Junior Dos Santos is hungry for a shot at UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez but first he must take on the hard-hitting Shane Carwin at UFC 131.
This will be quick Shane Carwin has been past the first round once in his career, Junior Dos Santos has done so twice. Don’t expect this one to last long. Carwin has promised to come out swinging, as has JDS, and there’s no reason to expect anything other than a fast and furious slugfest.
The issue of ring rust will affect both fighters and significantly so. Carwin hasn’t been inside the octagon since losing to Brock Lesnar at UFC 116. Dos Santos has been similarly inactive, not fighting since he earned his shot at the title with victory over Roy Nelson at UFC 117. As the younger man, JDS looks better placed to handle the lengthy layoff and Carwin, having taken this fight on short notice, will have been forced to adapt his training regimen substantially. With two knock-out specialists in the octagon, there will be little time for either to shake off the dust. I expect a fast-paced match from the off with Junior Dos Santos recording a first round stoppage to finally set up a title fight with Velasquez.
Florian’s last big chance Having failed to make it to the top in his quest for the UFC Lightweight title, Kenny Florian is dropping down a weight class to chase after the UFC Featherweight championship. At 35, this is probably Florian’s last shot at the top. In order to become the next challenger to Jose Aldo he’ll have to overcome Diego Nunes. A fighter who has a good record at this level in WEC and looks like a legitimate contender for the title.
Florian’s history as an elite fighter makes him the favorite but he has big questions to answer regarding how he handles the big weight drop. I like Nunes to try and gas Florian, forcing the tempo and giving the underdog the edge. Florian was originally a welterweight and moving down divisions, particularly as a fighter gets older, is no small undertaking. I think the experts aren’t giving enough respect to Nunes’ experience at this level and he is well placed to spring a surprise win. Bet on Diego Nunes to beat Kenny Florian in a clear points victory on Saturday night.