The only featherweight champion in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Jose Aldo will defend the 145-pound division’s belt for the fifth time when he headlines UFC 163 with the “Korean Zombie,” Chan Sung Jung.
The event is set for Aug. 3 at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Here are my predictions for the entire UFC 163 fight card:
Jose Aldo vs. Jung Chan-Sung
Jung (13-3-0, 8 submissions) has been on a tear of sorts lately, racking up impressive wins against Mark Hominick and Dustin Poirier, but he’ll be in for a serious step up in competition when he faces Aldo (22-1-0, 13 KOs) at UFC 163. “Scarface” should have the advantage in the striking department, and he shouldn’t have any problems keeping the fight upright, making this an extremely tough matchup for Jung.
Prediction: Aldo wins via decision.
Lyoto Machida vs. Phil Davis
A win against Machida would do wonders for Davis’ MMA career, but defeating “The Dragon” is no easy task. Davis (11-1-0, 4 submissions) is a world-class wrestler, but Machida (19-3-0, 7 KOs) typically excels against wrestlers. Lyoto should be able to use his footwork to evade Phil’s takedown attempts, meaning “Mr. Wonderful” will probably be forced to stand and trade with Machida for the majority of their bout.
Unfortunately, for Davis, whose striking consistently improves with each outing, Machida is several levels above him striking wise.
Prediction: Machida wins via decision.
Cezar Ferreira vs. Thiago Santos
The middleweight tournament winner of the premier season of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil,” Ferreira (5-2-0, 3 KOs) will look to add another win to his resume at UFC 163. Ferreira hasn’t been inside the Octagon in over a year, but that likely won’t be a factor against the less-rounded Santos (8-1-0, 4 KOs).
Prediction: Ferreira wins via decision.
Thales Leites vs. Tom Watson
Watson (16-5-0, 8 KOs) will welcome Leites (20-4-0, 13 submissions) back to the Ultimate Fighting Championship at UFC 163. Tom is the better striker, but he’ll probably find himself in serious trouble if Leites is able to take him down on Saturday. Watson’s takedown defense has been far from impressive in his two fights with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, making this a tough matchup for him, but it should be enough to get him past Leites.
Prediction: Watson wins via TKO.
John Lineker vs. Jose Tome
Lineker (21-6-0, 9 KOs) looked solid during his last outing against Azamat Gashimov, and he’ll get to welcome Tome (33-3-0, 15 KOs) into the Ultimate Fighting Championship at UFC 163. Lineker’s striking continues to improve with each outing, and that should be enough to get him past the more-experienced Tome.
Prediction: Lineker wins via TKO.
Vinny Magalhães defeats Anthony Perosh
Amanda Nunes defeats Sheila Gaff
Neil Magny defeats Sergio Moraes
Ian McCall defeats Iliarde Santos
Rani Yahya defeats Josh Clopton
Viscardi Andrade defeats Bristol Marunde
Ednaldo Oliveira defeats Francimar Barroso
Previous fight card predictions (UFC on Fox 8): 8-4