By Brian Beard
The pay-per-view that no one cares about is set and ready to take place in Winnipeg, Canada. The title fight has already been changed with the untimely exit of Renan Barao citing a foot injury. This resulted in his opponent, Eddie Wineland also being removed. Drum roll…now headlining this event is the bout between Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson. Since you’re a diehard UFC fan as am I, UFC 161 still has a lot going for it and worth watching.
Roy “Big Country” Nelson (20-7-0) vs. Stipe Miocic (9-1-0)
Big Country Nelson isn’t sitting back and admiring his work. He just dusted Kongo last month and is already stepping back into action, facing the up and comer Stipe Miocic. We all know what Nelson is about so who is Stipe Miocic? He is a former collegiate wrestler with good takedowns and very solid stand up. On paper I see Stipe taking this one. He will have the reach and he is a taller “more athletic” fighter and his strong wrestling could be the difference in this one. I don’t think so though. My prediction: Nelson is a beast and will pull out a TKO in the third round. Stipe will be surprised by Roy’s strength and athleticism.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (21-7-0) vs. Antonio “Minotoro” Nogueira (21-5-0)
Two legends will face off again! This time it will be in the cage rather than the ring. Their last meeting was in 2005, in Pride, where Nog won a decision. It’s hard to believe that these warriors are still competing at the highest level after all these years in the game, but they are and doing it well. I am generally a fan of legends getting out of the game before their legacy is ruined. These guys are still among the best in the world after more than a decade of competing on the world’s biggest stage. Nog has been looking a little better than Shogun as of late and is really fighting well. Shogun will look to capitalize on kicks and Nog will be working the hands. My prediction: I don’t really see this one going to the ground. Nog will win a stand up war by decision.
Rashad “Suga” Evans (22-3-1) vs. Dan “Hendo” Henderson (29-9-0)
Suga vs. Hendo! These are two phenomenal wrestlers with very dangerous punching power. Rashad has the advantage in the quickness department but Hendo will have the power advantage. Hendo is very quick in transition as well. This really is a tough one to call. I think these two will push the takedown attempts but not sure either will be successful. Rashad has lost his last two fights and he really needs a win. Look for him to fight like it. He will be looking to make a statement. Hendo is not the best guy for him to try to do that against but he is capable. I don’t look for this one to go the distance. My prediction: Henderson will win via TKO in the second round.