This Saturday the UFC returns to Canada from the second time this year and fifth in the last 15 month for UFC 131: Dos Santos vs. Carwin. Live from the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, the intriguing 11 bout card features a heavyweight showdown to determine who will fight the UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez next.
From top to bottom the card offers several intriguing matchups, including many stylistic battles in which either fighter could impose their will against their opponent. With such a card in front of use we decided to bring out the big guns and introduce the staff predictions or the UFC 131.
Junior Dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin (4-0 for Dos Santos)
Joshua Wood: The speed and quickness of JDS is going to pose a problem for Carwin who will be coming back after nearly a year off and likely rusty. The equalizer for Carwin should be his power to knock anyone out with one punch, but his cardio is the unknown so I think JDS wins by 2nd TKO.
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Mike Hammersmith: In theory, Carwin has the tools to get this done, but a long layoff and a big question mark in JDS’s ground game don’t help his case. My money is on JDS avoiding the big shots early, making Carwin work, and counter-punching his way to a TKO victory in the first round.
Thomas Volkert: Junior Dos Santos by TKO 1st Round, he’s quicker, good defense, and his punches are very accurate
Dan Rose: Sorry Carwin, but big tree fall hard. Junior Dos Santos has edges in Speed, Footwork and Head Movement. Shane’s power won’t be a match for Junior’s superior stand up. JDS TKO Round 2
Kenny Florian vs. Diego Nunes (3-1 for Florian)
Joshua Wood: Tough draw for Florian in his featherweight debut with Nunes who decently defeated the former champ Mike Brown. Nunes will be a good test, but Florian takes it by unanimous decision.
Mike Hammersmith: I’d love to pick the upset in Nunes here, but Florian’s style is one that tends to look better to judges. Another split decision will give the nod to Florian for his outside striking and damage inflicted on the mat.
Thomas Volkert: KenFlo by decision. Long reach coupled with his striking should give Nunes fits to get inside
Dan Rose: Diego is no joke and will absolutely take the fight to Kenny in his debut as a Featherweight. I expect Florian to be solid in round 1, but after that he’ll wilt. Nunes goes and goes and will not quit. Diego Nunes wins by Unanimous Decision.
Dave Herman is favored 3-1
Jon Olav Einemo vs. Dave Herman (3-1 for Herman)
Joshua Wood: Both fighters will be making their UFC debut but I expect Herman to seize the opportunity of finally fighting in the big show and knockout the grappler Einemo in the first round.
Mike Hammersmith: An exciting addition to the Heavyweight division, Dave Herman should be able to make quick work of newcomer Jon Einemo. Five years of ring rust proves to be too much, as Herman flattens Einemo late in the first round.
Thomas Volkert: Herman by decision. Too long of a lay off for Einemo, Herman with good wrestling and heavy hands with good sub defense should keep his on the feet and be good for the victory.
Dan Rose: Dave Herman steps up big time in quality of opponent here. He won’t like it. Jon is a submission machine from Golden Glory and will debut in spectacular fashion here. Einemo wins by Submission, round 1.
Demian Maia vs. Mark Munoz (4-0 Munoz)
Joshua Wood: Maia must take this fight to the ground right as the bell rings and keep it there until he submits Munoz. Unfortunately the fights start standing and Munoz will use his wrestling to keep the fight standing long enough to hurt Maia and get a 2nd TKO
Mike Hammersmith: If you have a lucky coin, flip it and tell me who wins this fight. Either Munoz plasters Maia with his stand-up and crushing ground and pound, or Maia turns the tables on Munoz, gets the takedown and finishes the wrestler. If this goes to the scorecards, my guess is a split decision for Munoz based on forward movement, so that’ll be my pick.
Thomas Volkert: When you don’t think Maia can out wrestle better wrestlers, he does. I expect this fight on the ground and in Maia’s world. Maia, submission, 2nd Round.
Dan Rose: Demian Maia could win this fight if he took it to the mat immediately and tried to submit Munoz, but he won’t. He’ll try and outbox him and catch some big shots and get finished. Munoz sets up a TKO with a big knee here. Write it down….Munoz by TKO Round 1.
Donald Cerrone vs. Vagner Rocha (4-0 for Cerrone)
Joshua Wood: Rocha get Cerrone in his UFC debut is bad news for the Brazilian. Cerrone will keep the fight standing and pick apart Rocha until he can’t take it no more. Cerrone by 3rd round TKO.
Mike Hammersmith: Cerrone hasn’t looked great since coming the UFC, but this is another fight he should be able to manage. Rocha is a strong BJJ player, but his crude stand-up and takedowns won’t do him any favors here. Expect Cerrone to keep him at the end of his kicks and crumple Rocha with a knee strike when he shoots from the outside.
Thomas Volkert: Cerrone by TKO 2nd round. Too experienced, well-rounded enough to get a victory anywhere in the cage.
Dan Rose: Donald is one of the emerging stars in the Lightweight division and will showcase his skills here. Vagner has seven pro fights and is being thrown in the deep end of the pool here. Donald Cerrone wins by KO Round 1.
Yves Edwards vs. Sam Stout (3-1 for Edwards)
Joshua Wood: Stout; Mike Hammersmith: Edwards; Thomas Volkert: Edwards; Dan Rose: Edwards;
Jesse Bongfeldt vs. Chris Weidman (4-0 for Weidman)
Joshua Wood: Weidman; Mike Hammersmith: Weidman; Thomas Volkert: Weidman; Dan Rose: Weidman;
Dustin Poirier vs. Jason Young (4-0 for Poirier)
Joshua Wood: Poirier; Mike Hammersmith: Poirier; Thomas Volkert: Poirier; Dan Rose: Poirier;
Mike Massenzio vs. Krzysztof Soszynski (3-1 for Soszynski)
Joshua Wood: Soszynski; Mike Hammersmith: Soszynski; Thomas Volkert: Massenzio; Dan Rose: Soszynski;
James Head vs. Nick Ring (4-0 for Ring)
Joshua Wood: Ring; Mike Hammersmith: Ring; Thomas Volkert: Ring; Dan Rose: Ring;
Joey Beltran vs. Aaron Rosa (2-2 Split)
Joshua Wood: Beltran; Mike Hammersmith: Beltran; Thomas Volkert: Rosa; Dan Rose: Rosa;
Darren Elkins vs. Michihiro Omigawa (4-0 Omigawa)
Joshua Wood: Omigawa; Mike Hammersmith: Omigawa; Thomas Volkert: Omigawa; Dan Rose: Omigawa;
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