UFC 117 Josh Davis May 23, 2011 Events, Previews UFC 117 is sure to offer fight fans a great evening of action packed fights that you won’t want to miss. UFC is headlined by Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen. Sonnen has been on a mission to verbally assault Silva to death before the fight even starts. For months, Sonnen has gone across the country telling the world that he will be the one person to retire Silva. Sonnen believes that he is the man to end Silva’s undefeated run in the UFC. Saturday night the talk will be over it, it will finally be time for Sonnen to stop talking and show the world that he can back up everything he has said. The co-main event is a number one contenders bout for the welterweight division between Thiago Alves and Jon Fitch. This is a rematch from UFC ultimate Fight Night 5 which Fitch won via a second round TKO. Fitch, whose only loss in the UFC came via a five round decision loss to Georges St. Pierre, looks to earn another title shot and avenge his only UFC loss. Alves on the other hand, has not fought since his loss to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 100 over a year ago. It will be interesting to see how Alves deals with the long lay off due to injuries and what kind of ring rust this will pose for him. Silva vs Sonnen – This fight is for the middleweight title and really it has the potential to be a great fight. Everybody knows that when Silva wants to be, he is one of, if not the most dominant fighter to ever set foot in the octagon. Silva’s stand up is the best in the game at the moment and if this fight stays on the feet it will be lights out for Sonnen. Sonnen, however is a world class wrestler and has a relentless pace. Sonnen has the perfect style to be the one to defeat Silva and take his title. The question is can Sonnen take the punches required to get in close and take Silva to the ground? There is only one way to find out and that will come Saturday night. Prediction – Silva via knockout in round 2. His striking will be to much for Sonnen. Alves vs Fitch – The winner of this fight will get a title shot from the winner of the Georges St. Pierre vs Josh Koscheck fight later this year. Alves is a huge 170lbs fighter that is a world class Kick Boxer and a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Alves will be the bigger and stronger fighter in this bout and should be able to dictate where this fight takes place. Fitch, however, has excellent wrestling and a tenacious pace that will certainly push Alves. Fitch has also had two fights since UFC 100 and has not had to battle injuries like Alves. This should give Fitch an advantage. Predictions – Fitch wins via decision. Ring rust will certainly be a problem for Alves and the pace that Fitch will set during this fight will earn him the victory. Dos Anjos vs Guida – This fight has the potential to be the fight of the night. Every fight fan knows how relentless Guida is. Guida has excellent wrestling and cardio that is second to none. Guida will definitely bring the fight to Dos Anjos. After losing his first two UFC fights Dos Anjos is now riding a three fight win streak and will look to use his world class Brazillian Jiu Jitsu skills to neutralize Guida’s wrestling and pace. Dos Anjos will look to use Guida’s relentless pace against him and catch him in some type of submission. This is a must win fight for both guys if they want to continue to work towards a title shot in the lightweight division. Predictions – Guida via decision. Guida’s wrestling and cardio will prove to be to much for Dos Anjos to handle. Hughes vs Almeida – This fight also has the potential to be the fight of the night. What can you say about Matt Hughes? He is a very dominant wrestler with freakish strength for his size. In his prime, Hughes was one of the most dominant fighters that mixed martial arts has ever seen. However, Hughes is no longer the young buck that he used to be. Even though he has won his last two fights (Matt Serra via decision at UFC 98 and a TKO victory over Renzo Gracie at UFC 112), Hughes has not looked like the fighter that he once was. Hughes has certainly lost a step over the years but he is still a very dangerous fighter. Almeida on the other hand, looks to avenge not only Gracie’s loss but his own defeat as well. Hughes defeated Almeida in a grappling tournament in Abu Dhabi years ago. Almeida, who received his black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from Renzo Gracie, will look to work submissions against Hughes’ wrestling. Almeida was regarded as one of the best fighters in the world when he quit competing to focus on his Jiu Jitsu academies. Prediction – Almeida via submission in round 2. Almeida will be able to deal with Hughes’ strength and power and work Hughes into a submission. Dos Santos vs Nelson – This fight is also a number one contender bout as the winner will get a title shot against the winner of Brock Lesnar vs Cain Velasquez at UFC 121. Dos Santos, who has destroyed ever body he has faced in the UFC, will look to use his striking skills to knockout Nelson. Dos Santos has knockout power coming from every limb should have the advantage in this fight. He has excellent striking and excellent Jiu Jitsu if the fight goes to the ground. Nelson however, could easily shock many fight fans. He is a veteran with a wealth of experience to go along with heavy hands and a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Nelson is a very tough competitor with a solid chin and he will not be afraid to bring the fight to Dos Santos. Prediction – Dos Santos via Knockout in the first round. Even though Nelson is a very talented fighter, Dos Santos should be able to use his jab to keep Nelson at bay and eventually catch him with a power punch. No matter how these fights end they all have the potential to excite fight fans everywhere.