UFC 161 Preliminary Card Preview

Tyron Woodley vs Andre GalvaoThe UFC is headed to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada for UFC 161. The preliminary bouts look like what could’ve been a long lost Strikeforce card, mixed in with some recognizable names from the UFC and Bellator and the independent shows. In the prelim main event, Strikeforce vets and mainstays, Tyron Woodley (11-1) is looking to continue the momentum of his 36-second knockout of Jay Hieron in his UFC debut against Jake Shields, who is coming off a middleweight win over Ed Herman at UFC 150 that was overturned when Shields failed the post-fight drug test. This is the tale of the rising, surging Tyron Woodley, and the underwhelming since joining the UFC Jake Shields. Shields is now three years removed from his 4-fight win streak that put him over the likes of Dan Henderson and then Martin Kampmann to face GSP, who he lost to at UFC 129. Shields followed up falling short to GSP with a quick loss to Jake Ellenberger, but bounced back with a close win over Yoshihiro Akiyama. Stylistically, Shields can smother just about anyone, but Woodley has explosive wrestling power and takedowns, so this fight could end up on the feet, where Woodley has far more power and quickness. This could end up being a barn burner or the most boring fight of the night, it’s hard to say. Lightweights are up next with Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout (20-8-1) taking on UFC newcomer but TUF” Live vet James Krause (19-4). Krause was considered a promising prospect in TUF: Live, as he was a WEC vet, albeit in losses to Donald Cerrone and Ricardo Lamas, and made an appearance in Bellator in which he lost to Toby Imada after cutting nearly 30 pounds in a few short days notice. Krause is good on the ground, and has a lanky body that lends itself well to offensive and defensive jiu jitsu, but he’s come into his own on the feet in the last year or so. HIs 31-second headkick KO of Guilherme Trinidade in Resurrection Fighting Alliance was especially impressive. Sam Stout is a long-time UFC vet, going 8-7 over an on and off relationship with the Octagon. Despite his nickname Hands of Stone, besides his absolutely vicious knockout of Yves Edwards at UFC 131, he’s only had one knockout in the UFC. Less impressively, he’s eeked out victories three times and lost to a SD twice. Everything else has been a unanimous win or loss. This could be a really, really close fight. Krause is due for a big win, while Stout is always hanging around. Sean Pierson (13-6) has had an up and down UFC run, and the welterweight has bounced back from back to back one sided losses to Jake Ellenberger and Kim Dong Hyun to notch two in a row, and he looks to make it three against Kenny Robertson (12-2). Robertson just pulled off a slick kneebar from back mount in a wild win against Brock Jardine at UFC 157, now he’s trying to prove he belongs after being ousted by the UFC twice before. Robertson is in on short notice after replacing the injured TJ Waldburger. Robertson is a solid and somewhat aggressive striker who has the grappling skills to end the fight in a multitude of ways, as showin against Jardine. Pierson is a solid overall fighter, but doesn’t shine in any specific area. This could be an interesting fight if Pierson puts Robertson on his back, but Robertson can finish literally from anywhere. Bantamweights enter the cage next, as Edwin Figueroa (9-2) may be fighting for a job against Roland Delorme (8-1-1). Both of these guys are in weird situations. Figueroa’s UFC path reads like this: a TKO win over Jason Reinhardt, a guy who maybe shouldn’t have been in the cage anyways, a split-decision win over Alex Caceres at UFC 143 that Caceres essentially won, but had two points taken after wayward low blows landed on Figueroa’s cup. Then he was knocked out at the hands of Francisco Rivera at UFC 156. The bantamweight roster is shallow, however. Roland Delorme was also knocked out by Francisco Rivera, but he only gets a No Contest after Rivera failed the drug test. So now these guys face each other to complet this triangle. The 29-year-old Delorme has good submission skills, and has finished his opponent in every fight he’s won, whereas Figueroa, while aggressive, takes a bit to get warmed up.

Written by MMA OddsBreaker

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