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UFC 112 Main Event Predictions

It has been a busy couple of weeks for MMA fans, with shows blurring together at a heart-stopping pace, leaving fans with little time to catch their breath and bloggers across the net begging for some downtime. UFC 111 saw the rise of Shane Carwin as the new challenger to the HW crown and GSP showcased his continued dominance of the Welterweight division, while Fight Night 21 in North Carolina provided an exciting night of free fights, including Big Country’s lightning fast finish of Stefan Struve and Kenny Florian’s domination of one time superstar Takanori Gomi, solidifying himself as the number two lightweight in the UFC behind kingpin BJ Penn.

The madness doesn’t stop either, as just next weekend the UFC makes its first trip to the middle east, where the aforementioned BJ Penn and seemingly invincible middleweight Anderson Silva will put their belts on the line in a historic event.

Anderson Silva(champion) vs Demian Maia

The Fight: Vitor Belfort was originally scheduled to challenge Silva in this event, but an unfortunate injury offers Brazilian Jiu-jitsu ace Demian Maia a chance of a lifetime. Anderson Silva was last seen dismantling former Light Heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin in mere minutes, showing impressive boxing for an MMA fighter as he dispatched of Griffin with awe-inspiring ease. Maia, on the other hand, carried a workman-like decision over a fellow BJJ black belt in Dan Miller.

Why Demian Maia might win: Anderson Silva has been submitted before; these losses were several years ago, but Silva has been shown to have a slight weakness against wrestlers and competent grapplers, evidenced when Dan Henderson stole a round from him in their fight. Maia has some underrated wrestling and good throws, as was shown when he threw a dominant wrestler in Chael Sonnen before pulling off a beautiful submission. Maia’s jiu-jitsu is some of the best in MMA, having submitted his first five opponents in the UFC and gaining their Submission of the Night honor four of those times; if he can get Silva on his back, things will get very interesting.

Why Anderson Silva might win: It may be an understatement to say that Silva’s standup is light-years ahead of Maia’s. Maia was seemingly blasted into another dimension by a straight punch down the pipe from Nate Marquardt, a fighter Anderson Silva has already dominated before; if the two fighters stay on their feet for any length of time, Maia is in serious danger of being starched. As well, Silva is no slouch on the ground, being a black belt under an MMA legend in Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Silva has fought BJJ black belts before, submitting Travis Lutter and winning a unanimous decision over Thales Leites in their infamous bout last year.

What will happen: Don’t expect this fight to be Silva vs Leites II. Maia has converted his grappling to MMA better than Leites and is more aggressive in going for submissions and takedowns – whether by submission from Maia or a KO from Silva, this fight is not going the distance. Unfortunately for Maia, however, Silva is competent enough on the ground to survive being taken down. Maia may be able to put a scare into Anderson, but sometime during the third round, Silva will land a flurry that Maia will have no answer for, adding another KO to his seemingly endless highlight reel.

BJ Penn (champion) vs Frankie Edgar

The Fight: Though perhaps better known for his forays into the welterweight division against GSP, Penn is a dominant lightweight, disposing of tough contenders in Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez with vicious ease. Frankie Edgar received his shot at the crown after a submission victory over Matt Veach at The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 finale, edging out the other frontrunner in Gray Maynard, whose fighting still is seen as unsatisfying to some, as evidenced in his sloppy win over Nate Diaz.

Why Frankie Edgar might win: Edgar is a more than competent wrestler and is one of the more well-rounded fighters in the division, possessing good standup as well. That will serve him well against Penn, as being one-dimensional against the champion has proven nothing less than disastrous for would-be challengers. Unfortunately..

Why BJ Penn might win: ...Aside from wrestling, Edgar is in no way superior to BJ. Penn is one of MMA’s pound for pound top fighters, having great takedown defense, some of the best jiu-jitsu and excellent boxing all rolled into one complete package. Penn shrugged off multiple takedown attempts from Diego Sanchez in a dominating performance and made Kenny Florian look like an amateur in his attempt to wrest the crown away from Penn.

What will happen: Expect another Virtuoso performance from BJ Penn. Edgar may very well be a champion some day, but he unfortunately competes in a division Penn rules over ruthlessly, picking apart challengers with Freddie Roach-approved boxing or choking out fellow BJJ blackbelts like Kenny Florian as if it’s child’s play. Edgar will perhaps fare better than Sanchez did, but by the third round, an ill-timed takedown from a battered Edgar will lead to BJ securing a submission in no time, earning a tap out and showing why he’s one of the top five pound for pound fighters in the world.

Ryan James


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