Nov 18, 2011

UFC 139: Shogun vs Henderson Picks and Predictions (Main Card)

Light Heavyweight bout: Stephan Bonnar vs. Kyle Kingsbury

I feel that the American Psycho, Stephan Bonnar, just isn't the same brawling hardass he once was, especially after watching him against Mark Coleman. However, Bonnar does still have an experience advantage plus a victory over Soszynski, who beat Kingsbury during TUF. While I would love to see a brawl between Bonnar and Kingsbury, I think Kingsbury will likely take Bonnar down and wear him down for 3 rounds to win by UD.

Welterweight bout: Martin Kampmann vs. Rick Story

Although Kampmann is coming off of two losses, but they were very close decisions to Diego Sanchez and Jake Shields, so that's not as much of an issue as is his relatively recent knee injury. However, I still think that Kampmann is the better rounded fighter against Story, as well as better striking, so I give this fight to Kampmann, likely by decision, possibly submission.

Bantamweight bout: Urijah Faber vs. Brian Bowles

A great matchup against the current #3 and #4 bantamweights in the world right now, I am very excited for this fight. I think that as long as Faber doesn't get wild post-takedowns/attempts on Bowles and get caught with one of his submissions, I think Faber will take this one via TKO stoppage in the 3nd round.

Middleweight bout: Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le

With the Axe Murderer coming in as a replacement for Vitor Belfort against Cung Le, I just don't see much hope for Silva, who has obviously been on the down end of his long illustrious career, against the faster and unpredictable Le. I call TKO in the 1st or 2nd round. If Silva has any real hope for this fight, it'll be from Anderson Silva's help in dealing with Sanshou-type kicks:

Light Heavyweight bout: MaurĂ­cio Rua vs. Dan Henderson

Very difficult fight for me to call, as Dan Henderson makes his return to the UFC to face off against Shogun, both PRIDE veterans. These two are incredibly dangerous strikers and possess great grappling skills, with Hendo's wrestling and Shogun's Jiu Jitsu. I really think this comes down to who has the better gameplan and contingencies this fight, because Henderson will want to keep close and keep pulling Shogun to the mat and force him to play a defensive game, while Shogun will want to keep his distance and use his Muay Thai. In the end, I think Hendo will get sucked into standing up with Rua, looking for the big KO shot, and get knocked out himself for the first time. I know that's bordering on heresy, as Dangerous Dan has always had an iron chin, but looking at Shogun's more recent training and striking footage, I just get the feeling something explosive is going to happen, and I'm betting on Shogun.

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