(#12) Patrick Cummins (8-4) vs. (#12) Jan Blachowicz (19-6): Welcome to the prelims for UFC 210 and we kick off the night with two ranked fighters in the light heavyweight division. I’m taking this straight from their site and if this isn’t a typo they are currently tied for rank 12. I believe the reason is because they are both 1-3 in their last four fights. Regardless, Jan Blachowicz has won seven of his fights by submission and five by knockout with six finishes in the first round. He has also won seven of his last ten fights, meaning he was on a six-fight winning streak prior to this run of losses. His opponent was 7-1 before this group of losses came to him. Patrick Cummins has won four fights by knockout and two by submission. This fight may yield negative consequences for the loser. I find it hard to call the winner of this, but I believe that Blachowicz will win this one because he can take his losses to decision as to where Cummins gets finished in his losses. Neither fighters have great accuracy or defense so I think Blachowicz will grind Cummins out and he will pick up a win by decision.
Shane Burgos (8-0) vs. Charles Rosa (11-2): This next fight will be between two fighters in the featherweight division. Charles Rosa has been on a shaky start in the UFC. In the UFC, he is 2-2 and he was 9-0 in his pro fights prior. He is looking to gain traction against the undefeated,Shane Burgos, who wants to keep his streak alive in the UFC. Rosa has seven wins by submission and three by knockout with eight of those in the first round. On the other hand, Burgos has won four by submission and three by knockout with five first round finishes. Burgos has a wonderful defense where Rosa seems to struggle. I think Burgos will keep this standing for a little, while Rosa keeps working the takedown. Burgos will just defend them in the first round and then counter-takedown in the second and gain top control. From their we will see a technical fight, but Burgos will come out with a submission victory in the second.
(#11) Kamaru Usman (9-1) vs Sean Strickland (18-1): This next fight will be a slugfest in the welterweight division. Sean Strickland needs to win this fight to be part of the rankings. Starting his career as a middleweight, he held a 15-0 undefeated streak. He lost his first fight moving down to the welterweight division in early 2015. Since then he has come back with a three fight win streak. He hasn't fought any kind of notable fighters so this fight will definitely show if he's cut out for the big leagues. His opponent is Kamaru Usman who has been undefeated since winning The Ultimate Fighter in July of 2015. Usman may only have decision wins in the UFC, but he gets in and terrifies people. He is aggressive and maintains control of the ring. Not only that, but he takes it to the ground and maintains control of his opponent. If Strickland can keep this standing I think he may have a chance, but it will be his only chance. Once Usman gets him on the ground I think it is over and I predict that Usman will pull that off in the first round and get his first finish in the form of a TKO.
Myles Jury (15-2) vs. Mike De La Torre (14-6): The mainvent for the prelims is a second featherweight fight between a couple of guys who prefer the standup. Over 16 fights have been won by knockout between the two of these fighters. There are also a handful of submission wins making these guys dangerous for each other. De La Torre is going back and forth with wins and losses while Jury is sitting on two losses in a row breaking his 15 fight win streak. Both of Jury's losses were to big name fighters and since De La Torre is unranked, I think Jury will run away with it. It may start slow because these guys are not too fast, but I think these two will want to stand and bang with each other. They seem pretty even as far as stats go, but Jury has been matched against a higher caliber than De La Torre has so I predict that towards the end of the first or in the second round, Jury will get the knockout.
Will Brooks (18-2) vs. (#9) Charles Oliveira (21-7): Now we move onto the main card and we get to watch Charles Oliveira move up a weight class to take on a newer member of the lightweight division. Will Brooks is coming off one loss breaking a nine fight win streak. He has won five fights by knockout and four by submission, with three fights in the first round. He isn't very successful at getting takedowns, but has a near perfect takedown defense. When he does get takedowns he makes it look effortless with blast doubles and suplexes. He is also a brutal striker constantly closing the gap and using any and every strike nevessary to put his opponent down. His opponent was ranked before moving up so it's interesting he would choose to do so. Maybe it is because he has lost two in a row, but he has won five of his last seven. In his career he has won 13 fights by submission and six by knockout. He isn't just a ground fighter though. He normally controls the fight, drops big hits then slaps a submission on so quick the fight's over before fans see what happened. Oliveira is also the only fighter who I've seen win via calf slicer. (If you don't know what it is you want to look it up) This will be a wonderful fight with both fighters swinging for the fences. Charles will be able to land some good shots, but statistically Brooks lands more shots and defends better so I am going to say after an explosive back-and-forth Will Brooks will win by knockout in the second round.
Thiago Alves (26-11) vs. Patrick Cote (24-10): This next fight is between two veterans of the octagon. Patrick Cote has won ten fights by knockout and three more by submission and he has won ten of his last 13 fights. Over the 14 years of his UFC career he has fought the highs and lows of the middleweight division. He is also mainly a striker not having a good takedown success or defense rate. Thiago Alves has been with the UFC for almost the same amount of time, starting two years later. He is also a great striker with 13 knockouts and one submission victory. These two fighters are going to stand and bang and there will be blood. I think it's amazing that 12 years in the same division and this will be their first time meeting each other in the octagon. Patrick Cote lands a tad more often, but Thiago Alves drops bombs with almost every strike. This will be another standing back-and-forth and I think this one will take longer. These two are evenly matched right now and these two will go into the third round. Thiago is going to pick up a third round TKO, but will take a lot of damage in the process.
Cynthia Calvillo (4-0) vs. Pearl Gonzalaez (6-1): On to the next match we get to the only straw weight match on the card. This fight almost didn't happen thanks to NYSAC, but you can read my bit on that in the news for the week. This is Pearl Gonzalez's debut in the UFC. She lost her first pro fight and then has been unbeaten ever since. She has four wins by submission and one by knockout with three finished in the first round. She seems like a pretty scrappy ground fighter, popping shots and a good amount of wrestling influence. Her opponent is unbeaten and only has one fight of experience more than Gonzalez in the UFC. Cavillo has two wins by knockout and one by submission with one finish in the first round. She is a striker that likes to put her weight on her opponent and wear them down. I don't think this fight will spend much time standing up. Someone will be quick to take the clinch and we will watch most of this fight on the ground while Calvillo is landing shots and Gonzalez is counter-striking and hunting for the submission. These fighters might get pretty worn out with how active these two are as ground fighters and if that happens I see Calvillo dropping in effectiveness because striking is physical as to where submissions are technical. I predict in the second Gonzalez will catch her in a submission after some rolling for the win.
(#4) Chris Weidman (13-2) vs. (#5) Gegard Mousasi (41-6-2): At the co-main we get two of the top 5 fighters in the middleweight division. Gegard Mousasi is on a four fight win streak and has finished three of them by knockout. He has 24 wins by knockout and ten wins by submission. Mousasi is dangerous and last year with four fights he is showing that he is evolving into something special and I believe on his way to a title fight soon. To explain, he used to be a moderately laid back fighter and focusing on timing and precision and now he is aggressive and just dominates the people he steps in against. His opponent is Chris Weidman who hasn't won a fight since losing the middleweight title. He has six wins by knockout and three wins by submission with six in the first round. He isn't an amazing fighter, but he has a way of getting stuff done. He tends to pick his strikes and keep his opponent at a distance, then take them down, ride them out and try and finish. Luke and Yoel both proved that he can't handle the middleweight strikers come out and terrorize. I predict Mousasi will come out and get the TKO in the late first or early second round. Weidman has his strengths, but as I said Mousasi is becoming a freight train and I don't think Chris can stop it.
(C) Dan Cormier (18-1) vs. (#1) Anthony Johnson (22-5): Finally at the main event we get the rematch for the light heavyweight title. Anthony Johnson has 16 wins by knockout and 12 of them were in the first round. His loss to Cormier broke a nine fight winning streak and has gone 3-0 since that loss. If you don't know about Rumble, he is an absolute monster and probably one of the hardest hitting fighters in the UFC. He has one punched multiple people and even can hit-and turn the same way Mark Hunt does. His opponent is Dan Cormier who, before he was a light heavyweight, went undefeated in the heavyweight division and against a bunch of tough fighters. D.C. has eight wins by knockout and three wins by submission. In their last fight the fight was standing and Rumble was winning by a landslide. Cormier knew it was time to change tactics so he took Johnson down and practically rode him out the rest of the fight putting all he had into keeping Johnson down. I understand his reason for switching to that because everybody knew he couldn't stand against Rumble, but the way he chose to become inactive once they got there is what bothered me. Dan has been making claims that he is going to stand against Rumble this time and beat him standing. If that is the case hopefully Rumble gets a bigger window of opportunity and gets a clean knockout. If D.C. chooses to abandon that and make a repeat of last fight then Johnson needs to defend takedowns and make sure he can grind him out. I predict a one-punch from Rumble at the beginning of the second round because I think D.C. will take him down and stay there in the first and Rumble will respond by just ending it when he has his chance.
UFC 210: This card has good pieces but it’s lackluster when you compare it to UFC 211 or even next weeks UFC on Fox fight card’s. But I am glad as of now Thursday on fight week DC has managed to stay healthy. But here we go!!!!
UFC Fight Pass Prelim Main Event:
Gregor Gillespie (8-0) vs Andrew Holbrook (12-1): These two men right here are going to finish off the online prelims in style. They are going to push the other one to their limit and look for an important win for the next step of their careers. I think Gillespie who isn’t bad on the mat will want to keep this thing standing against Holbrook. I think Holbrook is a dominant fighter on the rise. I really have a hard time figuring out who is going to win this one. I am going with my gut and take Andrew Holbrook on this one via 1st round submission picking up his 10th 1st round stoppage.
FS1 Prelims 8 PM/ET:
#12 Patrick Cummins (8-4) vs. #12 Jan Blachowicz (19-6): Light heavyweight ranked fight to start the televised prelims! This one should be a good one too for all of us to enjoy. I in the past have lived on the Cummins hype train but he just hasn’t figured out how to turn the corner and get himself into the top of this division just yet. While his opponent Jan has lost 3 of his last 4 fights and really needs this one to turn things around. This is a fight between guys who have both lost 3 of their last 4 and need this one bad. I really hope we get a great fight as they both should come out aggressive and try to determine the pace of the fight. I am going to join this hype train one more time and take Cummins to out wrestle Jan and keep control of this fight and pick up the win via unanimous decision.
Shane Burgos (8-0) vs. Charles Rosa (11-2): The battle here between two featherweights with the capability to become ranked featherweights soon square off. Shane Burgos is a 26 year old prospect of the UFC’s featherweight division. He could really make a big splash in the UFC if he can pick up a couple wins. He has only fought once inside the UFC octagon and he picked up an impressive unanimous decision victory in that fight. He has the skill set to dominant a fight no matter where the fight goes standing, clinch, or the mat. The guys is a beast but this is easily going to be his toughest test thus far as he faces a guy who I have enjoyed watching in Charles Rosa. Rosa is 2-2 since joining the UFC, his 2 loses coming by way of decision both to great fighters in Denis Siver (in his debut) and Yair Rodriguez two fights later which he lost by split decision in a very close fight. Rosa has the skill set to become a top contender just like his opponent this weekend he just needs to become more aggressive in my opinion in his fights. He seems to be a little slow paced and cautious which can get you a loss as the opponent scores against him. I really think this fight could be two guys feeling each other out or two guys that want this win and don’t leave it in the judges hands. I feel Shane Burgos finds a way to stop this thing in the 2nd round via TKO.
#11 Kamaru Usman (9-1) vs. Sean Strickland (18-1): This welterweight fight is could be main card worthy. I actually really am excited for this fight. Usman won TUF and hasn’t looked back since as he seriously looks amazing. This dude is one bad man who has learned more and more each fight how to strike better but on the mat this dude is a top fighter in the division. His opponent though is a kid on the rise who brings a whole ton of excitement to this division as well. I think Strickland is the more aggressive of the two fighters not by much but he could look to push the pace in this fight. I think this fight is going to be crazy fun and we will see both in the future in the top 5 one day. I think the winner of this fight will get a top 7 fighter in their next fight as they will have proven they deserve it. I have Usman winning things thing because he will realize he can’t win this fight standing and will dominate the mat and pick up the 3rd round submission.
Myles Jury (15-2) vs. Mike De La Torre (14-6, 1 NC): The main event of the televised prelims is a featherweight bout. Myles Jury is a dude that with a win here will probably find himself ranked in the bottom portion of the featherweight division. Myles can end the fight with one good clean shot and I think he will head hunt once he gets comfortable. Myles is coming into this fight on a 2 fight loosing streak, his only two career loses of his professional career. They were loses to good fighters in Donald Cerrone and Charles Oliveira. His opponent Mike De La Torre is 2-3,1NC since joining the UFC and really hopes to turn around his bad luck since joining the UFC. Mike is a decent stand up fighter but in this fight would be better off trying to get the fight to the mat. I believe this fight is a bit lopsided and we will see Myles Jury grab a 2nd round KO.
PPV Main Card 10 PM/ET:
Will Brooks (18-2) vs. #9 Charles Oliveira (21-7, 1NC): This fight is actually the one I am most excited for. Will Brooks is one of those guys I was so happy to see leave Bellator and join the UFC because this dude is a very well rounded fighter. I personally believe he could be a title contender one day soon in the UFC. He can definitely handle a full fight and he is going to fight his style of fight which can get boring at times for the average fan but for a true MMA fan this guy is thrilling to watch because he is masterful. Now his opponent Charles Oliveira is a finisher to the end. This dude is a complete monster and will be a threat every single place this fight is to get finished. Oliveira is extremely aggressive and at times he gets caught being too aggressive. He will definitely put on a fight for the fans though. I want to see this fight finish and it could easily do so but I think Brooks will do the finishing this time. Will Brooks picks up a 2nd round TKO in this fight.
Thiago Alves (26-12) vs. Patrick Cote (24-10): Another Welterweight brawl between two savages that should put on a big show for the fans. Thiago is coming off two tough loses but this guy is a few wins away from finding himself right into the mix of the top Welterweights in the UFC. This dude is a savage I believe his nickname “Pitbull” is perfect because this guy once unleashed he is an aggressive monster who can finish a fight in a flurry of fists. Now his opponent on the other hand is Patrick Cote is a guy who I believe shouldn’t have been unranked after his last loss considering it was only 1 loss of late and to Donald Cerrone. Cote is a tough dude to handle because he can get you to the mat and submit you but if you keep the fight standing against him he can land one clean shot and turn your lights out with his phenomenal KO one punch power. Watch out for Patrick Cote in this one as I feel Alves is going to get too aggressive and get caught with one clean shot. Cote wins this thing 1st round TKO.
Cynthia Calvillo (4-0) vs. Pearl Gonzalez (6-1): Well this fight almost didn’t happen because NYSAC is a horribly lead organization but thankfully they got their heads straight and this fight will happen. This fight will result in the winner being considered one of the top fighters in this division on the rise to the top. We haven’t seen Peal Gonzalez yet but she comes in with some serious hype and I think there is reason behind it as from what I have read she is a well-rounded fighter with great finishing skills. Her opponent Cynthia though we have seen and this girl has the skills to become a top female fighter in the world if she puts it all together. I really think this fight is going to be close but I worry about the first cage night jitters for Peal Gonzalez and think Cynthia figures out the way to pull off the win. I got her winning this fight via unanimous decision.
#4 Chris Weidman (13-2) vs. #5 Gegard Mousasi (41-6-2): Here we go! The Co-Main event of the evening is going to be an amazing fight. You got captain hug and hold Weidman who grinds out the decisions in one corner. Look Weidman is talented but he has been very passive in his career since he reached the top of the division. He two biggest wins were a lucky KO while Silva was cocky and a broken leg which has nothing to do with his skills. If Weidman would just get in the cage more and be a more aggressive fighter he could be a dominant monster because he has the skill set to be. Now his opponent, Gegard Mousasi, figured that very thing out. Early on I hated Gegard fights as I felt he was to passive and didn’t go display his skills like he has the talent to do. However since he got beat by Uriah Hall he has been way more aggressive and this new found energy and aggression has made Mousasi a top fighter in the world not just the division in my eyes. I really think this fight just comes down to the simple question, Has Weidman figured out how to be aggressive? If so I have no idea who will win this one because they are both top level skilled opponents. If not though Gegard is going to run over Weidman especially the run he is on right now. I have Gegard winning this one via 2nd round TKO in a fight of the night performance.
(Champ) Daniel Cormier (18-1) vs. #1 Anthony Johnson (22-5): Here comes the RUMLBE IN BUFFALO!!!! The main event of the night is on!!!! DC cheated the weight cut and played stupid about it in his post weigh-in interviews. He clearly was holding the towel to shift some weight and reach his weight because let’s be honest here you don’t drop 1.8 pounds in 2 minutes and 48 seconds. DC cheats the weigh ins and will get destroyed if he stays standing especially since I feel he had a hard time cutting weight and now will be a bit gassed. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him avoid the stand-up early and get this thing to the ground ASAP and use his heavy body to tire AJ and pick up the submission. That is if he gets the fight the way he wants it. Now his opponent isn’t the best on the mat to put it lightly but Anthony Johnson is the most vicious striker in the UFC and will be glad to stay standing in this one. If this fight stays up Anthony will shut the lights out on DC and send him back to doing a bad job on commentary in the booth. I am a bit annoyed with DC’s towel trick and I just want him to prove he can handle a stand-up fight. I think this is going to be fun though either way. Cheater vs. Rumble. Let’s see where this thing goes. If it stays standing AJ wins this easy as can be, if it goes to the ground DC wins this thing easy as he is the best wrestler in the UFC. But I guess this is hopeful thinking here, I believe AJ worked on keeping this fight standing and picks up the KO finish in the 3rd round giving us a new Champ.
- Matt Koontz