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Takedown: Predictions for this weekend's UFC 161

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Jordan Cieciwa, TSN Radio 1290
6/14/2013 3:46:48 PM
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It will be pretty hard to top last week's UFC on FUEL 10 event with a UFC record ten finishes, including eight submission victories.

Riding high after UFC 160, #TeamLynch went a decent 8-4 while #TeamJC went 7-5. With Jordan having home field advantage this weekend in Winnipeg; will his picks come out on top?

Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson

James Lynch TSN.ca (@lynchonsports): With the unfortunate news of the Barao vs. Wineland bantamweight title fight being scratched, Evans vs. Henderson is not a bad second option for Winnipeg fight fans. 

Many pundits will point to the fact that both these fighters are coming off losses and that if this matchup took place two years ago it would be much more intriguing. I'd argue this has the potential to be an entertaining matchup as the fight for relevancy for both these combatants is as important as ever.

Stylistically, both are decorated wrestlers and have knockout power. Pundits would be quick to pick the Blackzillians member Evans because of his speed and the fact he's nine years younger. However, I'd point out he's only executed two takedowns in his last two fights and trying to take down the former Olympian is a tall task.

It's unlikely either of these fighters will take this contest to the mat and if that's the case, the power edge has to go the Team Quest captain. I think fans will be surprised that the ageless 42-year old Henderson will pull off yet another upset in his illustrious career by edging out the former UFC light heavyweight champion.

Henderson via unanimous decision

Jordan Cieciwa, TSN Radio 1290 (@Fitcityjordan):  I predict a war.  After talking with both athletes at the press conferences, neither will accept a loss. That means the fans will be given what they want, a real fight. 

As many of you may know, I have been a part of Team Quest for a while, and spent this week catching up with the team here in Winnipeg. According to Daniel Woirin, Henderson's Kickboxing coach, he hasn't been this healthy in a long time.  The 10-week fight camp was tough, but the former Pride and Strikeforce champ is ready to go. 

Both fighters have excellent wrestling, so I imagine this will be a stand up battle for the most part.  Evans has speed, Henderson has knockout power.  That surprising power may just be enough to slow Evans down.  I expect Octagon control and aggression to go to Henderson.

Henderson via unanimous decision

Roy Nelson vs. Stipe Miocic

Lynch: Looking for his fourth consecutive victory "Big Country" makes his Canadian debut as he's matched up with the 9-1 Miocic. Plain and simple for the TUF 10 winner this is his fight to lose as he possesses greater knockout power and superior ground skills to his 30-year old foe.

Add in the fact that the BJJ black belt holds a knockout win over Stefan Struve, a man who just knocked out the Ohio native in his last fight. Another interesting tidbit is this is the last fight on the 36-year olds UFC contract and with rumors of the Kings MMA fighter leaving the promotion; he'll undoubtedly aim to have a memorable performance.

Miocic is durable, but it's likely Nelson will catch the former NCAA Division I wrestler sometime in the second round.

Nelson via second round TKO

JC: Winnipeg welcomes "Big Country" to the City.  At the press conference, Nelson wore a "Nott auto" hat, one of the city's premier car sales dealerships.  Nelson said he loves to support local businesses, and get into these new towns and bring MMA.

Nelson brings with him a career of excellence, and as he put it "I have 26 years of doing martial arts, I only knew about Stipe for two weeks, but I haven't forgotten the years of training. I'm ready, stop worrying." 

This will be a quick fight. Unfortunately for Miocic, Nelson is on a mission to get another shot at the title and Miocic doesn't have what it takes to derail the Big Country freight train. 

Even at an impressive 9-1 Stipe Miocic isn't on the same level yet as Roy Nelson.  This should be an exciting one for fans. 

Nelson via First round KO

Ryan Jimmo vs. Igor Pokrajac

Lynch: Saint John, New Brunswick's Jimmo returns to Canadian soil and squares off against Croatian boxer Pokrajac. Coming off his first loss since amassing a 17-fight win streak, the Blackzillian member will be motivated as ever to bounce back in front of the Manitoba audience.

Despite the Pokrajac having an iron chin, the former MFC champ should be able to out strike his opponent on route to a unanimous decision victory.

Jimmo via unanimous decision

JC: Pokrajac has the best pedigree Croatian money can buy.  He is coming out of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic's camp, and he's got a ground game to back up a granite chin. His war with Joey Beltran proved he has what it takes to go the distance. 

After Jimmo's disappointing loss to James Te Huna, I think we saw what the New Brunswick native has to offer. The seven-second flash knockout was impressive, but I don't see that happening to Pokrajac. I see this going more the Te Huna fight.  Pokrajac in control, focused, and making Jimmo fight his match. 

Jimmo is talented, but I don't think he is on the same level as Pokrajac.  However fight fans, this will be a big time war. Another great treat for the Winnipeg Fans.

Pokrajac via third round TKO

Alexis Davis vs. Rosi Sexton

Lynch: Port Colborne, Ontario native Davis makes her UFC debut against a fellow newcomer Sexton, in what should be a grappling clinic. Last week it was Daniel Sarafian, who was setup in his native Brazil with an out matched opponent in Eddie Mendez.

This week it appears the UFC is doing the same thing with the 28-year old Canadian. With a thin list of contenders in the women's bantamweight division, it's no secret the UFC would love for Davis to emerge as a new threat to Ronda Rousey's title.

Taking nothing away from the Bellator veteran Sexton, who does hold wins over Carina Damn and Roxanne Modafferi, Davis simply outmatches her in all aspects of the fight game. The "Ally-Gator" will use her power and effective striking over three rounds to garner the unanimous decision victory.

Davis via unanimous decision

JC: Never thought I would say this, as Dana White said women would never fight in the UFC, this could be, and should be the fight of the night.  I had the pleasure of watching Sexton in her last team practice Wednesday night, she had the room at the same time as Henderson, and Tyrone Woodley.  She looked sharp, and I'm pretty sure she will surprise fans with an improved game. 

With that said, I don't think anyone can find a hole in Davis's game.  She has strength, talent, and a whole lot of game in her.  This will be a fantastic fight, and I am looking to see submission of the night out of these women. Expect Davis to get the drop on Sexton in striking.  If she can stun her on the feet, it will be a takedown and submission for the win.

Davis via second round submission

Pat Barry vs. Shawn Jordan

Lynch: The always charismatic Barry looks for his first two-fight win streak inside the Octagon when he is paired with the former LSU fullback Jordan. Fans will be in for a treat because these two love to stand and bang, and have a combined 16 knockout victories between the two of them.

The former K-1 kickboxer Barry has the slight edge in the standup, while the Jackson/Winklejohn member takes the edge on the mat. If the Grudge Training Center product can avoid Jordan's takedowns, this should be his fight to win. It's also important to note that the majority of Barry's losses inside the UFC have been against opponents who were much larger than him.

In this matchup Saturday night against the 28-year old Jordan, both are similar in height and reach. While I think this will be a competitive back and forth affair, someone is getting knocked out and I see the New Orleans native having his hand raised

Barry via second round TKO

JC: I think the UFC wants Barry around for a while.  This isn't an easy fight by any stretch of the imagination, but it is one that Barry can win standing up.  Jordan has got an excellent pedigree through Jackson MMA.  It will be an interesting fight as this one will boil down to skill, not stature. 

The athletes are similar size, and weight.  It's really going to be the first one to land a big punch.  That means a ton of excitement for the fans in Winnipeg.  Both fighters look healthy and ready to go, the only thing left is to get to the Octagon and make this a battle.

Barry via third round TKO

Lynch Undercard Picks: Shields, Stout, Pierson, Delorme, Maguire, Jabouin

JC Undercard Picks: Woodley, Krause, Pierson, Figueroa, Maguire, Jabouin

Agree or Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comment section or hit us up on twitter with your own #UFC161 picks.

Dan Henderson (Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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