Moving right along at UFC 162, the third fight on the main card features Tim Kennedy and Roger Gracie. Although these men perhaps don’t have the name recognition of other stars on the main card, this match up certainly is enticing. Fans of the UFC’s beginning days are certain to recognize the Gracie name and its long line of jiu-jitsu prowess.
Keeping the family name intact, Roger Gracie has become one of the top submission artists in the sport today.
Another middleweight battle, this one will come down to who can dictate the style of the fight.
Tim Kennedy (15-4) vs. Roger Gracie (6-1) Prediction
Betting line- Kennedy -160, Gracie +130
Roger Gracie is one of the most dominant jiu-jitsu practitioners in the world. There is no secret to what he will be attempting to do when his bout with Tim Kennedy takes place midway through UFC 162 tonight.
Just because his game plan is no secret does not make it any easier to stop. Everyone knows that Jose Aldo is going to use leg kick after leg kick to chop down his opponents, yet he is still able to execute his game plan at will.
That makes the task at hand for Tim Kennedy relatively simple. Keep the fight standing, and himself out of harm’s way so that he does not get caught in a submission. If he proves able to do this, he will win the fight.
Outside of his jiu-jitsu, Roger Gracie’s game is lacking in many areas. Striking is one of those glaring weaknesses, he has proven unable to finish fighters or damage them consistently with his fists, and if this fight remains standing he will certainly absorb more damage than he is able to dish out.
Wrestling is another area where Gracie has struggled at times. A bit surprising considering his strong jiu-jitsu, Gracie actually struggles to score take downs. He has been practicing getting his opponent to the ground throughout his training, and his camp feels that he has improved exponentially in that area.
If he is able to get Kennedy to the ground even once, he should be able to finish the fight.
This is not a fight I expect to be incredibly exciting, however it has the potential to be should Gracie score the upset. I don’t expect this to be the case, and would be surprised if Kennedy does more than keep Gracie at bay for three rounds and out strikes his opponent on his way to victory.
Prediction: Kennedy defeats Gracie via unanimous decision
Check out our other UFC 162 predictions.