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411's MMA Roundtable Preview: UFC 163 - Aldo vs. Korean Zombie
Posted by Dan Plunkett on 08.02.2013





WELCOME:
Jose Aldo defends the featherweight title against The Korean Zombie in the main event of UFC 163! In the co-main event, Phil Davis looks to take out Lyoto Machida. At middleweight, Cezar "Mutante" squares off with Thiago Santos. Also, Thales Leites fights Tom Watson, John Lineker vs. Jose Maria Tome, and more!

THE STAFF:

  • He's 411's resident interviewer, Jon Butterfield!

  • From MMA's 3R's, Jeffrey Harris!

  • From The 411 MMA Top 10, Alex Rella!

  • From Occupy the Throne, Jeremy Lambert!

  • From Five Quick Rounds, Evan Zivin!



    THE PRELIMINARY CARD:

    First three prelims to air on Facebook.com, rest on FX

    Viscardi Andrade vs. Bristol Marunde


    Jon Butterfield: Viscardi Andrade, Decision
    Jeffrey Harris: Viscardi Andrade, Decision
    Alex Rella: Marunde, Decision
    Jeremy Lambert: Viscardi, Submission, Round 2
    Evan Zivin: Viscardi Andrade, Submission, Round 3
    The staff picks Viscardi Andrade, 4-1.

    Francimar Barroso vs. Ednaldo Oliveira


    Jon Butterfield: Francimar Barroso, Submission, Round Three
    Jeffrey Harris: Francimar Barroso, TKO, Round One
    Alex Rella: Oliveira, Decision
    Jeremy Lambert: Oliveira, Decision
    Evan Zivin: Ednaldo Oliveira, TKO, Round 1
    The staff picks Ednaldo Oliveira, 3-2.

    Josh Clopton vs. Rani Yahya


    Jon Butterfield: Rani Yahya, Decision
    Jeffrey Harris: Rani Yahya, Decision
    Alex Rella: Yahya, Decision
    Jeremy Lambert: Yahya, Submission, Round 1
    Evan Zivin: Rani Yahya, Submission, Round 2
    The staff picks Rani Yahya, 5-0.

    Ian McCall vs. Iliarde Santos


    Jon Butterfield: Ian McCall, Decision
    Jeffrey Harris: Ian McCall, Decision
    Alex Rella: McCall, Decision
    Jeremy Lambert: Santos, Cheating
    Evan Zivin: Ian McCall, Decision
    The staff picks Ian McCall, 4-1.

    Neil Magny vs. Sergio Moraes


    Jon Butterfield: Sergio Moraes, Submission, Round One
    Jeffrey Harris: Neil Magny, Decision
    Alex Rella: Magny, Decision
    Jeremy Lambert: Moraes, Decision
    Evan Zivin: Neil Magny, Decision
    The staff picks Neil Magny, 3-2.

    Sheila Gaff vs. Amanda Nunes


    Jon Butterfield: Sheila Gaff, TKO, Round Two
    Jeffrey Harris: Sheila Gaff, TKO, Round Two
    Alex Rella: Gaff, TKO, Round 2
    Jeremy Lambert: Nunes, Decision
    Evan Zivin: Amanda Nunes, TKO, Round 2
    The staff picks Sheila Gaff, 3-2.

    Vinny Magalhaes vs. Anthony Perosh


    Jon Butterfield: Vinny Magalhaes, Submission, Round One
    Jeffrey Harris: Vinny Magalhaes, Submission, Round Two
    Alex Rella: Magalhaes, Submission, Round 2
    Jeremy Lambert: Magalhaes, Submission, Round 2
    Evan Zivin: Vinny Magalhaes, Decision
    The staff picks Vinny Magalhaes, 5-0.



    THE MAIN CARD:

    John Lineker vs. Jose Maria Tome


    Jon Butterfield: Honestly, this is anyone's guess. Attempting to get into a serious analytical discussion about these guys is extremely difficult. Both fighters have stellar records against less-than-stellar opposition. What is clear from their records is that Jose Maria Tome can be submitted, and John Lineker is unlikely to submit him. Expect a firefight that could either be awesome or awful, and I'm going with Tome on a coin toss. Apologies, but I have no real way of gauging this one.

    Winner: Jose Maria Tome, TKO, Round Three

    Jeffrey Harris: A tough fight to analyze. Tome has been on a sizable winning streak and has a lot of fights under his belt. However, he's been fighting in Brazil against lower level competition. Lineker has won his last two UFC fights after he got knocked out by Louis Gaudinot. This is a tough fight to breakdown, not having seen any of Tome's fights. I'm going with Lineker here to pick up the win by decision.

    Winner: John Lineker, Decision

    Alex Rella: I'll be honest, I know almost nothing about Jose Tome. John Lineker was supposed to have a solid fight between two of the higher ranked flyweights against Phil Harris, but injuries happen. Lineker is 2-1 in the UFC and has looked pretty good so far. He lost his debut in a nice fight and has won two since then. I'm taking Lineker, but hopefully Tome has a nice performance in his debut.

    Winner: Lineker, Decision

    Jeremy Lambert: Linekar has actually fought and looked decent in the UFC while Tome has the best collection of wins against Brazilian no-names that I've ever seen. Who cares.

    Winner: Lineker, TKO, Round 2

    Evan Zivin: Lineker hasn't done too bad in the UFC so far. He lost to Louis Gaudinot (the munchkin with the green hair) in his debut but rebounded with wins over Yasuhiro Urushitani and Azamat Gashimov. Jose Tome may present more of a challenge just for the fact that his name is almost pronounceable. I don't know much about him, just like the other MMA "experts" online, but he has 33 wins and 15 knockouts so that's fun. The only name of note Tome has fought was Jussier Formiga, who choked him out in 2008. Lineker should walk through this fight.

    Winner: John Lineker, TKO, Round 1

    The staff picks John Lineker, 4-1.



    Thales Leites vs. Tom Watson


    Jon Butterfield: Tom Watson, Decision

    Jeffrey Harris: Tom Watson, TKO, Round One

    Alex Rella: Watson, TKO, Round 3

    Jeremy Lambert: This is a sweet main event for Facebook. Leites catches a lot of heat but his ground game is still levels above almost everyone in the division. Watson is a good striker with power and durability, but if Leites gets him to the ground, this one will be over quickly.

    Winner: Leites, Submission, Round 2

    Evan Zivin: This fight could end up being a lot better than it looks. First off, welcome back, Thales Leites. This will be the UFC middleweight title challenger's first fight back since 2009. In his time away, Leites has gone 6-1 against the likes of Dean Lister, Jeremy Horn, and that Swedish guy from one of the seasons of Ultimate Fighter. That's...impressive? I guess? Watson hasn't been that great in his UFC career so far, losing to Brad Tavares and beating Stanislav Nedkov in a fight he almost lost before finding his inner Rock'em Sock'em Robot and getting the win. Watson is tough, though, so I feel that if he can avoid Leites's submission attempts and keep the fight standing, he can survive and get a decision. I just hope this fight doesn't suck.

    Winner: Tom Watson, Decision

    The staff picks Tom Watson, 4-1.



    Cezar Ferreira vs. Thiago Santos


    Jon Butterfield: No, this isn't the Thiago Santos that fought in Bellator's heavyweight division. He is, in fact, an 8-1 welterweight who has beaten a string of opponents with very poor records- and that's just about right when matching him up against a 5-2 opponent who has fought on average once per year since 2007. Cezar Ferreira's ceiling is low, despite his talent, and this is a fight where the winner effectively goes nowhere in the UFC. Expect Mutante to win by TKO, but don't expect great things from either fighter.

    Winner: Cezar Ferreira, TKO, Round One

    Jeffrey Harris: Ferreira was the original finalist on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil who bowed out of the finals due to injury. He came back and won his UFC debut against Sergio Moraes. This Santos is an 8-1 welterweight making his UFC debut here. Another tough fight to look at not having seen Santos fight once. Santos has faced fairly subpar competition in Brazil, so I'm looking at Ferreira to pick up the win here.

    Winner: Cezar Ferreira, TKO, Round One

    Alex Rella: I know Ferreira won the first season of TUF Brazil, but there were a couple fights on the prelims that I think deserve the main card spot more. I don't know how to break this one down. I'll go with Ferreira as he looked solid in his UFC debut last year and Santos is fighting out of his true weight class.

    Winner: Ferreira, TKO, Round 2

    Jeremy Lambert: Ferreira won the Brazil season TUF, which means absolutely nothing and Santos isn't the Bellator heavyweight who likes to get kicked/kicked in his balls. Who cares.

    Winner: Ferreira, TKO, Round 2

    Evan Zivin: He's finally fighting? Cezar "Mutante" won the first season of TUF Brazil last June and he's finally fighting now? Well okay. I kinda know who Thiago Santos is. He appeared on TUF Brazil 2 where he lost to the show's runner-up by decision, then won a redemption fight by decision, then lost to the show's winner by decision. Santos is tough but there was nothing about him on the show that was all that impressive. Ferreira is like a mini Vitor Belfort so he should be able to use his speed and power and take this fight without too much trouble, assuming he hasn't just been sitting on his ass these last 14 months.

    Winner: Cezar Ferreira, TKO, Round 1

    The staff picks Cezar Ferreira, 5-0.



    Phil Davis vs. Lyoto Machida


    Jon Butterfield: Phil Davis looked hopeless when striking against Rashad Evans, and he'll look even worse against Lyoto Machida. Machida is a great counter-wrestler, and though Davis is a gifted grappler, Lyoto has the skills and the talent to avoid becoming embroiled in such a fight, winning with counter strikes. I think this fight threatens to go the distance, before Machida uncorks a finish worthy of the fight's co-main status.

    Winner: Lyoto Machida, TKO, Round Three

    Jeffrey Harris: Phil Davis is an amazing athlete. As a fighter he's got a great wrestling base. He's good with submissions and grappling, but his striking game still looks awkward and it looks like he's still trying to put the transitional part of his game together. It's somewhere where he hasn't shown much improvement in his UFC career despite having won 7 fights, including over top ranked light heavyweights such as Rogerio Nogueira and Alexander Gustafsson. Davis has size and range, but it's something he doesn't alway use very well in his stand-up game. Machida I see being too tricky for Davis. Machida also looked unimpressive in his last execrable win over Dan Henderson and should be looking to make a statement here. I think Machida will use his experience and fight IQ to pick Davis apart, and if he doesn't catch him and knock him out at some point, he will outpoint him to a decision.

    Winner: Lyoto Machida, TKO, Round Two

    Alex Rella: Finally a fight I can actually talk about. I like Phil Davis a lot and think this fight makes sense for both fighters as they try to get a title shot. Davis might be the best wrestler in the light heavyweight division today and could win this fight if he can take Machida down, but that's a big if. Davis just doesn't have the striking to compliment his wrestling like other guys that have been able to defeat Machida in the past. He does have a good chin though and is a intelligent fighter, so I don't see him getting finished Ryan Bader style, but Machida is too good at making people fight his fight and really is the second best light heavyweight in the world right now. I'm excited to see this fight, but there is the very likely possibility that it ends up being painfully boring.

    Winner: Machida, Decision

    Jeremy Lambert: Everyone expected big things from Davis given his athletic ability and wrestling background, but he hasn't quite adapted his game to MMA fully. His grappling is very good, but he's a bad striker who only throws some awkward kicks. Those kicks won't do him a lot of good against Machida, who is a master of distance and timing. Davis' only chance at winning this fight is to get things to the ground, but Machida is extremely tough to take down and keep down thanks to his balance. I'm just not sure how Davis wins this fight. Machida can be gunshy on the feet if he respects your power, but the only ability Davis has shown standing is the ability to land clean eye pokes. Maybe that'll be his strategy in this fight because I'm not sure what else is going to work. Machida will likely dance circles around him on the feet, land some leg kicks, land a lot of clean punches, and make it look easy against a completely overmatched opponent.

    Winner: Machida, Decision

    Evan Zivin: Here are two guys who could use a good win, partly because both need a big statement fight if they ever hope to get a shot at Jon Jones, especially Machida, and partly because their last fights sucked. Davis should have had an easier time with Vinny Magalhaes and Machida did not look convincing at all in his victory over Dan Henderson. Davis will likely want nothing to do with Machida's striking and will try to constantly pressure with takedowns, which Machida should be ready for. Machida's coach, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, has previously felt the pressure of Davis's double leg so Machida should be prepared to defend and counter them. This fight could either be really good or really bad, depending on how aggressively Davis handles Machida's counter striking, but I think Machida will narrowly escape with another decision that will ultimately do nothing to get him another title shot. Again.

    Winner: Lyoto Machida, Decision

    The staff picks Lyoto Machida, 5-0.



    UFC Featherweight Championship Bout: Jose Aldo vs. Chan Sung Jung


    Jon Butterfield: In the biggest mismatch in recent years, Chan Sung Jung has absolutely no chance against Jose Aldo. Aldo is a better striker, a better grappler, and brings better gameplans into the octagon. Those hoping to see the ‘Korean Zombie' draw Aldo into a wild brawl will be severely disappointed, as even then Jung will get decimated by the crisp, technical brilliance of the Brazilian. Jung would love to threaten with his adaptive, exciting grappling game, but it's just not going to happen. His best chance is to look for takedowns from the clinch, but Aldo is just superior in almost every area – only a harsh weight cut could slow him here - but having said that, that is a real possibility.

    Winner: Jose Aldo, KO, Round Two

    Jeffrey Harris: On paper I like this fight a lot. I don't really see Chan Sung Jung coming out of this with a win, but I hope it will at least be an exciting, fun fight to watch for however long it lasts. Aldo's striking game has gotten even more technical in the UFC. His grappling and takedown defense are strong, so I don't see the Korean Zombie getting this to the ground either. I think what he would want to do is draw Aldo into deep waters where Aldo has tended to gas and look tired later into the fight. Zombie is an exciting fighter, but he also tends to leave himself open as well, and I think that will likely lead to Aldo catching him.

    Winner: Jose Aldo, TKO, Round One

    Alex Rella: I'm excited for this fight and it's a shame that the show wont draw a lot with the awful undercard. A lot of people have been ripping on the Korean Zombie stating that he has no chance and I don't think that's entirely true. I think Aldo will win as he is a much better fighter in every area, but it should still be a fun fight. As dominant as Aldo is, there's just this thought in the back of my head that Jung may be able to pull out an upset with his unorthodox wild card fighting style. Though the reason he might pull out an upset is the reason he'll likely lose. His crazy fighting style leaves him open way too much and Aldo is too good not to capitalize. I think the fight will be good regardless and even if it does suck, at least The Korean Zombie has the best entrance in MMA today.

    Winner: Aldo, TKO, Round 4

    Jeremy Lambert: Jung is an interesting style for Aldo, not because it's likely to give him too many problems, but because it's likely to showcase just how awesome he is. Besides Anderson Silva, Aldo is the best striker in MMA. The difference is that Aldo isn't going to drop his hands and clown around like Silva routinely does. He's going to look for the kill when he's on the feet. Jung has power but his punching technique is sloppy and perfect for Aldo's straight punches and counters. Also, Jung stands flat footed, which means he's a prime target for Aldo's leg kicks. Jung's biggest strength is actually his grappling, but good luck getting Aldo to the ground. Aldo has had cardio issues as of late and Jung is always in top shape, he has to be to just move forward like he does, but Jung's style isn't exactly one that will wear on Aldo because chances are he's going to take a beating in the process. This is a fantastic showcase fight for Aldo and it should be exciting just because Jung's style always lends itself to exciting fights. Jung will hang tough and if he can bait Aldo into a wild brawl, he has a chance to catch him with something, but Aldo has too many tools and will be too technical.

    Winner: Aldo, TKO, Round 3

    Evan Zivin: I'll admit that I'm not as intrigued for this match-up as I was for Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis but I am excited to see the Korean Zombie get a title shot, which he definitely earned after knocking out Mark Hominick and choking out Dustin Poirier. This fight will be tough for Jung, as his best chance to win is on the ground and Aldo some of the best takedown defense in the UFC. Jung might have a chance on the feet but he'll have to be careful to not stand in front of Aldo too long or else he'll be put to sleep. I figure this will play out like a typical Aldo fight, where he spends the first round getting a feel for his opponent's range and aggressiveness and then comes out looking for the kill starting in the second round. Of course, if there's an opportunity to finish in the first round, Aldo will take it, but Aldo is a smart guy. He'll recognize the threat that Jung brings and, with the Brazilian crowd cheering him on and hurling death chants at his opponent, will carefully and tactfully pick Jung apart with leg kicks and jabs and hooks until Jung can't take anymore. Vintage Aldo.

    Winner: Jose Aldo, TKO, Round 3

    The staff picks Jose Aldo, 5-0.



    Remember to join 411's coverage of UFC 163 on Saturday night!





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