The UFC 139 event scheduled for this weekend is filled with some of the most experienced fighters on the UFC roster, and all of them are in fights that could be considered must win. Vanderlei Silva versus Cung Le has the potential to be the last time we see Vanderlie Silva in the ring. Dan Henderson versus Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua has title implications at 205 lbs and Urijah Faber desperately needs a win to rejuvenate his career. Faber is 3-3 in his last six fights and at 32 years of age, may be getting a little long in the tooth. Let’s take a look at these three fights then!
Vanderlei Silva and Cung Le should put on a heck of a fight. The fact that it could be Vanderlei’s swan song makes it an extra hard fight to pick. Vanderlei will definitely warrant a chapter in any history of MMA, but I think it makes a difference to Vanderlei to go out with a win or a loss. Cung Le apparently worked into his UFC deal the ability to continue making movies, as his contract has no set time for the bouts due him. Le is 41 and I believe a brutal loss to Vanderlei may send him into retirement as well, so it is possible two careers hang in the balance. In the end however, I think it will be Vanderlei who makes this a street fight and scores the win.
Urijah Faber is one of the big stars in the new lower weight classes, but he really needs a win. After struggling at 145 lbs with Mike Brown and Jose Aldo, it was considered that a drop to 135 lbs would see the ‘California Kid’ dominate again. Well it hasn’t happened. He is 1-1 at 135 lbs, and has been far from dominant. Well, things don’t get any easier for Faber this weekend, as he takes on Brian Bowles, who is 10-1 and is 2-0 in the UFC. This is a really hard pick as well, however consider that should Faber lose, this would likely signal the end of his career as an elite force at 135 and 145 lbs.
And then you have your main event between “Shogun’ Rua and Dan Henderson. Rua has youth on his side, but Henderson is hard to pick against. The stakes are a title match against Jon ‘Bones’ Jones in 2012. Henderson is in the middle of a strong run in his career, going 6-2 with both his losses at 185 lbs to champions Jake Shields (Strikeforce) and Anderson Silva (UFC) . Rua, who is more than 10 years younger, is the guy who lost the 205 lb belt to Jon Jones, and he is hungry to regain it.
Both fighters are brawlers, and I think it will come down to who manages the chaos of the stand up fight better. I see both being aggressive, throwing big punches with very bad intentions. if I had to pick one, I would take Rua based on youth and overall more technical stand up game, however Henderson is one of the best ever at controlling where the fights occur. If Henderson chooses to bang however, which I think he will, it may not go his way.
Overall, UFC 139 is an interesting card with very close to pick em fights, skillwise. Depending on who wins, the UFC will have a lot of options to make fights.