It’s hard to believe, but UFC 116 is almost here. Finally, after nearly a year out of the cage due to severe illness, Brock Lesnar will once again defend the UFC Heavyweight belt. But this time, he won’t be able to push his opponent around. This time, he’ll have to pick on someone his own size.
UFC 116 is undoubtedly the most anticipated event of the year to date, so it’s only appropriate that we spend some time breaking down the fights.
UFC Heavyweight Championship–Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin: This almost seems like a battle between two mythical warrior gods or something. Two of the biggest, most athletic, powerful and scary heavyweights in MMA history are going to collide in the main event to unify the interim and regular belts. As mentioned above, Lesnar has been out of action since UFC 100 last July. He lost a large amount of weight while battling an intestinal infection, but seems to be back to size. Carwin took some time off for a surgery as well, but already returned and decimated Frank Mir a few months ago. Lesnar is listed as 6′ 3″ and we all know that he typically cuts from about 285 to weigh in at 265. Carwin is actually 6′ 4″ and generally weighs in at 265 as well, but Lesnar looks to be the bigger of the two when they stand side by side. The size is close enough that I don’t think either will really have an advantage in that aspect. Furhtermore, both men are gifted wrestlers with collegiate experience. Lesnar was the more decorated of the two, but it’s hard to imagine Carwin getting absolutely dominated in that regard. So, if size and wrestling ability are basically equal, that leaves us with striking. That’s where I think Carwin has the advantage. Sure, Lesnar is powerful, but he’s not exactly technical or accurate. He’s just been able to overwhelm everyone he’s fought to this point. Carwin is much more efficient with his punches and has a very well developed knack for placing them perfectly. The fact that he’s won every single one of his professional fights by first round stoppage certainly supports that statement. These two will have a total of five rounds to figure each other out, make adjustments and try to execute. I don’t think there’s any way that it goes the distance. With everything so close between these two, the difference may come down to Lesnar’s time out of the cage. You can’t come in with any rust or self doubt against an assassin like Carwin. Let’s put it this way: Now is the time for someone to beat Lesnar and if Carwin doesn’t get the job done, I’m not sure anyone in the UFC will be able to in the near future. Prediction: Shane Carwin by KO.
Middlweights–Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Chris Leben: You have to love Leben. The guy just fought during the TUF 11 finale on June 19, but he’s coming back to face a world class opponent on less than a month’s notice. Hopefully Leben will have been able to maintain his fitness peak, because he’ll need it against Akiyama, who hasn’t seen action since a controversial decision over Alan Belcher at UFC 100. The thing about Akiyama is that he ruins people’s game plans with constant take downs and clinch work. He’s the kind of fighter that Leben struggles with at times, and given the fact that he hasn’t had a full training camp to prepare, that puts “The Crippler” at a serious disadvantage. I expect Leben’s heart to be there, but I fear his gas tank may fail him in the end. Prediction: Yoshihiro Akiyama by submission.
Welterweights–Chris Lytle vs. Matt Brown: If this doesn’t make a serious bid for fight-of-the-night honors, I’ll be shocked. Both of these guys are good with submissions, but they also like to brawl. Both of them are known for being involved in absolute wars, so we shouldn’t expect anything else in this one. I expect a lot of striking, some take downs, some scrambles and more striking. I expect to see a lot of hear displayed in the cage and I also expect experience to win in the end. Prediction: Chris Lytle by decision.
Light Heavyweights–Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Stephan Bonnar: These two have a nice little battle going the last time they met until the fight was prematurely ended due to an injury to Bonnar. Soszynski was awarded the victory, and I think he had been winning the fight up to that point, but it was a nice little battle. Neither of these guys is going to make a run at Shogun’s belt anytime soon, but that won’t keep them for beating the crap out of each other for our enjoyment. I have a hard time ever picking Bonnar to win anymore, and Soszynski’s boxing has looked better almost every time I’ve seen him in the last few years. Prediction: Krzysztof Ssozynski by decision.
UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin
Round 1 submission
UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin preview, prediction (video preview)
UFC 116 Preview: A look at Carwin vs. Lesnar
UFC 116: Lesnar vs Carwin – Fight Card (video)
Here Comes the Pain: UFC 116 Breakdown
Dennis “dSource” Guillermo
Round 3 TKO
Chris Lytle shares his analysis and prediction of Lesnar-Carwin UFC 116 showdown
New Orleans MMA
UFC 116 Predictions: Lesnar vs. Carwin, Akiyama vs. Leban, Lytle vs. Brown (with VIDEO)
UFC 116 predictions: Shane Carwin will KO Brock Lesnar to claim the UFC Heavyweight title
Las Vegas MMA
Round 3 TKO
UFC 116 Predictions
UFC 116 preview and main event prediction
Round 2 TKO
UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin predictions
Round 2 TKO
UFC 116: Lesnar versus Carwin
National Fight Sports
Round 2 TKO
UFC 116 predictions: Lesnar will eat Carwin for dinner
Pittsburgh Fight Sports
Scott: Carwin (KO)
Fan survey: Lesnar (65%)
UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin picks and preview
Jersey City MMA
Round 1 TKO
UFC 116 predictions- Carwin wins via TKO in round 1
Round 2 T/KO
UFC 116 Preview & Predictions
Round 2 TKO
Fourth of July fireworks at the MGM Grand when Lesnar and Carwin finally battle