UFC 169 Preview

Friday, January 31
By Adam CurleyUFC 169 PreviewRenan Barao (Champion) vs Urijah Faber Fans were robbed of the chance to see champion versus champion when Dominick Cruz succumbed to injury… again… but I think Barao and Faber is a more exciting fight. ‘The California Kid’ reeled off four impressive wins in 2013 and gets another crack at the Brazilian and that elusive UFC belt.Barao was superior in their fight at UFC 149 in 2012, but the addition of Duane ‘Bang’ Ludwig to the ‘Team Alpha Male’ stable has taken Faber to the next level. In saying that, I’m not sure he’s on par with the champ, who hasn’t been beaten since 2005.The rematch will be a close one, but I can’t back against Barao and THAT record, as much as I’d love to see Faber take the gold head back to California.Prediction: Barao by unanimous decision.Jose Aldo (Champion) vs Ricardo LamasIt’s hard to believe Aldo can be the co-main event of any card, but given his teammate’s amazing run and the popularity of the challenger, he deserves top billing, which relegates the Featherweight star to the back seat.Aldo is another Brazilian winning machine, arguably the pound for pound best in the world at the moment, and is looking for a sixth straight UFC victory. His only weakness is the latter rounds, where the likes of Mark Hominick and Frankie Edgar used their superior conditioning to hurt the champ.This might be part of the Lamas game plan, to try and drag Aldo into the championship rounds, but I don’t think he’ll last that long, despite his toughness.Prediction: Aldo by KO round two.Alistair Overeem vs Frank Mir Two of the biggest and most talked about heavyweights of all time, this one could be a ‘Loser leaves the big show’ match for Overeem and Mir. The Dutchman is on a two-fight losing streak, while the former champion has dropped his past three. The ‘Reem’ has been knocked out by Antonio Silva and Travis Browne in fights he would have been leading on the scorecards, so I expect him to try and finish it early. If Mir can’t get it to the ground early I can’t see him surviving Overeem’s arsenal of brutal knees and kicks.Prediction: Overeem by KO round two.

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