By Lance LeVan
UFC Fight Night 49 is being held in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday, August 23.
(#1) Benson “Smooth” Henderson (21-3-0) vs. (#5) Rafael dos Anjos (21-7-0).
This is going to be a five round lightweight (155lbs) fight. This is going to be an action-packed, fast-paced brawl from the beginning of round one through the end of round five. Both of these guys are black belts in BJJ and they both love to punch and kick. Henderson is one of the fastest fighters in the UFC…so dos Anjos is going to have his hands full trying to match that speed. On paper, these guys are almost totally identical. Same amount of fights, same KO percentage, same submission percentages, etc. Henderson’s stats are slightly higher (by a fraction) and he is faster. And for some reason he is ranked #1 and dos Anjos is #5. That goes to show how closely matched some of these fighters are. These guys are going to be looking to push the pace for the entire five rounds. They are going to want to see who is the better fighter. Both of these guys are looking to get a title shot against the current lightweight champ, Anthony Pettis. Henderson is looking to get his title back and dos Anjos is looking to become champion. My prediction: Henderson wins by unanimous decision.
(#13) Mike “Quicksand” Pyle (26-9-1) vs. Jordan “Young Gun” Mein (28-9-0)
This is a three round welterweight (170 lbs) fight. This is one of the fights that I am definitely looking forward to. Pyle is a dynamic fighter with great submissions. He has won five of his last six fights. He is a brown belt in BJJ and likes to submit opponents when he can. Mein is a kick boxer and BJJ grappler. Most of his fights have been finished with KO/TKO’s, whereas Pyle’s are via submissions. Even though Mein has almost 40 fights under his belt, Pyle has the better grappling. Jordan has pretty good wrestling and his takedown numbers are really good. Pyle will need to be very wary of this. Pyle needs to be very careful that the 15 year younger opponent doesn’t try to use him as a stepping stone to getting into the Top 20. I don’t see this fight going the entire three rounds. This one might have a chance at “Fight of the Night” honors. At the end of this fight…I see Pyle with his hand raised. He just has more experience and much more experience in the Octagon. My prediction: Pyle wins via submission in the 3rd round.
(#12) Francis “Limitless” Carmont (22-9-0) vs. (#15) Thales Leites (23-4-0)
This is a middleweight (185 lbs) fight that should be fun to watch. Carmont has won 11 of his last 13 fights. He has lost two fights recently, but says he is on the path back to climbing the ladder into contention. Carmont likes to strike, but Leites is a highly decorated 1st degree black belt in BJJ. Leites is a good striker…but not on the same level as Carmont. For Carmont to take this fight, he needs to either keep it standing, or if it goes to the ground, he needs to get the ground-and-pound game going immediately. Leites needs to get this fight to the ground and start working his submissions. Like most fighters at this level, they are very close, statistically. I think the advantage goes to Carmont in this fight because of his takedown defense and because of his raw athleticism. I think he is going to be able to push the pace, either standing or on the ground. I don’t think Leites will be able to neutralize the attack coming from Carmont for three full rounds. My prediction: Carmont wins via TKO in the 2nd round.