UFC wraps up what has been a loaded first month of 2015, as Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz headline UFC 183, the final event for the promotion for the month of January.
UFC 183 features a solid pay-per-view lineup, but for all intents and purposes, is a one-fight show in terms of true main event caliber fights.
Having said that, if you’re a true MMA fan, the pay-per-view portion of the fight card scheduled for this Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada is jam-packed with fun, potentially exciting matches.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the five fights scheduled for the pay-per-view …
Jordan Mein vs. Thiago Alves
Boone’s Breakdown: “Pitbull” Alves (20-9) has fallen far from where he was in the UFC Welterweight picture back in 2009. At the landmark UFC 100 event in July of 2009, Alves was one-half of the co-main event for what still remains as the biggest UFC pay-per-view event in company history. Alves would drop a unanimous decision to Georges St-Pierre on that night, and would go on to compile a lackluster 3-3 record across the span of five years. Fast-forward to the present day, “Pitbull” is not even ranked in the top 15 at 170-pounds. Needless to say, Alves needs a win on Saturday night if he wants to resurrect his once promising career.
On the other side of the Octagon this Saturday night, Jordan Mein (29-9) will look to put together his third straight victory in the UFC. Outside of a setback against the highly regarded Matt Brown in April of 2013, Mein has won all of his fights since joining the UFC ranks. Odds makers have Mein as a slight favorite against Alves, as ranked or not, “Pitbull” is still a very dangerous opponent for anyone in the Welterweight division. That being said, I think the betting favorite is a favorite for a reason.
Boone’s Prediction: Jordan Mein
Tim Boetsch vs. Thales Leites
Boone’s Breakdown: Tim Boetsch (18-7) is an odds makers nightmare. While the odds have Thales Leites (24-4) a huge four and a half to one favorite, there have been a number of times where “The Barbarian” has proved everybody wrong. Consistency has not exactly been a friend of Boetsch’s, as he has looked extremely promising at times, defeating the likes of Yushin Okami, Hector Lombard and C.B. Dollaway in recent years, he hasn’t been able to win two fights in a row since 2012.
Leites, meanwhile, is riding one of the best win streaks of his career, as he is 7-0 in the past four years, with four straight wins since returning to the UFC in late 2013. Leites once challenged the UFC 183 headliner Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight Championship, but after losing that fight, and his next bout against Alessio Sakara, the Brazilian Middleweight had to spend four years fighting his way back to the biggest MMA organization on the planet. On Saturday night, he faces arguably his toughest test since returning to the Octagon.
Boone’s Prediction: Thales Leites
Joe Lauzon vs. Al Iaquinta
Boone’s Breakdown: This fight has “fight of the night” written all over it. Joe Lauzon (24-9), the owner of an astonishing 13 UFC performance bonuses, looks to put together his first three fight win-streak since winning his first three fights in the UFC in 2006 and 2007. J-Lau is always in exciting fights, constantly fights with pressure and looks for finishes, and I see no reason why that is going to change this Saturday night.
Al Iaquinta (10-3-1) has looked very impressive since coming up short in The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale in June of 2012. Since losing the TUF 15 championship to Michael Chiesa, Iaquinta has compiled a 5-1 record inside the Octagon. The odds have this one extremely close, with Iaquinta being a slight favorite. I agree completely. While I lean towards Iaquinta, it wouldn’t exactly shock me to see Lauzon pull off the victory.
Boone’s Prediction: Al Iaquinta
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