The Ultimate Fighting Championship will head back to Brazil for the UFC Fight Night 61 card. Local favorite Antonio “Bigfoot” will headline the event with former heavyweight champion Frank Mir, while Edson Barboza takes on the streaking Michael Johnson in the co-main event.
Here are my UFC Fight Night 61 predictions:
Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva vs. Frank Mir
Neither man has had much success inside the Octagon lately. Silva (18-6-0, 13 KOs) has dropped his last three bouts, while Frank Mir (16-9-0. 9 submissions) is on a four-fight losing streak. The loser of this fight will be on thin ice with the UFC’s brass.
Silva should have the advantage in the striking department, and he’s more than capable of putting Mir away if he lands a clean shot However, Mir has a significant advantage in the grappling department, and Bigfoot will likely find himself in a world of trouble if Mir is able to drag him to the ground.
Mediocre wrestlers like Alistair Overeem and Mark Hunt were able to put Bigfoot on his back, so I like Mir’s chances of eventually scoring a takedown if he’s able to evade the Brazilian’s massive fists early on in their UFC Fight Night 61 showdown.
That’s not good for Silva who will be headlining a card in his native country for the first time.
Prediction: Mir wins via submission.
Edson Barboza vs. Michael Johnson
This is certainly one of the most competitive matchups on the entire UFC Fight Night: Bigfoot vs. Mir card. Johnson (15-8-0, 7 KOs) has been on a tear lately racking up wins against Joe Lauzon, Gleison Tibau, and Melvin Guillard.
Barboza (15-2-0, 9 KOs) was particularly imposing during his last outing, handing Bobby Green his first loss in the UFC.
Both men are solid strikers, but Barboza has the more diverse arsenal. The Brazilian is also more seasoned when it comes to submissions, while Johnson should have a slight edge in the wrestling department.
This is certainly a fight that could go either way, but I’m leaning towards Barboza since his kicks should give him a slight edge standing up, he should be able to fight his way back to his feet if taken down, he’s more likely to lock up a submission, and he will have the Brazilian crown behind him.
Prediction: Barboza wins via submission.
Remaining UFC Fight Night 61 predictions:
Sam Alvey defeats Cezar Ferreira
Rustam Khabilov defeats Adriano Martins
Iuri Alcântara defeats Frankie Saenz
Sean Strickland defeats Santiago Ponzinibbio
Marion Reneau defeats Jéssica Andrade
Tiago Trator defeats Mike de la Torre
TJ Waldburger defeats Wendell Oliveira
Cody Gibson defeats Douglas Silva de Andrade
Ivan Jorge defeats Josh Shockley
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.
Don’t forget to check out my UFC Fight Night 61 FightPicks shortly before the prelims start. Up +5.87 units so far this year.