If you like heavyweights, this card is for you as four of the Top 10 heavyweights will do battle this Saturday, May 25, in Las Vegas. The main event will feature heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez in his first title defense after winning the belt back from Junior Dos Santos. This will be rematch against Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva, a man he completely dominated during their first fight.
The co-main event looks to be a No. 1 contender bout as former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos takes on famed kickboxer Mark Hunt.
Also on the main card, fan-favorite Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone will face off against K.J. Noons. Glover Teixeira, who for some reason is still flying under the radar, will also be on the main card.
This is a great event and well worth a Pay-Per-View buy. There will be plenty of areas in Baton Rouge that will show the fights, including the undercard, for free. Check local listing for details or find a spot to watch it in town.
Main Event: Pay-Per-View
Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva
Cain Velasquez - Yuma, Ariz., 6-1, 240 pounds, 11-1-0
Antonio Silva - Paraiba, Brazil, 6-4, 265 pounds, 18-4-0
Antonio Silva shocked the Mixed Martial Arts world when he beat Alistair Overeem and put himself back into championship contention. Many were sure that he would lose the bout, leaving Overeem to face Cain Velasquez. Silva has steadily improved in all areas since entering the Ultimate Fighting Championship and looks to keep on track as he tries to take down Velasquez and win the UFC heavyweight championship.
Speaking of taking down, that's exactly what happened to Silva in his first match. He was put on his back by Velasquez and was mauled by elbows until the doctor stopped the fight in the first round. Velasquez was able to make a huge cut on Silva's head that was so bad it affected Silva's sight. Silva was still able to fight, but the doctor felt like his vision was being affected to the point where he could not continue.
Silva is going have to be the aggressor, because if he gets put on his back again, he could experience deja vu.
"This is a whole new fight," Velasquez said. "Obviously, we saw what Bigfoot can do in his past two fights. I can't take him lightly. He's a special competitor and is really dangerous in the Octagon. I don't see this as anything less than a hard, grueling fight."
Bigfoot Silva once again will be an underdog, as he was in his past two fights.
"I like when people underestimate me. It's nice," Silva said. "I get to go out there and show them wrong. There's no superhero in this sport. Nobody's invincible. I'll have my hand raised next Saturday night."
Velasquez is one of the best, well-rounded fighters in MMA, and his ground-n-pound is at the very top of the heavyweight division. Silva has a black belt in judo, jiu-jitsu and karate, but Velasquez is just a bit better in all areas, which is the true mark of a champion.
Velasquez by TKO (Strikes)
Junior "Cigano" Dos Santos vs. Mark "Super Samoan" Hunt
Junior Dos Santos - Cacador, Brazil, 6-4, 240 pounds, 15-2-0
Mark Hunt - South Auckland, New Zealand, 5-10, 265 pounds, 9-7-0
Two hard and heavy-hitting strikers will go at it for a chance to squeak into a No. 1 contender's spot in the co-main event Saturday night. Unfortunately for Mark Hunt, what I see on paper is a repeat of when Dos Santos faced Roy Nelson in UFC 117. Dos Santos just outperformed the slower Nelson at every point in that fight.
Hunt resembles Nelson in almost every facet of the game except the ground game. Where Nelson is much better on the ground, Hunt is a more technical striker. While Hunt might be able to hang in a little longer, he is two inches shorter than Nelson.
Dos Santos's boxing is the best in the heavyweight division, and he will use his height and reach advantage to pick Hunt to pieces, just like he did to Nelson. With that said, Hunt has an iron chin so this could very well be a brutal affair for three rounds.
The odds for this fight ending in submission aren't very good. It will be a long night for the Super Samoan, and at the age of 39, it might be the end of his career.
Dos Santos by TKO (Doctor Stoppage)
Glover Teixeira vs. James Te Huna
Glover Teixeira - Minas Gerais, Brazil, 6-2, 205 pounds, 20-2-0
James Te Huna - Darfield, New Zealand, 6-2, 205 pounds, 18-5-0
The most underrated fighter in MMA, Glover Teixeira will look to get noticed for a title shot in the light heavyweight division. Teixeira is 3-0 in the UFC, destroying everyone he has faced except his last opponent, Rampage Jackson. Teixeira beat Jackson at his own game in a three-round unanimous decision. Teixeira brings a mix of jiu-jitsu and devastating ground-n-pound to the table. His standup looked great after trading blows with Rampage for three rounds, a feat that many people did not think he would accomplish.
Teixeira by TKO (Strikes)
Gray "The Bully" Maynard vs. TJ Grant
Gray Maynard - Phoenix, Ariz., 5-8, 155 pounds, 12-1-1
TJ Grant - Nova Scotia, 5-10, 155 pounds, 20-5-0
Gray Maynard deserves a spot on the main card, and that's about it. His past eight wins have all been by decision, three of them split. He's a well-rounded journeyman, but he seems to always find a way to leave the fight in the judges' hands. He has become known for being a blanket and not the bully. This bout earns my early pick for the worst fight of the night. I've been wrong before, and let's hope I am again.
Maynard by Submission (boredom)
Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone vs. K.J. Noons
Donald Cerrone - Colorado Springs, Colo., 6-0, 155 pounds, 19-5-0
KJ Noons - Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, 5-10, 155 pounds, 10-5-0
These two great kickboxers should make for an exciting fight to start the main card. Cerrone, who is always up for a great battle, will have a superior edge in the ground game, if needed. I cannot think of a better way to kick off the night than with this three-round battle. This is my early pick for fight of the night.
Cerrone by Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Undercard: Live on FX channel
Mike Pyle vs. Rick "The Horror" Story
Dennis Bermudez vs. Max Holloway
Colton Smith vs. Robert Whittaker
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Abel Trujillo
Live on facebook.com/ufc
Stephen Thompson vs. Nah-Shon Burrell
Brian Bowles vs. George Roop
Jeremy "Lil Heathen" Stephens vs. Estevan Payan