UFC 168: Silva vs Weidman II & Rousey vs Tate II

UFC 168

UFC 168 (Sherdog.com)

December 28, 2013, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Cubicle Warrior’s picks: Weidman, Rousey, Browne, Miller, Brandao. Bonus pick: Hall over Leben.

Main card
Weight class Notes Key statistics
Middleweight Chris Weidman (c) vs. Anderson Silva I picked Weidman last time, and I challenge the Vegas odds by standing by him again in the rematch. He is well-rounded, and has the tools to counter whatever Silva has to offer. Silva never mounted an offense in the first fight, so he never had to experience Weidman’s counter-punch power in the stand-up. Silva may have dominated his division for years, but he has not fought anyone under 30 since 2006. Silva may be faster, but Weidman is stronger, more patient, and hopefully less nervous or fearful. Silva absolutely has to KO Weidman to prove that the last fight was not a fluke. All that Weidman has to do is survive five rounds using superior wrestling and strength. Weidman Cubicle Warrior’s pick: the All-American by decision or late KO. Head jab accuracy: Weidman 39% – Silva 54%.Ratio of stand-up strikes to opponent: Weidman 1.1 – Silva 1.0.Clinch defense: Weidman 70% – Silva 56%.

Take-down success: 67% – Silva 75%.

Take-down defense: Weidman 100% – Silva 80%.

 
Women’s Bantamweight Ronda Rousey (c) vs Miesha Tate Like Rickson Gracie, I expect Ronda Rousey to continue her collection of arm collections. If Miesha Tate is not careful, the Cupcake’s arm might wind up mounted to Rousey’s wall as a permanent display. Do not let the reality TV show sway your opinion of Rousey. Sure, she can be a ***** on TV, but she is an animal in the ring. She can take down Tate at will, and can strike with more accuracy. Rousey’s punching power may be suspect, but she may not need to punch the Cupcake that hard in order to negotiate her patented armbar position. We all know how this is going to end, but the question is whether or not Tate can prance around the ring for longer than a round and preserve that pretty little arm of hers. Rousey by submission (armbar) in late Round 1. Take-down success: Rousey 67% – Tate 40%.Take-down defense: Rousey 50% – Tate 20%.Striking accuracy: Rousey 56% – Tate 40%.

Submission completion rate: Rousey 87.5% – Tate 19.8%.

 
Heavyweight Josh Barnett vs Travis Browne Browne has a knack for losing the winnable fights or overcoming impending doom. Browne has never been taken down in the UFC, and has come back from near defeat against Alistair Overeem. I expect him to KO a very tough Barnett in round 3.
Lightweight Jim Miller vs. Fabrício Camões This must be a set-up in order to build up Miller’s confidence. If he loses to Camoes, then he has no business in the UFC. Miller by submission in round 2.
Catchweight (151.5 lbs) Dustin Poirier vs. Diego Brandao Brandao missed weight, and he might need those extra pounds to escape an early round submission from Poirier.
Preliminary card (Fox Sports 1)
Middleweight Chris Leben vs. Uriah Hall Leben will always be one of my favorite fighters, but he is but a mere shell of his former self. The sport has evolved past him. He can no longer swim through an opponent’s strikes and lay the lumber. Uriah Hall has all the tools to be the next-generation MMA fighter, but he lacks the aggression to live up to that potential. Look for Hall to accept his destiny by laying out the Crippler and sending Leben packing without a UFC/WEC contract for the first time in nearly a decade.
Lightweight Gleison Tibau vs. Michael Johnson Tibau by submission in round 2 (unless he gasses himself out in round 3).
Featherweight Dennis Siver vs. Manvel Gamburyan I like Manny Gamburyan, but he has regressed as of late. Siver by spinning back kick KO in round 1.
Welterweight John Howard vs. Siyar Bahadurzada Bahadurzada has failed to live up to the hype that he built up in Golden Glory with his six straight KOs. Howard can survive hyped-up knock-out artists just by being patient and downright boring. Howard by decision.
Preliminary card (Online)
Welterweight William Macario vs. Bobby Voelker Dinosaurs roamed the earth the last time Voelker won a fight. I expect another asteroid to destroy the earth tonight, or for the other guy to win.
Featherweight Robbie Peralta vs. Estevan Payan I can tell Peralta is from California–he spends all of his free time getting high off marijuana. He is just coming off suspension from drug abuse, and Estevan Payan is not that good. Assuming Peralta puts down the Mary Jane for a few days, he should soundly defeat Payan.
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