UFC Fight Night 81 Preview

The UFC did the fans right having Fight Night 81 for free on FoxSports1.
The UFC did the fans right having Fight Night 81 for free on FoxSports1.

By Kyler Kuehler

UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Cruz will air on January 17, 2016 from Boston Massachusetts.

(C) T.J. DILLASHAW (13-2-0) vs. #1 DOMINICK “THE DOMINATOR” CRUZ (20-1-0)
This is a five round fight for the UFC Bantamweight Championship. This fight has the current champion and the former champion both planning to put on a show and prove to the world who is the real champion of the bantamweight division. Dillashaw brings kickboxing, Muay Thai and wrestling that has lead him to becoming a dominate athlete on his feet and in the ground game as well. He is the current Bantamweight Champion. Cruz brings boxing, jiu-jitsu and wrestling that have helped him have an almost perfect record as well as being a former UFC Bantamweight Champion. With both fighters being at the top of the division it looks like this fight is going to be an all out war so predicting how it plays out will be a little difficult. Both fighters have almost the same style of techniques and it looks like it will come down to possibly a cardio battle where it would favor Dillashaw. Dillashaw has fought numerous times over the past few years gaining more experience on how to last longer inside the cage where as Cruz has only had one fight in the last four years since injuries kept him from returning to competition. Though if Cruz uses his takedown abilities and actually places pressure on Dillashaw he could wear Dillashaw down to the point that he would be able to put him away. Cruz will have a difficult time doing so due to the fact that Dillashaw has never been taken to the ground before. My prediction: Dillashaw wins via knockout in Round 5.

This is a three round fight in the lightweight division. In this fight are two fighters literally fighting to earn a title shot to become the new king of the lightweight division. Pettis brings taekwondo, boxing and wrestling that has lead him to great victories over big names as well as holding the title of former UFC Lightweight Champion. Alvarez brings striking and wrestling that have helped him become successful in both knockouts and submissions along with being a former Bellator Lightweight Champion. This fight seems to be a great matchup to watch. However what looks to set the score for the fight is the amount striking, which Pettis seems to contain more of with his knockout power as well as impressive style that has wowed fans around the world. Though if Alvarez can somehow keep it close with Pettis and not give him any room to set up for a knockout then he could possibly try to beat him in a cardio battle or even take a chance and bring him to the ground. However, Pettis does have good takedown defense and placing pressure on him is hard enough as it is, so unless Alvarez thinks of an extraordinary game plan; it looks as if this fight is only going to end one way. My prediction: Pettis wins via knockout in Round 1.

#5 TRAVIS “HAPA” BROWNE (17-3-1) vs. #14 MATT “MEATHEAD” MITRIONE (9-4-0) This is a three round fight in the heavyweight division. In this fight are two heavy hitters that plan to add another impressive victory to their record and proving to the rest of the UFC that you do not want to get into a brawl with them. Browne brings boxing, Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu that has given him enormous knockout power as well as a large climb up the leader board in heavyweight rankings. Mitrione brings Shotokan Karate and boxing that has given him great striking power and quick defense against his opponents. Since this fight is basically a matchup between two brawlers that know actual MMA style fighting, it all comes down to who has the more lethal strikes and a harder chin. If that’s the case it seems to be in Browne’s favor since he has finished most of his fights in the first round with impressive knockouts. Though if Mitrione uses his defense game to the fullest, he could sneak a knockout punch in the fight without Browne ever knowing what hit him. In order to do so Mitrione will have to keep his distance since Browne will have a good reach advantage over him making Browne that much more deadlier in this fight. My prediction: Browne wins via knockout in Round 1.