Takedown: Breaking down four intriguing bouts at UFC 155

Jordan Cieciwa, TSN Radio 1290

12/28/2012 8:56:26 PM

UFC 155 has been over a year in the making.  FOX set the bar high with the last meeting between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez. Since that fight, both athletes have only competed once. 

Dos Santos had a fight scheduled with Alistair Overeem, who tested positive pre-fight for an astronomic testosterone level.  This leaves both fighters itching to get back in the cage, get a pay check, and be named champion. 

UFC 155 will feature a stacked card and a night that will crown the heavyweight champion. The result will either be a defense for Dos Santos or redemption for Velasquez. 

My personal opinion on this one is that Dos Santos will win again, but more on that in a little bit.  First, I want to talk about three other fights that will take place before the main event.

Melvin Guillard vs. Jamie Varner

Guillard is perhaps the most athletic fighter at 155-pounds, but with a mediocre 1-3 record in his last four fights, he is hardly scaring anyone these days. I am not one for drama in MMA, but with Varner pulling out of their fight two weeks ago, there is talk that he was not prepared and found an excuse to get a little more time.  A few stories came out of Varner's camp that suggested he wasn't fully prepared. Either way, he is now ready to rock and with the extra prep time, I can't see him having any problem with Guillard.

Guillard is so explosive that he gets into submission trouble, while Varner has a solid ground game and has won 55 percent of his fights with submissions. This fight will be a second round rear-naked choke win for Varner.

Yushin Okami vs. Alan Belcher

The middleweight class has a problem, Anderson Silva.  Silva has made it seem like an impossibility for anyone to seriously challenge for the title. In my professional and well informed opinion Silva is actually a ninja, and he is actually indestructible. The race is really for second place now, and with that comes fights like Okami and Belcher. 

Belcher is looking for a title shot in the near future, but has stated that he knows it's not right around the corner. Okami and Belcher fought six years ago, and it went to a decision.  Both athletes have improved immensely in the past six years.  Okami is 10–4 in his last 14 bouts (since their last meeting). His losses are to athletes like Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva. 

Belcher is 9–3 since the last meeting, but has not fought top contenders the same as Okami has.  Okami also has developed his Judo game, and has really adapted it to MMA.  Belcher has really focused on this strength, kickboxing.  He has worked with Duke Rufus, and keeps getting better.  Belcher has followed that up with three really solid submission wins.   However, Okami will win this one in another decision. 

I expect Okami to own the grappling game, and hold Belcher on the cage, which should be enough to get a unanimous decision victory.

Jim Miller vs. Joe Lauzon

Lauzon and Miller are set to go before the main event and it's the perfect spot for this two.  Both fighters have double digit wins via submission, they look to go to the ground as often as possible, and this will be no exception. That means fans are going to want to brush up on their jujitsu, and be very thankful that Joe Rogan is such a skilled Jujitsu practitioner.  This is a tough fight to call.

Miller and Lauzon are both highly skilled, I give the harder chin to Miller, but the slicker Jujitsu to Lauzon.  I am going to make a bold call on this, and say Lauzon will get a quick submission in the first round.

Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez 

The main event of the night really is an exciting one. Dos Santos beat Velasquez in 1:04, the first loss for Velasquez.  This fight won't end that fast, but it will end the same way. 

Dos Santos has boldly been talking about taking Velasquez down and I think he will.  Dos Santos has a set of boxing skills that is unlike most MMA athletes.  It gets his opponents attention.  Once Dos Santos gets Cain's attention, watch for a takedown.  Velasquez is a fantastic wrestler, but hasn't had his skills in jujitsu tested.  Dos Santos has been with the Nogueira brothers for years and is a very talented jujitsu player. 

The surprise takedown, will get Velasquez on his back and from there I think a submission or win by strikes will keep the title in Dos Santos hands.  I am expecting the win late in the fourth round for Dos Santos.

This will be a great fight card, and the best way for the UFC to cap off 2012.

Jordan Cieciwa can be heard on TSN Radio 1290 every Saturday at 11:30am ct with his show The Weigh-In. You can also follow Jordan at and get all your fitness tips at