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UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 2 predictions by Sun-Times staff

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Updated: May 22, 2013 9:22PM



Chicago Sun-Times’ John Silver and Joe Fernandez break down the main card and provide their predictions for this Saturday’s UFC 160, which is live on pay-per-view starting at 9 p.m. CT. Sun-Times readers can also leave their predictions below in the comment section.

DONALD “COWBOY” CERRONE vs. K.J. NOONS

SILVER: Cerrone has looked great in his last few fights and expect this trend to continue. Cowboy is a top lightweight and more of a well-rounded fighter than Noons. The Hawaiian has lost four of his last five bouts and could be a one-and-done after his UFC debut. Both fighters should be an exciting bout, especially if they stand and bang. SILVER’S PREDICTION: Cerrone via second round TKO.

FERNANDEZ: Coming off a devastating knockout at the hands of Anthony Pettis, I have a feeling Cowboy will rely more on his jiu-jitsu against the striking-proficient Noons. Cerrone is dangerous on his feet or off his back, but his improved wrestling will be the difference in getting top control for a finish. Noons has lost four of his last five, but don’t sleep on his boxing, which always gives him a puncher’s chance. FERNANDEZ’ PREDICTION: Cerrone via first-round submission.

GRAY MAYNARD vs. T.J. GRANT

SILVER: The experienced Maynard seeks another title shot with a win against Grant. His elite-level grappling skills give the former Michigan State wrestler an advantage. Grant has won four straight, but stepping up in class in this fight. SILVER’S PREDICTION: The methodical Maynard wins in a unanimous decision.

FERNANDEZ: Maynard has definitely fought more top-shelf competition in the UFC’s venomous snake pit of a 155-pound weight class, and his superior wrestling mixed with a sharp right hand make him a terrible matchup for just about everyone not named Frankie Edgar; but Grant has been on another level since dropping to lightweight. If Grant wants to be fast-tracked to a title shot, stopping the venerable Maynard, plus winning four straight prior to that is a great start. I smell an upset in the air. FERNANDEZ’ PREDICTION: Grant via second-round submission.

GLOVER TEIXEIRA vs. JAMES TE HUNA

SILVER: Teixeira enters the Octagon as a major favorite and a gaudy 18-fight winning streak. It’s a pity that Teixeira’s original opponent, Ryan Bader, had to withdraw because of injury — that would have been a fun fight to watch, but this one has the makings of a mismatch. Te Huna is a talented up-and-coming fighter, but don’t look for an upset. SILVER’S PREDICTION: Teixeira via first round KO.

FERNANDEZ: Wait a minute - Te Huna is riding a four-fight win streak - can he eke out an upset over Glover? ... No. Teixeira is a charging rhino with submissions. Nobody wants to fight this guy. He is already 3-0 in the UFC with a decision win over former light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Teixeira is the greatest present threat to Jon Jones’ title and Te Huna, a solid and gutsy fighter for taking the match, will be No. 19 on the Brazilian’s streak. FERNANDEZ’ PREDICTION: Teixeira via first round TKO.

JUNIOR DOS SANTOS vs. MARK HUNT

SILVER: Coming off a unanimous decision loss to champion Velasquez, the talented Dos Santos should be the No. 1 heavyweight contender. Hunt, who replaced the injured Alistair Overeem in this fight, has four straight wins but hasn’t faced the top-of-the-division talent like Dos Santos. Both fighters feature great striking but Hunt should be outclassed in the co-main event. SILVER’S PREDICTION: Dos Santos via first round TKO.

FERNANDEZ: This has fight of the night left-hooked all over it. Both Dos Santos and Hunt have dynamite in their hands and enough granite in their chins to build a kitchen countertop. Many see this ending early, but I predict an epic back-and-forth with some near finishes and I have this one going a lot like the Dos Santos-Roy Nelson fight. Dos Santos might want to use his athleticism to work for a takedown and a submission instead of solely mixing it up with the former K-1 kickboxing champion. FERNANDEZ’ PREDICTION: Dos Santos via unanimous decision.

CAIN VELASQUEZ (champion) vs. ANTONIO SILVA (UFC Heavyweight title fight)

SILVER: Their first battle was a bloody display of dominance by Velasquez and the rematch has the potential to be more of the same. The champion’s great advantage is his speed and athleticism. If he can avoid Bigfoot’s power, he will earn his first successful title defense. SILVER’S PREDICTION: Velasquez via first round TKO.

FERNANDEZ: No matter what “Bigfoot” Silva does moving forward, he can always say he stopped Fedor Emelianenko and Alistair Overeem in his career ... Wow. A two-time All-American at Arizona State, Velasquez’ wrestling credentials mean that he can move around most men. But at the 265-plus pounds Silva will most likely be on fight night after he is hydrated once again, that is a lot of man to move. I see Silva putting on a much tighter performance than the one in their first meeting, but the champion is a next-generation heavyweight who will once again prove to be too much for Silva. FERNANDEZ’ PREDICTION: Velasquez via fourth-round TKO.



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