UFC 166: Velasquez vs Dos Santos III will be taking place on October 19th in Houston, Texas at the Toyota Center. I will be breaking down each fight on the main card of this event, as well as predicting the winners. Fellow Sports Unbiased writer, Daniel Clark has also joined in!
The UFC 166 Facebook prelim card begins at 6 p.m. Eastern Time/3 p.m. Pacific Time. The Fox Sports 1 prelim card starts at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and the UFC 166 main card will air on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT in the U.S.
Chris: This is the third time these two men will be meeting for the UFC’s Heavyweight championship. In their first meeting both men were apparently injured going into the fight, Velasquez was champion and Dos Santos came in and knocked Cain out in the first round. Their second meeting was the complete opposite, Velasquez destroyed Dos Santos for five full rounds, beating him in every single spectrum of the fight, for the entire 25 minutes to reclaim the title. I believe the second fight was a lot more telling of how these men match up against each other. Yes, Dos Santos always has that knockout punch, but the pressure and wrestling of Velasquez will be too much for him to handle once again. I do, however, see this being a closer fight than their second meeting. In the end I see Velasquez winning the fight and finishing it by a third or fourth round TKO.
Dan: I believe between the second bout and now that Dos Santos hasn’t changed much. I expect Velasquez to grind on Dos Santos, constantly pressure and wear him down. Dos Santos will be looking for that killer combo or one punch to land and that is all Velasquez has to be aware of. Much like the second I see Velasquez taking a unanimous decision.
Favorite: Velasquez (-200) Underdog: Dos Santos (+170)
Chris’ Pick: Velasquez
Dan’s Pick: Velasquez
Chris: You may think this has all of the makings of a close fight between two top ten Heavyweights in MMA, but I don’t see that being the case at all. Roy Nelson has some serious one-punch knockout power, but that’s his only advantage coming into this fight. Daniel Cormier is the much faster man of the two, he possesses the more technical striking, and while Nelson is the superior jiu-jitsu practitioner, I don’t see him being able to take the fight with Cormier to the ground. If this fight is taken to the ground at any time it will be by former Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier, not Roy Nelson. Once again, Nelson does have the punching power to finish the fight early, but I just can’t see any path to victory for him in this one. Cormier will control the speed of the fight and where the fight takes place, notching his 13th straight victory.
Dan: I don’t see either guy getting finished nor do I see this one producing the fireworks that many people expect. Cormier will be the dictator in where the fight goes and get the unanimous decision win.
Favorite: Cormier (-600) Underdog: Nelson (+450)
Chris’ Pick: Cormier
Dan’s Pick: Cormier
Sanchez has beaten some of the very best in all of MMA at both Welterweight and Lightweight and his five losses have come from top notch fighters. Only the very best beat Sanchez and I feel like Melendez is one of them. Melendez is coming off a split-decision loss in a title fight against former champion Benson Henderson that many people thought he won. On the other hand, Sanchez is coming off a split-decision win over Takanori Gomi, a fight that many people thought he lost. Sanchez will press the action, coming forward like he does so often, but Melendez will be able to neutralize that with his technical striking. This fight should be interesting and fun to watch, but Melendez will likely come out on top via decision. I wouldn’t bet on a finish in this one, considering Sanchez has only been stopped once, via doctor stoppage and Melendez has not been finished once in his entire career.
Dan: Where do I start with this one? I’ll keep it simple: potential fight of the night and a split-decision victory for Melendez
Favorite: Melendez (-800) Underdog: Sanchez (+550)
Chris’ Pick: Melendez
Dan’s Pick: Melendez
While I honestly don’t know how this fight will play out, I will give Jordan a slight edge, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Gonzaga was able to pull out a win. Gonzaga has the clear advantage when it comes to jiu-jitsu and he could pose some submission trouble for Jordan, but the former NCAA national champion Fullback Jordan is the more athletic and stronger man. I can see Jordan winning the battles on the feet and being able to control Gonzaga in the clinch throughout this fight. Both men are finishers, so don’t expect this fight to last too long.
Dan: I don’t want to sound too generic but this could really go either way. My original pick was Gonzaga but now I’m changing my mind to Jordan. I have Jordan getting a mid second round TKO or he’ll do enough over three rounds to get the nod from the judges.
Favorite: Jordan (-210) Underdog: Gonzaga (+175)
Chris’ Pick: Jordan
Dan’s Pick: Jordan
#2 John Dodson vs. Darrell Montague:
While many fans know who John Dodson is, not many will be familiar with Darrell Montague, who will be making his UFC debut. Montague was easily the best Flyweight not in the UFC coming into this fight, a quick Montague stat, his only loss in the last four years was to the very tough Ian McCall. Montague is truly a top 10, maybe even top five Flyweight on the planet, but I believe Dodson will be too much for the well-rounded Montague to handle. Dodson came so close to becoming the UFC Flyweight champion in his last fight, almost finishing Johnson multiple times in the fight. Dodson will come into this fight better than ever and finish Montague by KO/TKO.
Dan: Ever since the UFC added the Flyweight division, fans have expected Montague to sign with the promotion. Their wish finally came true, but he is up against the very dangerous Dodson. With the occasion playing a factor in this one I expect Dodson to get a finish in the later part of round two.
Favorite: Dodson (-340) Underdog: Montague (+280)
Chris’ Pick: Dodson
Dan’s Pick: Dodson
(My picks will be in bold, Dan’s picks in Italics. Picks we agree on will have both)
#9 Tim Boetsch vs. CB Dollaway
Nate Marquardt vs. Hector Lombard
#2 Sarah Kaufman vs. Jessica Eye
George Sotiropoulos vs. KJ Noons
TJ Waldburger vs. Adlan Amagov
Tony Ferguson vs. Mike Rio
Jeremy Larsen vs. Andre Fili
Dustin Pague vs. Kyoji Horiguchi
Chris’ Prediction Results (This Year): 15-10
Dan’s Prediction Results (This Year): 2-4
Check out UFC 166 Results here