UFC 172, light heavies, more

ESPNAPI_IMG_NO_ALTEXT_Value

Each week, ESPN.com MMA writer Brett Okamoto, ESPN Insider senior editor Mike Huang and a special guest panelist will tackle five questions that are buzzing in the world of mixed martial arts.

This week, top contender Glover Teixeira -- who battles for the UFC light heavyweight title Saturday -- joins the panel to provide his thoughts on UFC 172, the light heavyweight division and more.

1. Is Donald Cerrone primed for another run at a title shot?

Glover Teixeira: Yeah, definitely. That kid showed a lot of talent last week. He's the real deal with his Muay Thai and ground game. Very underrated. But he's ready for another run at a shot.

Brett Okamoto: Cerrone is pretty much always primed for a run at a title shot. He fights seemingly every week and he's no stranger to a highlight reel. Anyone who strings together finishes like Cerrone is a potential title contender in the UFC. His problem has been consistency. He's been known to punt a fight here and there. Cerrone should be on everybody's top-five list of most watchable fighters, but ultimately, I don't think he'll ever win a UFC title.

Mike Huang: I think he's on that run right now. His first-round rear-naked choke of Edson Barboza was a thing of beauty. In a fight between two brutal strikers, he goes for the submission. It appeared that Cerrone was headed down that bad gatekeeper path for a bit there, but he righted the ship and looks crisp and focused.

2. What are the odds upset king Fabricio Werdum topples Cain Velasquez?

Teixeira: That's a tough fight. Werdum showed very good stand-up skills. There, they are evenly matched. Cain is so much better at wrestling, but Werdum has the jiu-jitsu. So you look at the matchup, it's about 50-50 for Werdum to upset Velasquez. I'm very excited for this fight.

Okamoto: If I were to set a betting line on that fight, I'd make Velasquez a 5-to-1 favorite, which basically means I'd give Velasquez an 83.3 percent chance to win. So I guess I don't give Werdum great odds to topple Velasquez, but anything is possible.

Huang: I would say not good, but the last time Velasquez came off a big injury there was a lot of ring rust and he collared his only career loss. Werdum looked extremely good against Travis Brown. His stand-up was as good as it's ever been -- precise, efficient and clean. And he still had some in the tank by the fifth round. Ultimately, Velasquez's brutal, relentless style and seemingly unlimited gas tank should overwhelm Werdum. Odds? 70-30 Velasquez.

3. Who has the most to lose on Saturday at UFC 172?

Teixeira: Well, that question is kind of tricky. I think I have the most to lose, but the guy I most think will lose is Jones! But if you think about it, if I lost it would affect me more than if the other guys on the card lost. I haven't lost in such a long time and it took me a while to get here, so I'll be very disappointed if that happens.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin works out at Bocharov Ruchei residence in Sochi, Russia, Aug. 30, 2015.
Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images