top if the fight goes to the ground and stifle dos Anjos BJJ, which he his well known for.  Guida more than likely will be looking for a decision but will take the TKO if the opportunity is there.

The Keys for dos Anjos will be to use his Muay Thai to out strike Guida on the feet, and to avoid the takedown.  Don’t be surprised if dos Anjos is comfortable going to the ground as seven of his fourteen wins are by way of submission.

Prediction: Rafael Dos Anjos via submission.

Matt Hughes (45-7) vs. Ricardo Almeida (12-3)

Hall of famer Matt Hughes will be taking on the Brazilian Ricardo “Big Dog” Almeida in a welterweight bout.  This fight came about when Almeida took offense to Hughes victory of Renzo Gracie at UFC  112.   It was reported that Almeida asked for this match.

Hughes is a former division I All-American wrestler in college.  Hughes is a two time UFC welterweight champion, and has been one of those most dominant champions the UFC has ever seen.  Hughes won his first championship over Carlos Newton in one of the most stunning finishes in UFC MMA history.  Newton caught Hughes in a triangle choke.  On the verge of going out Hughes lifted Newton off the ground, and slammed him to the mat causing an instant KO.  He won his second title after BJ Penn vacated the title, and took on GSP submitting him via armbar.  Hughes holds notable wins over Akihiro Gono, Joe Doerksen, Carlos Newton (2), Hayato Sakurai, Sean Sherk, Frank Trigg (2), Joe Riggs, Royce Gracie, Bj Penn,  Georges St.Pierre, Chris Lytle, Matt Serra, and Renzo Gracie.

The Keys to Hughes winning this fight will be to take Almeida down, and inflict as much ground and pound damage as possible and tiring Almeida out with his well document gas tank, and will.  Hughes can win this fight by TKO, submission, or decision.

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The Brazilian Ricardo “Big Dog” Almeida is a black belt in BJJ under Renzo Gracie, and fights out of Gracie Barra Combat Team.  Almeida has fought in the UFC, Pride, and is the former King of Pancrase.  Almeida hold notable wins over Ikuhisa Minowa, Kazuno Misaki, Nate Marquardt, Ryo Chonnan, Kendall Grove, and Matt Brown

The keys to the fight for Almeida will to be to push Hughes up against the cage, and tire out Hughes with constant pressure and making Hughes move his weight.  Almeida will then look to use his BJJ to submit a tired Matt Hughes.

Prediction: Matt Hughes TKO

Roy Nelson (16-4) vs. Junior Dos Santos (11-1)

This is a heavyweight fight that holds title shot implication.  This fight also has a lot of questions that will be answered.  Can Nelson match Dos Santos his feet? How good is Dos Santos takedown defense and BJJ?  Is Dos Santos strong enough to deal with Nelson weight for a full three rounds?

Roy “Big Country” Nelson is a former IFL Champion , and was the winner of The reality show The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 10 where he beat Brandon Shaub.  Nelson’s fight with Kimbo Slice on TUF was the fourth most watched fight in MMA history. Nelson hold a black belt in BJJ under Renzo Gracie, and his know for his grappling abilities, agility despite his figure.  He also has a much underrated stand up game.  Nelson holds notable victories over Bo Cantrell, Jerome Smith, Brad Imes, Brandon Shaub, and Stefan Struve.

The keys for Nelson to win this fight will be to Dos Santos to the ground wear out Dos Santos out, and work for a TKO due to ground strikes, or to submit him.  Nelson also has a chance on his feet but is an area that would most dangerous to stay in when fighting Dos Santos.

Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos trains out of Team Blackhouse with his fellow Brazilians, Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, the Nogueira Brothers, and Jose Aldo.  Dos Santos is known for his devastating power in his hand, and his big hook.  He debuted at UFC 90 (Silva vs. Cote)  to KO top 10 Fabricio Werdum, and has gone on a five fight win streak in the UFC.  Taking out some of deadliest strikers known in MMA.  Dos Santos holds notable wins over Fabrico Werdum, Stefan Struve, Mirko Filipovic Crocrop, Gilbert Yvel, and Gabriel Gonzaga.

The keys for Dos Santos winning the fight will be simple to keep the fight standing and KO Nelson.  Dos Santos has shown good hips in avoiding takedowns and will be tested.  If Nelson gets Dos Santos down he will look to get back to his feet immediately, always looking to tag Nelson, and end the fight with a power shot.

Prediction:  Nelson via submission.