UFC Fight Night 116 takes place this Saturday night in Pittsburgh, a city known for its steel industry. Sometimes the Fight Night cards are a bit under par, but this weekend’s effort is chock-full of exciting fights.
The main event, a middleweight clash between Luke Rockhold and David Branch, is a solid fight. Rockhold is the favorite to win this fight handily, but Branch is going to give the American Kickboxing Academy fighter more than he anticipates and could possibly pull off a sizable upset in the process.
Meanwhile, the real attraction of UFC Fight Night 116 is the co-headliner. Thiago Alves and Mike Perry are set to face off in what is sure to be a good ol’ fashioned barn-burner. It’s safe to say that both welterweight fighters will have their chins tested in this contest.
Alves is coming off an impressive unanimous-decision win over Patrick Cote at UFC 210. It was a victory the former title challenger sorely needed after falling into a bit of losing streak. The Brazilian had lost his two previous outings against Jim Miller and Carlos Condit.
Perry, on the other hand, is riding high after one of the year’s best knockouts against Jake Ellenberger at UFC Fight Night 108. The victory put Perry back in the win column after a decision loss to Alan Jouban in late 2016.
The thing that makes this match-up so intriguing is that both guys have such a similar style. They have good head movement, crisp boxing, violent power and a straightforward march-you-down mentality. Something has to give.
The Brazilian-born Alves is just one month shy of his 34th birthday. He has been competing in the UFC since 2005. An argument can be made that his better days are behind him, but the “Pitbull” still has some bite left in him.
Perry turns 26 just one day before his fight with Alves. He plans on celebrating both his birthday and a victory this weekend. Being the younger fighter is usually advantageous, but sometimes with youth comes inexperience. The Michigan native feels that age is just a number and he has all the experience he needs.
Who wins this fight? That’s a tough call. Here we are just a few days out from UFC Fight Night 116 and Perry is a -160 favorite, while Alves is the underdog at +130, according to the lines over at Bovada.
It may sound cliché, but either fighter is capable of winning this contest. The fight is sure to be non-stop action so long as it lasts, and it will most likely end in the blink of an eye with a sudden knockout.
Does the old dog have some more tricks, or has “Pitbull’s” age caught up with him? Or is it the younger fighter’s time to shine? Can “Platinum” emerge victorious in the Steel City?