UFC 164 kicks off Saturday August 16th from Milwaukee, Wisconson with a main event 3 years in the making. Lightweight Champion Ben “Smooth” Henderson (19-2, 7-0 UFC) looks to avenge his loss against the last man to beat him in Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (16-2, UFC 3-1 UFC).
On December 2010, WEC 53 cumulated in a main event with Henderson putting his belt on the line against #1 contender Pettis. What ending up being a highly competitive final, with every round packed full of action, saw Pettis win a close 48-7, 48-47, 49-46 decision that also garnered fight of the year honors.
“Smooth” has successfully met all challengers to his thrown in what is argueably considered the deepest weight devision in the UFC. Having triumphed over challengers Frankie Edgar, Nate Diaz, and Gilbert Melendez, Ben looks forward to this upcoming title defense. “I took [the lost to Pettis] like a man. I lost. It Happens….you have to man up, move on, accept it, take take it for what it is. Learn form it, grow better from it…I’m going to go out there to beat him up. I’m going to dominate him for 5 rounds”.
“Showtime” has lost his title shot against the champ on 3 seperate occasions. Through loss, injury, and Dana White’s random change of mind, his road to this match has been rocky to say the least. After losing his debut match against Clay Guida, Pettis has gone on to defeat Jeremy Stephens, Joe Lauzon, and Donald Cerrone. On the verge of fighting for the title, Henderson was injured and Pettis decided to challenge Jose Aldo instead, when he himself suffered and injury. Now healed up, Anthony sees himself as disrespected by Henderson. “I’m the last guy to beat Ben Henderson, no matter what. My name never gets brought out of his mouth for some reason. I’m not going to say he’s ducking me or dodging me, but for some reason, when it comes to fighting Pettis, he’s all against it”.
The co main event features an intriquing match up between aging veterans and former champions Frank Mir (16-7) and Josh Barnett (32-6). Both are still ranked in the top ten, with Frank being considered a gate keeper and Josh making his Octagon return after 11 years. Rounding out this card is #1 contender Chad Mendes (14-1) vs. Clay Guida (30-10), Ben Rothwell (32-9) vs Brandon Vera (12-6), and Erik Koch (13-2) vs. Dustin Poirier (13-3). As a side note, fighting on the online prelims is hall of famer Randy Couture’s son, Ryan Couture. Interestingly, his dad will not be allowed to be in his corner because he now works for Bellator.
My picks for UFC 158 are as follows:
Pettis by stoppage.
Barnett by decision.
Mendes by TKO.
Rothwell by KO.
Koch by decision.
Question my knowledge? Think you have better picks?
You can leave your picks in the comment section below, via EMAIL, or on The Official Facebook Page of The Ultimate Fight Show. And don’t forget to follow the ever knowledgeable Chris Bragg on Twitter, @TheBraggMan.
Until the main event, enjoy this highlight of Showtime and Smooth’s first match: http://youtu.be/fWocz_WrDlk .