Fox Sports 1 prelims
Glaico Franca (14-3) vs. James Vick (7-0): The first fight for tonight kicks off with a lightweight matchup. James Vick has an undefeated record with over half of his fights in the UFC. All of Vick’s finishes were in the first round with four by submission and one by knockout. Vick is very tall and long for a lightweight. He has the ability to slip past defenses and stay out of range, and is also very aggressive. From the fights I have seen he prefers to strike and only uses his submissions after his opponent thinks they will do better on the ground. His opponent is Glaico Franca. Franca has six wins by knockout and six wins by submission and is on a four fight win streak. Franca is a well-rounded fighter that isn’t afraid to take the fight anywhere. I think that Vick’s length will give him the upperhand and he will be able secure a knockout victory in the second round.
(#2) Carla Esparza (11-3) vs. (#14) Juliana Lima (8-2): The next fight is in the womens’ bantamweight division between two ranked fighters. Juliana Lima has two wins by knockout and both are in the first round. She hasn’t had to use her ground game because she has a perfect takedown defense. Now her opponent, Carla Esparza, hasn’t fought since losing the bantamweight title to Joanna Jedrzejczyk over a year ago. Before that loss, Carla was on a six fight win streak with seven finishes in her career. Hopefully Carla has taken her time off to reassess herself and refocus because in her title fight she looked completely out of it. If she is back to her old self then I see this fight going very easy for her with a TKO or majority decision.
Danny Roberts (12-1) vs. Dominique Steele (14-6): The next fight is a matchup between two welterweights. Danny Roberts has five wins by knockout and four wins by submission and is on a five fight win streak. Roberts is an aggressive fighter with strong hands and uses a lot of grappling to ground and pound his opponents. Just because he is a striker doesn’t mean he isn’t afraid to lock in submissions when he sees them available. His opponent, Dominique Steele has won eight of his last 10 fights and has seven finishes all by knockout. This will be an entertaining match while it stays standing, but I predict that Roberts will quickly take the match if he can get this to the ground. I think this fight will go into the second round before Roberts decides to put in ground work and he will pull out a stoppage before the second is over.
(#15) Sergio Pettis (13-2) vs. Chris Kelades (9-2): If you pay close enough attention you have probably noticed that wherever Anthony Pettis fights, his brother Sergio is somewhere else on the card. Well Sergio Pettis is fighting on the main event of the televised prelims which I think is the highest on the card he has ever fought and I believe to be well deserved. Chris Kelades has three wins by submission and two wins by knockout. He is a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has to be a wrestler since he trains at ATT. Now Sergio Pettis is almost the exact same as his brother Anthony, just in a smaller package. Pettis is a fast paced, technical striker who has an even amount of stoppages with almost all of them in the first round. Hopefully this fight will determine whether Sergio is ready for the big leagues. I know that Kelades has a good ground game, but I have been unable to see too much about his standup so I am going to lean in favor of Sergio for standup. I see that it could be a rough battle for either fighter if it goes to the ground. I think this fight will be a three round war and Sergio will win by decision by just beating him everywhere the fight goes.
Yair Rodriguez (7-1) vs. Andre Fili (15-3): The main card is here and we kick the night off with a featherweight matchup. Yair Rodriguez is the winner of The Ultimate Fighter Latin America and is on a five fight win streak. Rodriguez is a dominant and colorful striker with wild kicks and knees. He has seen some tougher opponents in the UFC with not being able to get a stoppage, but he has still been able to display crazy moves and land hard. Even has insanely unorthodox ground game makes it a threat by not knowing what to look for or what to expect. If he can put more power behind his strikes or focus on landing more of his highlight reel kicks this may become one of the most entertaining fights tonight AND he could pick up his first stoppage in the UFC. His opponent is Andre Fili who has won 11 fights of his last 13. Fili has eight wins by knockout so he will be happy to bang right back with Rodriguez. Fili may not be flashy like Rodriguez, but he charges right through punches and kicks to get to his opponent’s chin and knock them out. He has an unbelievable success rate when he attempts a clinch throw from double underhooks, but I only really see him use it to set up ground and pound. The UFC website shows a less than inspiring takedown percentage so I’m guessing that he has also faced harder competition once joining with the UFC, but it only takes time to get back into that dominant persona. These two fighters are going to go nuts on each other and I think that somebody is going to get knocked out in the second round. I am going to call this in favor of Andre Fili because I believe that Rodriguez will have trouble landing strikes because of his flashy behavior.
(#7) Robert Whittaker (16-4) vs. (#13) Rafael Natal (21-6-1): the next fight of the card will be a middleweight matchup between two ranked fighters. Rafael Natal has won seven of his last nine fights and four in a row. Natal has eight wins by submission with no surprise because he is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Natal is also a strong striker who was able to fend off getting knocked out by Uriah Hall. His opponent is someone that everybody should be keeping an eye on because Robert Whittaker is the youngest middleweight in the top 10 by seven years. On top that Whittaker is on a four fight win streak. He has eight wins by knockout and five wins by submission so he is very good at hunting the stoppage. He is an aggressive striker with heavy hands and is fantastic at rocking his opponents. All of his submission victories are pre-UFC so maybe he isn’t confident enough in them to attempt them or maybe the opposite and he thinks he is good enough to not even need his grappling. One day we are going to find out, but I don’t see this being the day. Both fighters have an excellent takedown defense so I will say that this fight will stay standing and in the second round Robert Whittaker will pull out another knockout.
(#3) Anthony Pettis (18-4) vs. (#8) Edson Barboza (16-4): We move on to another ranked matchup, this time in the lightweight division. Edson Barboza has 10 wins by knockout and has another by submission. Before the UFC, Barboza went 25-3 in Muay Thai competition. He racked up 22 knockouts and 17 of them were in the first round. Barboza has vicious, fast kicks with no setup. Even his inside kicks are lethal and he has the ability to snap legs out from under people without warning. You may not be able to see when they are coming, but you would be very wrong to not be aware of them the entire fight. His opponent, Anthony Pettis has won nine of his last 12 fights, but is on a two loss streak. Here is my issue with Anthony Pettis; Anthony Pettis says he is a flashy fighter which used to be true. As Anthony grew as a champion he decided to slow down and become more technical much like Demetrious Johnson. However unlike Mighty Mouse, Pettis has seemed worse from trying to be more focused and slower paced. I think the only way he can win this fight is if he goes back to being aggressive and flashy. Like I said, Pettis is on a two loss streak and that is half of his career losses and I know he is smart enough to know he needs to changes something up and I hope to see “Showtime” at this fight against Barboza. Now getting in to the fight prediction, I believe that Pettis is going to get his leg torn up by Barboza and it will be very challenging for him. I do believe that Pettis will be able to defend the upper body very well and I think he will be able to land a bunch of shots on his own. I predict that as each round passes Barboza will start to slow and that’s where Pettis will amp up and take control. I think this will then go the distance and Anthony Pettis will take the win by decision.
(C) Demetrious Johnson (22-2-1) vs. (#2) Henry Cejudo (10-0): Now we are at the co-main event of the evening and the first title fight. We are watching the flyweight title on the line and we get to see the number 2 ranked pound-for-pound fighter go to work. Henry Cejudo is on fire right now with a perfect pro record and all four of his wins in the UFC were first round knockouts. He is also an Olympic Gold Medalist in freestyle wrestling with a perfect takedown defense. He may be a freestyle wrestler, but in the UFC he grapples like a Greco-Roman wrestler so he is an all-around deadly grappler. Cejudo pushes the pace and delivers heavy hits. His opponent is arguably the best, or one of the best, fighters in the UFC. Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson is on a ten fight unbeaten streak and has only ever lost to two fighters ever. Mighty Mouse is an extremely technical fighter with an insane fight IQ who is always ready to go the distance. Johnson is one of the fastest fighters in the division and he has the ability to stack shots on top of each other at a speed that some people can’t notice all of. This fight is going to be very entertaining with both fighters being very active and mobile. I think in order for this fight to go in Cejudo’s favor he will need to finish this fight quickly because I don’t know how he will last in later rounds and that’s when Mighty Mouse thrives. I think that they will both be able to wear each other down in the early rounds and take a lot out of each other. This is when Cejudo will need to show what he’s really made of because if he isn’t in the same conditioning as Mighty Mouse then he will get run right over in the Championship rounds. I think that Cejudo will be able to stay in the fight, but Mighty Mouse will have to get a decision to be victorious and maintain the title.
(#1) Jon Jones (21-1) vs. (#6) Ovince Saint Preux (19-7): Now we are at the main event of the evening with a light heavyweight bout for the Interim title. Daniel Cormier was supposed to face Jon Jones tonight for the light heavyweight title, but was forced to back out due to injury. Ovince Saint Preux was added to the card and the UFC made this an Interim title fight to guarantee the winner of the match to be the next opponent against Dan Cormier. Ovince Saint Preux has won 16 of his last 19 fights and has picked up 12 stoppages in the first round. Saint Preux can take a beating and dish one out even harder. He swings fast and heavy and is quick to jump on people. His opponent is what many people will call the Greatest of All Time in Jon Jones. Jones’ only loss was early in his career via disqualification. Other than that he has been dominant in all of his matches and was taken to the limit by arguably only Alexander Gustafsson and Dan Cormier. In order for Saint Preux to be successful in this match he will need to close the distance and smash Jones in the mouth. Jones is known for using his distance to keep opponents out of reach so they can’t really do anything at all. I don’t dislike Jones, but it is just a very boring fight to watch and I hope he actually attacks and fights instead of just keeping away from the fight. On top of all of these facts, back in January Jon Jones said that he was weighing 245 and still looked as ripped as usual. If that was his real weight he had to have slowly lost all that muscle or he is going to have the world’s worst weight cut. If his weight cut is that bad then I don’t see him even looking like a fraction of himself. I trust that Greg Jackson won’t let him screw up that early so I am going to assume that won’t even be an issue. Going into this fight, I think that Jones will take a couple rounds until Saint Preux can wear him down. I think if he can last, Saint Preux will be able to break Jones down and be able to really get back in this fight. I predict that Saint Preux will be able to take Jones to decision with his speed and power, but Jon Jones will pick up the victory.
UFC Fight Pass Prelims (6:30 PM/ET):
Efrain Escudero (25-10) vs. Kevin Lee (11-2): The opening fight of the night for UFC 197 is a good fight in the lightweight division. I think Kevin Lee is a good prospect in the lightweight division he will need to work on his standup game and once he does he will be set to go. Efrain is going to be a good test for Kevin to see if he can rebound from his loss to Leonardo Santos. Efrain is a better ground fighter as well than Kevin but he could easily stay standing and keep Kevin at a disadvantage. I really like Kevin Lee though and believe he will find a way to pull this off. I have Kevin Lee wins by way of a 2nd round submission.
Marcos Rogerio de Lima (13-4-1) vs. Clint Hester (11-5): This fight will take place in the light heavyweight division. I think this fight will be a bit slow but could be a good fight nonetheless. Clint needs this fight to turn things around and get back on the winning side consistently in the UFC. I have Lima by unanimous decision.
Walt Harris (7-4) vs. Cody East (12-1): The main event of the fight pass prelims is a good fight in the heavyweight division. Walt Harris has been struggling as of late and needs to find a way to beat the new comer in this one. East fights out of Greg Jackson and could be a great addition to the heavyweight division. I think this one ends early Cody East wins by 1st round KO.
UFC Fox Sports Prelims (8 PM/ET):
Glaico Franca (14-3) vs. James Vick (7-0): Let’s open the televised fights with some fun in the lightweight division. I am thrilled to watch this fight, both fighters are good fighters. James Vick is a long freak who can lock in some pretty awesome submissions. He is a great stand up fighter but he gets a lot of submissions due to a lack of one punch KO power so once he knocks down his opponent he locks in a submission. Vick is a very well rounded skilled fighter. Vick has phenomenal cardio and could go 15 minutes and still keep coming. James is a great boxer and is mentally tough and could deal with adversary. If the fight gets hard and goes against him he has the ability to keep charging and not back down. I think Vick is going to be tough to beat but his opponent Glaica Franca will definitely give him a test. Franca was the TUF Brazil season 4 winner on team Shogun. He has finished 9 of his fights in the first round, he has stopped 12 of his 14 fights. I really like Franca he is a good stand up fighter that doesn’t get enough appreciation on the ground. I really have no clue who will pick up the win in this fight I think both fighters are one day a top 10 fighter with title fight possibilities. This fight will be extremely fun and could go either way but I am going to take Franca to pick up the win handing Vick his first loss in a 2nd round KO.
#2 (6) Carla Esparza (11-3) vs. #14 (14) Juliana Lima (8-2): This fight in the women’s strawweight division will be interesting. We haven’t seen Lima since last May where she picked up a unanimous decision. Lima is a Muay Thai fighter with a great take down game and clinch game. Once she gets her opponents to the ground she dominates them through some pretty dominant ground and pound. Lima has yet to be taken down in her 3 fight career in the UFC. She has only stopped 2 of her 8 wins though and is a fighter who goes to decision more often. If she would fight more often she would move up more in this division I believe because I think she is a truly talented fighter. I am waiting to see her fully commit to title aspirations and fight a lot more often. Now her opponent Carla Esparza we haven’t seen since March last year when she got completely demolished by Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Esparza has won 6 of her last 7 fights, her last one truly was ugly though. Joanna really showed Carla was not even in the same league as the current champion. Esparza has stopped 7 of her 11 victories, 3 by KO and the other 4 by submission. She has stopped 3 of those in the first round. I am not entirely sold on Esparza after watching her last fight and I think Lima is a good true honest test for her. I am not sure who has the true advantage in this fight but I am going to take Lima to pick up the win via 2nd round TKO.
Danny Roberts (12-1) vs. Dominique Steele (14-6): Here is a fun fight in the welterweight division between two strong fast paced fighters. Dominique Steele has won 8 of his last 10 fights including his last one where he picked up an impressive win over Dong Hyun Kim in a performance of the night fight. He has stopped half of his fights through 7 KO victories, 4 of which are first round victories. This kid is a great fighter stand up and he actually has a good ground game regardless of no submission victories. His ground game is normally won through some extremely impressive ground and pound. Dominique is not an easy fighter to get to the mat, during his 3 fight career thus far in the UFC he has stopped 80% of takedowns attempted on him. Now his opponent Danny Roberts is possibly one day a future top 10 ranked fighter in the welterweight division. Danny dominated Nathan Coy in his first and only fight thus far in the UFC. Danny has stopped 10 of his 12 professional wins, 5 by way of KO and the other 5 are via submissions. He has picked up 4 KO victories all started by knees in which can make him a very versatile lethal fighter. He has stopped 4 of the fights in the very first round and I am personally extremely excited for Danny’s UFC career and I hope we get to watch him continue to grow. This fight will be a great battle between two guys with a ton of talent but I think Danny is the more complete fighter and will pick up the win via 1st round submission. I believe with an impressive win Danny is on pace to be ranked.
#14 (12) Sergio Pettis (13-2) vs. Chris Kelades (9-2): The main event of the televised prelims have a future superstar in the flyweight division, being Sergio Pettis. Chris Kelades is a well-rounded fighter with some decent skills. He has picked up 5 stoppage victories, 2 by KO and the other 3 are by submission. One of those stoppages is in the first round the other 4 are in the second round. If this fight goes the distance I think we will see him slow down and show signs of fatigue in the final round. His last fight was against Chris Beal and it went to the score card and I had Chris Beal winning via split and the judges gave it to Kelades. I think Kelades to stand a chance in this fight needs to get this fight to the ground and keep it there. Now his opponent on the other hand is a future title contender. Sergio Pettis is 22 years old with 6 stoppage wins. He has picked up 3 wins by KO and the other 3 by submission. He has picked up 5 of those 6 in the first round which to me has signs of slowing down as the fight goes on. The one issue I have critiqued of Sergio is his lack of cardio through the full fight. If him and team Rufus have managed to get his cardio game worked on then Sergio could go all 3 rounds no problem just like his teammate Ben Askren does or his teammate/brother Anthony Pettis. Sergio has a great stand up game and I know he has picked up 3 submission victories but his ground game isn’t top of the division level yet. This fight will be a real test for Sergio as far as ground game goes because Kelades is a good fighter on the mat and could threaten to take Sergio there. I think this fight has the potential to go the distance as each fighter might respect their opponent but I am going to take Sergio to pick up the win via 2nd round TKO.
PPV (10 PM/ET):
Yair Rodriguez (7-1) vs. Andre Fili (15-3): This fight to open the pay-per view is between two young featherweight contenders that could be headed to the top of the division quickly. Andre finishes his fights stopping 11 of his 15 wins, 8 are by way of KO and the other 3 by submission. He has stopped 6 of those 11 in the very first round and he comes out strong and fast. He has won 11 of his last 13 fights, one of those loses though comes to top level contender Max Holloway where he lost to a 3rd round submission. This kid could get to the top fast if he pulls off a win here and does it in a dominant fashion. He is a very well-rounded fighter with the ability to stop a fight quick no matter where it goes. I really enjoy watching Fili I just think he could get to the top of the division if he rolls through this fight. Andre is a very lethal fighter everywhere the fight goes. With the loss of Benavidez and Dillashaw Alpha Male’s talent besides Garbrandt and the little bit of talent Faber has left Alpha Male was looking weak. Fili is a top prospect in the UFC and will be great to the UFC and help rebuild Alpha Male. His opponent Yair Rodriguez is a monster and only 23 years old. His stand up game is borderline elite and he needs to work a bit on his ground game. This fight is extremely tough to call because this is right down the middle talent wise and both could be future stars in this division. I think Rodriguez will come out and get the win here on this one and impress the world and show that this kid is a real tough dude. I think he gets it done in the 3rd round via TKO.
#7 (4) Robert Whittaker (16-4) vs. #13 (15) Rafael Natal (21-6-1): This fight taking place in the middleweight division is going to be a great fight for both fighters to show off their skills and show they deserve to be in title talks. Natal has stopped just over 50% of his fights by stoppage. He has stopped 11 fights through 8 wins via submission and 3 more by KO. Natal has picked up 7 of his last 9 and won 4 in a row. Natal is a slow paced, conservative fighter, who needs to work on his stand up game to have a real shot at climbing to the top of the division. His slow paced fighting really will get him in trouble and if he fights anyone like Souza, Hall (again), Weidman, Rockhold, or even Whittaker he will need to come out strong and fast to pick up a win. He can’t play his conservative game like he does unless he gets better standing up if he really wants to get into the top 8 of this division. I really like him if he can work on his stand up or aggressiveness. That being said his opponent in my eyes is a way better fighter than he gets credit for at only 25 years old. Robert Whittaker unlike Natal actually beat Hall by decision and he did it by doing something no man dares to do, he went on the aggressive against Uriah Hall. Whittaker is an unorthodox striker meaning he is unpredictable. He is an aggressive fighter and his skill set has seemingly fully developed. He has grown a lot and is only 25 years old which is great as he is part of the future of not just the middleweight division he is possibly the future of the UFC. He is one of the most underrated fighters in the world. Whittaker has 13 wins by stoppage, 8 are by KO and the other 5 are by way of submission. He has stopped 5 of those fights in the first round and done so with some aggressive striking and skilled footwork. This kid is so impressive to watch I have gone back and watched a lot of his fights lately on UFC Fight Pass just because he is fun to watch and so skilled. This kid can really make a title run and soon if he picks up a win. I think this fight has the possibility to being a good fight but I think Whittaker will win this one early due to having the superior skill set. I have Whittaker winning this one in the 1st round via TKO.
#3 (3) Anthony Pettis (18-4) vs. #8 (9) Edson Barboza (16-4): I absolutely love this fight and think it will be a true thriller. Possibly the best non-title fight of the year. If you want to see two explosive athletic freaks go at it for title hopes this fight will be the one to watch and will take place in the lightweight division. Edson is one of the most explosive fighters in the world and extremely aggressive and that has seemed to be the kryptonite of Anthony Pettis. Barboza suffered a tough loss to Tony Ferguson in his last fight. Edson has won 11 of his 16 wins through stoppages. 10 of those wins have displayed his incredible aggressiveness and explosive abilities with ten KO victories and one by way of submission. He has stopped 7 of those 11 in the very first round which once against shows how explosive he can be and lethal he will be. Barboza is a very dangerous Muay Thai fighter with extremely lethal fighter especially if this fight gets in close where he can use his knees or elbows. Now his opponent if he can find a way to control the pace and get it past the first round stands a real chance. Anthony Pettis is well conditioned and one of the best fighters when he controls the pace of the fight. Pettis’ nickname is “Showtime” because he is an extremely flashy fighter who can bring the exciting and out of nowhere finishes. Anthony was a former title holder and can easily be seen as a title holder again one day. Anthony is just struggling as of late but his team at Roufus is a great one and I bet his confidence and skills will be back soon and back on track to win that title again. He has stopped 10 of his fights by KO and the other 5 through submission. He has the some of the best teammates in Ben Askren and his brother Sergio Pettis. I really like him and hope we can see him back in top form once again, because there is nothing better than Anthony Pettis in top form in the lightweight division. I think this fight comes down to how does Anthony control Edson’s fast paced aggression and explosive fight style. If he can manage it he will pick up the win and be back at the top of this division. I believe Anthony Pettis will win this fight by way of a 3rd round submission victory after he capitalizes on Barboza’s fatigue as the fight goes long.
(C) Demetrious Johnson (22-2-1) vs. #2 (1) Henry Cejudo (10-0): Here is a serious battle for the flyweight title which has yet to change hands since it was added to the UFC. I will get into why that hasn’t happened as I get to the champ but let’s start with Cejudo. Henry Cejudo is possibly the best wrestler in the UFC and will want this fight on the mat because when it comes to stand up he is a bit weak and leaves some holes. His stand up game is probably the 3rd best in the division but Demetrious is flawless and has absolutely no gaps in his game when he is battling stand-up. He loves to throw some elbows and knees and really deadly when he lands but can leave some vast openings when he throws those sometimes. His ground game is as elite as it gets not only is he an Olympic gold medalist in 2008 but his ground and pound is lethal and has to be something for Demetrious to watch out for. I really think Cejudo will be a true test for Demetrious, he honestly might be the toughest opponent for Johnson in his career. Oddly enough though when it comes to his ground game he has not picked up a professional win by submission only stopping 4 fights and they were all TKO victories and all in the first round making me wonder how good his stamina truly is. He looking back does slow down and go for a more conservative fight style once the fight leaves the first round which is going to be a problem because Demetrious is perfect and doesn’t ever slow down through all 5 rounds. This fight will surely be interesting to see how Cejudo handles the pressure and a possible 5 round fight. His opponent though in my eyes is the greatest fighter of all time win or lose in this one. He has been the only champion in the UFC’s flyweight division’s short history. He is the fastest fighter in the world, his hands are fast and scary lethal. His technique is absolutely flawless, when I watch him fight I can’t see any mistakes in his game. I have been training in MMA and I watch his film on my own more than I watch anyone else because he is the perfect fighter to try and idolize after. Doesn’t hurt any that he is the most humble fighter in the UFC. He has stopped 13 of his 22 wins, 9 by way of submission and the other 4 by way of KO. He has defended his title successfully 7 straight times. Demetrious is absolutely the toughest opponent for Cejudo as he would be for any fighter in the world. That being said though I believe Cejudo may very well be the toughest fighter that Demetrious has ever fought just because he can’t dominate this one if it goes to the ground like he has against the rest of the division. Now I have never had a truly hard time picking a Demetrious Johnson fight but I am struggling with this one. I am going to take Demetrious though through a 4th round submission as Cejudo’s lack of stamina will slow him down and Demetrious’s ability to keep his blistering speed through 5 rounds will be just too much for Cejudo.
#1 (1) Jon Jones (21-1) vs. #6 (5) Ovince Saint Preux (19-7): The main event that should have been Jones vs. Cormier 2 for the light heavyweight title. Now it will be Ovince Saint Preux vs. Jon Jones for the interim title. This fight is actually a more exciting fight in my eyes because it will be a guy who can nearly match Jon in reach. Preux has stopped 14 of his 19 professional wins and 10 of those KO’s are some extremely impressive KO’s. His losses to Glover and Ryan Bader two opponents at the top of the division do worry me as signs that he might not be ready for this title fight. But he has the skill set along with the power to stop Jones if this fight stays standing. He is like Cejudo almost to me in that he can be a true test for Jones and he has stopped 12 of his 14 in the first round. His wrestling is actually underrated and he could match Jones if this fight goes to the ground and I hope people see how talented he is while wrestling. He has been a beast while striking, if you watch the Shogun Rua fight you can see his one punch KO power and if he gets one clean good shot in this fight he could walk out as a surprising champion. Now his opponent is a top 2 fighter of all time but I worry about Jones’ weight cut. Regardless though, I think Jones is a whole lot scarier than he used to be as he looks to be even more ripped and that spells bad news for the light heavyweight division as well as the heavyweight division once he goes up. Jon is seriously as good of a fighter as they come in the UFC when he is fully focused and in good shape. He is a great jiu-jitsu fighter and if this thing goes to the mat we will see a clash between a great jiu-jitsu fighter and a wrestler which is always a fun thing to watch. Jones has always been nearly impossible to take down in his entire career posting a 95% takedown defense only being taken down twice, once by Gustaffson and once by Cormier. Now his stand up game is lethal especially in the clinch due to the fact that he has one of the better muay thai games in the world. Jones is an aggressive fighter and I hope he has thrown away all the distractions and out of the octagon issues because if he managed to do so he could be better than before which makes him the best of all time possibly. I think this fight really becomes a brawl after the first round because I believe Jones will have some octagon rust and OSP will be cautious of Jones as he will respect him as all fighters in the world should. I wish I knew how strenuous Jones’ weight cut was due to the fact that he looks like he is all muscle it is harder to cut muscle than it is fat and water weight. If he is in good shape he could dispose of OSP quickly but OSP is one tough dude and I see him hanging around for the championship rounds. I am going to take Jones though in the 4th round through a KO victory.
- Matt Koontz