UFC 169 is set to take place this Saturday in Newark, New Jersey. Even though this is a big card with two Championship fights on the docket, UFC 169 is still not the biggest event taking place in New Jersey this weekend. That honor of course belongs to the Super Bowl, that is scheduled to take place on Sunday at 6:30pm EST. As everyone knows though, because the press hasn’t stopped talking about it, this is the first outdoor cold weather Super Bowl. This comes with some risks with regards to weather. If there is expected to be poor conditions on Super Bowl Sunday, the big game may be moved to Saturday. If this is the case Dana White has already said that he will be move the fights to Sunday so as to not compete with the biggest game of the year.
I went 1 and 1 at UFC on Fox 10, with the Henderson vs Thomson fight going over, while Gonzaga lost a tight battle to Miocic.
2014 Record: 4-1 for +3 units.
Urijah Faber vs Renan Barao
Urijah Faber is fighting for the Bantamweight title against Renan Barao on 3 weeks notice because Dominick Cruz is once again on the IR. That said, Faber has been absolutely on top of his game since losing to Barao in their lone fight back in July, 2012. He did only have 3 weeks to prepare for this fight, but he did very well against Michael McDonald in mid-December and should still be in fight shape for this fight after not taking much damage to McDonald. I think Faber has a fighting chance in this one. He should be able to make some adjustments this time around and I expect him to be all that Barao can handle in this one.
Take Urijah Faber +230 (5Dimes)
Ricardo Lamas vs Jose Aldo
Let’s be honest here. Although Lamas has earned his right to fight Aldo for the championship, this really shouldn’t be a difficult fight for Aldo. Aldo has been the cream of the crop in the featherweight division and it would be very surprising if he lost here. The only real challenge to his championship came a couple fights ago against Frankie Edgar and now he will likely storm through a few easier opponents before the UFC finds another worthy opponent. Take Aldo in this one even though he is the big favorite.
Take Jose Aldo -600 (5Dimes)
Frank Mir vs Alistair Overeem
Both of these fighters are on losing streaks, which makes this fight that much more important for both of them. With another loss Mir will have lost 4 in a row and his place in the UFC may be in doubt. To be fair this three most recent losses were against Junior dos Santos, Daniel Cormier and Josh Barnett, some of the biggest names in the heavyweight division. A loss to Overeem will also be another loss to a high profile fighter, but Dana has cut stepping stone fighters without 4 straight losses before.
Overeem is coming off of losses to both Big Foot Silva and Travis Browne. These are another two top fighters and even though he didn’t look great in these fights he still has the power and talent to finish fighters early in fights. If he can lay some damage on Frank Mir early he could finish the fight in the first round, which seems to be his recipe to winning fights.
I expect Overeem to get the better of a declining Frank Mir in this one and put his name back on the map in the heavyweight division with a decisive early knockout.
Take Overeem inside distance -220 (5Dimes)