UFC 169: Preview and Staff Picks
It’s Super Bowl weekend and the UFC is ready to put on one of its most important and biggest cards of the year. The card is a stacked one, featuring two title fights and a heavyweight clash that could send one of the UFC’s most popular big men out of the promotion.
If you’re looking for a more detailed preview, check out Kevin Thang’s awesome piece here
Let’s take a closer look at the main card, featuring picks from the Cage Page staff:
Jacob Cooper, Kevin Thang, Kristian Ibarra, Rolo Lorenty, our newest writer Jessie Lorenty and myself.
Main Event: Bantamweight Championship – Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber
This fight is interesting on so many levels. First, the champion Barao might be the most under appreciated and under hyped athlete on the UFC roster. After losing his first ever professional fight, Barao has yet to taste defeat, and is undefeated in the UFC. A win here, shoots him up the pound for pound list. For Faber, this could be his last opportunity to win a UFC title. To his credit, after losing to Barao, Faber has been absolutely dominant and has truly earned this title shot. Plus, you’ve got to be thinking the UFC wants the more marketable Faber to take the title – possibly setting up the anticipated rematch between himself and Dominick Cruz.
Barao: Cooper, Thang, Ilbarra
Faber: R.Lorenty, J.Lorenty, Galea
Featherweight Championship: Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas
With the UFC exit of Georges St. Pierre, Aldo simply is, the most dominant champion in the sport. He has beaten every challenger the promotion has sent his way. Lamas, is the young lion looking to de thrown the king. Lamas also could be Aldo’s toughest opponent since Aldo’s battles with Urijah Faber. The question here is, does Aldo still have the motivation to reign as champion or does he have his eyes set on moving up to lightweight?
Aldo: R.Lorenty, Cooper, Thang, J. Lorenty, Ibarra
Heavyweight Fight: Frank Mir vs. Alistair Overeem
Call it desperation, call it a last shot of glory, call it what you want, but both fighters need a win on Saturday. Rumours have it that the loser of this fight could be on his way out of the UFC. This will most definitely be a stand up fight – with that the case, Overeem should have the upper hand. However, that’s not the first time we’ve said that.
Mir: Cooper, J. Lorenty, Galea
Overeem: R. Lorenty, Thang, Ibarra
Flyweight Fight: Ali Bagautinov vs. John Lineker
This one has undercover fight of the night written all over it. Both guys have careers that are on the move and if Lineker wins decisively, he could be in line for a title fight (assuming his weight problems can get fixed, hello Dolce).
Bagautinov: Thang, J.Lorenty
Lineker: R. Lorenty, Cooper, Ibarra, Galea
Lightweight Fight: Jamie Varner vs. Abel Trujillo
Varner looked like he had resurrected his career, but has stumbled as of late. A win here, would put him back in the middle of the pack of a stacked division. For Trujillo, not only is a win important, but a performance is needed as well. With a division this loaded, he needs to make a name for himself.
Varner: Cooper, Thang, J.Lorenty, Galea
Trujillo: R. Lorenty