UFC Fight Night Belfort Vs Henderson: Preview

Saturday November 7th the UFC will be giving fans a free fight card on FOX Sports 1, and it’s set to be a good one.  The UFC tends to have good, exciting match ups for the free events as a means to pull in new fans who are more willing to watch a free event than spend upwards of $60 for a pay-per-view. Here is a quick run down of the six main card fights and some of my predictions. Saturday can’t come any sooner.

 

Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

 

Main Event- Middleweight:  Vitor Belfort vs. Dan Henderson

Both of these fighters have been in the game for a long time, but both are as dangerous as they have always been. Both are capable of spectacular knock outs despite having lost a step since the UFC’s crack down on TRT, specifically Belfort. For me the key to this fight is Henderson’s chin and Vitor’s gas tank. If Henderson can survive Belfort’s early onslaught, his chances to win this fight increase exponentially. Belfort has to put Henderson away within the first two rounds or else he isn’t going to last. I see Henderson’s legendary chin surviving Belfort’s attack then Henderson ending the fight via TKO in the fourth.

 

Light Heavyweight: Glover Teixeira vs. Patrick Cummins

Cummins may be younger and faster but Teixiera is a skilled veteran with a formidable combination of boxing and grappling. Teixeira truly encompasses the full blend of MMA skills. Unless Cummins somehow lands a big shot, or his wrestling is really as good as he claims it is, then this should be a solid win for Teixeira. I see a one sided decision victory for Teixeira, who will use his grappling to keep the fight standing where he holds a considerable advantage.

 

Bantamweight  Thomas Almeida vs. Anthony Birchak

This one is not going to make it to a decision. Birchak is aggressive with his striking and submissions but Almeida has a perfect 20-0 record for a reason. This should be an exciting fight because Almeida is always willing to switch up his striking. He throws body punches, leg kicks, knees, elbows, any and every angle available to him will be hit. He ended his last fight with a highlight reel flying knee knock out. Birchak isn’t going to be able to handle Almeida’s flurries, especially when he’s going to be getting hit all over. Look for one of Almeida’s strikes to catch Birchak in the third round. I smell knock out of the night.

 

Lightweight: Alex Oliveira vs. Piotr Hallmann

Something tells me this fight isn’t going to be the most exciting exchange. Oliviera is at his best working on grappling. While he does possess good movement on his feet, his stand up isn’t the most impressive. Both fighters are going to look to take the fight to the mat. Hallman will attempt to mount a ground-and-pound attack if he takes Oliveira down but he risks getting caught with a submission.  Ground based fights tend to be a bit off putting for some fans, usually because they don’t know what’s going on, but hopefully there will be enough action to keep the viewers happy. This is going to be a technical match-up and will probably reach the decision where Hallmann will edge out a victory because of his activity on the mat.

 

Lightweight: Gilbert Burns vs. Rashid Magomedov

This has the potential to be a Fight of the Night. Burns has knockout power but is truly at his most dangerous with submissions. His perfect 10-0 record will be at risk. Magomedov has amazing counter striking but more importantly he has the ability to defend the takedown and keep the fight standing. This fight is going to be a chess match. Magomedov will have to be weary of Burns pulling guard and trying to sneak in an arm bar. Burns will have to try to fend off Magomedov’s pressure by using combinations. A lot of fighters with knock out power will settle with single haymakers, Magomedov will light Burns up if he settles for that strategy. My prediction is a unanimous decision victory for Magomedov after three rounds of excitement.

 

Light Heavyweight: Fabio Maldonado vs. Corey Anderson

Up and coming Corey Anderson takes on veteran gate – keeper Fabio Maldonado. The term gate – keeper gets a bad rap. It means you’re a good fighter but just not good enough to take a spot in the highest echelon of the division. Maldonado fits that pretty well, he’s a great measuring stick to see how Anderson stacks up in the light-heavyweight division. Anderson blends solid wrestling with a just as impressive striking game, but his skill set will be put to the test against the well balanced Maldonado who can lock in submissions, throw some heavy strikes and has a granite chin to help keep him in the fight. This one is going to decision, and Anderson should show enough improvement in his abilities to land a solid win and continue his streak.

Michael Gomez covers MMA, The Lakers, and Video Games  for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @MichaelGom3

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