By Lance LaVan
UFC 183 is being held in Las Vegas, NV on Saturday, January 31st. Looks like this is going to be a very good fight card. The top 3 fights are going to be serious battles. There are no title fights on this card, but there are some highly anticipated fights. Don’t be surprised to see “Fight of the Night” or “Submission of the Night” from one of the top three fights.
(#1) Anderson “The Spider” Silva (33-6-0) vs. Nick Diaz (27-9-1)
This is going to be a five round middleweight (185 lbs) fight. This is going to be a match that A LOT of people are going to be watching. Silva has been out of commission for the past 14+ months recovering from one of the worst leg injuries I have ever witnessed. Silva is the former middleweight champion and held that honor for over seven consecutive years. For those who do not know, Silva is a Muay Thai expert, a black belt in BJJ, a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a black belt in Judo, a yellow rope in Capoeira, and a professional boxer. He lost his last two fights, which were against the current champion, Chris Weidman. But before that, he had amassed the longest title defense streak in UFC history, which ended in 2013, and was 16 consecutive wins with 10 title successful title defenses. Diaz is the older brother of the “Diaz Brothers” and is known as the “Stockton Bad Boy”. He is one of the most entertaining fighters to watch and always draws crowds with his brash attitude and his no-nonsense way of fighting. He is a very impressive striker but is also a high-level black belt in BJJ. As much as I would absolutely love to see this fight go to the ground and find out which of these guys has better BJJ, I am going to predict that this fight will stay standing. Both of these fighters love striking and they are both very good at it. Both of these fighters are excellent at getting in their opponent’s head and causing opponents to make mistakes. Diaz is well known for his cardio and his heart. He keeps attacking for the entire fight. He does not quit nor does he give up. The question arises; since Silva has been out for over 14 months, is his cardio at the level it should be, and is the former champion’s mind in the right place to take on an upper level opponent, like Diaz. I guess we will find out this weekend. For now, I have to go with the rankings and predict that Silva will win this bout via TKO. My prediction: Silva wins via TKO in the 3rd round.
(#3) Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley (14-3-0) vs. (#7) Kelvin “Mini Cain” Gastelum (11-0-0)
This is a three round welterweight (170 lbs) fight. This should be a very exciting fight. Woodley is very exciting and is an awesome striker. He holds a brown belt in BJJ and is a former NCAA Division 1 wrestler. Woodley has won three of his last four bouts. Gastelum is a purple belt in BJJ, is an excellent striker and has a perfect record of 11-0. However, the guys he has fought have not been upper-level competitors. I have seen Gastelum fight and he is a good fighter. But I am not certain he can handle a top-level fighter, such as Woodley. This is another fight that I believe will stay standing most of the bout. If it does go to the ground, Gastelum is very good at the ground-and-pound game. But Woodley has better BJJ and his wrestling will help get him out of tough spots. Woodley is also almost 10 years older than Gastelum. I wonder if that will have make any difference in this fight? I think that Woodley will be an excellent test for the much younger Gastelum, but I don’t think he will be able to handle Woodley’s aggressive nature and his ground game. My prediction: Woodley wins by TKO in the 2nd round.
Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon (24-10-0) vs. Al “Raging” Iaquinta (10-3-1)
This is a three round lightweight (155 lbs) fight that should be fast-paced and action-packed. Lauzon is a great striker and a brown belt in BJJ that has elite level submissions on the ground. He has won two of his last three fights and is looking to keep his momentum going. He is trying to get back into the chase for the belt, and a win on Saturday could put him back in the top 15. Iaquinta is a purple belt in BJJ. I am trying to figure out who made this match-up. Lauzon has almost three times as many fights. He has more fights in the UFC than Iaquinta has total fights. Lauzon has better striking and a much better ground game. I guess we will see on fight night. I have to go with the experience in this bout. I think Lauzon is better in almost every aspect of fighting. Iaquinta will need to bring his A-game just to survive this fight. My prediction: Lauzon wins via submission in the 2nd round.