UFC 161 This Weekend – Revamped Card Solid If Unspectacular!

The UFC 161 event comes to us this weekend from Winnipeg, Canada featuring a main event in the Lightheavyweight division as Dan Henderson takes on Rashad Evans.  The card offers no title fights, as the Renan Barao vs Eddie Wineland bantamweight title fight had to be scrapped from the show, and a feature fight between ‘Shogun’ Rua and Rogerio Noguiera is off as well.  There several competitive matches that are worth taking a look at.

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The female fight of the evening, UK’s Rosi Sexton taking on Alexis Davis, is the fight with the widespread at the books right now, as most have Davis approaching 4 to 1 as a favorite.  Sexton is a very capable fighter, and she can absorb punishment and continue to fight aggressively as she has shown in the past.  The big issue for Sexton is that she belongs at 125 lbs and will be undersized in her fight, but you can count on Sexton to at least make a fight out of it.

The heavyweight tussle between Stipe Miocic and Roy Nelson was added to the card as a filler, but is a fight that features two bangers trying to move up in the weight class.  Miocic was considered a prospect until he was exposed by Stefan Struve in his last outing.  Miocic is a big puncher who gases, and that is a bad formula again ‘Big Country’, which is why Miocic is a +205 underdog at most of the books, with Nelson sitting at -245.  ‘Big Country’ has been stuck behind a logjam of talent at Heavyweight, and he has three first round KO’s in his last 3 fights, so he will be looking to stay impressive.

Another intriguing match up sees Tyrone Woodley as a -175 favorite over Jake Shields.  Shields is talented, but his career has not gotten on track since joining the UFC.  He has undergone personal issues (death of his beloved father, failed drug tests) and has failed to come up with a signature win.   Woodley has been very vocal in the media about this fight, while Shields has been his usual quiet self.  Woodley’s potential overconfidence and Shields pedigree may give him value as an underdog, however his training associates under Cesar Gracie have had a rough few months in the sport.  We will see if Shield’s finally finds an on button.

About Miguel

MMA matchmaker since 1997. No one besides Joe Silva has made more fights than me.
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