UFC has put together a stacked card for its first ever event in the Middle East.
Silva has too much for Maia
The middleweight championship is an All-Brazilian affair as reigning champion Anderson Silva (-714) takes on Demian Maia (+400). The challenger has a solid history in Abu-Dhabi, having won the ADCC Submission Wrestling Championships in 2007 but this time he will have to worry about an opponent with fierce striking power. Maia was a late replacement for Vitor Belfort but his 12-1 record is impressive nonetheless. That said he is still very much a developing fighter and hasn’t shown himself to be in the same class as the champion. Silva hasn’t fought since August so he may show some ring rust early on but not enough to feel any real pressure in this one. Anderson Silva to win easily, in the first or second round.
Nowhere to hide for Frankie
There are two simple reasons why BJ Penn (-1000) is dominating the MMA betting ahead of his Lightweight title defence against Frankie Edgar (+500) on Saturday. Firstly he’s the better striker, possessing the punching power to end this fight within moments of the opening bell. Secondly, if Edgar somehow manages to get this one to the ground he’ll be in even more trouble. For all of the champion’s skills with his fists, he’s an even better submission artist. Unless the challenger has something up his sleeve we haven’t seen there’s no reason to even consider an upset in this fight. That said he has earned his shot having amassed an 11-1 record as a grappler to get a chance to face Penn in the Octagon. Unfortunately for Edgar I can’t see this lasting long. The champion will retain his title and he’ll do it fast, within the first two rounds.
Gracie won’t avenge his brother
Way back at UFC 60 Matt Hughes beat one of the all-time greats, Royce Gracie, adding another big victory to his already storied career. Now he takes on another member of the Brazilian fighting family in the form of Royce’s brother Renzo. At 43, Renzo is getting on in years for a debutant in UFC but he has amassed a respectable record in the PRIDE promotion. Hughes may not be the fighter that once dominated the Welterweight division but he is the younger and frankly the more talented fighter in this one. Hughes to win by decision.
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XV: Gabriel Morency previews UFC 112 and more http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXubN8mcubM