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UFC 169: Barao vs. Faber 2: Full card predictions

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UFC 169 is this Saturday, February 1 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Online prelims start at 6:30p.m., Sportsnet 360 (other local providers) airs the next block of prelims at 8:00p.m., and finally the main card can be seen live on Pay-Per-View at 10:00p.m. The main card will feature a bout between newly crowned Bantamweight Champ Renan Barao and #1 contender Urijah Faber as well as a Featherweight title fight between champion Jose Aldo and #2 contender Ricardo Lamas. Enjoy the predictions and UFC 169 fight card.

Fight Pass Prelims: 2-1-0

170 lbs. – Neil Magny (1-0 UFC) vs. Gasan Umalatov (0-0 UFC) – Umalatov via submission
Magny is a good striker, but he doesn’t have KO power and his grappling is weak. Umalatov will be able to strike with Magny and secure takedowns. Once on the ground Umalatov wil control Magny easily. Wrong - Magny via U. decision

155 lbs. – Tony Martin (0-0 UFC) vs. Rashid Magomedov (0-0 UFC) – Magomedov via TKO
Martin is a very solid grappler with excellent submissions, but Magomedov is a master of Sambo and won’t easily be taken down or submitted. On the feet Magomedov will have a big advantage. Correct (Magomedov via U. decision)

185 lbs. – Clint Hester (2-0 UFC) vs. Andy Enz (0-0 UFC) – Hester via TKO
Enz has good grappling skill and power in his strikes, but his technique is sloppy compared to Hester. Hester should be able to keep it standing and counter punch his way to a TKO finish. Correct (Hester via U. decision)

Fox Sports Prelims: 2-2-0

155 lbs. – Al Iaquinta (2-1 UFC) vs. Kevin Lee (0-0 UFC) – Lee via submission
Iaquinta is extremely tough and has solid wrestling/boxing so this will be a tough test for the prospect. Lee should be able to strike with Iaquinta, land some takedowns and work for a submission finish. Wrong - Iaquinta via U. decision

185 lbs. – Nick Catone (3-4 UFC) vs. Tom Watson (1-2 UFC) – Catone via decision
It’s a classic striker vs. grappler matchup. Watson has excellent striking and KO power, but he has struggled against good wrestlers before. Catone will use his wrestling and g&p to get the win. Correct plus method

125 lbs. – #9 Chris Cariaso (5-3 UFC) vs. Danny Martinez (0-0 UFC) – Cariaso via decision
Martinez is a powerful striker, but he doesn’t have nearly as much technique as Cariaso. Martinez may look to use his wrestling, but Cariaso should be able to defend and get back to his feet. Correct plus method

155 lbs. – John Makdessi (5-2 UFC) vs. Alan Patrick (1-0 UFC) – Makdessi via decision
Patrick is very athletic with decent striking and great grappling skill, but Makdessi will prove hard to keep on the ground. On the feet Makdessi will use his technique to pick apart Patrick’s striking defense. Wrong - Patrick via U. decision

Main Card: 4-1-0 Total MMA Predictions: 430-239-2 = 64%

155 lbs. – Jamie Varner (3-3 UFC) vs. Abel Trujillo (2-1(1) UFC) - Varner via decision
Varner lost a split decision in his last fight against Gleison Tibau, so he’ll be looking to stay out of danger and secure the win. Trujillo won his rematch against Roger Bowling via TKO in his last fight and put on a great striking performance as well as winning the wrestling battle. On the feet Trujillo will likely have an advantage with his power and aggressiveness, but Varner did KO Edson Barboza and he should be able to avoid any serious damage. Expect Varner to look for the takedown eventually and he should be able to get it, and once on the ground Varner should be able to control him. Varner will fight very smart against Trujillo and take him out of his comfort zone for 3 rounds. Wrong - Trujilo via KO

125 lbs. – #5 John Lineker (4-1 UFC) vs. #7 Ali Bagautinov (2-0 UFC) - Bagautinov via decision
Lineker is on a 4 fight win streak (3 TKO’s) and has looked impressive in each outing despite missing weight twice. Bagautinov followed up his UFC debut with another solid performance in his last fight against Tim Elliot where he showed great striking and defense. On the feet neither man will be intimidated as Lineker has great power and speed, and Bagautinov has the same skill but more technique so expect a fairly even matchup. Bagautinov has an excellent sambo background which he will likely use against Lineker who has yet to face an opponent with that kind of a top game. Bagautinov will use technical boxing and wrestling to get the win. Correct plus method

265 lbs. – #10 Frank Mir (14-8 UFC) vs. #9 Alistair Overeem (1-2 UFC) - Overeem via TKO
Mir comes into this fight on a 3 fight losing streak so he’ll be looking to put on a solid performance and convince the UFC he deserves to keep his job. Overeem is also going through some pains as he’s on a 2 fight losing streak, however he was winning both fights before letting his guard down. On the feet Overeem will have a huge advantage whether in the clinch or at long range with his powerful striking and aggressive style. Mir may try to get this fight to the ground where he can work his submission game, but that will be difficult against Overeem who has solid takedown and grappling defense. Overeem will be relentless with his striking until Mir wilts under the pressure. Correct (Overeem via U. decision)

145 lbs. – (C) Jose Aldo (5-0 UFC) vs. #2 Ricardo Lamas (4-0 UFC) - Aldo via TKO
Aldo will be looking to defend his Featherweight Championship and continue his 16 fight win streak. Lamas is on his own 4 fight win streak even since joining the UFC and has 3 finishes including a submission of Cub Swanson and a TKO over Erik Koch. On the feet Aldo will clearly have the advantage with his accurate and deadly striking. Lamas has a lot of heart, but he has lost twice via TKO in his pro career and even got rocked in his fight with Cub Swanson. Lamas has an NCAA div 3 wrestling background and has shown his great grappling skills during his time in the UFC, but aside from a takedown or two don’t expect Lamas to be able to control Aldo on the ground. Aldo will be able to keep this fight standing and punish Lamas on the feet with kicks and knees. Correct (Aldo via U. decision)

135 lbs. – (C) Renan Barao (5-0 UFC) vs. #1 Urijah Faber (6-2 UFC) - Barao via decision
Now with Dominick Cruz out of the picture, Barao will be making his first Bantamweight title defense against Urijah Faber. These men fought once before at UFC 149 and Barao came out on top winning the unanimous decision. Barao used hard kicks and fast punches to keep Faber at bay for 5 rounds as it was clear he was too fast and technical for Faber. Since then Barao went on to finish top contenders Michael McDonald and Eddie Wineland, while Faber went on a 4 fight win streak (3 subs). On the feet expect Barao to again have the advantage with a very similar gameplan except he may look to open up more and go for the knockout. Barao has near perfect takedown defense and exceptional grappling skill, so even if Faber can get a takedown he likely won’t be able to mount any offense. Barao is still a step above Faber as a fighter and will pick him apart him. Correct (Barao via TKO)

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