The UFC returns to pay-per-view tonight with UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 2.
FightLine.com main writer Dana Becker has dug through the information and come up with five “rock-solid” picks for this evening. Or, to be more honest, five possible outcomes, as in MMA, anything can happen.
As a reminder, FightLine will have complete coverage of the entire card beginning with the Facebook prelims at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Cain Velasquez (c) vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva for the UFC heavyweight title
Dana Becker: This is a rematch, and the first time around, it wasn’t close. Velasquez scored an early takedown and Silva had no defense off his back. Add in a nasty cut opened up by the current UFC champion, and “Bigfoot” was out of this one before he ever really got into it. Silva earned his title shot by waiting for the right opportunity to pounce against Alistair Overeem earlier this year; vs. Velasquez, he cannot wait. Bigfoot needs to be the aggressor, but controlled, and try to injure the champion early. Cain Velasquez via second round TKO (strikes)
Junior dos Santos vs. Mark Hunt
Dana: The time for dos Santos is now. Coming off a loss to Velasquez for the title last year, “Cigano” needs a strong showing to prove he deserves a rematch as soon as possible. For Hunt, the same is on the table. These are two of the more powerful punchers in the division, and both have shown a strong desire to not go down at the hands of heavyweights in the past. Will one crumble? Or will both survive the 15-minute battle? Junior dos Santos via first round TKO (strikes)
Glover Teixeira vs. James Te Huna
Dana: If there is ever going to be a series of all-main card finishes, this event has the makings of it. Much like dos Santos-Hunt, Teixeira and Te Huna love to stand and trade. Teixeira, though, is the more well-rounded fighter, despite being the less experienced one inside the Octagon. The Brazilian has waited for years to make an impact in the UFC, and that won’t stop tonight. Glover Teixeira via first round KO
Gray Maynard vs. T.J. Grant
Dana: A shot at the UFC lightweight title is on the line, as former contender Maynard looks to turn back rising star Grant. “The Bully” has been in numerous big-match fights in the past, including a series of title bouts with Frankie Edgar, but with this one not being the main or co-main event, it might not have an impact. Grant will need to test that surgically repaired knee of Maynard with his ground skills. Gray Maynard via third round TKO
Donald Cerrone vs. KJ Noons
Dana: Is Noons a contender in the UFC? Will Cerrone ever clear that final hurdle to a title shot? Both of those questions could be answered in this one, and what a thrilling way to start the PPV. Cerrone and Noons bring it, and they bring it for the duration of their fights. “Cowboy” seems to take it to another level in these early-card fights, and I see this one as being no different; especially considering his last performance vs. Anthony Pettis. Donald Cerrone via first round submission (rear-naked choke)