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UFC® 173 Preview: Viva Las Vegas

Niala Samnarine

By Niala Samnarine

May 22, 2014

We’re coming up on Memorial Day weekend and the UFC is headed to Las Vegas, NV for it’s annual holiday fight card! While fans have come to expect this UFC tradition, there’s nothing ordinary or routine about UFC® 173’s monster fight card.

Expectations and excitement are at an all-time high as fans can look forward to a title match and four other main card fights that are set to thrill! Let’s not waste any time and jump right into our picks for who will emerge victorious from this Memorial Day event in Las Vegas!

Renan Barao v. TJ Dillashaw

The Baron, UFC bantamweight Champion will put his title and undefeated streak on the line against #4 ranked TJ Dillashaw. The Viper is 5-1 in his last six matches and hopes to ride his momentum off of a UD win over Mike Easton into victory at UFC® 173.

What’s there to say about the men’s bantamweight champ that hasn’t already been said? Barao is riding one of the most impressive win-streaks in all of the UFC and is ranked as the #3 pound for pound fighter in the world by the UFC. Barao’s last matchup ended in a first round KO of Dillashaw’s, Team Alpha Male, teammate Urijah Faber at UFC® 169.

So how do I see this match playing out? Well Barao is one of the most well-rounded finishers in the UFC, he’s got victories via KO and submission under his championship belt and will prove to be a monumental task for Dillashaw. Check out the preview here:

According to cagerank.com Dillashaw’s upperhand with Barao is his takedown offense but fans of this up and coming UFC fighter know that he hits, HARD. That aside there’s a 90% chance that Barao will win according to cagerank.com data.

My pick: Barao KO in round 3

Daniel Cormier vs Dan Henderson

I can’t hide it, I’m PUMPED for this fight. DC’s quick ending to Patrick Cummings’ night at UFC® 170 left UFC fans salivating for more! Now that he’s part of the light heavyweight division he puts his undefeated streak to the test against Hendo.

In this battle of Olympic wrestlers, both fighters bring impressive wrestling repertoires to the Octagon as well as phenomenal striking power (ever hear of the H-bomb?). Hendo is coming off an impressive victory against Shogun Rua, after having slid to 0-3 in his prior three fights. Cormier, as mentioned earlier, is undefeated and coming off a dominant KO victory over Cummings, so who comes out of UFC® 173 on top?

Both of these fighters have a laundry list of advantages but I believe this fight will come down to endurance and who has the stronger jaw. Also, we can’t overlook the age difference DC’s 35 years up against Hendo’s 43 (of course age didn’t make a bit of difference against Rua, then again he’s not Cormier).

Cagerank.com data predicts a 64% chance that Cormier will win via decision.

My pick: FOTN honors for a fight that goes the distance with Cormier keeping his win streak intact.

Robbie Lawler vs Jake Ellenberger

I told you this fight card was a monster (the best kind)! Ruthless Lawler will face The Juggernaut in this middleweight bout for the ages. After a career defining performance in Dallas at UFC® 171 Lawler’s back in the Octagon™ with the hopes of dispensing with Ellenberger and getting another shot at Hendricks’ gold.

Ready to fight for a shot of his own will be Ellenberger, who’s no slouch in the middleweight division. 8-2 in his last 10 fights The Juggernaut brings heavy hands and a chin of steel to this matchup, as a generally well-rounded fighter Lawler may be in for another long matchup. Ellenberger’s last fight was almost a year ago, so it will be interesting to see how the rest affects his performance.

What do I expect to happen? I expect this fight to go three rounds and I expect it to be a battle for both men. Anyone who follows these welterweights know that at any moment they could deliver a KO to their opponent ending the fight, but I believe that’s not the way this one will go down. According to cagerank.com data Ellenberger has a 54% chance of winning.

My pick: (A close second for FOTN honors) Lawler wins via decision.

Takeya Mizugaki vs Francisco Rivera

My Pick: Mizugaki

Jamie Varner vs James Krause

My Pick: Krause

Who do you think will leave UFC® 173 with another notch in the win column? Vote in our poll and share your opinion in the comments below!

Independence Day in Las Vegas with the UFC!

While it’s a little to late to get the UFC VIP Experience this Memorial Day Weekend for UFC® 173 there’s another opportunity right on the horizon with UFC® 175.

 

Get Me to Las Vegas for UFC 175

 

As if the UFC in Las Vegas couldn’t get any better, UFC® 175 is designed to delight fans. With a lineup that will get your heart racing, join the UFC VIP Experience at Mandalay Bay on 4th of July weekend for an epic fight card. Fights include:

Weidman vs Machida
Rousey vs Davis
Sonnen vs. Silva
Faber vs. Caceres
And more…

With an Official UFC® 175 VIP Ticket Package, get access to what’s sure to be an epic night of MMA and much more. Enjoy an exclusive in-venue VIP Hospitality party venue stocked with gourmet fare and premium open bar, spend the night mingling and meeting fighters, Octagon girls and UFC personalities, and enjoy interactive elements in this luxurious setting.

In addition enjoy pre-fight events such as the Fighter Q & A (past fighters include Chuck Liddell, Jon Jones, Chad Mendes, Anthony Petties, among others), Fighter Weigh-ins, Rehearsal and Sound check from reserved seating with no long lines to wait on. Also take part in exclusive behind-the-scenes and Octagon tours and much more.

Spend Independence Day in Las Vegas for UFC® 175 and enjoy the UFC VIP Experience.

OR join the UFC VIP Experience at any of the upcoming 2014 events including UFC® 176 and beyond!

 

Go to a 2014 UFC Event