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Saturday, 07/06/2013, 11:26 am

UFC 162 Main Card Quick Picks with BJPenn.com’s Jake Chastain

By JAKE CHASTAIN

It’s time, fight fans! UFC 162 has arrived and Las Vegas is having a hard time containing the excitement. Tonight we’ll get to see UFC Middleweight Champion and all-time great, Anderson Silva, place his title on the line against one of the brightest new stars in the sport of MMA, Chris Weidman.

This 4th of July weekend card is loaded with interesting and potentially explosive fights and I’m about to take you through a crash-course rundown of the main card fights and then quickly spit off my picks. Here we go, BJPenn.com.

Cub Swanson (19-5) vs. Dennis Siver (21-8) Featherweights

This is a very interesting fight. Dennis Siver recently dropped down to the featherweight division and is 2-0 thus far in this weight class. His size and frame, his powerful kicks and tight, precise striking make him a tough fight to handle for most. He’s fighting another smooth striker in Cub Swanson. Both men are coming into this fight riding decision victories but I think that Cub Swanson has been the hotter fighter as of late. With that being said, I think Siver is going to cause a lot of problems for Swanson, mainly because of his size and strength. Because both men are accurate strikers and can end the fight on the feet I have to assume that this bout is going to the ground, and I think on the ground Siver can get the win. Both men have several submission victories on their resumes but I think Siver has the slight advantage on the ground because of his frame and strength.

Here is my prediction: I see Siver getting tagged a couple times by Swanson on the feet and then taking the fight to the ground. From there I can see him landing some good ground and pound shots, forcing Swanson to create some scrambles and Siver will eventually catch a submission in the process. I think that Dennis Siver wins this fight by submission victory.

Mark Munoz (12-3) vs. Tim Boetsch (16-5) Middleweights

This fight has the potential to be awesome and it also has the potential to be lackluster. So, in light of being optimistic heading into the fight, I’m going to spill out the exciting version of how this fight could play out. First of all, both men are collegiate caliber wrestlers, although Munoz holds a slight advantage in that department with a D1 national wrestling title on his resume. I don’t think the wrestling is going to be a factor in this fight. This is where it gets interesting. Their striking is very close in comparison as well. Both me have power but their striking is not the cleanest or smoothest in the sport. I think what is going to separate them in this fight is that Boetsch has the much stronger chin and I feel like his recovery is also better. Both men are considered top tier contenders in the middleweight division but both are also coming off of losses heading into this bout. This is a must win for both guys if they want to stay in the top ten of the contention rankings. I think that this fight is going to be a standup war that see’s both guys get rocked a couple of times throughout the bout. Again, this is where the better chin is going to come into play, and I think Boetsch has the edge there.

Here is my prediction: Both men are outstanding grapplers but this fight is only going to see a little bit of wrestling. I think that because their wrestling skills are going to cancel each other out the fight is going to stay standing for the majority of the time. I think Munoz is going to look good at the beginning and possibly even win the first round, but I see Boetsch’s chin absorbing the shots from Munoz and making a late push after he’s already started bleeding. Boetsch is going to get the better of the standup in the last two rounds and I think he’ll squeeze out a very close decision victory over Munoz, purely through his grit and determination. I think Tim Boetsch wins this fight via decision victory.

Tim Kennedy (15-4) vs. Roger Gracie (6-1) Middleweights

This is going to be a lopsided bout, in my opinion. Both men will come into the fight making their UFC debuts after their stints in Strikeforce. Both men experienced success in that promotion and will look to carry those winning ways into the octagon tonight at UFC 162. Gracie, obviously, is a wizard on the ground and will likely try to get the fight to the ground so that he can showcase his BJJ black-belt skills. However, that is going to be easier said than done as Kennedy is a tough, powerful fighter with a solid grappling game to compliment his power on the feet. Still, even if it goes to the ground I don’t think Kennedy is going to give Roger enough space to open up his submission game. I see Kennedy winning the fight wherever it goes, mainly because he’s more seasoned, he’s more well-rounded, and I think he’s going to be too strong for Gracie to handle. Gracie is a much taller fighter and will likely try to utilize his length and jab at the beginning of the fight, but Kennedy is a good enough athlete to understand that he can’t allow Gracie to get comfortable and find his range so he’ll quickly put the pressure on Gracie and close the space. I think Kennedy will get the better in the clinch and once it hits the ground I think Kennedy’s power is going to cause problems for the BJJ of Gracie. Both men will enter this bout following victories but only one can walk away with a victory in their UFC debut.

Here is my prediction: I think that this fight is going to start out slow with Gracie trying to find his jab and keep the fight at a distance. Kennedy will quickly close the space and land some good strikes from inside the clinch. Dirty boxing and Greco-roman wrestling will eventually lead to the fight hitting the mat. I think on the canvas Gracie is going to be working hard to set up his submissions and he’ll be very active from his guard. However, whenever he moves for an opening or tries to set uo a submission Kennedy is going to land big ground and pound that is quickly going to shackle the submission game of Gracie. I think the majority of the fight is going to take place on the ground and Kennedy is going to methodically chip away at Gracie until he opens him up, rocks him, and then finishes him with nasty ground and pound. I’m picking Tim Kennedy to win this fight via TKO stoppage due to ground and pound.

Frankie Edgar (14-4) vs. Charles Oliveira (16-3) Featherweights

This is an amazing co-main event for the UFC. Frankie Edgar will be making his first non-title fight appearance since 2009 and he’ll be in a “must win” situation for the first time in his career. And the scary part is that he’ll have his hands extremely full as he takes on the BJJ wiz Charles Oliveira. Both men are coming into the fight following losses (Frankie has lost three straight title fights and Oliveira is coming off of a KO loss to Cub Swanson) and there is some heavy pressure on both men. Edgar, however, will have the advantage in dealing with the pressure as he’s a former champion and has fought most of the best fighters in the world around his weight. Edgar has tremendous boxing and footwork and I’m assuming he’ll be looking to win this fight with his striking. His footwork and head movement may give Oliveira some troubles, even though Oliveira is the much taller, longer fighters. I don’t think that this entire fight will take place on the feet though, as I can also see Edgar scoring some takedowns just to showcase his overall skills and score some extra points. Oliveira, on paper, has the advantage in the submission department but, unless he rocks Edgar and uses that to open up his submission game, I don’t see his black-belt coming into play against Frankie. I think the pace and crisp striking of “The Answer” are going to give Charles fits throughout the fight.

Here is my prediction: Edgar, although he’s riding a three fight losing skid, is still one of the most complete fighters on the planet. He’s razor close decisions to Benson Henderson and Jose Aldo and is a top threat to both champions at either weight. His cardio is unreal and his striking is very hard to match. I see Edgar coming out and putting on the same show that he always does; he’s going to use his speed and technique to continuously tag Oliveira, he’ll score some takedowns and get the best on the ground as well. Although I don’t think Edgar is going to finish this fight I do feel that he is going to dominate the fight in every aspect. I believe Frankie Edgar wins this fight via dominating unanimous decision victory.

Anderson Silva (33-4) vs. Chris Weidman (9-0) UFC Middleweight Title Fight

There is not much to say about this fight that hasn’t already been said. Chris Weidman brings a lot of things to the table that can give Anderson fits throughout this fight. What I think is the most dangerous, though, is his confidence. Weidman is entering this fight like he deserves to be here and is more than capable of dethroning Silva. His undefeated MMA record is something Anderson has never faced and his grappling skills accompanied with his power on the feet make him a nasty matchup for the Champ. But we’ve heard this song before, right? Each time Anderson Silva fights we try to hype every way that his opponent can win the fight and each time we’re so very wrong. Anderson has been untouchable inside the UFC octagon and I don’t see why tonight is going to be any different. I think that although Anderson is going to be tested early he’s still going to come out of this fight with the strap around his waist. Silva’s striking is amazing in every sense of the word and I think that Weidman is going to have trouble getting inside on Silva. I think that Weidman will likely score a couple of takedowns but I don’t think he’s going to be able to do much with his takedowns. Eventually, Anderson is going to decide he’s tired of playing around and again shock the world and make another victory look extremely easy. I really like Chris Weidman and I think he is indeed a very big threat to Silva, but Anderson is on a level of his own and tonight is not the night that we’re going to see the GOAT fall.

Here is my prediction: I think Weidman is going to come out calm and collected, calculated with all of his movements and Anderson is going to feel him out in the first round. I see Weidman working for a takedown and scoring it, but only momentarily as Silva will immediately come back up to his feet. Weidman may take the first round but the tides are going to shift heading into the second round. Anderson is going to get comfortable, drop his hands and catch Weidman with his lethal straights and kicks. Weidman is tough but the jaw is only so strong on each man and it seems like Anderson Silva knows which button to push on each man to turn his lights off. Tonight, in Las Vegas at UFC 162, Anderson Silva will extend his UFC winning streak to 17, he’ll successfully defend his title for a record 11th consecutive time, and he’ll add to the unblemished legacy that he’s so perfectly pieced together. I think Anderson Silva wins this fight via Knock-Out and retains his UFC Middleweight Title.

So that’s it guys. What a loaded event for the 4th of July weekend! This is a highly competitive card and these predictions were very hard for me to pick because each fight is going to be very close and could go either way. So what do you think, fight fans? Now that UFC 162 has arrived, who are you picking? Do you agree with my picks or do you think I’m way off? Sound off, Penn Nation! Make your picks!

For all of your UFC 162 live updates, play-by-plays and fight recaps click here and stay posted to BJPenn.com

-Jake Chastain

@jchastain45

 

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