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SATURDAY August 3, 2013 10PM/7PM ET-PT

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Chicago, Illinois – August 2, 2013

UFC 163: ALDO VS. THE KOREAN ZOMBIE

Maz's Free UFC MMA Predictions and Picks

Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

HSBC ARENA Rio de Janeiro, Brazil SATURDAY August 3, 2013 10PM/7PM ET-PT

Scarface and The Korean Zombie battle it out to fight fan’s delight around the world. Replacing an injured Anthony “Showtime” Pettis, Chan Sung Jung is the best fit to wipe away the disappointment of what would’ve been an amazing matchup. Aldo pits his punishing strikes against Sung’s almost supernatural ability to absorb punishment. The featherweight strap is in the balance, plus two middle-weight bouts between fresh up and comers and battle proven warriors and “Mr. Wonderful” attempts to slay a “Dragon”. These are my picks and predictions for the main card of UFC 163. 

JOSE “SCARFACE” ALDO (22-1)CHAMP  VS. KOREAN ZOMBIE (13-3) #5

Aldo is going to feel out the first round, judging Jung’s range of motion and game plan. Jung is all-around dangerous, with the proven ability to knock an opponent out or submit him with painful results. Add on Jung’s perfect 100% takedown rate and Aldo has a fight on his hands. The Champ knows this and will stick to an assured standup game until failure, which is highly unlikely. Expect Aldo to chop at Jung’s legs, like he did against Uriah Faber, taking much of the striking ability away from the challenger. Towards the end of the 3rd round even, The Zombie’s paranormal durability will succumb to Aldo’s punishing leg kicks. At this point, Jung will start to look for a takedown and sub, which will be very difficult considering Aldo’s 92% takedown defense rate. The last round, which looks to be the fourth, will be filled with desperation and finality.   

Prediction: Scarface puts a hit on The Zombie, turning him into the Walking Dead by round 4. Headshot-kick KO.

LYOTO “THE DRAGON” MACHIDA #1 (19-3) VS. PHIL “MR. WONDERFUL” DAVIS #7 (11-1)

It doesn’t get much better at 185. Davis is knowingly outclassed in the striking department against Machida, but his strength, top tier athleticism, wrestling and grappling, not to mention a 5” reach advantage, can aid him in striking just enough for a much needed takedown. Machida has the ability to seriously put a damper on Davis’ plans, possessing a very respectable 82% takedown rate. I see Machida frustrating Davis in the first 2 rounds, with his unorthodox, highly effective striking and his evasive tactics. As the 3rd round begins, Machida will look for Davis to drop his guard as he attempts to make up ground with a finish. Machida is a master of finding and capitalizing on that opening.

Prediction: Davis gets cornered in the lair. Dragon whips his tail! 3rd round KO.

CEZAR FERREIRA (6-2) VS. THIAGO SANTOS (8-1)

Last year’s TUF: BRAZIL winner Cezar Ferreira is back after an injury set back. Ferreira faces fellow Brazilian and TUF alum Thiago Santos, who takes the fight on short notice. Santos has another strike against him before even entering the ring, having to fight at middle instead of his usual welter. Ferreira comes into the ring with a disadvantage as well, having been out of action for over a year. All that being said, Ferreira is the heavy favorite in this middle-weight bout, with the ability to takedown, submit, strike and pound his way to victory. Santos is game and tough enough to give the returning TUF title holder a decent return tussle, but victory would be hard fought.

Prediction: Ferreira by GAP 2nd round.  

THALES LEITES(20-4) VS. TOM “KONG” WATSON (16-5)

Leites is back in the 8-sided circle after 4 years on the circuit with an impressive 6-1 record, with notable wins over Jeremy Horn and Matt Horwich. Former BAMMA and Ultimate Challenge MMA middle-weight champ “Kong” Watson may be new to the octagon, but not to the fight game. Leites was one win away from being the UFC 185lb champ, losing a decision to Anderson Silva. Half of Watson’s victories are from strikes, winning numerous KO and Fight of the Night honors. A BJJ black belt, Leites is a menace on the ground, with 14 of his 20 wins by submission. However, cage rust follows Leites into the bout in the form of a 16 month layoff, while Watson fought and won 6 months ago. If Leites can get it to the ground, his return to the UFC with a victory will almost be assured. With Watson’s takedown defense at only 44%, that might be an unavoidable outcome.

Prediction: Leites by submission.  

JOHN “HANDS OF STONE” LINEKER (21-6) VS. JOSE “NO CHANCE” TOME (33-3)

Lineker will be there opposite cage to welcome Tome to the octagon for the first time. Although he is the underdog, it is Tome that has racked up more bouts and experience in the fight game. Lineker has 2 UFC fights and wins under his belt and that would be an advantage against most opponents, but not so much with Tome, who remains undefeated since 2008, with 17 wins and 13 finishes. Lineker is stronger and more athletic than Tome, but I believe Tome is the better overall fighter in this flyweight contest.

Prediction: I’m taking a “No Chance” on this underdog. Tome by submission.

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