Despite the loss of its co-main event, UFC 161 is heading for Winnipeg with a solid card.
While the losses of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Shogun Rua, Eddie Wineland and Renan Barao took away star power, this weekend’s event makes up for it with a card of solid fights that look to be entertaining.
The main event between Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson will obviously take most of the media attention, as a battle between two former champions always will, but UFC 161 has other matchups that are sure to send fans home happy.
Let's take a look at a few fights from this weekend that should prove to be exciting.
Sam Stout vs. James Krause
Sixteen-time UFC veteran Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout will once again enter the Octagon in front of a home crowd, as the Canadian-born kickboxer will take on UFC newcomer James Krause.
Stout will come into this weekend having won his last fight, a split decision over Caros Fodor, while also winning four of his last six. Stout has a 29-8 career record, which includes nine knockouts and five Fight of the Night bonuses.
The debuting Krause enters the Octagon with a 19-4 record, having fought in the WEC and Bellator. He also featured briefly on Season 15 of The Ultimate Fighter, where he was upset in the first round. The submission specialist Krause has finished 12 of his 19 career wins by submission, while also recording five knockouts.
Look for Krause to take this fight to the ground and look for the submission while Stout will look to bang. Expect Stout to keep the fight standing, while landing a few flurries on the way to an exciting unanimous-decision victory.
Jake Shields vs. Tyron Woodley
Former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields takes on former Strikeforce Welterweight Title contender Tyron Woodley in this welterweight bout.
Shields has hit something of a rough patch since making his way to the UFC as he has lost to both Georges St. Pierre and Jake Ellenburger. His last fight, a decision win over Ed Herman, was overturned after Shields failed a post-fight drug test. Shields may be one mistake away from being out of the world’s premier MMA organization
Woodley, on the other hand, impressed in his UFC debut, where he recorded a 36-second knockout of veteran Jay Hieron. Woodley has only one loss on his record, a knockout from the hands of Nate Marquardt, while also recording victories over UFC veterans Paul Daley and Jordan Mein.
Both fighters are known for their wrestling abilities, as Shields relies on a smothering top game to break down his opponents. However, T-Wood is game when it comes to defending takedowns, as the former Missouri wrestler comes from a strong amateur background.
Look for Woodley to keep the fight standing, where he has shown he possesses knockout power, as he TKO’s Shields late in the fight.
Pat Barry vs. Shawn Jordan
The always-entertaining Barry enters the Octagon with momentum, as The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale Knockout of the Night winner will take on Shawn “The Savage” Jordan.
Barry is coming off of an impressive second-round knockout of former Strikeforce prospect Shane Del Rosario. Barry is known for his entertaining style of kickboxing, as only one of his 13 career fights have gone to the scorecards.
Jordan is also coming off of an impressive performance, as his last fight was a TKO of heavyweight veteran Mike Russow. Jordan’s resume features an impressive 10 knockouts and three submissions, while only three of his 18 career fights have gone to decision.
Look for this to be a standup battle, which favors the more experienced kickboxer, Barry. Jordan will get a few takedowns, but Barry’s much-improved ground game will keep him afloat when Jordan puts pressure on him.
While consistency has never been Barry’s thing, expect him to finally put together back-to-back UFC wins as he earns a TKO victory in a contest that keeps fans on their toes.
What do you think of this weekend's card? Make your predictions in the comment box below!