MMA Analysis: Best Matches of UFC 131


On every televised event there are three or four can’t miss fights that you have to watch.  We’re going to start pointing those out to you before every major card, so you’ll know when to use the bathroom, grab another beer or toss your unruly family members out of the house without missing anything vital.  Here we’ll cover the four fights not to be missed at UFC 131.

Sam Stout vs. Yves Edwards – Spike TV

This fight is technically on the undercard of UFC 131 but there is nothing at all sub-standard about this clash of established veterans.  Both fighters earn their livings standing up and throwing hands, and this fight should feature the best stand up of the night.  Sam Stout under Shawn Tompkins’ guidance has perhaps the best boxing for MMA in the lightweight division.  He will throw perfect combinations, have tremendous footwork and usually beat his opponent to the punch.

Yves is more of a traditional Muay Thai fighter who utilizes punching but has a proficiency to include kicks, and knees to round out his arsenal.  These two fighters will most definitely look to hurt each other standing, but if it heads to the mat, expect Yves to hold an edge there.  I fully expect this fight to be the favorite for fight of the night and could provide the definitive KO of the night as well.  Make sure you’re in front of Spike TV to catch this explosive clash of Lightweights.

Demian Maia vs. Mark Munoz – PPV

This fight is a very interesting fight for a number of reasons.  Mark Munoz has been developing into a solid upper echelon Middleweight and Demian Maia has the divisions best submission game, but lately fancies himself a striker.  The fight, if contested standing, could be a career making fight for Munoz.  Both fighters come in with only two losses on their records.  Munoz was defeated by Matt Hamil and Yushin Okami while Maia was bested by Nate Marquardt and Anderson Silva.

This is one of those fights that the winner will be determined by where the fight takes place.  If the fighters are on their feet, expect it to end with Maia laying down counting the lights, but if Maia takes the fight to the ground, expect Munoz to tap out at some point.  Styles make fights, and that will never be on display as clearly as in this fight.

Kenny Florian vs. Diego Nunes – Co Main Event on PPV

When Kenny Florian steps into the Octagon Saturday night he’ll be doing so 40 pounds lighter than he was the first time he stepped into it.  Yes Kenny has once again forgone white for wheat and dropped another weight class.  He’ll be making his 145 pound debut against a very solid competitor in Diego Nunes.  Diego is 16-1 and has fought at Featherweight his whole career.  It is a very difficult jump off fight for Florian at 145. Kenny has awkward and effective striking and a very strong submission and ground and pound game on the bottom.

Diego is a well-rounded fighter as indicated by his six submissions and five TKO victories in his career.  He’s dangerous striking and also has a legit submission game if and when the fight hits the mat.  Diego would very likely earn himself a title shot against Jose Aldo with a win here so the fight is humongous to him.  I see Diego holding a slight edge standing and if Kenny has any lingering issues from the weight cut, this is a fight he could lose quick and easy.  There’s a lot of drama in the Featherweight division in this one, and you should not miss it.

Shane Carwin vs. Junior Dos Santos – Main Event PPV

Big tree, fall hard.  I heard that somewhere once and it will be heard and seen Saturday night.  When Shane Carwin and Junior Dos Santos step into the cage, you can expect fireworks as the best puncher in the division, Dos Santos, meets up with perhaps the heaviest hands in the history of MMA in Carwin.  “Two will slug, one will sleep, everyone will enjoy.”  That should be the tagline for this main event.   Shane Carwin had issues in his last fight with cardio/cramping and lost to Brock Lesnar.  It was the only loss of his career.  He’s in tremendous shape for this fight and should have gas to go as long as he needs to.

Junior Dos Santos has dynamite in his hands and has finished everyone he’s faced in the UFC, expect for Roy Nelson who he defeated but went the distance with.  He’s also tasted defeat once and will be looking to add another notch to his belt Saturday night.  The unassuming killer is the scariest man in MMA as far as I’m concerned and this fight should be amazing while it lasts.  Cleaner shots, better movement and good angles have me leaning towards Dos Santos, but if Carwin connects, it’s over too.  Tune into this card if for no other reason than to see this fight.  It’s going to be electric while it lasts.

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