After the main card roster received a considerable face-lift thanks to a string of injuries, we are left with what is now UFC 161 ‘Henderson vs. Evans’. The event, which takes place at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on June 15, is headlined by light heavyweights Dan Henderson and Rashad Evans and co-headlined by a heavyweight clash between Roy Nelson and Stipe Miocic.
Before the main draw on Pay-Per-View, the UFC is once again offering preliminary action in the customary double-broadcast format. Streamed live on Facebook will the evening’s first two fights of the night, with the next four televised on the FX network. The final bout will serve as the telecast’s main event as Jake Shields makes his welterweight return against wrestling standout Tyron Woodley.
For a preview and some predictions on the preliminary action, look no further.
Shields returns to welterweight after what could have been two successful middleweight appearances against Yoshihiro Akiyama and Ed Herman were it not for a failed drug test. As a result, his latest victory against Herman in August was overturned to a no contest. His opponent, Woodley, makes his second Octagon appearance after a successful debut that took him less than a minute to flatten Jay Hieron by KO. Woodley will be able negate Shield’s grappling with his superior wrestling pedigree and use his striking advantage. He keeps it up where Shields, as always, is a fish out of water. Woodley wins by decision.
The debuting Krause steps up to fill in for the injured Isaac Vallie-Flagg. He will look to improve on a current seven-fight win streak. Welcoming him to the UFC will be longtime veteran Stout. Never one to back down from a firefight, the Canadian kickboxer has recently displayed improved grappling in winning two of his last three fights. Those improvements will continue to complement his already impressive striking skills and should prove to be enough to get him by. Stout wins by decision.
Both men will enter Saturday night with momentum. Pierson carries a two-fight win streak into the bout while Robertson looks to make it two in a row. Robertson will have a slight grappling edge while striking may slightly favor Pierson. However, the difference will be Robertson’s more well-roundedness. His ability to mix strikes and takedowns will earn him a decision.
After a debilitating knockout at the hands of Francisco Rivera at UFC 149 was overturned for a failed drug test, Delorme will try and make it three in a row against Figueroa, who returns from a TKO loss to the same man. Both men are very capable in their own respective strengths as Delorme, an active grappling finisher, will look to use his mat dominance over the versatile striker, Figueroa. In a battle of grappling versus striking, Figueroa will utilize his assets to keep the fight standing. He displays good takedown defense and keeps his distance to take this one by late TKO or decision.
As both men enter on two-fight losing skids, this could be a make or break for each man. As such, this could also make for a bit of a snoozer as both will be fighting not to lose. In the event Clarke and Maguire do decide to show up, this fight has the potential to also make for an exciting grappling exchange as each has very solid jiu-jitsu. In any case, Maguire will have the better game. He wins by decision.
Another striking versus grappling contest as flashy kick boxer, Jabouin, tangles with former TUF competitor, Pague. After rifling of three straight, Jabouin was then knocked out in his most recent outing at UFC on FUEL TV 5 by Brad Pickett. Pague enters having dropped three of his last four and is another that might be searching for a job if he doesn’t find a way to win. As Pague is nowhere near the caliber of Pickett, Jabouin should have little trouble dispatching the capable grappler. Jabouin stuffs Pague’s takedowns and finishes him by TKO.
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