This is the year that already has so many potential upsets in the mix. The question is, which one, if any, will be the biggest upset of 2013? We already had potential upsets with the Jose Aldo/Edgar fight, and recently at UFC 157 when Carmouche had a chance (and almost succeeded) to upset Ronda Rousey for the UFC woman’s bantamweight championship.
With UFC 158 slowly approaching, then the conclusion to TUF Jones vs. Sonnen, and now the signing of Silva vs. Weidman, there are plenty of fighters ready to play the role as spoiler, and to think that there won’t be at least one is a misconception in my book.
~ UFC 158: GSP vs. Nick Diaz ~
This fight has been building up for sometime now, and Diaz would love to defeat GSP (in his hometown nonetheless) and be the spoiler. Diaz has been playing mind games with a dangerous fighter in GSP. GSP is one (if not the most) powerful wrestler in the UFC and well known for his dominance.
Diaz’s cardio will be play a huge role, his boxing will win him the stand-up war in my opinion, but he needs to stay off his back if he wants to win. His ground game and BJJ is well executed, the problem is GSP has great ground defence and has only been tapped out once (by Matt Hughes in 2004).
If Diaz wants to ruin GSP’s day, he has to keep the pressure on without ending up on his back, and we all know if GSP wants you down, he will make it happen. GSP-Unanimous. Upset Pick: Diaz Split/Unanimous-Surprise TKO/KO Robbie Lawler style.
~ UFC on FOX 7: Ben Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez ~
Gilbert Melendez earned his UFC title shot by being the last Strikeforce lightweight champion. Benson Henderson is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC currently. Some still believe he didn’t even defeat Frankie, but who has the title?
Some still think that Melendez looked average in his last fight, and some still believe he didn’t even defeat Josh Thompson. I agree with a little of both. I have always thought Gilbert’s presence was much needed in the UFC when Frankie was running the show, but I think Gilbert coming in and getting a quick shot could ruin his legacy without a win.
Both fighters are almost even. Both have a a decent stand-up game, Bendo has better kicks, Gilbert has more power in his punches, and both execute a good wrestling game with good takedown defence. I would have to give the sub defence edge to Bendo (he is like Gumby), but Gilbert’s isn’t bad either.
I see Bendo pushing the pace, keeping the fight where he wants and pulling out another slightly boring decision. Gilbert needs to implement pressure, pressure, pressure, and look for that knock out early. Don’t get me wrong, I think Melendez could win this on the ground, standing or by decision. I just think a dangerous finish would be in his best interest. Bendo Unanimous. Upset Pick: Gilbert KO/TKO early, possible split decision
~ UFC 159: Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen ~
I am a huge Sonnen fan, but I also don’t live in a fantasy land. Jon Jones is one of the best fighters in all mma, and some believe is the one that will one day end Anderson Silva’s streak like Sonnen almost did. Sonnen has great pressure and wrestling. He has no BJJ defence, and his striking is sub par at best.
If Sonnen was as good as he is at running his mouth, he could easily play the spoiler role, I just don’t see that happening. Jone’s reach, timing, and execution is very deadly, and unless Sonnen can hold him down for five rounds, there is no other way I see Sonnen winning. Jones- TKO or Sub 3rd round. Upset Pick: Sonnen Unanimous
~ UFC 160: Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Bigfoot 2 ~
After their first fight, all spectators think this could be like leading a lamb to the slaughter, but on the other hand, a “Bigfoot” that is doubted, is a scary “Bigfoot.” Bigfoot Silva has always been that guy that promoters expect to lose, but he will always come to fight.
He wasn’t supposed to beat Andrei Arlovski, Mike Kyle, or Fedor Emelianenko. Since getting destroyed by Cain Velasquez in his UFC debut, Silva was then fed to more fighters he “should” have lost too. Some would say that Silva upset Travis Browne, and in his last fight, knocked out former number one contender Alistair Overeem.
I honestly don’t see Cain underestimating “Bigfoot” like Overeem did, and I do believe the only way Silva wins is if Cain does in fact underestimate him. Not saying “Bigfoot” is a bad fighter or anything, Cain is just on a whole other level. Cain TKO 2nd round. Upset Pick: “Bigfoot” TKO 4th.
~ UFC 161: Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland ~
Can you say 31 fights without one loss? Renan Barao can. This could be the biggest upset in the making if Wineland can land his heavy hands more often than not. Barao is the epitome of an all-around MMA fighter. He can really do it all, and if you have watched any of his fights, you have been privy of witnessing just that.
On the other hand, you have a fighter that has re-revolutionized his fighting career, and has knock out power in every swing. Wineland entered the UFC on a 4 fight winning streak from the WEC, and some forget he debuted against Urijah Faber (the guy Barao beat for the interim title) who he loss a unanimous decision too.
In his second encounter he was defeated by Faber’s friend and training partner Joseph Benavidez also by a unanimous decision. Since then Wineland has knocked out Scott Jorgensen (Fight of the Night) and most recently beat Brad Pickett via split decision in a back and forth war.
Barao has fought all those guys besides Benavidez and has defeated them all. I have always said it doesn’t matter who you fought in the past, it’s how you fight your next fight. Wineland’s downfall is obviously his ground game, where we all know Barao is a beast and could easily get a submission.
But on the other side, if Wineland connects with your chin, it could be a short night. Plus, Barao showed he is susceptible to getting hit in his last fight against Michael McDonald and was rocked a few times. Barao is dangerous, but every fighter loses, and this could be a huge upset if Wineland can capture the title before Cruz’s possible return. Barao sub 4th. Upset Pick: Wineland KO/TKO 2nd round.
~ UFC 162: Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman ~
Everyone has a chance in every fight, and like I just said ‘everybody loses, but I mean it’s freaking Anderson Silva! I love this match-up and honestly think with Weidman getting a fully recovery and training camp that he is going to give Silva more actual problems than Sonnen demonstrated. Weidman can take you down and hold you there.
Unlike Sonnen though, Weidman throws harder punches and elbows from the top. Sonnen is like glue with no offence, while Weidman is like glue that will beat you up. If he can get Silva down and hold him down (like Sonnen demonstrated was possible), and deliver his deadly ground and pound, he could easily walk out not only as the only UFC fighter to beat Anderson Silva, but the new UFC middleweight champion.
Silva knows exactly what Weidman wants to do, but he also isn’t afraid to stand with the champ. Mark Munoz found out the hard way that Weidman can stand up and trade, and isn’t afraid to do so. Silva is virtually untouchable, and if Weidman is to dethrone him, he must show us something we have never seen before.
Silva has beaten some of the best, and beaten others in their own strengths. Silva tapped out Travis Lutter (a ground game guru). He tapped a dangerous wrestler in Dan Henderson. He has knocked out Chris Leben. The list goes on and on.
This match-up is very exciting, but I don’t care what GSP says, I don’t see Weidman running through Silva quickly. If Weidman wins, he will have to work hard for it. Not saying it can’t happen. Weidman is scary with a whole camp to prepare, but Silva is just scarier. Silva violent TKO 2nd round. Upset Pick: Weidman TKO 3rd or possible Unanimous.
~ UFC 163: Jose Aldo vs. Anthony “Showtime” Pettis ~
This is your technical striker versus your unorthodox striker. Aldo will try and keep the pressure with accurate hands and leg kicks. Pettis will be trying to live up to his nickname of “Showtime” while trying to capture the featherweight tile in his 145 lb. debut. Either way I don’t see this fight going to the ground even though Aldo’s camp has been rumored of talking about putting Pettis on his back.
Aldo fights for his fans and the crowd, so I don’t expect him to let any of us down. Pettis is the same way and would love to win with a highlight reel knockout. I honestly think the “perfect strike” will end this fight, but you never know. Aldo Unanimous. Upset Pick: Pettis highlight reel KO 3rd or 4th round.