UFC 232: This card has been full of drama already with it moving on 6 days’ notice from Vegas to California because Jon Jones once against tested positive for a banned substance. The morons are claiming it was a substance from 16 months ago, but tests show that in early August this year he was negative then the substance showed up again in 3 tests. Then it was gone again for multiple tests before showing back up again. This fight shouldn’t be happening because Jones is no way clean entering this fight. It just logically has so many red flags and Dana White, Jeff Nowistky, and Jon Jones refused to actually answer questions that the media had after they had time to research it all. The rest of this card though is pretty awesome so be excited for that.
UFC Fightpass Prelims @ 6:15 PM/ET:
Brian Kelleher (19-9) vs. Montel Jackson (6-1): We kick off the night in the bantamweight division. Look I know its brutal and not a good strategy as I have seen that over 60% of the fighters that come in overweight win their fights, but I can’t take an unprofessional fighter, so I will just simply say I am taking Kelleher by round 2 TKO after Jackson tires from a bad weight cut. - Matt K
Kelleher via 2nd round submission. The constant pressure of Kelleher and the take downs will be too much for Jackson. - Blake English
Curtis Millender (16-3) vs. Siyar Bahadurzada (23-6-1): This fight in the welterweight division should be exciting. Both of these guys could stop this fight but the better all-around fighter in MMA skills is Siyar in this one. Millender will have the reach advantage and looks to be the more defined fighter entering this one. I do believe if the fight goes longer than a round, we will see Siyar land a take down which could be the end of the fight as his ground game skills are better than his opponents. This fight will surely be one to entertain the fans, but I believe we will see Curtis Millender pull it off and grab himself a late 1st round TKO. - Matt K
Siyar has some great skills, but can be flustered by faster strikers. Millender's also huge by comparisson and has a better reach with more complete striking. Millender by decision. - Blake
#13 (14) Uriah Hall (14-9) vs. Bevon Lewis (6-0): This middleweight fight will not go the distance. We will see Uriah Hall take on a UFC new comer. So, after watching Bevon’s contender series fights I have to admit this dude is a lot more dangerous than I thought he was for Uriah Hall. He throws some freaking nice elbows in the clinch and knows how to land some devastating knees in the clinch or leaving the clinch. I really like what I have seen of him on his feet as he is an aggressive fighter. Uriah is a beast of a fighter sometimes he seems to come into fights with a different attitude. Uriah wins the fights where he is the aggressor on his feet and loses the fights where he is fighting from his heels, so this fight is as simple as in which way will he approach this fight. I am torn on this fight as I have gone back and forth multiple times changing my pick and here Friday night its time to lock in my answer. I could see it go either way, but I am going to take the newcomer Bevon Lewis by way of 2nd round KO. - Matt K
Lewis is great in the clinch, but i feel he will rush it and get caught by a kick from Hall. Hall by 1st round KO. - Blake
Nathaniel Wood (14-3) Vs. Andre Ewell (13-4): The Bantamweight division takes the spotlight in the UFC Fightpass prelims main event. I really like this fight and believe we could see a KO ending as this fight should be close. I think Ewell’s reach advantage will give him a strong advantage in this one as it is a 7-inch advantage for Ewell. Ewell though will need to make sure he lands often and prevents Wood from closing the distance as Wood is the more powerful striker. I am intrigued to see if Wood can close the distance because if he can he will be okay and could win this fight with his striking skills or on the mat as I do believe he is the better ground game. I have Nathaniel Wood closing the distance early in round 2 and landing a devastating knockdown and will grab the submission once Ewell is on the mat. - Matt K
They both aren't good defensively which makes it tough to pick but I am taking Ewell via decision. - Blake
FS1 Prelims (8 PM/ET):
BJ Penn (16-12-2) vs. Ryan Hall (6-1): Kicking off the night we see a relative new comer going up against a UFC Hall of Famer. Ryan Hall has won 4 of his 6 fights by finish with 2 by each way of finish. He is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and favors leg locks which is a tricky set of techniques to get used to. He hasn't had many fights in the UFC so the stats are a little limited, but he has managed a 73% striking defense and nobody has attempted to take him down yet. He is fighting against Hall of Famer BJ Penn who used to be a great fighter, but in my opinion needs to retire. In his career he has won 7 fights by knockout and 6 by submission with 6 first round finishes. He is a 5th degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has maintained a pretty solid grappling with 57% takedown success and 75% takedown defense. However, Penn has lost all of his last 5 fights and and has even retired once in between these losses. He was a great fighter and any long time fight fans probably remember one of his classics, but he needs to call it quits. I'm going with Ryan Hall via submission in the second round - Mike W
I have Ryan Hall winning this fight easily picking up a 2nd round TKO after a 10-8 round 1. - Matt K
This fight will depress me because it shouldn't even be happening. No Comments. Ryan Hall 2nd round KO. - Blake
(#14) Douglas Silva de Andrade (25-2) vs. Petr Yan (10-1): Moving on we come to the only bantamweight matchup of the night. Petr Yan is a powerhouse. He has 4 wins by knockout and 1 by submission with 3 first round finishes. He has an average if 6.7 significant strikes per minute and only absorbs 3.75 a minute. Yan has a 72% striking defense and a 88% takedown defense. He is a Master of Sport in boxing and MMA which is a term referring to a National Champion level athlete in USSR competitive sport rankings. His opponent is just as much of a steamroller. Douglas Silva de Andrade has 19 knockouts under his belt with 10 finished in the first. He lands and absorbs the same amount of significant strikes at an average of 4 per minute. He has a good defense at 61% of strikes defended and 68% of takedowns. I believe Petr Yan is a much more aggressive fighter with a better defense. These two will probably exchange well in the first round and in the second Petr Yan will get a nasty TKO. - Mike W
This fight is hard to call but I am going to pick Petr Yan to land a 3rd round big shot TKO victory.
- Matt K
This fight is tough to decide and i think it will be the best fight on the undercard. I'll take Yan via 3rd round TKO. - Blake
(#5) Cat Zingano (10-3) vs. Megan Anderson (8-3): Next up is one of two women's fights tonight. Megan Anderson is entering her second fight in the UFC after losing by a close decision to Holly Holm. She has 4 wins by knockout and 2 by submission with 3 in the first. Anderson is an aggressive striker that walks her opponents down and packs a lot of power. Her submissions came from beating her opponents down and then hopping on after they got rocked. Her opponent is one of the top 5 women bantamweights. Cat Zingano has 5 knockouts and 3 submissions. In college she wrestled in a women's league and was a 4-time All-American and National Champion. She does not a great takedown defense in MMA with only 42%, but a good takedown accuracy with 65%. Anderson was winning against Holm until Holm was able to get her to the ground and take over. While that's a very real possibility against Zingano, Zingano doesn't have a good striking defense and I believe Anderson will be able to keep it where she wants it and get a TKO in the third. - Mike
I agree with Mike entirely on this one exact same finish. - Matt
Anderson will rush into her striking and fall into a Zingano takedown which leads to a 1st round Cat Zingano submission. - Blake
(#13) Andrei Arlovski (27-17) vs. Walt Harris (11-7): Main eventing the prelims is a heavyweight matchup. Walt Harris has gotten all of his wins by knockout and only two haven't been in the first round. Harris didn't start MMA until after he graduated college and in that time he became a State Golden Glove Champ in two different states. In MMA he has a poor takedown rate with only 33% successful, but maintains a good striking defense at 63% and a great takedown defense at 75%. His opponent is a heavyweight veteran. Andrei Arlovski has won 17 fights by knockout and 3 by submission with 13 first round finishes. He is an International Master of Sport in Sambo which is the USSR sport ranking equivalent to an International champion and a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Similar to BJ Penn, he used to be great but now he has only won 2 of his last 9 fights. If you are wondering how he can still be ranked like that it just goes to show how much talent is lacking in the heavyweight division these days. I think Arlovski should be on his way out like Penn and Harris will pickup a knockout in the first or second round. - Mike
I think Walt knocks out Arlovski in the first round after both land some big shots. Harris will close the gap and finish this thing. - Matt
Walt will end up being too much for Arlovski. Arlovski will shoot for a takedown and end up getting caught with an uppercut. Harris via 2nd round KO. - Blake
UFC 232 Main Card (10 PM/ET):
#5 Chad Mendes (18-4) vs. #11 (10) Alexander Volkanovski (18-1): Finally at the main card and we are going to see a ton of rankers here tonight. First up is a man on a 15 fight win streak. Alexander Volkanovski has 10 wins by knockout and 3 by submission with 7 finishes in the first. He averages 6.1 significant strikes per minute while only absorbing 2.5 per minute. He may be able to neutralize Mendes' wrestling with his brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and 82% success rate of defending takedowns. Mendes has hit a rough patch recently, once being on a 5 fight win streak then only winning 2 of his 5 fights since. He has 8 wins by knockout and 2 by submission and has a great defense with striking being 68% and takedown at 100%. Volkanovski is a freight train able to do a bunch of damage without taking really any and Mendes hasn't been able to put wins together. I think Mendes will use his wrestling to get through the first, but Volkanovski will eventually land one to get the TKO in the second round. - Mike
I am going to take Chad Mendes via 3rd round TKO from ground and pound. - Matt
Volkanovski is good, but I feel he is being rushed up in the competition push. Mendes will be too much for him and win by 3rd round TKO. - Blake
#4 (5) Ilir Latifi (15-5, 1NC) vs. #9 (10) Corey Anderson (11-4): Next up is a fight between two guys that are stylistically similar. Both men are good strikers with wrestling intensive backgrounds. However I will say right now that I see Latifi is all around better. Anderson has won 4 of his fights by knockout, however he hasn't gotten a single finish since early 2014. He has a good takedown defense, but only blocks about half the shots attempted against him. Latifi has 5 wins by knockout and 5 wins by submission with all of his finishes in the first round. He has won National Championships in Swedish Greco-Roman tournaments. He takes more significant strikes than he lands, but when he lands they are bombs. He has also never been taken down. I see Latifi taking complete control of the fight, taking Anderson down early and grinding him until he gets a TKO in either the first or second round. - Mike
Ah one of those fights I feel very confident about on this card. Corey has shown some holes in his game and a lack of pace multiple times in his UFC career which I believe will get exploited here as he seems to be an inconsistent fighter. He won’t be able to wrestle his way out of a dangerous situation in this fight either as he will have to rely on his standup skills which I am not sure can win him this fight regardless of a 5.5-inch reach advantage. Ilir is the fighter I am the most confident in on this entire card. He is coming in with momentum, confidence, and an improved skill set each time we see him fight. I believe Latifi will show he is the far superior fighter in this one and pick up a 2nd round TKO. - Matt
Latifi is going to dominate Anderson. Latifi via 2nd round KO. - Blake
Carlos Condit (27-5) vs. Michael Chiesa (14-4): We are right back to older fighters trying to come back and prove they are still relevant. Michael Chiesa has 10 submissions in his career and 5 of them were in the first. He doesn't have a super successful takedown rate with 39%, but he attempts a lot and usually gets it to the ground where he unloads nasty ground and pound from the mount and then sinks in chokes for the win. His opponent is Carlos Condit who has lost his last 4 fights. In his career he has won 15 by knockout and 13 by submission with 21 in the first round. As a matter of fact all of his first 15 wins were in the first. However recently he has been unable to get a win and I believe Chiesa will make it very hard tonight. Condit has been having a lot of problems and even though Chiesa has also lost his last two, they were because he had weight cutting issues and is now up to 170. I think Chiesa is going to have his way with Condit and get him to the ground, pummel from mount and get a submission in the second. - Mike
I feel bad for Condit as I believe Chiesa is where he belongs now and is coming to claim some wins fast in this division and get a title shot in the next year. Chiesa wins by 2nd round submission. - Matt
I have loved Condit forever and my heart says Condit, but I think Chiesa wins via 3rd round submission. - Blake
Champion Cris Cyborg (20-1, 1NC) vs. BW Champion Amanda Nunes (16-4): Moving into the co-main event of the night and we get a super fight between two of the baddest women on the planet, the bantamweight and featherweight champion. Amanda Nunes is currently on a seven fight win streak. She has 11 wins by knockout and 3 wins by submission with 11 finishes in the first. She is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and brown belt in judo. Nunes lands an average of 4.5 significant strikes per minute and absorbs an average of 3.2 per minute. Going along with her 59% striking defense she doesn't have a great defense, but makes up for it with intensity and a successful offense. Her opponent hasn't lost a fight since her very first. She has won 17 fights by knockout and 10 of them were in the first round. Cyborg lands an average of 6.8 significant strikes per minute and absorbs 3.2 per minute meaning Cyborg and Nunes take about the same amount of strikes, but Cyborg lands more than 2 significant strikes per minute than Nunes. She also has a 70% striking defense and 91% takedown defense. I like Amanda Nunes and she has knockout power, but I can't help but see Cyborg as the better fighter. I think this is going to be a war and probably fight of the night. I believe that sometime in the third or fourth round Cyborg will get the TKO. - Mike
The Co-main event of UFC 232. This fight will be freaking incredible and could be the best fight of the night. This fight is taking place in the featherweight division for the featherweight belt between two killer women. They will most likely stand and exchange landing big shots and test each other’s chin. I am not sure who will last the longest between the two, but I have a weird feeling that Amanda Nunes is going to grab the win via a big shot that catches Cyborg and gets Nunes to close the distance and land until the referee steps in. Amanda Nunes wins this fight via 4th round TKO. - Matt
I believe this is my favorite fight of the night and probably the best women's fight we will see. If this was 5 years ago i would say Cyborgs lack of stamina would cost her, but as we have seen Cyborg can go pretty far into fights and her strength will just be too much. Cyborg via decision. - Blake
#2 (1) Jon Jones (23-1) vs. #1 (2) Alexander Gustafsson (18-4): Here we are at the main event and this one might get a bit messy. It's not often I'm going to write picks like this because we don't see someone who cheats this much and gets away with it. Before anyone wants to argue about which side you take on this one as "accidental" or "left-over" from the last test realize that it shouldn't matter anymore. This is drug test failure number 6 and at some point the excuses need to stop. For those that don't want to believe me I'm going to list them. Prior to UFC 182 Jones took his pre-fight drug test and while there was no official substance found, his testosterone to epitestosterone ratio was unnaturally low and many experts noted that was a usual sign of cycling off steroids. April 27th of 2015 was when the hit-and-run happened and the police found marijuana in his system for which he was suspended. UFC 200 he was supposed to fight Dan Cormier, but tested positive for an unnamed P.E.D. and cocaine. July 18th of 2016 he tested positive for two hormone regulators which in competition are seen as P.E.D.s due to increasing the amount of testosterone in your system. August 22nd of 2017 he tested positive for turinabol which is the steroid they are now claiming is still left over in his system. I don't care if he wins or loses tonight or if he keeps fighting and never loses I will always see him as a cheater. From there I am probably going to get more controversial and say Gustafsson is going to win this one. Last fight I believe was a tie and ties always go to the champ. Gustafsson is a different fighter since then and he doesn't have a great striking defense, but lands almost double what he takes. Plus he knows what Jones is bringing to the table because Jones never adapts or evolves. His last 4 of 5 wins were decision because he abuses his length in the form of front leg kicks to keep his opponent too far away and lands shots off of that distance. This may sound crazy going against Jones, but Gustafsson needs to stand with him. Jones does really well in the clinch and ground so Gustafsson needs to stay standing and utilize the striking defense that has been a lot better in his last few fights and use his combinations and crazy stopping power. I think Gustafsson will get the TKO in the fourth. - Mike Whitestone
The most controversial main event in the history of the UFC. This will be the 2nd fight between the two fighters in our main event, which I believe needed to happen already, because I strongly believe the judges got the first one wrong. Jon is on some type of steroid again which really isn’t shocking to me anymore which is a shame because he has so much talent, he doesn’t need to back it up with PED’s. Gustafsson has shown improvement in his few fights since his last fight with Jones. Gus is also coming into this fight with some added passion and a point to prove as he was robbed in his mind during their last fight plus another positive test for Jon. Jon Jones is simply dangerous because he wears you down with leg kicks and then picks his opponents apart as they can’t use their front leg for power anymore. Gustafsson simply is a well-rounded striker who can land some kicks and throws shots from either hand, but his power hand is always waiting to land out of nowhere. I know it is a shocking outcome, but I have Gustafsson winning this fight in the 2nd round via a straight up KO! – Matt Koontz
I believe this fight will go to decision again and i don't see Jones losing a decision. Jon Jones via decision to become the LHW champion of the world again. - Blake
Dan Ige (9-2) vs. Jordan Griffin (17-5): Starting this fight is a featherweight bout between a UFC debut and someone still new to the UFC. Jordan Griffin is making his debut tonight and interestingly he has the larger fight record. Griffin has won 8 fights by submission and 5 by knockout with 6 first round finishes. He fights out of Roufusport gym in Milwaukee so he has a lot of top tier training partners. Although his opponent has exactly half the amount of total fights and wins, Dan Ige has a slightly higher finishing percentage. Ige has won 4 fights by submission and 3 by knockout with 4 finishes in the first. He is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and brown belt in judo, which unfortunately hasn't translated well in the UFC yet with a 14% takedown success rate and 50% defense rate. Ige is 2-1 in the UFC, but Griffin has more fight experience and he also prefers the ground game and submissions so I think Ige's grappling stats will put him in jeopardy and Jordan Griffin will pick up a debut win via third round submission.
Gerald Meerschaert (28-9) vs. Jack Hermansson (17-4): Up next will showcase a difference in fight styles. Jack Hermansson is coming into this fight with a 6.5 inch leg reach advantage which will probably be a huge favor for him since he's the striker. In fact, 11 of his 17 wins were by knockout, with 3 more by submission. He is not great at takedowns, but has a pretty good defense defending 63% of strikes and 69% of takedowns. His opponent prefers to grapple with 20 wins by submission, even though he isn't afraid to use his striking with 6 wins by knockout. It's interesting to see that his takedown average is pretty low only succeeding 42% of the time, which may mean that he gets taken down a good bit and manages to come out on top. That could be further backed up by seeing his defense stats because he only defends half of incoming strikes and takedowns. I think the way Meerschaert fights and wins is a direct contrast to how Hermansson fights so Gerald is going to have a hard time getting this to the ground. For that reason I see Hermansson controlling this fight and getting a TKO finish in the third.
Jared Gordon (14-2) vs. Joaquim Silva (10-1): This fight will be between two lightweights with almost the same record. Also they are both almost the exact same height, reach and leg reach. They even have the same number of finishes with the slight difference being Gordon has 6 wins by knockout and 2 by submission where Silva has 5 by knockout and 3 by submission. Where they start to differ is that Joaquim Silva is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai. In his 4 UFC fights he hasn't attempted a single takedown and has a pretty decent defense with 64% successful striking and 65% for takedowns. He also lands an average of 3 significant strikes per minute. Gordon on the other hand, lands 6.68 significant strikes per minute which is more than double his opponent. In his three UFC fights he has never been taken down, has a 68% striking defense and 42% takedown success rate. I don't understand who he is training with that makes him prefer his striking so much because he trains with Renzo Gracie and John Danaher. I'm sure everybody knows the Gracie name and for those who don't know John Danaher is the leader of "Danaher's Death Squad" which pretty much encompasses all of his trainees because they are known to absolutely dominate no-gi competitive jiu-jitsu. Including the fact that Gordon is a brown belt I would think he would be lethal on the ground, but it doesn't seem to translate. Even without this massive skill-set, Gordon has better defense than Silva and lands way more often with harder shots so I'm going to call that Gordon will get a knockout in the first.
Bobby Green (24-8-1) vs. Drakkar Klose (9-1-1): This matchup will see a veteran versus a relative newcomer. Drakkar Klose was at one point a finishing machine. In his first 5 fights, he won all of them and 4 of them were by knockout. From there all six of the rest of his fights, including the loss and tie, were all ended by decision. He isn't very successful with takedowns at only 40% success rate, but both his striking and takedown defense are close to 70%. Bobby Green has a slightly better defense than Klose, but when people land on him they land hard because he takes an average of 4.5 significant shots per minute. Green has a good offense being able to secure 9 submission wins, 8 knockouts and 9 finishes in the first. He also lands an average of 5 significant strikes per minute while Klose only lands 3.3 a minute. I think this will be a good back and forth and will last a while because both men take multiple rounds to finish their fights. I'm going to call this a decision win in favor of Bobby Green because of his better defense.
(#10) Jessica-Rose Clark (9-5) vs. (#15) Andrea Lee (9-2): As we come close to wrapping things up for the prelims we see our only female fight for the night. Andrea Lee is an all-around accomplished martial artist. She is certified in Muay Thai, has won multiple state level Golden Gloves for boxing, was 1-0 in pro kickboxing, purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, brown belt in judo and a black belt in Kyokushin karate. In MMA, she has 4 wins by submission and 2 by knockout with 2 in the first. She is also on a 5 fight win streak. Her opponent, Jessica-Rose Clark has an even split of 2 wins by knockout and 2 by submission. Of her three fights in the UFC she is 2-1 with wins over Bec Rawlings and Paige VanZant. 10 of her 14 fights have gone to decision, win or lose, so she has proven she can go the distance. While her striking defense is only slightly less than Lee's (61% to Lee's 67%) Clark absorbs an average of 4 significant strikes per minute while Lee only absorbs and average of 1.6. I think this is going to be a hard fought battle between these two and Lee will come out with a TKO in the third due to extensive martial arts background and her better defense in the cage.
Zak Ottow (16-6) vs. Dwight Grant (8-1): Main event for the prelims is here and we have a man making his UFC debut against someone who is having a rocky start in his UFC career. Dwight Grant is debuting on a 7 fight win streak. 5 of his wins, including his last on Contender Series, have been by knockout. He is also coming in with a 4 inch arm and leg reach advantage. His opponent, Zak Ottow, has won 10 of his fights by submission and 3 by knockout with 9 in the first round. Ottow is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and orange belt in taekwondo. The reason I say Ottow has been having troubles is that he is 3-3 in his UFC career. Due to that his striking and takedown defense is sub-par. As dangerous as his submissions were, he hasn't submitted anybody since 8 fights ago and hasn't gotten any in the UFC. I believe that Dwight Grant will take over here and get a TKO stoppage in the first or second round.
Fight Night Main Card
Jim Miller (29-12) vs. Charles Oliveira (23-8): After a larger than usual prelim card we are moving into the final four. Kicking off the main card is a fight between two veteran lightweights. Miller has spent over a decade in the UFC and Oliveira is the current record holder for most wins by submission in UFC history. Oliveira is coming into this fight with a 2 inch height and 3 inch reach advantage. This probably comes into play for his 16 career wins by submission and 6 by knockout with 14 for them coming to an end in the first, while also a wielder of a black belt in both Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai. He has a solid defense with 54% of incoming strikes defended and 60% of opposing takedowns. These two have fought before in 2010 and Jim Miller put an end to Oliveira's 14 fight unbeaten streak. Miller is also a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but was a Division I wrestler in college as opposed to Oliveira's Muay Thai. Miller has 15 submissions and 4 knockouts making him a good matchup to Charles and probably why he won the first time. However, Miller may have a slightly better striking defense with 59%, but he has a worse takedown defense with 47% which works in Oliveira's favor since he prefers the ground. On top of that, Miller has only won 1 of his last 5 fights so I think that Oliveira is going to end this with a submission in the second.
(#11) Rob Font (15-4) vs. (#2 Fly) Sergio Pettis (17-5): Up next is a bantamweight bout looking to see where Sergio lands with his weight class shift. This is his first fight at bantamweight since 2014. I didn't realize this without looking it up, but he has shifted multiple times between bantamweight and flyweight in his career and has just admitted in a recent interview that he occasionally gets up to 170 in between fight camps. Upon hearing that I am personally relieved that he has decided to go up and hope he fits better in the new class. Doing a little extra research after seeing this i found out that Sergio is 9-1 at 135 and 8-3 at 125. While those records are pretty similar, 4 of his six finishes were at (135)bantamweight. I think these extra 10 pounds will create a monster most people haven't quite seen from this Pettis. In addition to those facts he is also a 2nd degree black belt in taekwondo, a black belt in Roufusport kickboxing and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Rob Font is an aggressive striker that Pettis will need to take caution over. Font has a 2 inch height and reach advantage. He also has 7 wins by knockout and 4 by submission with 7 finishes in the first. Where his weakness lies is his grappling. Regardless of his purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, he has only completed 29% of his attempted takedowns and has only defended 25% of opposing ones. I also noticed he is only a white belt in Muay Thai even though he trains at Team Sityodtong, which is a worldwide Muay Thai gym where he trains out of the famous Boston area gym headed by Mark Dellagrotte. With that kind of knowledge and experience backing him he has a ton of room to grow in his standup and clinch. I believe that Pettis will take advantage of Font's weakness and take this to the mat where he gets a submission in the second.
(#5) Edson Barboza (19-5) vs. (#14) Dan Hooker (18-7): The co-main is upon us and as a Barboza fan this is probably the fight I'm most excited for. Dan Hooker has finished almost all of his wins with 9 knockouts and 7 submissions making only 2 wins by decision. He is a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and was 9-1 as a pro kickboxer. His striking defense and takedown accuracy are alright sitting around 50%, but his takedown defense is 76%. Barboza has a lower finishing rate than his opponent, but he still has 11 wins by knockout and is known for being very fun to watch. Edson Barboza is similar to Andrea Lee in martial arts experience. He is a black belt in both taekwondo and Muay Thai, which earned him many National awards in Brazil, is a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and was a pro kickboxer with a record of 25-3(22 KO's). This fight is going to be nuts with both men being outstanding strikers and both having a great takedown defense to probably keep this fight standing. I don't think this will last long though because neither have a great striking defense so with a good back and forth Barboza will get the knockout towards the end of the first.
(#4) Kevin Lee (16-4) vs. (#8) Al Iaquinta (13-4-1): Main Event time and we get to see the rematch between Kevin Lee and Al Iaquinta. Last time was in 2014 and Iaquinta won by decision. In his career, Iaquinta has won 7 fights by knockout and 1 by submission with 5 first round finishes. For being a college wrestler he has a surprisingly low takedown accuracy with only 28%, but has defended 77% of opposing takedowns. Since he doesn't fight often, people may only know him from his loss to Khabib and may think poorly of him. I want to let those people know, and maybe remind old fans, before that he was on a five fight win streak beating names such as Ross Pearson, Joe Lauzon, Jorge Masvidal and Diego Sanchez.On the other side of the cage, Kevin Lee is coming in with a whopping 7 inch reach advantage. Some fighters are unaffected by being at a reach disadvantage, but with a brawler like Lee it could be tough. Kevin Lee was an undefeated Division II college wrestler before dropping out to pursue an MMA career. In MMA he has gathered 8 wins by submission and 2 by knockout. Lee is a high-energy fighter that mixes heavy shots and constant clinch and takedown pressure. His goal is to wear you out, beat you up, and lock up a submission before you even know what happened. In their last fight, Kevin Lee didn't start with the intensity he normally shows and Iaquinta was able to get more takedowns and attempt a few submissions of his own. Lee began to come back, but Al kept the lead the whole fight. It needs to be noted that fight happened four years ago and Lee has won 10 of his 12 fights since and Iaquinta has only won 5 of 7 fights. Lee has fought close to double the amount and in my opinion has grown a lot more in that time. I believe he has gotten faster and more aggressive and with how close the last fight was I think that will make the difference and he will pull out a submission win in the third.
UFC 231: Holloway vs. Ortega: This card is stacked. Enjoy my predictions for one of the best cards we have ever seen put together. We have Renato Moicano sitting on standby to wait for the replacement fighter in the main event. We also have Katlyn Chookagian on standby for the co-main incase something happens. Here is my call for this fight card.
FS1 Prelims @ 8 PM/ET:
Olivier Aubin-Mercier (12-3) Vs. Gilbert Burns (13-3): These two lightweights kick off the televised fights and both are incredibly skilled fighters coming off tough losses. Mercier is a great wrestler and a mauler who is one tough ass dude. Mercier will be the better fighter on the mat in this one and most likely look to get it there. He will be fighting in front of his home town fans and have the extra energy from the crowd. Gilbert Burns is a brawler with a great set of ground skills as well, but his striking is remarkable. Burns hits hard and is dangerous for Mercier in this fight if it remains a striking exchange between the two. I am really excited to watch this one as I believe the winner will find a number next to their name this coming week. I have Mercier taking this one to the ground in round 3 and picking up a submission victory.
#10 (14) Elias Theodorou (16-2) Vs. #15 (NR) Eryk Anders (11-2): This middleweight fight could easily be a candidate for FOTN or POTN depending. Elias is a freak of nature that is on an unstoppable path to the top. He had two fights against Antonio Carlos Junior cancelled due to ACJ pulling out twice due to injury, so they have moved on to Eryk Anders which should be a great fight. Elias is a phenomenal striker and an underestimated wrestler as he is dangerous in all aspects of MMA. He will be fighting at home in this one and have the support of the fan base. His opponent Eryk Anders is a beast who has found his home in the UFC, his last fight was a replacement fight in the wrong division for himself as he is better off back in the middleweight division like he is now. His only middleweight loss comes to Lyoto Machida. He has flashy KO power and an incredible wrestling skill set. His stamina and toughness come from his days as a championship winning linebacker under Nick Saban at Alabama. This fight will be a real fun one for the fans, I do not believe it will last long though as one of these guys will land a big shot and lead to KO. I have Theodorou picking up the win towards the end of round 1 via TKO due to punches.
#2 (3) Katlyn Chookagian Vs. #8 (9) Jessica Eye (13-6, 1NC): This fight is most likely a battle for the #1 contender for the women’s flyweight belt as Katlyn is the replacement fighter if someone drops out of the co-main. These two women will be most likely going the distance as it just fits their fight style and tendencies. Both women will grind out their wins with striking and clinch control. They don’t put on shows fans love to watch but they are talented mixed martial artists that deserve a spotlight here. I think we will see a back and forth fight that will go the full 15 minutes. I have Chookagian winning this one by split decision in a good fight.
#5 (3) Claudia Gadelha (16-3) Vs. #10 (11) Nina Ansaroff (9-5): The main event of the prelims should be a good one between two bad ass women ready to brawl for a shot to be mentioned in the title picture. Claudia, we have seen have two title shots and a shot at the current title challenger Jessica Andrade and she hasn’t found her form that we know she is capable of in those fights. When she is on, she is dangerous as they come. This girl is powerful and has a great set of ground skills. Once she gets an opponent to the mat she uses her power and strength for some viscous ground and pound. Nina has really developed into a great martial artist on a winning streak. Nina is the fiancé and training partner of the one of the two scariest women in the UFC, Amanda Nunez. Nina has a decent set of ground game capabilities, but in this fight she is better off keeping it standing as she will have a better shot at picking up the win if this fight stays standing. I am actually excited for this fight as both of these women have a lot to prove here and are going to be coming after a win. I personally will admit I am rooting for Nina as I am a big fan of hers, but I have Claudia winning this one by way of 3rd round ground and pound TKO.
UFC 231 Main Card @ 10 PM/ET:
Hakeem Dawodu (8-1-1) vs. Kyle Bochniak (8-3): The main card is kicked off with a BANG. This fight will not go the distance unless we are disappointed by a letdown performance. Dawodu is a freak of nature that is terrifying to this entire featherweight division. Dawodu hits like a sack of bricks to someone’s head. This kid is going to keep this fight standing and use his incredible speed, clean, accurate, and powerful striking in this fight. His opponent Kyle Bochniak will have to be wary of his opponents’ power and get this fight to the ground. If Kyle can get this fight to the mat, he will be a powerful wrestler that might be able to lock in a submission or at least exhaust his opponent with his wrestling skills. This fight will either be a throwdown that will have all the fans standing or it will be a dominant wrestling display by Kyle where he will lock up a submission and avoid the heavy hands of Dawodu. When the dust settles, I have Hakeem Dawodu winning this fight via 2nd round KO.
#14 (13) Alex Oliveira (19-4-1, 2NC) Vs. NR (14) Gunnar Nelson (16-3-1): Well here we are in the welterweight division in a fight between two finishers. Cowboy Oliveira is dangerous everywhere as he loves to pick up POTN bonuses. His KO ability though is where he shines and what he will need to rely on in this fight. He has fast hands and a never say die attitude will be his needed weapons in this one. His opponent Gunnar Nelson is one of the most dangerous BJJ specialists in the world as there is a Nelson Jiujitsu because of him. Nelson will need to get this fight to the mat even if he pulls guard, he will have the advantage. This fight will be very interesting because standing its going to be all Oliveira but, on the mat, it will be all Nelson. I am going to take the fresher fighter with Oliveira picking up a 2nd round KO of Gunnar sending the jiujitsu legend out of the UFC ranks for now.
#8 (7) Jimi Manuwa (17-4) Vs. #15 (15) Thiago Santos (19-6): This fight was supposed to happen a couple months ago but Manuwa got hurt in Brazil. Manuwa knows if he loses this fight, he might not ever see a title opportunity again. This fight is simply going to be a bloody throwdown that will get all the fans hearts going before the Co-main and main events. Both of these guys can end a fight with one single shot. I absolutely love Thiago Santos in the LHW division and not the middleweight division. This fight should truly live up to all the hype that it has behind it as a crazy good light heavyweight fight between two guys who can knockout anyone in the division with one clean shot. I am going to take Thiago Santos by way of 2nd round TKO.
#1 Valentina Shevchenko (15-3) Vs. #2 (1) (SW) Joanna Jedrzejczyk (15-2): Oh lord the battle for the women’s flyweight belt is going to be insane! I am so excited for this fight that it could be the only fight on the PPV and I would be buying it. Valentina is a stone-cold savage and is my other female I have said absolutely terrifies me with her former rival Amanda Nunez. Valentina is a beast every where the fight goes, and she NEVER gets tired and could go 50 minutes inside the cage which is what makes her the most dangerous. She is going to be coming into this fight with a fire and passion we have yet to see as her long-awaited goal to get a UFC belt around her deserving waist is only one victory away. This division was created for her in my eyes as this is her natural division and the one where she is the most dangerous. Her opponent is another Muay Thai beast and one we are all familiar with. Joanna is finally moving up to the division that is better for her than the strawweight division. She is a dangerous and aggressive striker as we know who pushes the gas pedal her whole fight. This fight should be really interesting as both women are normally the aggressor, and both can land a lot of strikes in a short period of time. I have to say I believe the 2-fight losing streak vs the momentum and desire we see in Valentina right now is the fight winning story for this one. Valentina Shevchenko will win her first UFC belt and be the women’s flyweight champion following a 3rd round TKO with some vicious ground and pound.
Champion Max Holloway (19-3) Vs. #1 (1) Brian Ortega (14-0, 1NC): ITS TIME!!!! A fight we lost out on due to a terrifying health scare to Max Holloway. When that fight was scrapped Ortega was offered multiple fighters, but he tucked his tail and ran. No matter this fight is back on and hopefully Holloway is fully healthy for this one as he will need to be. Ortega is semi-dangerous on his feet but the real threat he has in this fight are his absolutely incredible ground skills. If Ortega gets this one to the mat it might be over as I believe he will test the stand-up first but realize he is way outmatched on his feet and go to ground if he can. Holloway is in my eyes one of the 2 best champions in the UFC along with Whittaker as he is all-around dangerous and will fight ANYONE not take easy fights like our current double champion. Max is going to be better off keeping this fighting standing and if he does so he will win this one as his striking and constant pressure will exhaust Ortega. Max is one of the best strikers in the world and his pace and ability to exhaust his opponents is remarkable. I have no clue who honestly has the edge here because Max’s health concerns me and so does his weight cut so I could see either one winning. I am going to assume Max is healthy and take him because his striking is just too lethal to pass on. Max Holloway via 4th round TKO after a crazy entertaining back and forth.
on this page
This will become the new area for fight predictions and the main page will serve as the place to go for UFC news, official and rumored.