The card of all cards some would call this but I am not one of those people things have changed multiple times and it’s becoming a more common issue as of late. I believe I read 22 times so far in 2016 that a main event or co-main event have changed this year. I believe if Rousey was healthy this card would have had Rousey, if McGregor didn’t miss a press conference he would have been on this card, and now Jon Jones is off the card for having 2 illegal substances in his system. This card has had its issues but it is going to be great either way. I am excited as I can be for this card nonetheless.
UFC Fightpass Prelims (6:30 PM/ET):
Jim Miller (25-8, 1NC) vs. Takanori Gomi (35-11, 1NC): We kick off the night in the lightweight division and this fight will be a great entrance to the night. Gomi has lost two in a row and we haven’t seen him since July 25th last year where he was knocked out in the first round to Joe Lauzon who we will see later in this card. Gomi is a great striker with powerful and quick hands. He has some good wrestling skills but I think he will look in this fight to show that he can still be an explosive fighter and look for a KO victory. Over half of Gomi’s losses come to submission as he has been stopped 6 times out of his 11 losses due to being submitted. That doesn’t look good for him here as Jim Miller is a submission specialist. Gomi has stopped 19 of his 35 professional victories, 13 wins via KO and the other 6 through submission stoppages. Gomi has been great in his career, his age has started to show in the past couple years and he is now 37 and we will see if he can keep this fight where he wants it. I think he is going to throw hands often and fast and look to get Jim Miller to keep his distance. Now his opponent Jim Miller is coming in off a loss to Diego Sanchez who we will also see later in the night. Jim is a good fighter and an incredible wrestler. Jim has struggled as of late as well as Gomi as he has lost 2 in a row and been 4-4 with 1 NC in his last 9 bouts. He really needs this fight to turn it around and start showing the talent we know he has is still there. Jim is a great submission specialist and watching him on the mat is truly something special. Jim has stopped 17 of his 25 fights, 14 through submission and the other 3 via KO. All of Jim Miller’s losses have come to currently ranked fighters or fighters who in their careers were considered top of their divisions. Jim is a beast and really can put on a show and I really am so excited to see if he can turn around his bad luck of late and pick up the win at 200. I think it will start out a little slow and pick up as the fight goes on. I have Jim winning this fight though in a 2nd round submission victory via a RNC.
#8 (10) Gegard Mousasi (38-6-2) vs. #15 (13) Thiago Santos (13-3): This battle in the middleweight division is so good I am shocked it is in the online prelims, goes to show how stacked this fight card is. We will get to see a pure beast in Thiago Santos who can land some of the most brutal kicks any MMA fan will see. Thiago is rolling as of late as he has picked up 4 straight wins ever since his loss to Uriah Hall. Thiago has stopped all but 4 of his professional wins and done so with his brutal KO’s as he has stopped 8 fights via KO and one lone submission stoppage. Santos has stopped 7 of those fights in the very first round due to 2 major factors. He comes out hot and really looks to end fights quick and his power is so devastating that he can truly stop a fight in the matter of a second. I can’t wait to see Thiago fight this weekend he always grabs my attention as he should any MMA fan in the world. Now his opponent is a beast in his own right Mr. Gegard Mousasi. Gegard is a well-rounded beast who has not convinced me as of late that he is a top 5 fighter which a lot of people are arguing he is. Gegard needs to pick up some strong wins where he doesn’t let it go to the judges score card. He truly needs to come out and show that he can finish a fight and do so impressively if he wants to really wow the fans and get himself into title contention. I know he has stopped all but 6 of his fights but his last two wins are 2 of those decision victories. He was really making a charge to the title before he lost to a devastating KO stoppage to Uriah Hall. He has struggled in the UFC’s middleweight division as he has gone 4-3 in this division and he really could use a win over Thiago here to win over the fans. He has managed to stop 31 fights in his professional careers with 21 KO stoppages and 10 submission victories. He really is lethal where ever the fight goes and if he takes off the reigns and comes after it he could really be one of the most devastating fighters in this division. I really am a bit torn here who to take as you have two different style fighters and two guys who are rising through the division. I am going to take the underdog here and stick with Thiago Santos grabbing a 3rd round KO stoppage.
Diego Sanchez (28-8) vs. Joe Lauzon (25-12): This fight could be a true brutal blood bath to end the UFC online prelims. I have never been so excited to a fightpass prelim fight. Joe Lauzon even got me more hyped than I was before when he said the fans in the first couple rows should wear ponchos because the blood will be flying. These two guys are as brutal and savage as they can possibly come in the entire world in my eyes. I think we will see a fight of the year candidate here and will be a fight nobody can forget. Joe has stopped all but 1 of his professional wins and you can guarantee he will look to stop this one too. He has stopped 24 fights, 17 via submission and 7 more through KO stoppages, and he does so just in some of the most incredible ways possible. Joe has picked up post fight bonuses in 9 of his last 13 fights and is tied for second place all time in UFC history with post fight bonuses, with 13. I think we will see a fast paced brutal Joe come out here as he will look to try and get himself back on track in the division and maybe find himself ranked soon. Now his opponent is one of my all-time favorites in the MMA world, Diego Sanchez. Diego is one of the most if not the most entertaining fighter to ever lace up the gloves and step into the Octagon. I have never looked forward to a fight as much as I do when Diego Sanchez comes into the octagon and this one is one of the most exciting fights I could have ever imagined. He is a complete savage and he can just stand in front of people and throw wild fists. Diego has not stopped or been stopped in a fight since December 2009 against BJ Penn in one of the bloodiest fights to ever grace the UFC fans. This is not due to a lack of excitement though because Diego always looks for a stoppage and always looks to put his opponent to sleep with his flurry of hands. I honestly believe it might be impossible to stop Diego via a KO and I think if Joe wants to stop Diego he will have to do so through submission victories. I am excited for this fight more than maybe any other fights just due to where this fight can go and what could happen here. I hope both fighter come out fast and brutal like they are known to do, time will tell. I think we will see Diego pick up the win though in a brutal blood bath via a unanimous decision.
FS1 Prelims (8 PM/ET):
Sage Northcutt (7-1) vs. Enrique Marin (9-3): We kick off the televised prelims in the lightweight division with a very interesting battle. Enrique Marin is entering his 2nd fight in the UFC coming off a lost in the TUF finale. He is a good kickboxer with great submission skills and he will look to use his jiu-jitsu to stop this fight. He has won 7 of his last 8 fights professionally and will look to pick up a win here to make a good return to the lightweight division in this fight. He will need to use his submission skills here as his opponent has not proven to be able to do much on the mat yet in his young career, in the UFC, while Marin has stopped all of his stoppages via submission. Marin is a good fighter who can stop fights quick and loves looking for his finish. He is a great fighter who can stop fights fast as he has done so 5 times in the first round. Now his opponent is the future of the UFC and is only 20 years old. He has stopped all of his fights, even his loss was a stoppage. Sage has never seen the scorecard but he has the stamina and is in phenomenal shape and I believe can keep his stamina up for all 15 minutes. Sage’s loss to Bryan Barberena was honestly a good lesson for him to learn and he needs to work on his submission escape. His tap out came early and without much of an effort to escape it. Granted they say he had strep throat during that fight and maybe it was a fluke but I honestly hope he doesn’t use excuses and I personally would like to see Marin test him here and show that his ground game has improved. Sage is one of the best stand up fighters in the UFC and I wouldn’t be worried about his striking game at all. He has showed the ability to stop fights on the mat though just as well as his striking stoppages and I think if he can work on his submission defense he will be one of the best fighters in the UFC soon enough. I am so excited to see where Sage goes from here and as I mentioned he has stopped all 7 of his fights pretty evenly split 4 KO wins and 3 submissions. This kid has speed that nobody in his division or the UFC even really have when you consider the power he brings as well. I think he will get back on track and show the fans that the future is now and pick up a 1st round KO victory.
#1 (1) TJ Dillashaw (12-3) vs. #3 (2) Raphael Assuncao (23-4): HOW IS THIS FIGHT NOT ON THE MAIN CARD?!!??!? This fight could have been a title fight in my eyes if Dillashaw still had his title. Now Raphael might have some cage rust as he hasn’t fought since October 4th in 2014 and will be looking to show the skills we know he has that we haven’t seen in a long time. Raphael has won 7 in a row prior to his time off due to injury. I believe he is truly one win away from a title shot and honestly in my eyes top 15 P4P. He is one of my favorite fighters to watch when healthy as he loves to push the pace and keep the action always flowing. He is undefeated since joining the bantamweight division. Dillashaw claimed the Assuncao is still the same fighter and isn’t changing or evolving, but I believe strongly in the, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” motto. Rafael is BJJ black belt with a background in Muay Thai. Raphael hasn’t stopped many of his fights but that isn’t due to a lack of pace or skill. I believe he will come out a touch slower than normal in this fight but we will see it change in the 2nd round once he gets the rust off. Now his opponent TJ is coming off a tough loss to Dominick Cruz in a fight where a lot of people don’t agree that he really beat. A lot of fans believe it was too close to call and the ties should favor the champ. Either way on the next page of his career and the revamped TJ Dillashaw who will look to get right back into the title shot with a win here. If there was one fighter I believe is able to stop Assuncao it is Dillashaw. TJ loves to stop fights as he has stopped 9 of his 13, 3 via submission and 6 through KO and I think he will need to use his striking skills to win this one. TJ is a phenomenal striker, he is almost in an element of his own when it comes to his striking abilities. TJ loves to push the pace of a fight just like his opponent so it will be really interesting to see who takes control of the fight and controls the octagon and keeps the fight where he wants it. TJ has actually looked like a more improved fighter since leaving Team Alpha fail and I think it was the best move of his career. I honestly am not sure who though will pick up the win here. This fight is going to be so close and so intense that the fans might not be able to sit in their seats watching this one as I know I won’t be able to. I am so freaking torn as this fight is so close that it is the hardest fight for me to call on this card. TJ is apparently a large favorite and I don’t understand that one entirely. But whatever I will go with the underdog to impress us all and pick up a “shocking” Assuncao 2nd round submission.
#6 (7) Johny Hendricks (17-4) vs. #12 (14) Kelvin Gastelum (12-2): This fight in the welterweight division has the potential to be entertaining. Kelvin is coming off a hell of a fight against Neil Magny in which he lost via split decision. Kelvin every time he fights give it his all and he has the ability to stop fights. He has stopped 9 of his 12 victories and done so in a fairly balanced manner with 5 KO victories and 4 submission victories. Kelvin has stopped 5 of them in the first round and I think he will come out strong and fast here and look to stop the fight quick and avoid Johny’s style of point scoring and holding on till decision. Gastelum is training at Kings MMA and that puts him in one of the best gyms in the world and I believe they will develop him into something special as he is only 24 years of age and can easily get to the top of the division by the end of his career because he has the skill sets to do so. Now his opponent hasn’t really impressed me in his career like he has everyone else. He comes out great and I love watching him in the first round but then he seems to just go for the scorecard lately once the fight makes it past the first round. That man is Johny Hendricks, the former champ who is coming off a brutal loss to Stephen Thompson. Johny hasn’t showed his stopping abilities in the UFC as much as his skill set shows he could. He has stopped 5 of his 12 wins in the UFC and less often as of late. I think Johny is a lot like Gegard, a great fighter with a whole ton of skill that just needs to look for the finish more often and become the fighter we know he has the ability to be. Now Johny is as dominating a wrestler as you will see in the UFC with exceptions to maybe Brock Lesnar, Daniel Cormier, and Henry Cejudo. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him go for the takedown early and keep the fight there using his great ground and pound and maybe grab a submission victory, that would be his goal. I think this fight will just come down to a simple question of who can push the pace of this fight. I believe we will see a good brawl and I have Gastelum walking out with his hand raised as he continues to learn and climb the division. On a side note I would actually like to see Johny go up a weight class I think he would be a beast up in middleweight. I have Gastelum via unanimous decision.
#3 (4) Cat Zingano (9-1) vs. #5 (5) Julianna Pena (8-2): The main event of the televised prelims is a brawl between some of the most intimidating women in the women’s bantamweight division. I would love to see either one get a title shot in their next fight because they have both deserved it in my eyes. This fight will be fun to watch as Pena is a beast on the mat and uses BJJ and wrestling to be so dominant. She is 3-0 in the UFC and has stopped 2 of those 3 fights. She has surprisingly stopped 7 of her 8 wins, her lone decision win was her last fight in which she picked up a win over Jessica Eye. She stopped 4 of her fights through a submission and the other 3 are through KO victories. I think she will look to push the pace and finish the fight in the first round. Now her opponent is Cat Zingano who has only lost one fight in her career and that was a loss to Rousey in which she blindly charged and was submitted early without landing a punch first. Cat will look to show how skilled she is and rebound though we haven’t seen her since last February in the fight where she did lose. Cat just like her opponent has only gone the distance one time in her career and I expect that to mean fireworks now more than ever. This fight will be fast paced high action and could possibly lead towards the title shot that they both deserve. I will be on the edge of my seat during this fight and I believe it will be a real brawl. I think Zingano grabs the win via 1st round TKO victory and makes her case for the next girl to fight for the title after UFC 200.
Main Card (10 PM/ET):
#2 (2) Cain Velasquez (13-2) vs. #7 (3) Travis Browne (18-3-1): Here we go the main card of the biggest fight card ever. It kicks off with a heavyweight fight between two complete beasts. I think the winner of this fight should head to the title shot honestly. Now Travis Browne is a beast in all elements of MMA and he is one of the lighter heavyweight fighters in the division. He is a 6’7” striking beast with great skills when the fight goes the mat. His last win was considered controversial over Matt Mitrione but I believe it was bound to happen and I think he deserved the win. I have no idea how he is considered below a top 5 fighter on UFC.com. I think he has proved he is a top 5 fighter and is one big win away from a title shot and I think he could shock a lot of people if he was given one. Travis has stopped 16 of his 18 wins and 14 of those are through KO victories and 2 more via submission. Travis has the ability to end a fight in the matter seconds and can do so with one punch. He has stopped fights in the matter of a minute or less. Travis always comes into each fight in great shape, condition, and with the best training. Now his opponent is the man who has taken the title from Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos in his career, Cain Velasquez. Cain is honestly one of the top fighters in the heavyweight division on the mat with exceptions to Fabricio Werdum and maybe, maybe, Josh Barnett. Cain is a powerful dude and can put people to sleep with one punch as well. Cain is a BJJ black belt and has the edge if this fight goes to ground. Now Cain stops fights early just like Browne, out of 15 fights Cain has only had 4 fights in his career go past 2 minutes and 34 seconds in the second round. Cain has the endurance like no other fighter in the world but he didn’t show that in his loss to Werdum which I think he came into in terrible condition. Cain is definitely bound for a title shot against the winner of Miocic and Overeem if he wins this fight. It would be surprising if this fight made it out of the first round because both of these guys love to come out swinging and look for the finish. I am sure that this one will end early and be fun for the fans to open the main card. I am not sure how Travis is such an underdog as far as the betting odds go I think they are a good bit off. That being said I believe Velasquez will win this one via a TKO but I don’t think it’s a guarantee at all and the odds are way off. It should be -125 Cain and +105 Browne.
#1 (2) Jose Aldo (25-2) vs. #2 (1) Frankie Edgar (19-4-1): The first of now 2 title fights of the night is for the interim title in the featherweight division. On one side you have the man who held the belt for 10 years before one punch in 13 seconds stopped his 10 year reign. On the other side you have a guy who has evolved and become one of the best fighters in the world. Frankie a new youth side to him and he is just tearing people apart as of late and I would hate to be in the path of this man on his way to the title. I have been calling for Edgar to get a title shot since 2015 started and I have been beyond pissed off that he hasn’t gotten one. Frankie has stopped 9 of his fights and 6 of them in the first round. Frankie has become a better boxer as time has gone on and his striking has continued to improve while his wrestling was already great and it will most likely stay that way. Frankie I believe lately has proven that he is the best fighter in this division and I believe he is even better than the current champ. I just wish he had been given the shot to prove it. One stat that jumps out at me the most when you look at Frankie is that he has beat BJ Penn all 3 times they have faced each other. Frankie has stopped 5 fights via KO and 4 more through submission as he has time and time against showed he can fight anywhere the fight goes and be dominant. Now Frankie in his last fight picked up a brutal win in which he stopped Chad Mendes early with a dominating KO. Now his opponent is a guy who dominated the UFC for 10 years when he was healthy that is. He is coming off a loss that shocked the world due to the fact that he lost the fight so quickly in just one clean shot. Jose Aldo is one of the best fighters in the world and hopes to get back to that form as he could if he beats the only guy in his division I think is truly better than him. Jose is one of the toughest dudes to take to the ground as he posted a 91% takedown defense thus far into his career. He has stopped 16 of his 25 wins, 15 of those are via KO and one more via submission. Aldo has the ability to end the fight in standing or on the mat if the fight goes there. He has incredible knockout power and will look to use his hands here to keep himself in this fight. I believe that his normal advantage of stamina better than most won’t apply here because Frankie has some great stamina as well and this fight could go all 25 minutes. This fight will be fun to watch and I am honestly a firm believer of the winner of this fight will take the united featherweight title back from Connor and I think we could see these two go at it against once that happens. Now I believe the man on fire, Frankie Edgar will pick up the win via 4th round TKO and hold the interim belt at the end of the day.
(C) Daniel Cormier (17-1) vs. #5 MW (11 MW) Anderson Silva (33-7, 1NC): This fight was the main event when it was DC and Jon Jones for the LHW belt. Jon Jones got flagged for 2 different PED type drugs in his system. Now the fight is against one of the best fighters currently in the UFC and possibly the best there ever was. Anderson hasn’t trained much if at all since he had issues with his gull bladder a few months ago and he admitted that and said he wants this fight because he feels good and would love to get back into the octagon. He has proven how great of a peoples champ he has always been and does so again by taking this fight against a beast at 205. Silva hit 198 at weigh ins so he will be close to 205 in what is basically a catch weight battle. Let me be honest I don’t think Silva has much of a shot against DC because DC quite honestly could be a top 5 fighter in the world, all I wanted to see was him beat Jon Jones. Silva though will bring in his exceptional ground game and his state of the art Muay Thai skill set. If Anderson wants to win this fight he will have to keep his feet moving and use his head dodges that he is legendary for. He will have to duck and dodge DC’s heavy hands and avoid getting into a wrestling match with him. If Silva can get his legs effectively working and keep himself at a distance and use his slick speed to move in and out he will have a decent shot. Now his opponent is a classy man in DC who has handled losing his original title opponent after months, hell over a year, of training and getting himself mentally prepared for him. DC handled this like a true champ didn’t kick Jones while he was down he said it is time for me to move on in my career and go to the next chapter. Daniel is one of the best wrestlers in the world arguably only behind Henry Cejudo and his power is remarkable. I think if he wins this one he will just add a legendary chapter to his storied career. This fight is going to start slow as I believe they will really try to figure out how to handle each other but they should pick up pace late in the first round and carry it into the second. I think in the end the power and physical prowess of DC will be too much for Silva to handle and we will see a 2nd round KO from DC.
Brock Lesnar (5-3) vs. #8 (8) Mark Hunt (12-10-1): The Co-Main event of the evening will be a good one as the fists could fly. This fight is going to be a possible fight of the year even as Lesnar will return to the octagon for the first time in 5 years. Let me keep with the normal order of this though and start with Mark. I have been the biggest critic of Mark Hunt over the past few years but recently I have started to see something in him that is truly special and I believe he could be headed to the top of this heavyweight division. Mark isn’t the best fighter on the mat but I mean honestly there has never been a guy who is better at the walk off KO in the history of the UFC. He can hit someone once and know it is over as he is truly one of the most brutal men in the world and he can take a beating with the best of them. His fight against Miocic proved how honestly savage of a beating he can take yes he lost but he hung in there when he was getting pounded continuously through all 5 rounds and it never seemed to stop. Mark is a great fighter and he has just looked like a man possessed in his last few fights and I am really excited to see if he can continue his charge through the division as he faces one of the most legendary names in MMA and sports. Brock Lesnar is not going to be an easy foe to say the least. Brock used to suffer from something called Diverticulitis through his whole MMA career and he said he never truly felt 100% healthy, but he says he feels good now and that should scare anyone because if he could do what he did not healthy what can he do healthy? Man this fight could be incredible. Brock and Mark I hope stay standing and keep this fight a brawl because that’s where this fight has the elements to be fight of the year. If this thing goes to ground though Brock will probably dominate this fight and it won’t have the excitement, we all hope and believe this fight will have. This fight could be amazing as I said if they stay standing and I believe they will keep it that way. Brock just as a side note is still under contract with the WWE and is not back in the UFC to stay though I do believe he will be back for one more fight before he officially retires as long as he feels good win or lose after this one. I really think the 5 years off will effect Brock and Mark has been on a slight roll as of late and will win this fight using his brutal hands and devastating power. I think it will be close through round one and open up and show Mark is truly the better fighter as it goes on and he will grab a 2nd round TKO stoppage.
(C) Miesha Tate (18-5) vs. #4 (2) Amanda Nunes (12-4): The new Main event of UFC 200 is the ladies battling it out for the women’s bantamweight title. These girls will throw down and show how much talent they have. I think the issue with Amanda as of right now is that her stamina has seemed to be an issue as time has gone on. Nunes is a black belt in BJJ but will be facing a girl on the mat who might just not be worried about a black belt in BJJ. Nunes is a beast on her feet as she has some of the most explosive power in her hands and loves to stand and brawl with the best of them. She has a background in Judo as well and if she can keep developing her judo I think she could be a better fighter than Ronda Rousey was and one day if not tonight take her claim for the women’s bantamweight title. Now she needs to come into this fight with a slower pace than normal and pace herself out because Miesha has the best cardio in the women’s bantamweight division and can come after it and just keep coming and if Amanda doesn’t prepare for that and she shows and signs of fatigue or slowing down then she will be in serious trouble. Now I think Amanda has the advantage on her feet and she will keep herself there if she can and look to avoid decision and stop Tate at all costs because nobody scores as good as Tate with her technical skill set. Now her opponent is the girl who I knew had what it took to beat Holly Holm. Miesha’s title win is far from a fluke and she is in my eyes the most complete female champion the UFC has had so far. Yes I know she lost to Rousey on more than one occasion, but she has in my eyes become the better fighter and her striking is nearly as good as her ground game. Tate is a true warrior as she can take a beating like no other and just keep coming. I honestly believe she is the toughest female in the world and I think she could hold this belt for a while if she keeps the momentum and pace she has been fighting with as of late. I was originally torn with this one but I have watched more and more on Tate and Nunes each and I think as of right now Tate is the better fighter, as of now. Nunes is a title holder one day soon I truly believe but I don’t think this is her time. I have Tate pulling off the win in the 3rd round through submission as Nunes’ cardio will fail to carry her past the 2nd rounds with her pace and she will slow down and Tate will capitalize.
- Matt Koontz
Fight Pass Prelims
Jim Miller (25-8) vs. Takanori Gomi (35-11): We are kicking off this amazing card with a lightweight matchup. First up is Jim Miller who is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Miller has 14 wins by submission and three more wins by knockout. He is a strong striker and uses his strikes to confuse his opponent into getting stuck into his submissions. Unfortunately, Miller has gone 4-4-1 in his last nine fights so he is looking for a comeback. His opponent is Takanori Gomi who is 3-3 in his last six fights so he will also be looking for redemption in this fight. Gomi has 13 wins by knockout and six more by submission. Gomi is also an aggressive striker and I think this fight will be mostly standing. I think it will go into the third round and Jim Miller will catch a sneaky submission for the victory.
(#8) Gegard Mousasi (38-6-2) vs. (#15) Thiago Santos (15-3): The next fight is between two ranked middleweight fighters and the only reason this fight is so low on the card is because of how packed this card is. Thiago Santos has eight wins by knockout and one more win by submission and only two of his finishes were not in the first round. He is also on a four fight win streak. His opponent is Gegard Mousasi who is 10-3-1 in his last 14 fights. He has 21 wins by knockout and 10 wins by submission. Mousasi had an 8-0 pro kickboxing record so he is an intimidating striker. This fight will be interesting in the standup, but I think Mousasi will be quick to work the cage fighting and takedown. In the second round I predict Gegard will get a submission victory.
Diego Sanchez (28-8) vs. Joe Lauzon (24-12): This is the main event for the fight pass and we see another lightweight fight. The first fighter is Diego Sanchez who is someone I can go on forever about. Sanchez won his first 19 fights straight and was the winner of The Ultimate Fighter season one in the middleweight division. Sanchez has been up and down throughout many weight classes. He is a balls-to-the-wall never back down fighter. He has an amazing personality in the ring and always wants the best show for the fans. With that being said, if you look up a list of bloodiest UFC fights I guarantee he will be somewhere on the list. His opponent is also a heavy hitter, but prefers his grappling. Joe Lauzon has also been through slugfests, but hunts the big takedown and scoops up a quick submission. Lauzon has 17 wins by submission and seven wins by knockout. I think this fight will be very close the whole time with the fight being mostly standing and some ground work due to a takedown by Lauzon. I think this will be very exciting and go to decision, with Lauzon winning by split.
Fox Sports 1 Prelims
Sage Northcutt (7-1) vs. Enrique Marin (9-3): Moving right on to the televised prelims, we see our third lightweight matchup for the night. In this fight we see Sage trying try to get everybody back on his hype train and his opponent is looking to prove he isn’t as great as the hype. Sage Northcutt is the youngest fighter on the roster at 20 years old and has won two of his three matches in the UFC. He has finished all of his wins and five in the first round, four wins being by knockout and three by submission. Northcutt is a black belt in multiple disciplines and is in insane shape. He could probably go all three rounds easy if he was ever pushed that far. His opponent is Enrique Marin who is fighting his second match in the UFC, with the first being in The Ultimate Fighter LATAM 2 Finale. Six of his wins were by submission and five of them were in the first round. Northcutt is a more aggressive fighter and I think he will be able to keep this standing and get a TKO in the second round.
(#1) T.J. Dillashaw (12-3) vs. (#3) Raphael Assuncao (23-4): The next fight of the prelims is a ranked bantamweight fight that may determine Dominick Cruz’s next opponent. Raphael Assuncao is on a seven fight win streak and has won eight of his last nine. Assuncao has ten wins by submission and three more by knockout which can be attributed to his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He is a good counter striker and dangerous on the mat. A well matched opponent is across the ring in T.J. Dillashaw. Dillashaw is a former bantamweight champion and extremely hard to read. He tends to fight in a staggered wrestling stance so he can very easily switch which side leads for his strikes and takedowns. This has made it so he has won eight of his last ten fights. This fight may stay standing during the first round, but I predict this to be a very technical ground battle. I think this will be very back and forth, but Raphael Assuncao will put out a submission in the third round and prove he is next in line for the belt.
(#6) Johny Hendricks (17-4) vs. (#12) Kelvin Gastelum (12-2): The next fight is between two ranked welterweights. Kelvin Gastelum has five wins by knockout and four by submission with five of his finishes in the first round. He is a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and is also an extremely powerful fighter. His opponent is Johny Hendricks who was a four-time Division I All-American in wrestling. In MMA, he has eight wins by knockout and another win by submission. Also he has won eight of his last 11 fights. This will be a very interesting fight because Gastelum will constantly be pushing the pace and most of his swings are looking for the knockout. Now, Hendricks has crazy knockout power, but he has this weird game plan in most of his fights where he does just enough to win the amount of rounds he needs to win then he coasts. By that I mean he almost literally runs away the full length of the remaining rounds. I believe that Gastelum will push him too hard in the first round for Hendricks to be able to coast in the third so this will be a war and I think someone is going to get knocked out. I said that I think Gastelum will win the first and I think he will be able to wear Hendricks down enough to get a nasty TKO in the third.
(#3) Cat Zingano (9-1) vs. (#5) Julianna Pena (8-2): We are at the main event of the prelims and we see another ranked fight, but this time in the women’s bantamweight division. Julianna Pena has four wins by submission and three wins by knockout and four of those finishes were in the first round. She is also on a four fight win streak. Pena is an active striker and is coming into this fight with a lot of steam, considering Zingano the best in the division. Cat Zingano has only lost to Ronda Rousey and has accumulated eight finishes with eight by knockout and three by submission. Zingano is a wild striker and has flashy moves to get people stuck in odd submissions. This fight will probably get quick into the clinch with Zingano throwing knees and looking for a way to tie Pena up. Pena will probably look to break the clinch and keep this thing standing. I think it will go to the second round and Zingano will get a big takedown right into a tight submission getting a second round victory.
(#2) Cain Velasquez (13-2) vs. (#7) Travis Browne (18-3-1): The first fight of the main card is the first heavyweight matchup of the night and is between two ranked fighters. Travis Browne has 14 wins by knockout and two wins by submission. Browne hasn’t won six fights in a row, but his last six wins were all by knockout. He is also a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. His opponent, Cain Velasquez, is very similar. Velasquez has 11 wins by knockout and is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Both fighters are very aggressive strikers and are looking to push the pace. Fights like this are very hard to call in my opinion because they could both swing for the fences the whole time and somebody gets dropped in the first or second round or it could go the distance. In the first round I am going to call that they are going to feel each other out and make good progress leading into the rest of the fight. In the second round is when I see the big shots coming in and I think Cain will be the first person to get a knock down and they will scramble and exchange some on the ground. I predict that Browne will get up and maybe finish the round. Next I think that Travis will put up a great fight, but I think Cain will get a TKO victory in the third.
(#1) Jose Aldo (25-2) vs. (#2) Frankie Edgar (19-4-1): The next fight of the night is a fight for the Interim Featherweight belt, which pretty much means a fight for number one contender spot we means shit for that division because McGregor is off doing God knows what. First up is Frankie Edgar who is on a five fight win streak. Edgar should have been the choice when Aldo backed out against McGregor and when Dos Anjos got injured before the McGregor fight. He has five wins by knockout and four more by submission with six finishes in the first round. Frankie Edgar is the perfectly rounded fighter; he is a great striker, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and was a college wrestler. His opponent is Jose Aldo who is coming back from his loss to Conor McGregor. Before that, Aldo was on an 18 fight win streak. In his career he has 15 wins by knockout and one more win by submission. He is also a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. This fight is very interesting and could be a main event on a lot of other cards. Both of these guys are arguably legends in the division and I think this will be very close in every aspect of this fight. I predict this fight to go all three rounds with both fighters fighting like a title is on the line and I predict that Frankie Edgar will win by split decision.
(C) Dan Cormier (17-1) vs. (#5) Anderson Silva (33-7): This next fight is very unusual just in story alone. At the very beginning it was supposed to be McGregor vs. Diaz 2 for the main event at welterweight. Next, due to complications with McGregor, Dana White booked the main event as Jon Jones vs. Dan Cormier which in my opinion was a much better match anyway. Now just a couple days ago, Jon Jones tested positive for PEDs on a drug test he knew was coming. Apparently, Dana White was getting people campaigning him for the fight before he even knew the test results personally. Well he and the others that make such decisions decided on the GOAT Anderson Silva. Unfortunately, no title is on the line, the fight was taken from the main event and is only three rounds. Anderson Silva was considered by many probably the best of all time when he was champion at middleweight, but recently he has been off and on. In his last four fights he went 0-3-1, one loss was due to a broken leg and the no contest he won, but was overturned due to a positive drug test. If Silva can get back in his groove he can give Dan a rough night here. Now Dan Cormier is the man I’m going to start calling the Heavyweight Killer. Cormier has only one loss and it’s from his first fight with Jon Jones. Dan Cormier has a 13-0 record at heavyweight and he is the only person ever in the UFC with such a win streak in the heavyweight division, and now dropping a weight class he is just as dominant. Even during the loss to Jones, Dan is an ox with hands of stone. He is an Olympic level wrestler and can slam the shit out of opponents much larger than he. If this fight stays standing I am very unsure of how this will go because Cormier is an offensive tank and Anderson is one of the best counter strikers. If this fight gets on the mat, regardless of Silva’s black belt, I think Cormier will just mop the floor with his opponent. I think this fight will be very intense the first round with both fighters staying standing. I think in the second Dan Cormier will get a huge slam and there will be a lot of technical work for a short amount of time, but Dan will overpower and get a TKO late in the second.
Brock Lesnar (5-3) vs. (#8) Mark Hunt (12-10-1): Here we are at the co-main event of the night and we see the return of Brock Lesnar on a one fight contract just for UFC 200. Leading up to this fight in a lot of the press conferences, Brock has said that in his first run with the UFC he suffered from a disease which didn’t allow him to perform at his best. Well Brock is completely healthy and if it was really limiting him, then we should see a whole new beast in this cage tonight. Lesnar had a 106-5 career record in college wrestling, was a four time All-American and a NCAA National Champion. In MMA, he won three fights by knockout and another by submission with one finish in the first round. Brock is a monster who tends to use his wrestling just to set up his vicious ground and pound. His opponent is Mark Hunt who up until recently had a below average record. He was 10-10-1 and just looked sloppy in most of his fights, luckily for him he turned around and won two fights in a row in first round KO/TKO. Both fighters can take and give out a whole hell of a lot of pain so I predict this fight being a slugfest. I think this will go to the third round and I see Mark Hunt working the fight a little better since he has so much more fight experience. I see Hunt just wearing Lesnar down better and picking up the TKO in the third.
(C) Meisha Tate (18-5) vs. (#4) Amanda Nunes (12-4): This is the main event for the night and this is for the women’s bantamweight title. This fight was promoted to main event after the issues with Jon Jones and I believe it’s deserved since it’s the only title fight on the card. Amanda Nunes, in my opinion, is a damn good fighter and the statistics show it. Nunes has won five of her last six fights and is on a three fight win streak. In her career, she has nine wins by knockout and two more wins by submission with nine of the 11 finishes in the first round. Nunes is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a brown belt in Judo. She pushes the paces very hard and swings a lot. If I had one complaint, I would say that she overextends on a lot of her punches. Her opponent is the champ, Meisha Tate. Tate is on a five fight winning streak. She has seven wins by submission and three more by knockout. This fight will be close in the standup, but I think Nunes will have the edge. I am sure it will go to the ground and when it does I think Tate will have the edge because of her experience in the ring. I think Nunes will get a knockdown in the second round and from there Tate will aim to keep this on the ground. From there I think it will be very close for a long while, but I see Meisha getting a submission in the fourth.