While the Ultimate Fighting Championship may have lost Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland and Mauricio Rua vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira due to injury for their UFC 161 card, fans will still have plenty to see. The event, to be held on June 15 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, will be headlined by Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson. Also on the card is a heavyweight fight between Roy Nelson vs. Stipe Moicic, and other popular fighters including Jake Shields, Pat Barry, and Alexis Davis.
Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson
In this fight, Evans, the former UFC light heavyweight champion will take on Henderson, a former Strikeforce and PRIDE champion. Heading into this fight, Evans is 17-3-1, but has suffered losses in his past two fights. At UFC 145, he was defeated by Jon Jones and followed that up with a loss against Nogueira at UFC 156. At 33, Evans still has plenty of time left in his career to get back into the title hunt, but that won’t happen for several years if he loses to Hendo.
The 42-year-old Henderson is one of the pioneers of the sport. He is 29-9 in his professional career and has competed with many of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport. He has had mixed success in his UFC career, going 4-3 with losses to Anderson Silva, Quinton Jackson, and Lyoto Machida. In turn, he has gotten several big wins including the 2011 Fight of the Year with Rua and a victory against Fedor Emelianenko in his final Strikeforce fight.
UFC Betting Tip Prediction: This is a fight that will be interesting to watch. Both men are world class wrestlers and both have incredible striking power. The winner of this fight will be the one that can wait for the other to make a mistake and counter accordingly. We’re taking Henderson with 10/11 odds at WilliamHill.
Roy Nelson vs. Stipe Moicic
With the loss of the interim UFC Bantamweight title fight featuring Barao and the Rua vs. Lil’ Nog fights, this heavyweight showdown moves into the co-main event slot. The UFC community knows what they are getting from Nelson. The 36-year-old former IFL heavyweight champion and winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” is looking to keep his three-fight winning streak moving forward. At 19-7, Nelson is a talented and popular fighter that needs to get past Miocic to have a chance to move up the rankings.
Miocic, a former NCAA Division I wrestler is 9-1 in his career and is coming into this fight after suffering his first defeat. He had won his first three fights inside the Octagon against Joey Beltran, Phil De Fries, and Shane del Rosario, but once he faced stiffer competition in the form of Stefan Struve, he lost via TKO. Nelson is a bigger (but shorter) fighter than Struve and is considered to be better all around. If Miocic ever wants to be considered a legitimate contender in the UFC heavyweight division, he needs to get past Nelson, or else be considered with the likes of those he has defeated.
UFC Betting Tip Prediction: Nelson is 2/5 at WilliamHill while Miocic is 15/8. This is a fight that realistically could see both men get the win, but when it comes to all-around MMA talent and skills, Nelson gets our pick.
Pat Barry vs. Shawn Jordan
The first heavyweight fight you will see on the main card of UFC 161 will be between Barry and Jordan. Barry is a popular fighter from Louisiana that has an extensive kickboxing background. He was 15-5-1 as a kickboxer before making the move to MMA and has since gone 8-5. Barry has had one of the most up and down careers ever seen in the UFC. He entered the Octagon for the first time with a 3-0 record, but is 5-5 since. His best UFC win was against another kickboxer in Antoni Hardonk, who is not necessarily a top ranked fighter. In his last fight, he defeated del Rosario via second round knockout.
The 28-year-old Jordan is 14-4 in his professional MMA career. Much like Barry, he has had his share of mixed success fighting in the bigger promotions. During his time with Bellator Fighting Championships, he was 3-1. As a fighter in Strikeforce, he was 1-1. Since coming to the UFC, he holds a 2-1 record with wins against Oli Thompson and Mike Russow. His lone defeat in the UFC came to recently released Cheick Kongo. Jordan is a member of Greg Jackson’s team of stars and will come into this fight fully prepared for everything Barry can do.
UFC Betting Tip Prediction: Barry is a popular fighter with the UFC fans because he doesn’t sit back and wait for action to come at him. He runs towards the action. In this fight with Jordan, he will need to be prepared for a fighter that has incredible knockout power and huge upside. Jordan with 1 odds at WilliamHill.
Women’s Bantamweight Division: Alexis Davis vs. Rosi Sexton
Davis is one of the most popular female MMA fighters in the world not named Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, or Marloes Coenen and will be making her UFC debut. Under the Strikeforce and Invicta banners, Davis is 4-1 with victories in her last two fights via submission. She beat Hitomi Akano via Rear Naked Choke and Shayna Baszler with the same maneuver.
Sexton will also make her UFC debut. She doesn’t have the same quality of opponents that Davis has during her career. During her career, she has fought two known fighters and lost both. In 2006, she lost via knockout to Gina Carano and in 2011, lost to Roxanne Modafferi.
UFC Betting Tip Prediction: In this sport, the only way for you to get any better is to fight the best competitors and that is what Sexton is doing here. Despite stepping up in competition, Sexton won’t get the win in this fight.
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