UFC / WEC veteran Dan Downes talks strategy and predictions for UFC 190: Rousey vs. Correia, taking place Saturday, August 1...
That’s right boys and girls, it’s time for a septenary version of the Downes Side! Far more enjoyable than the time I did a septic version, as this one promises to leave a better taste in your mouth.
Seven may be a perfect number, and the UFC has the perfect answer to how to spend your Saturday night with seven bouts on the UFC 190 main card. In the main event, Ronda Rousey can add to her legacy as the most dominant athlete today as she takes on Bethe Correira. In the co-main event of the evening, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira battle out in a rematch between MMA legends. Leave Kevin Spacey out of this, it’s fight time!
CLAUDIA GADELHA VS. JESSICA AGUILAR
We open in the women’s strawweight division with Claudia Gadelha and Jessica Aguilar. Coming off a split decision loss to Joanna Jedrzejcyk, Gadelha looks to set herself up for a shot at the strawweight title. A Nova Uniao fighter, she possesses all the striking and clinch skills you’d expect. A former World Series of Fighting Champion, Aguilar makes her Octagon debut with some UFC gold on her mind.
Gadelha has the advantage on the feet. Aguilar is capable, but she lacks the explosiveness and fluidity of Gadelha. Having said that, she’s the superior wrestler. Gadelha has decent takedown defense, but it’s not enough to rebuff Aguilar for three rounds. Aguilar may eat some shots, but she eventually drags the fight to the mat and takes the unanimous decision.
ANTONIO SILVA VS. SOA PALELEI
We move to heavyweight for Antonio Silva and Soa Palelei. Winless in his last four fights, “Bigfoot” Silva needs a win to stay relevant in the division. His last two fights have been KO losses to Frank Mir and Andrei Arlovski. And crazily enough, those are “good” losses today as they were in 2004. Too bad Napoleon Dynamite hasn’t aged that well...
Australia’s Soa “The Hulk” Palelei tries to stay more relevant than Australia's UGG boots. 4-1 in his latest UFC run, The Hulk has finished his opponent in all 22 career wins.
Neither one of these fighters have tremendous defense. They’ll take a shot to deliver one, and while that mentality is a lot of fun at Happy Hour, it’s much less enjoyable inside the Octagon. Silva hasn’t looked the best in his last two performances, but Palelei doesn’t set up his takedowns. He’ll be in a rush to bring it to the mat, absorb an uppercut and it will be all over. Bigfoot pulls the upset and takes the first round TKO.
STEFAN STRUVE VS. MINOTAURO NOGUEIRA
We remain at heavyweight for Stefan Struve and Minotauro Nogueira. Coming off back-to-back losses to Mark Hunt and Alistair Overeem, Struve still has a ton of potential given the lack of young talent in the division. A strong kickboxer, the majority of his wins have come via submission (16 to be exact). Speaking of which, Minotauro Nogueira is the foremost submission artist in heavyweight history. Unfortunately, that title has come with more miles (or kilometers for our metric system friends) than the Tour de France. He hasn’t won two fights in a row since he beat Heath Herring and Tim Sylvia at UFC 73 and UFC 81.
Despite his age, Nogueira still has a shot. He can summon some of that old man strength, take top position and control Struve. The chances are, though, that Struve never lets it get to that point. He doesn’t command his jab as well as he should, but he should be able to do enough to keep big Nog on the outside. He’ll batter him and then put him out by TKO in the second.
REGINALDO VIEIRA VS. DILENO LOPES
Next we drop to bantamweight for Reginaldo Vieira and Dileno Lopes. Both of these fighters will be competing for the 135-pound championship of the fourth season of TUF Brazil. Fighting since 2009, ten of Vieira’s career wins have come by submission (he especially favors the guillotine choke). Lopes has 12 submission wins to his credit, but he’s also shown one-punch KO power.
It’s always difficult to gauge fighters from The Ultimate Fighter. Whether it’s TUF America or Brazil, the fighters undergo drastic changes in the time from the final episode until the finale. This case is a bit different since both of these fighters have had lengthy professional careers. Lopes has more talent, but his defensive lapses create a lot of openings for opponents to capitalize on. The big question is, “Can Vieira make Lopes pay for those mistakes?” I don’t believe so. Lopes by decision.
GLAICO FRANCA VS. FERNANDO BRUNO
That brings us to the second TUF Brazil final between Glaico Franca and Fernando Bruno. The 24-year-old Franca has shown a lot of finishing power. Both on the show and in his career, he’s always looking to end the fight. The 33-year-old Bruno may not have the same viciousness, but he’s a bit more technical.
Franca is one of those fighters that doesn’t deal with opposition well. He likes to come out strong and attack like a front runner. If you examine his recent opponents, he’s lost to the only one with a better than .500 record. Bruno may not have the same tools, but he has the better resume. Franca tires out early and Bruno takes the unanimous decision.
MAURICIO RUA VS. ANTONIO ROGERIO NOGUEIRA
We jump to light heavyweight for Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Shogun may be far removed from his days as the light heavyweight champion, but he still has some of the tools that made him great. Whether it’s at a distance with strikes or in tight with the clinch, he can still knock opponents out. Injuries have kept Nogueira out of the Octagon for a while, but he can still compete at a high level.
Both fighters may be past their prime, but they can still be enjoyable. That’s right, much like dairy products, it’s perfectly acceptable to enjoy things past their “best by” date. With fighters who have gone through as much as these two, you always worry about what type chin each has left. There’s no way to really know, but we can assume that Shogun will test Nogueira’s chin more. Rua may not be on his way to a title shot, but he’ll at least have a first round knockout.
RONDA ROUSEY VS. BETHE CORREIA
Time for the main event! In between movies and television appearances, Ronda Rousey has spent 1:36 in her last three title defenses. She’s also been enjoying pie a la mode and Joan of Arc. Bethe Correia attempts to hold onto her undefeated record and pull off one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.
Even though it directly contradicts what that hipster barber with the green hair and neck tattoos told me, I have no problem going against the grain. I can even tell the difference between butter and “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.” In this case, however, I’m sticking with the majority. Correia normally wins by overwhelming opponents with sheer volume. Even if she were able to pin Rousey against the fence and score some points, she leaves far too many openings to exploit. Rousey has said that she wants to punish Correia, but the competitor in her won’t let it go long. She wins by first-round submission.
That wraps up another Downes Side as much fun as three of the seven deadliest sins! Follow me on Twitter @dannyboydownes. Also, don’t forget to leave your own thoughts, predictions, insecurities and multiples of the number 7 on the page here. I’m partial to 154 because I really thought that the consulship of Aurelius and Lateranus was one of the stronger duos.