UFC 188 is finally here and with this card we see the long awaited return of the Heavyweight Champ Cain Velasquez. UFC 188 is the second time the organization is holding an event in Mexico and with that we see six fighters showcasing their skills in their hometown. In addition to the main event for the Heavyweight title we also see fights including notable fighters such as the co-main event between Gilbert Melendez and Eddie Alvarez, a middleweight brawl between Kevin Gastelum and Nate “The Great” Marquardt, a Women’s strawweight matchup between two up-and-coming fighters and the newest flyweight to lookout for, Henry Cejudo.
Francisco Trevino vs. Johnny Case: The first fight of the night is a lightweight matchup between Francisco Trevino and Johnny Case. The first fight also has the first Mexican native of the night, Francisco Trevino who has a professional record of 12-0. Trevino has five wins by knockout and three by submission also six first round stoppages. This is Trevino’s second UFC fight and he won his first fight. Trevino is also a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His opponent is Johnny Case who has a record of 20-4. Case has won 15 fights by knockout and three by submission. Case has 14 wins in the first round and is on a 10 fight win streak. Case has a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This fight could go in any direction with both fighters being experienced in both striking and grappling. I believe that both fighters will come out with a fast pace. The crowd may be on the side of Trevino, but I think that Case’s experience will grant him a first round victory by knockout.
Alejandro Perez vs. Patrick Williams: The next fight of the night will be a bantamweight bout between Alejandro Perez and Patrick Williams. Alejandro Perez is the second fighter native to Mexico tonight. Perez has a professional record of 16-5 with nine first round finishes. Perez also has seven wins by knockout and five by submission. Perez is the Bantamweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter Latin America and this is his first fight in the UFC since winning. The other fighter in this match is the 7-4 Patrick Williams. Williams has four wins by knockout and two wins by submission with only one of those six not being in the first round. Williams has only one other fight in the UFC and it was a loss to Chris Beal. Williams is a two-time State Champion Collegiate wrestler. I think this fight will be more focused on ground game, but Perez will try and keep it standing. After Williams remains in control for two rounds he will secure a TKO victory.
Efrain Escudero vs. Drew Dober: The co-main event of tonight’s prelims is the second lightweight matchup. Efrain Escudero is the third native on tonight’s card so the crowd will be on his side. Escudero has a record of 24-9 and has won six of his last nine fights. Escudero has a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and it shows with his 12 wins by submissions. He also used six different types of submissions to gain those 12 victories. In addition to those, he also gained three victories by knockout. Escudero is also the winner of season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter. Escudero’s opponent is Drew Dober who has a record of 15-6. Dober is a more balanced fighter with six wins by knockout and five wins by submission. Of those finishes, four of them were in the first round. Dober has also won six of his last nine fights, but not all of them were part of the UFC. In this fight I predict that Escudero will want to take this to the mat while Dober will want to keep this fight standing. I’m going to go with the fans in this fight and predict that Escudero will be able to take him to the mat and secure a second round submission.
(#7)Henry Cejudo vs. Chico Camus: The main event for the prelims will be the first flyweight fight of the night. Henry Cejudo is back already with his last fight being in March. Cejudo is 8-0 and deserves to be ranked. Cejudo started training two years ago after a decorated amateur wrestling career and never took part in any amateur fights. Cejudo went straight to professional fights and proved he could hang with them because he hasn’t lost yet. Of Cejudo’s eight wins four of them were by knockout and all of them were in the first round. On top of that he has proved his wrestling is not to be underestimated because he hasn’t been taken down yet. His opponent is Chico Camus who is 15-5. This will be his second fight at flyweight, winning his first. Camus has five wins by knockout and two by submission with three first round finishes. Camus trains with former champion Anthony Pettis and considers himself the first challenge that has been put in front of Henry Cejudo. I disagree with that statement because I think Chris Cariaso (Cejudo’s last opponent) was a challenging fighter, Cejudo was just able to make quick work of him. Although I do believe that Camus will be more a challenge than Cariaso was. So much so that the fight may go to the second or even third round, but I still believe that Henry Cejudo will keep his record intact with another knockout victory.
UFC 188 Main Card
(#5)Tecia Torres vs. (#15)Angela Hall: The main card is finally here and with that we see a women’s strawweight matchup between two ranked fighters. Both of these fighters were on The Ultimate Fighter season 20. Tecia Torres has a small record of 5-0, but has proven she deserves to be near the top with wins over Felice Herrig, Rose Namajunas and Paige VanZant. Torres has won all five of her fights by decision. Torres has a black belt in Taekwondo and a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. On the other side of the cage is the #15 ranked Angela Hall. Hall has a professional record of 2-0 with one of them being by knockout. Before MMA, Hall had a 14-0 record in amateur Muay Thai. These fighters were on the same team on The Ultimate Fighter so they will both be ready for their opponent. Both fighters also have an impressive amount of successful significant strikes with Torres striking 6.4 times a minute and Hall striking 7.13 times per minute. Torres has won against better competition, but Hall has shown that she has more power in her striking. I think that in order for Torres to win, she will have to neutralize Hall’s striking. I do not think it will happen quickly, but I think Torres will be able to take ground control and be able to get the win by decision.
Yair Rodriguez vs. Charles Rosa: The next fight of the main card will be a featherweight matchup. Rodriguez is the featherweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter Latin America. Rodriguez is also the fourth fighter on tonight’s card that was born in Mexico. Rodriguez has a record of 4-1 and is on a three fight win streak. Rodriguez has two wins by knockout and one by submission and all three were in the first round. Rodriguez also has a black belt in Taekwondo. His opponent for tonight is Charles Rosa. Rosa has a record of 10-1 with eight wins in the first round. Rosa has won seven times via submission and three with knockouts. Rosa has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The crowd will be on the side of Mexican native, Yair Rodriguez, but I am in favor of Charles Rosa. Rodriguez is on a good start in his career, but I believe that Rosa’s experience will make him the victor in this fight tonight. I believe the fight will stay standing for a good bit of the first round, maybe for all of it. Then Rosa will take the fight to ground and during the second round will lock in another choke to gain the submission victory.
(#10)Kevin Gastelum vs. Nate Marquardt: This next fight is between two monstrous middleweights. First I will talk about the #10 ranked Kevin Gastelum who is 11-1. Gastelum has four wins by knockout and four wins by submission. Five of those stoppages were in the first round. Gastelum also has a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Gastelum’s last fight was just barely losing to Tyron Woodley. If you don’t know, Woodley is a welterweight and Gastelum was too, but he was forced to go up a division for missing weight too many times. Now he is in a much more comfortable weight class and will most likely perform even better. His opponent is the legendary Nate Marquardt. Marquardt has a professional record of 36-14-2. Marquardt is known for being a well-balanced predator with 14 wins by submission and 11 wins by knockout. Marquardt has been professional for 17 years and do not for a second think he is slowing down. I have no idea how Marquardt is not ranked because he has won seven of his last 13 fights, finished seven of his last eight wins and five of those finishes were by knockout. I genuinely believe that both fighters will show up at their best and we will see an absolute war. I’m going to hope for best case scenario for the fans and say it will not end until the third round. I predict that even though he is capable of getting knockouts, Marquardt is going to realize that the better game plan will be to get Gastelum on the mat and neutralize his striking. Just to put it all in one sentence, I predict that Marquardt and Gastelum will stand and go to war for three rounds, then in the third Marquardt will take it to the ground and sink in a submission for the victory. Depending on their ability to take a punch we may see another fight like BJ Penn and Joe Stevenson.
(#4)Gilbert Melendez vs. (#9)Eddie Alvarez: The co-main event of the night will be the third lightweight matchup between two ranked fighters. The #4 ranked Gilbert Melendez is part of the “Skrap Pack”: a training camp taught by Ceaser Gracie and has members such as the Diaz brothers and Jake Shields. Melendez has a professional record of 22-4 with 11 wins by knockout and one win by submission. Melendez is a former WEC champion and former STRIKEFORCE champion. He also coached against Anthony Pettis on The Ultimate Fighter season 20. Pettis was also his last fight which was six months ago. Melendez also has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His opponent is the #9 ranked Eddie Alvarez. Eddie Alvarez has a professional record of 25-4 and has won 10 of his last 12. Alvarez has 16 wins by knockout and five wins by submission and 13 of these finishes were in the first round. Of his four losses, Alvarez was able to avenge two of the fighters he lost to. This will be another fight where one fighter will want to keep the fight standing and the other will want to take it to the ground. I am going to go for the underdog in this fight and hope that Eddie Alvarez can successfully work his standing game and pull off a third round knockout or TKO victory.
(C)Cain Velasquez vs. (IC)Fabricio Werdum: Welcome to the main event and the return of Cain Velasquez. On the UFC website it has Fabricio Werdum ranked as #1, but I listed IC which stands for Interim Champion. Cain’s last fight was in 2013 and has not been back since due to injury. In his absence, the UFC held a match between Fabricio Werdum and Mark Hunt for the Interim Heavyweight Title until Velasquez returned. “Why not just make the winner the actual Champion if Velasquez has been out for over a year and a half?” you may ask. Well the answer is for the same reason that some people do not consider Daniel Cormier the real Light Heavyweight Champion. Daniel Cormier has yet to beat the best in the Light Heavyweight division, Jon Jones, and he probably will not for some time. Just like Dan, Fabricio Werdum may hold the title, but even he knows he cannot call himself the real Heavyweight Champion until he takes down the monster that is Cain Velasquez. So let’s get into the stats for the fans that may not know these fighters as well as Matt and I do. I will start with the Interim Champ, Fabricio Werdum. Werdum has a professional record of 19-5-1. Werdum has fought in PRIDE and STRIKEFORCE prior to joining the UFC. During his STRIKEFORCE run he was known as part of the “Big 3” of STRIKEFORCE heavyweights, including Alistair Overeem and Fedor Emilianko. Werdum lost his first fight in the UFC to Andrei Arlovski, but turned around to win nine of his next eleven. Werdum has won a total of six fights by knockout and nine by submission, making him a balanced fighter. His opponent, Cain Velasquez, has a record of 13-1. Only two of Velasquez’s wins were not by knockout and of those 11 finishes, eight were in the first round. Cain’s only loss was to Junior Dos Santos and Cain has beaten him twice after. I almost forgot, Cain may have been born in Arizona, but he represents Mexican Pride more than probably any other fighter on this card tonight so you better believe the crowd will be on his side all the way. This fight is going to be a war with both fighters looking to knockout their opponent to solidify themselves as the Undisputed Champion. I predict that this fight will go into the second round and Cain Velasquez will pick up a knockout victory.
Prelims on FX (8PM ET):
Francisco Trevino (12-0) vs. Johnny Case (20-4): We will be kicking off the televised prelims with a brawl in the lightweight division. In this battle we have two very talented fighters and in one fighter we have a young 25 year old stud in Johnny Case. Johnny is only one fight shy of his age which this fight will put him at 25 with 25 professional fights, that being said it will be only his third in the UFC. He is 2-0 since joining the UFC winning by a KO and a submission not having to deal with the terrible judges in the UFC, which is odd because it is supposed to be the top level yet their judges are about as good as high school judges. Johnny has a 90% finish percentage. In other words he has finished 18 of his 20 professional victories 15 of those stoppages are by KO the following three by submission. He is an extremely explosive fighter and he comes out ready to fight without fail finishing 14 of his 18 in the first round!!! Case enters this fight winning 10 in a row with a head full of steam. He is known to be a pretty well rounded fighter being talented in both his stand up and abilities on the mat. He is a wrestler so he can grapple well and wear down his opponents though the 14 wins in the first round don’t show his ability to wear down his opponents. His stand up game though is crazy good and can knock his opponents out quick with his impressive strength in his hands. Case will probably look to keep this fight standing regardless of his incredible talent on the mat and if he decides to do so he could do so as he boasts a 75% takedown defense. Now the man facing Case that will be trying to avoid his heavy hands will be Francisco Trevino. Trevino will be the hometown favorite as he is from Mexico City and should have the crowd off and running to start the night’s televised fights. Trevino is the elder of the two at 33 years of age. Trevino is entering this fight undefeated with a 67% finishing percentage finishing 8 of his 12, 5 by KO and the other three by submission. He has finished 6 of those 8 finishes in the first round so he just like Case will be coming out looking for a finish quick. He will be entering only his second fight in the UFC with this one so neither fighter has an edge in UFC experience. Trevino is working more and more on his ground game and ability to control the fight on the mat and his ability on his back is backed by his brown belt in BJJ. This fight due to the fighters experience will be entertaining no matter where this one goes. Johnny though to me is the better all-around fighter with a lot of upside and I think he snags a win here and hands Trevino his first professional loss, by way of a second round KO.
Alejandro Perez (16-5) vs. Patrick Williams (7-4): This is a fight in the Bantamweight division between Alejandro Perez and Patrick Williams. Patrick Williams is 33 years old who has a great fight style bringing a great ability on the ground that probably being the strongest part of his game. His standup though is very deceivingly good due to his great Muay-tai ability and absolutely incredible speed. This guy in the blink of an eye can unload a flurry of hands and put his opponent on their rear ends. He finishes his fights at an impressive 86% finishing 6 of his 7 professional wins. The most impressive part of those 6 finishes is that he has finished 5 of them in the first round meaning he has finished 71% of his wins in the first round and that is very exciting. Patrick has only fought one fight in the UFC and is entering this fight 0-1 in the UFC. Now standing opposite of Patrick is the fan favorite Mexican born fighter Alejandro Perez. Perez was the winner of TUF as a member of team Velasquez. Perez has finished 75% of his fights 12 of the 16 wins 7 by KO and the other 5 obviously by submission. Those 12 finishes have 9 finishes in the very first round. He comes into this fight winning 6 of his last 7 professional bouts and will look to keep his momentum going and at only 25 years of age he could start climbing the rankings in the Bantamweight division. I am not struggling to make a call for this fight I think it’s honestly the biggest mismatch on the fight card and I will be taking Alejandro Perez with a first round KO.
Efrain Escudero (24-9) vs. Drew Dober (15-6, 1NC): Here is a lightweight bout for the co-main event for the pre-lims on FX. Drew Dober is a very talented 26 year old standout to be. He is a good Muay-Tai fighter who has finished 11 of his 15 wins 6 by KO the other 5 by submission. He is known for his great stand-up but I think that’s a mistake because he is a very well-rounded fighter with the ability to fight wherever the fight goes. He has great conditioning and if this fight needs to go all 3 rounds he should be in great shape to do so and be able to keep up the pressure throughout all 15 minutes. This kid can take a beating and keep coming as it seems that he does not understand the definition of the word quit. Since joining the UFC though Dober hasn’t seemed to figure out his entire skill set going 2-2, 1NC in his first 5 fights in the UFC. He will be looking to start his turn around in the UFC against a home favorite again in Efrain Escudero. Efrain is a great wrestler and will look to grind out his opponents and wear them out. Escudero is in the same boat as Dober as being in the UFC has been beyond tough for him. He has won 5 of his last 7 professional fights but in the UFC since winning the TUF finale over Phillipe Nover he has been on a landslide. His UFC record including the TUF finale puts him at 4 – 5 all of those wins but one being by way of decision not showing his ability to finish a fight in the UFC with a win. He has won 15 of his 24 wins by decision. The 15 are split with 12 submission victories and the other 3 are by KO. Efrain will look to control Dober in this fight and get it to the mat and if he does he might be able to just sneak out the win and improve his UFC record. This fight is hard to call just because both fighters have talent but it hasn’t shown to its full scope yet. I am going to stick with the fan favorite for this one just because I think it’s that close that the fans could get behind him just enough to pull of this fight. So I am going to take Efrain Escudero with a unanimous decision.
#7 Henry Cejudo (8-0) vs. #13 Chico Camus (14-5-1): This is a flyweight fight between two guys who are trying to raise through the ranks Cejudo is an absolute beast and is on the raise and Camus is putting his stuff together more and more each fight to take the main event of the pre-lims. Chico is coming in as probably the underdog here and does lack a little bit of excitement only finishing half of his professional wins with 7. Chico’s move to flyweight is a new one being that he has only fought one fight here so far being 1-0 in this division beating a ranked fighter in Brad Pickett. Chico is a great stand-up fighter who has good blocking and great technical skills and an underrated ability with his head movement. I think Chico will look to keep this fight standing up but I am tired of hearing that he is just a good standup fighter and I personally hope he takes it to the mat and shows off his underrated ability to fight on the mat. He is going up against an incredibly talented fighter in Henry Cejudo who holds an undefeated record professionally. Henry is an incredible fighter who might have the best ability to take out Demetrious Johnson as long as he can continue to make weight. Henry is the definition of a well-rounded fighter and man he can deliver from anywhere. He like Chico has only a 50% finish rate only stopping 4 of his fights. All four of Henry’s stoppages are first round KO’s and have all been in the very first round. Those stoppages have not been seen in the UFC yet though because his 2 fights so far in the UFC have both gone to decision. That might be a tad boring and honestly something to worry about since the judges don’t truly have a consistent score card but it does show his ability to last a whole fight being a conditioned fighter. This fight should in my opinion be a main card fight but I won’t complain where it is because it is a great headliner for FX to have in their pre-lims. This fight is going to be entertaining and I believe Demetrious should make sure he is watching this fight wherever he is at on June 13th. This is going to be a fun one for the fans and it should showcase how talented this division truly is behind the well-known top 5. I am going to take who I believe to be the most well-rounded fighter in the division and take Henry Cejudo to win by KO in the second round after landing a vicious elbow to stun Chico.
UFC 188 Main Card (10PM/ET):
#5 Tecia Torres (5-0) vs. #15 Angela Hill (2-0): The main card is going to get kicked off with a bang and let me tell you this fight could be the definition of exciting in the women’s strawweight division. Angela Hill is entering this fight 2-0 professionally which might be the least amount of fights you can ever see in the UFC but she actually came into the UFC with a 1-0 record. Her first fight in the UFC was a unanimous decision win where she landed 107 strikes compared to her opponents 47. She is fairly new to the world of MMA and is hard to talk about to an extent but I can say her Muay-Tai background makes her an exciting fighter to watch and a very dangerous one to have to face. In the other corner is Angela’s toughest test of her career in Tecia Torres. Personally I think Torres is the number two fighter in her respective division behind only the current champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Torres is an extremely fast paced fighter with really fast hands. Her striking ability is not only led by her incredible speed she also is an extremely explosive fighter who can end a fight quickly. She is a young fighter though with only a 5-0 record at the age of 25 years old. Now regardless of her explosive game and quick hands making for what should be a great finishing style fighter she has only won her fights through decision. Tecia is a very athletic young lady and is hard to take down with a 100% takedown defense granted that is only through one fight in the UFC. As Mike said she might only have 5 professional fights all of them wins by the way, but those 5 can be compiled over fighters such as Paige Van Zant (her only professional loss), Felice Herrig, Rose Namajunas, and Angela Magana beating some tough opponents. This fight like I said could be extremely exciting for the fans as well as this division in general. This fight is going to get kicked off with an impressive win and her first professional stoppage as I believe Tecia Torres will win by first round KO of Angela Hill.
Yair Rodriguez (5-1) vs. Charles Rosa (10-1): This is a fight between two featherweight “newcomers” as this fight like shockingly most of the other ones so far seem to be between two fighters with less than 5 fights in the UFC. This fight has the potential to get the fans standing on their feet multiple times. Charles Rosa defines the word exciting as all 10 of his professional wins are stoppages 7 of them by way of submission, some impressive ones to say the least (3 by armbar, triangle, preuvian necktie, anaconda, D’Arce choke) and the final three by KO. This guy isn’t just a fight finisher, he does it fast and does it well finishing an impressive 80% of his wins in the very first round. The only loss Rosa has professionally was his first fight in the UFC and it was by way of unanimous decision to a great fighter in his day, Denis Siver. Charles has been preparing for this fight well by making sure he focuses on all elements of MMA keeping his mat abilities strong but making sure he is able to fight standing if he needs to or is unable to take this to the mat. Standing opposite of Rosa is a beast that is going to be hard to stop in Yair Rodriguez. Yair is an impressive fighter with 3 finishes of his 5 wins, 2 by KO and one by submission. He is entering this fight on a 3 fight win streak going 1-0 in the UFC winning the featherweight division in the finale of the TUF LATAM season. Yair’s 3 finishes all come in the first round making it seem that he manages to finish fights early or they seem to go full length. Well this is one opponent he does not want the fight to escape the first round because Rosa will make sure he doesn’t let it get to the judges score card. I think that Rosa is the better fighter personally and will bring home the win with a 2nd round KO.
#10 Kelvin Gastelum (11-1) vs. Nate Marquardt (36-14-2): Be ready doctors for some beaten and battered fighters here because this middleweight fight is between two tanks of men. I am going to talk about the veteran first in Nate “the great” Marquardt. Nate is a great fighter who has seemed to be struggling as of late. He is 1-3 in his last 4 UFC fights, 2 of those 3 loses are via first round. Seven of his last eight wins though are by finishes 5 of them are by way of KO. Nate the great has 25 wins by stoppage though and has won those by 14 submissions and 11 by KO. This man is a definite veteran in the MMA world as he has been fighting professionally since he was 19 years of age and is currently 36 years of age. Nate is a very well built fighter who has as much power as you can imagine a fighter having in the middleweight division. He is a freakishly large man for this division and watching him fight is always a fun thing to do. Nate doesn’t just use his freakish size and power for KO’s either as he can fight on the mat as well as if not better than his stand-up game. Now regardless of how great a fighter Nate is he is coming into possibly one of the toughest fights of his career as he enters a fight against Kelvin Gastelum. Kelvin is an interesting story as he seems to struggle to make weight each and every single fight. Kelvin has won 11 professional fights 8 of those by stoppages split evenly with 4 KO and 4 submission victories. His last fight was his first loss professionally and it came to one of the best and most underrated fighters in the world in Tyron Woodley so he shouldn’t be disappointed in that at all. Kelvin is a fast finisher when he does as he has finished 5 of those 8 in the very first round. This kid doesn’t know how to quit he has a lot of determination and heart and never gives up. This fight could go either way as both fighters have the ability to stop it on the mat and standing up with their heavy powerful hands. This fight is between the young and upcoming versus the veteran of the octagon and should be exciting for this division. I think somewhere in the third round Gastelum will get through with a strong shot regardless of fatigue due to a tough weight cut and KO Marquardt, who might consider retirement after this fight if he loses.
#4 Gilbert Melendez (22-4) vs. #9 Eddie Alvarez (25-4): The co-main event of the evening is a great fight being the third fight in the lightweight division. Eddie is a fun fighter to watch with an incredible well-rounded fight style and is hard to beat for sure. This guy’s stand-up game is extremely strong as he has some pretty incredible striking based off of his amazing boxing skills and background. Eddie has an impressive finishing rate finishing 21 of his 25 fights, 16 of them displaying his boxing skills by way of KO and the other 5 by submission. Eddie has finished 13 of those fights in the very first round proving the ability to come out fast and strong looking to finish the fight fast. He has won 4 of his 6 fights in the UFC losing his last fight to the beast himself Donald Cerrone. Eddie is going to be squaring off against a member of the “skrap pack” in Gilbert Melendez. Gilbert trains with the Diaz brothers and Jake Shields under the genius Ceaser Gracie. Melendez has great conditioning and will be able to go all three rounds without slowing down. The best display of his amazing cardio is seen in the Diego Sanchez brawl that is a fight I can honestly say I will never forget as it was extremely entertaining. Melendez is built really well and could be seen as a KO artist and has 11 KO’s and he also brings one submission to his finishing. The 10 decisions he has in victories aren’t always the normal wear your opponent down and just outscore him type of victories he has had some fights where it was impossible to believe his opponent didn’t go down. Gilbert is an exciting fighter with some good skill but since joining the UFC he has gone 1-2 losing to Benson Henderson and Anthony Pettis and his lone win being that extremely incredible fight over Diego Sanchez. In Strikeforce though before coming to the UFC he rattled off 7 straight victories meaning out of his last 10 he is 8-2. Melendez will most likely look to get Alvarez on the mat quick due to being the better fighter on the mat and if he does that look for him to put on display his phenomenal ground and pound. This fight could go either way I believe it depends if they stay standing or if they go to the mat. That being said I have confidence that Alvarez will pull off an impressive win and look to leapfrog in the lightweight rankings. I think he will stop Melendez in the very first round with KO after dazing him and unloading on his stunned opponent.
(C) Cain Velasquez (13-1) vs (IC) Fabricio Werdum (19-5-1): Here it is the main event we have all been waiting for. We haven’t seen Cain fight since October 19th, 2013 so people are questioning octagon rust. This fight in the heavyweight division will be a lot of fun to watch possibly or be over quickly as the champion is the definition of a fan favorite. Let’s start with my analysis of Fabricio, I personally think he should have kept his mouth shut saying that Cain has been pretending to be injured to hold the belt and that Cain is an American faking to be a Mexican. Fabricio is probably the best heavyweight fighter on the mat in their division and most likely will be looking to get this fight to the ground because standing up yes he is strong but he has some serious weakness compared to Cain. Fabricio has won 5 fights in a row 2 of them by decision, 2 by KO and the final one by submission. His last fight was supposed to be against Cain for the title but Cain got injured and had to withdrawl from the fight, so Dana White made it a battle for the Interim Championship where he dominated Mark Hunt. I personally think everyone in Werdum’s corner saying what he did to Mark Hunt is impressive and a sign that he will handle Cain have lost their minds. I know he won the fight but beating a 41 year old fighter who has been falling apart at the seams lately isn’t something that makes you worthy of a title shot in my opinion. Honestly the only impressive win during his five fight win streak to me is the unanimous decision victory over Travis Browne. Werdum is an incredible ground game fighter who can make the best, even Frank Mir tap out. Now just because I have doubted his latest of wins doesn’t mean to take him lightly because trust me if Cain was to lose to anyone I think Werdum is one of the 3 fighters that could be at the top of this division to do so at this point. Werdum is a good stand-up fighter and it makes him a very well-rounded fighter with the ability to stop any of his opponents with powerful hands as well. That being said though Werdum would be a fool to try and stay standing the whole fight with Cain because Cain’s stand-up game is in a different planet than the rest of the Heavyweight division’s. Now standing opposite of the interim champ is the current heavyweight champ, Cain Velasquez. Personally I could go on forever about how impressive this man is as a fighter but I will do my best to hold some of it in just to keep this an even analysis. Cain trains with AKA and by doing that he trains with the current light heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier, the future middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, and lightweight standout Khabib. Cain is the man who did what other fighters struggled to do, he stopped Brock Lesnar with a KO in the very first round. He didn’t just stop Lesnar he absolutely dominated Brock and gave him a pretty nasty scar that he still has today and has caused him to bleed in the WWE just due to the scar being so deep. Cain is a terrifying fighter because he is an underrated fighter on the mat and his power is beyond incredible. Cain is a KO artist but he can wrestle with the best of them and has a great ability at landing takedowns and using his great ground and pound using his athleticism. Cain might be a little outmatched on the mat and if he needs to avoid it going to the mat he could do so with his great takedown defense which he has an 89% takedown defense rate. His lone UFC loss came to Junior Dos Santos which he was rumored to have fought while injured and got surgery immediately following his loss. He didn’t just revenge his loss to Junior he took the belt with his next victory over Junior and then two fights later he beat Junior again in a title defense by stopping him by a KO in the 5th round. Cain is in my opinion one of the best fighters in the UFC, I would say 2nd ranked. This fight is either going to stay standing and be an unbalanced fight where Cain will dominate the stand-up game or this fight will go to the mat and be a back and forth battle where each fighter will look for their win by either submission or KO off the mat. I personally think the fans will help Cain even more, not that he needs it, Werdum really might have stepped in it by opening his mouth and pissing off one of the best fighters the UFC heavyweight division has ever seen. I am going to pick Cain to retain his belt and knock off another impressive fighter and pick up this win through a second round KO. I believe the first round will be the two fighters testing each other and showing the other respect before Cain unloads in the second round and picks up the most impressive KO of his career.
UFC Fight Night New Orleans (Fox Sports 1)
Fox Sports 1 Prelimes (8PM/ET)
Joe Proctor (10-3) vs. Justin Edwards (9-4): The kickoff to the televised events is going to take place in the lightweight division. Joe Proctor is a 29 year old 5 fight veteran of the octagon. He will be entering his 6th fight in the UFC. He has finished 6 of his 10 professional fights by way of 4 submissions and 2 KO/TKO’s. Joe is a phenomenal fighter on the mat on his back and in top position. He works every single day in the gym on his jiu-jitsu as well as his boxing and conditioning. He is also known for his great takedown defense which since being in the UFC is at a 75% of opponents takedowns defended. He is a good standing fighter though regardless of the fact that he isn’t particularly known for his abilities standing. He will still look to get this fight to the mat though and will try and get in position for his favorite submission move and try and lock in the guillotine. In the opposite corner of this opener is Justin Edwards. Justin is a very complex fighter to say the least. He has had a very rough go of it since joining the UFC going 2-4 since being a part of the organization and I feel you could see him be released form the company if he loses this fight, falling 2-5 in the UFC. Now to the positives about his fighting, he is a finisher. He has finished 8 of his 9 fights. He has won 7 of those 8 by submission and the last one by KO. His 4 losses though seem to show why he finishes fights, 3 of those 4 loses have come by decision, he must really hate the judges. His fight style contains a good jiu-jitsu ability and a good Greco-roman fighting style as well. He in other words is truly awesome on the mat just like his opponent as shown through his 7 wins by submission. Unlike his opponent though he doesn’t have a good takedown defense at all, only defending 27% of the takedowns against him. Now I want Edwards to be able to work on his footwork standing and become a better striker personally because he is an extremely explosive fighter with the ability to come at his opponent with incredible speed. His hands are extremely powerful and regardless of his one KO/TKO in his career he packs the ability to get a lot of KO’s and knockdowns is he could just improve his feet and become a better fighter standing. I think this fight takes very little time to get to the mat being Edwards’ terrible takedown defense and I think Proctor will control this fight one the mat as well. I am going to take Joe Proctor in a first round guillotine choke for the win.
Chris Wade (9-1) vs. Christos Giagos (11-3): This is another fight in the lightweight division. Chris Wade is an amazing wrestler with good kickboxing skills. His wrestling skills show when you look at his fight record though, only finishing 3 of his 9 victories and all 3 are by way of submission. He is a finish the fight fast or take the decision type of fighter it would seem considering all 3 of his finishes are in the first round. Wade will most likely have his standing game overlooked but that would be a mistake because he is a skilled kickboxer who might try and get his first career KO here in this fight. Now standing opposite of Chris Wade is Christos Giagos. Christos is an underrated fighter and who has finished 9 of his 11 victories. He is complete opposites when it comes to Chris Wade and I think he is the much more exciting fighter. He is coming into this winning 5 of his last 6 fights, this being only his third fight in the UFC. His 9 finishes contain 6 KO/TKO’s and has 3 more by submission. Christos is a very well rounded fighter as you can tell by his somewhat balanced different ways of winning his fights. He has a ton of heart and will power and can take a beating if it comes down to it. This fight will most likely have an absolutely crazy first round as both fighters seem to come out fast and look to finish fights in the first round. If it makes it past the first round look for Christos to try and control the fight standing or on the mat. I think Christos Giggos will win this fight in the second round by way of KO/TKO.
Brian Ebersole (51-16-1, 1NC) vs. Omari Akhmedov (14-2): This fight is a welterweight battle between two good fighters with great talent. Now over to Ebersole is where I would like to start. This guys has 69 fights professionally but only EIGHT of those are in the UFC. Ebersole though having 69 total fights under his name is only 34 years of age and will be ready to show how much the MMA experience he has pans out. He has 34 wins by stoppage which is equivalent to his age which is kind of cool and probably as rare as a feat as there really is. His 34 wins that have been through stoppage are evenly split with 17 KO’s and 17 submissions. This guy is the definition of well-balanced as you can tell by his stoppages. Brian like I said though has only fought in 8 UFC fights meaning he had a lot of professional fights outside of the UFC. Ebersole since joining the UFC though has proved his incredible record isn’t just a fluke as has won 6 of his 8 fights inside the octagon. He was a former division 1 wrestler and knows how to grind and control a fighter during his fights. His fight style though is an unorthodox style and keeps fighters off-balance against him. Now facing up against the monsterous Ebersole is Omari Akhmedov who is 27 years of age and has only 16 fights so a lot less wear and tear on him. This is his 4th fight inside the octagon and is entering this fight at 2-1 since joining the UFC going win-loss-win. That being said he has won 12 of his last 13 fights professionally. This guy though is an absolute monster himself and loves to finish every single fight. He has finished 11 of his 14 wins and TEN, yes I said it TEN of those have been in the first round. The most incredible part of those 10 first round finishes is that he has finished 4 of those in less than two minutes. Now if you’re asking how his 11 finishes are completed they are done through 6 KO’s and 5 submissions. His strengths would have to be his incredible striking and his ability to get some powerful takedowns. This fight is going to be really tough to call because both of these guys have incredibly well rounded games and have always seemed to have the ability finish their respective fights. It truly comes down to the guy with the most experience you could imagine vs. a less worn down fighter with tons of skill and a strong starter. I am going to have to pick Omari Akhmedov to win this one by a KO in the first round.
Shawn Jordan (17-6) vs. Derrick Lewis (12-3): The Main event of the prelims on Fox Sports 1 is lined up for a heavyweight bout with tons of KO power. Let’s start with Shawn Jordan. This guy is a finisher by definition he has 17 wins professionally and 16 of them are finishes. 13 of those 16 finishes are by way of KO and the other 3 obviously by submission. This guy is a giant man he used to be the fullback for the LSU Tigers in college football. Shawn has won 6 of his last 9 fights and has won two straight fights entering this fight. His takedown defense is at 77% which is pretty good and something he should be able to rely on in this fight if it comes down to that of course which to be honest I don’t believe it will. Shawn Jordan is a great fighter with a great skills set. His football background is an almost automatic promise that he will be an extremely athletic fighter. He isn’t just athletic due to his football days they most likely helped mold him into the tough guy that he is because this guy can definitely can one heck of a beating. His fists as you can tell by his 13 KO’s are extremely powerful weapons and he absolutely brings one heck of a one punch KO. I believe Shawn will be extremely tough to beat here in this one because his ground game is pretty underrated and his standing game is a great element to his game. Now that being said though is one tough dude as well Derrick Lewis. Derrick Lewis is a fighter with a ton of heart and he has a great amount of power. He comes into this fight, his fifth fight in the UFC, winning 6 of his last 7 fights. His lone loss in his last 7 fights is too one heck of a heavyweight in Matt Mitrione in a fight where he got absolutely slaughtered in a first round KO. Derrick has finished all 12 of his fights and he knocked 11 of those 12 opponents he has defeated out cold. His fists are quick and extremely strong. Derrick comes out strong too wining five of his fights in the first round. Since joining the UFC Derrick is 3-1, his lone loss being that loss to Matt Mitrione. This fight is going to be interesting and one heck of a main event for the prelims. This heavyweight fight will not fail any fan expectations and should be a fight for the KO to declare the winner. Based off of pure skills I am going to take Shawn Jordan in a brawl with a 2nd round KO after both fighters get bloodied and battered in just the first round.
Main Card on Fox Sports 1 (10PM/ET)
#11. Francisco Rivera (10-4, 1NC) vs.”Bruce Leeroy” Alex Caceres (10-7-0, 1NC): We will kick off the main card with a great bantamweight bout and boy this is going to be fun. I am going to start with the ranked Francisco Rivera. His last fight was a heart breaking loss after getting poked in the eye by Faber the ref. missed the poke and didn’t stop the fight so Faber capitalized by getting his back and submitting him. Francisco has 10 wins professionally which have had 7 stoppages by way of KO/TKO and the other three all by decision. He is a really good striker with some very strong hands with some pretty powerful KO power in each hand. To make his striking game even more effective he has a pretty high strike defense rate at 69% of strikes against him defended. His ground game has yet to really be seen as an offensive feature and 2 of his 4 losses have been to the submission so it really is a bit of a hole in his game. He has been able to defend the takedown pretty well at least with a 74% takedown defense rate. This fight will be right up his alley if he can keep this fight standing and should look for a KO. Now standing opposite of him is someone else who has loss to Faber in “Bruce Leeroy.” He is a very long fighter with an unorthodox fight style and he always seems to be happy and smiling during his fights which is great to see. Bruce has stopped 6 of his 10 wins, 2 by way of KO and the other 4 by submission. This guy is so loved and enjoyed in the UFC his charisma is through the roof the Faber fight was probably a fight with the most charisma in one octagon ever. He is going to probably be willing to stand with Rivera first and if he starts getting shots taken he will be able to take it because he is a very resilient fighter with the ability to take shots and shoot for the takedown if need be. His fight stances always seem to be enjoyable to watch and he is arguably the most unpredictable fighter in the UFC. He is an extremely entertaining fighter and should look for the takedown quick if he wants to win this fight. I am not saying he is a bad stand up fighter but his striking isn’t exactly on par with Rivera’s and with Rivera having a big hole in his ground game, why not capitalize. This is a good opening fight and I am really excited to see these contradictory fight styles clash. I am going to take Francisco Rivera though because I think he will get this fight to stay standing with his takedown defense and land his great strikes and put “Bruce Leeroy” on his butt in the 3rd round with a KO/TKO victory.
Joe Soto (15-3) vs. Anthony Birchak (11-2): Here is another fight in the bantamweight division and boy does it have the potential to be a show stealer. The fighter out of the red corner, Joe Soto is a freakishly good fighter who has only fought one fight before in the UFC. His one fight he filled in for Renan Barao in his supposed to be rematch against Dillashaw and got a title shot in his very first UFC fight. Soto lasted a whole five rounds with the champ before getting KO’d in the final round, he was really impressive in his UFC debut especially against a champion. To make his UFC debut even more impressive he took the fight with the champion on a ONE day’s notice and almost took the current champion the full 25 minutes. Joe is a great wrestler and is really well-rounded in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He has finished 13 of his professional wins 8 of which by submission and the other 5 are by way of KO. The ability to KO his opponents is impressive because of how good of a fighter he is on the ground and most of the time his striking game is overlooked. Joe is a monster finishing 8 of those fights in the first round meaning he has finished over 50% of his wins in the very first round. This kid has been around the best too, he was Jon Jones’ college roommate and teammate. Joe is someone I think that should get ranked pretty quickly after winning a few fights here in the UFC because this guy has a real chance once he develops a bit more to be a true title contender. Now standing opposite of him is Anthony Birchak who is just like Soto in his second UFC fight and coming off a tough loss to start his UFC career. His first fight ended in the first round in 3 minutes and 56 seconds to a submission. The good news for Birchak is that this loss was a robbery it seemed as Birchak was the only of the two to land any strikes and he also initiated the takedown that got him submitted. Once he got his opponent to the mat he wound up losing control and found himself submitted but I believe he will put that behind him and show off his true skills. Anthony professionally has finished 9 of his 11 victories. Six of those finishes are by way of submissions and the other three by KO/TKO. Birchak as well as Soto has finished a bit over 50% of his fights in the first round showing that these two both love to come get it right off the bat. Birchak is a great wrestler and his ability to get a submission is unbelievably smooth. This fight is going to be a lot of fun two guys who can both rise through their division squaring off. Both fighters are extremely good submission artists with pretty good stand up striking games. I am going to take the guy who went toe to toe with the champ though and pick Soto to win in the 2nd round by way of submission, I want to go with the rear naked choke.
Thiago Tavares (23-5-1) vs. Brian Ortega (8-0, 1NC): In this fight we move up a weight class from the previous two and go to the featherweight division. This fight here will be a decent fight. Thiago Tavares is a good fighter and has shown some of that by winning 5 of his last 7 fights. This though will only be his second fight in the featherweight division, currently 1-0 in this division. He has finished 15 of his 23 professional wins 13 of them are by submission and the final 2 are by KO/TKO. He has won his last two fights, his last loss comes to a future champion in Khabib Nurmagomedov which is nothing to be ashamed of obviously. This guy is an extremely strong featherweight with a lot of power and a great skill set. Thiago’s submission game is one of the best in his own division behind probably Khabib and Rafael dos Anjos, it is the strongest part of his game and means he will look to take the fight to the mat. Now standing up Thiago has one of the most dangerous Muay Thai games not in his division but in the UFC in general this guy is right up there with Anderson Silva and is someone to be feared to say the least. I truly believe if he can pull off this win he will find himself ranked in the featherweight division. Now standing opposite of Tavares is a guy who has yet to pick up a professional loss in Brian Ortega. Brian is undefeated and won his first and only fight so far in the UFC but it was ruled a no contest after he tested positive for steroids. Ortega has a very solid, extremely well-rounded game and is going to be hard to beat if he is on. He has only finished 50% of his fights all 4 finishes are by submission. The impressive part of his finishes though are the fact that he has finished three of those fights in the very first round. He is a fighter who loves to come out fast obviously but afterwards he seems to slow down and grind out some fights and can become a boring fighter to watch at times. I hope this fight stays fast paced even if it goes to the mat this thing has the potential to be special. I think Thiago will win this fight though in the second round by way of submission giving Ortega his first loss professionally.
Dustin “the Diamond” Poirier (17-4) vs. Yancy Medeiros (11-2, 1NC): For this fight we move up one weight class again to the lightweight division. Now this fight has one of my favorite fighters who somehow isn’t ranked anymore according to the UFC’s rankings that is, and it’s frustrating to me, in Dustin “the Diamond” Poirier. The Diamond has won 4 of his last 5 fights and his only loss during that span was to the soon to be champion Connor McGregor. The Diamond has finished all but three of his fights 8 by way of KO and the other 6 obviously by way of submission, 10 of those finishes are in the very first round. Dustin is a very well-rounded fighter one of the most well-rounded fighters in his division probably. He is an incredibly tough opponent to face because he gets into his opponents heads with his trash talking and normally backs it up to say the least. The Diamond is young too only 26 years old and I think he can truly be a title contender and one day a champion in the UFC as long as he keeps working because this kid is just an absolute monster. The fans should be on their feet for almost this whole fight because the Diamond will be bringing it. His opponent is Yancy Medeiros who is only one year the elder and is known for his incredible fighting skills. Yancy is another one of the well rounded fighters in his division not as much as Dustin is but he is good on the mat as well as striking. He his ability to block the takedown should be well documented as he has an 88% takedown defense success rate. Yancy is a finisher just like Dustin, as he has finished 9 of his professional 11 wins. Those 9 stoppages showcase his ability to get the KO with 6 of them being by way of KO the other 3 being submissions. This guy is a very strong fighter with the ability to stop a fight in the first round having 5 stoppages recorded in the first round. I like Yancy’s upside and think his skill set is going to make him a ranked lightweight one day and just like his opponent could one day be a title shot competitor. This fight I will put my bias aside but honestly it doesn’t matter I think Dustin is the better fight right now and I have Poirier winning with a first round KO of Mederios.
#9 “Big” Ben Rothwell (34-9) vs. #13 Matt Mitrione (9-3): The co-main event of the evening is between two big guys in the heavyweight division! This fight will guarantee a knockout finish! The big boy Ben Rothwell is going to bring the freakish power for sure. Big Ben might be huge but he can fight well on the mat and isn’t someone you really want putting his weight on top of you wearing you out. This guy though his striking game deserves to be talked about for a bit. This guy is as strong as they come and loves to stand there and punch someone in the face because this guy can take a hell of a beating. Now regardless of this guy’s large size and weight he has some of the fastest hands and quick feet you could see in the heavyweight division. This guy is one of the best finishers in the UFC and is a veteran with 43 fights under his belt and is only 33 years of age. Ben has finished 31 of his fights 27 of them by KO almost guaranteeing a KO with 4 more by way of submission. Big Ben is a brutal warrior who will be coming out hard and fast looking for a KO and to put on a show for the fans. I believe if Ben wins this fight the UFC will move him ahead of Mir and Hunt and get him up to the top 7 where he belongs. Now standing opposite of the beast Rothwell is Mitrione. Matt has only 12 fights under his belt professionally and is already 36 years old but don’t count his age as a negative. He has one quality that Ben has that could turn this fight into one of the best of the year, both of these dudes are absolutely mentally crazy and have a reckless abandon to them. Matt just like Ben though is extremely strong and can take one heck of a beating. His striking is his strongest suit and the reason for that would be due to his incredible strength and his fast hands. Matt is a great athlete, the reason he is 36 with only 12 fights is because he was a 6 year player for the New York Giants at defensive tackle. Only one of this guy’s wins have gone to decision as the other 8 victories have all been through way of KO. This fight between two heavy, fast handed, UFC heavyweights could easily steal the show from the main event and this fight will be a great one and is so tough to call. I am going to pick the one I think who will dig just a bit deeper and is a bit crazier and take Ben Rothwell in a 2nd round KO both fighters come out bloody and battered looking for fight of the year honors.
#13 Tim Boetsch (18-8) vs. Dan Henderson (30-13): A middleweight bout makes up the main event of this fight night on FOX Sports 1. Tim Boetsch is a heavy handed KO artist. Tim is a good wrestler though as it’s one of his strong points and can really deliver a strong ground and pound too once he wears his opponents out on the mat. He has finished 13 of his professional fights 10 of them by KO and the other 3 by some pretty quick submissions. This guy has as much heart as they get when it comes to the UFC and he is a fun fighter to watch. His nickname is the Barbarian for a good reason, he can really fight with the intention to just knock his opponents head off. The opponent though for his is the legendary, hall of famer Dan Henderson. Dan is 44 years of age and still can fight. Let me tell you for being 44 years of age his hands either one can put someone to sleep in a matter of seconds. Dan is known for his incredible wrestling as well as his brutal punches and he as well as Tim can deliver a deadly ground and pound. Henderson has a granite chin and can take a massive beating and still be standing in your face ready to knock you out with one punch. Dan can go the distance better than anyone, a lot of his fights have gone to decision while he has collected 14 KO’s. Dan is the most mentally tough and determined fighter I have ever watched and with all honesty is part of my inspiration behind doing MMA. But anyway to the prediction I am going to pick Dan Henderson to turn it around and win this thing and silence all the doubters about if he has anything left in the tank or not? I am taking Dan Henderson to win this fight in a 3rd round KO.
- Matt K
UFC Rankings by weight-class
Ok, here is the plan with this. I am sick of people getting title shots and not getting title shots. For example, all the respect in the world to Luke Rockhold hell I think he is going to beat Chris Weidman but this title shot should have been handed to Jacare Souza. I say this because in case you didn’t know Souza was ranked #1 and Rockhold #2 they both fought on the same night and both picked up the victory. So because Rockhold beat someone like the “dragon” he moved up over a fighter who just won a fight granted it was against an unranked but he did it easily and in the first round proving he should stay number one. Now I see the ranked opponent vs. non-ranked opponent argument but then how does someone such as Cerrone beat an unranked fighter and then get a title shot, no disrespect to Cerrone though he is one of my favorites of all time. The last point that really irritates me is that Johnny Hendricks is ranked top 15 for pound for pound, he is the most overrated fighter in the UFC he doesn’t win by being the better fighter he goes out and get the judges early and then he just sits on the other fighter or hides in the clinch to kill time. Yes, he wins but he doesn’t win by being the better fighter he wins by hiding and playing the safety game. So this will have the UFC rankings in each category, by that I mean there will be a pound for pound rankings and then a weight-class rankings. Next to those we will have our rankings.
Pound-for-pound: (UFC) Pound-For-Pound (Matt and Mike):
1. Jose Aldo 1. Demetrious Johnson
2. Chris Weidman 2. Cain Velasquez
3. Demetrious Johnson 3. Ronda Rousey
4. Cain Velasquez 4. Chris Weidman
5. Ronda Rousey 5. Jose Aldo
6. TJ Dillashaw 6. Robbie Lawler
7. Rafael Dos Anjos 7. TJ Dillashaw
8. Robbie Lawler 8. Rafael Dos Anjos
9. Daniel Cormier 9. Daniel Cormier
10. Anthony Pettis 10. Fabricio Werdum
11. Renan Barao 11. Renan Barao
12. Anderson Silva 12. Anthony Pettis
13. Frankie Edgar 13. Connor McGregor
14. Fabricio Werdum 14. Frankie Edgar
15. Johnny Hendricks 15. Donald Cerrone
Flyweight (UFC): Flyweight (Matt and Mike):
Champ. Demetrious Johnson Champ. Demetrious Johnson
1. John Dodson 1. John Dodson
2. Joseph Benavidez 2. Joseph Benavidez
3. Jussier Formiga 3. John Moraga
4. Ian McCall 4. Ian McCall
5. John Moraga 5. Jussier Formiga
6. John Lineker 6. John Lineker
7. Kyoji Horiguchi 7. Henry Cejudo
8. Henry Cejudo 8. Kyoji Horiguchi
9. Zach Makovsky 9. Zach Makovsky
10. Chris Cariaso 10. Chris Cariaso
11. Dustin Ortiz 11. Ali Bagautinov
12. Wilson Reis 12. Dustin Ortiz
13. Chico Camus 13. Chico Camus
14. Ray Borg 14. Brad Pickett
15. Brad Pickett 15. Wilson Reis
Bantamweight (UFC): Bantamweight (Matt and Mike):
Champ. TJ Dillashaw Champ. TJ Dillashaw
1. Renan Barao 1. Renan Barao
2. Dominick Cruz 2. Dominick Cruz
3. Raphael Assuncao 3. Raphael Assuncao
4. Urijah Faber 4. Michael McDonald
5. Michael McDonald 5. Urijah Faber
6. Eddie Wineland 6. Eddie Wineland
7. Johnny Eduardo 7. Aljamain Sterling
8. Aljamain Sterling 8. Johnny Eduardo
9. Takeya Mizugaki 9. Bryan Caraway
10. Bryan Caraway 10. Takeya Mizugaki
11. Francisco Rivera 11. Francisco Rivera
12. Iuri Alcantara 12. Thomas Almeida
13. Frankie Saenz 13. Iuri Alcantara
14. Thomas Almeida 14. Frankie Saenz
15. Erik Perez 15. Erik Perez
Featherweight (UFC): Featherweight (Matt and Mike):
Champ. Jose Aldo Champ. Jose Aldo
1. Chad Mendes 1. Connor McGregor
2. Frankie Edgar 2. Frankie Edgar
3. Connor McGregor 3. Chad Mendes
4. Ricardo Lamas 4. Max Holloway
5. Max Holloway 5. Ricardo Lamas
6. Cub Swanson 6. Charles Oliveira
7. Charles Oliveira 7. Cub Swanson
8. Dennis Bermudez 8. Dennis Bermudez
9. Nik Lentz 9. Nik Lentz
10. Clay Guida 10. Jeremy Stephens
11. Jeremy Stephens 11. Mirsad Bektic
12. Dennis Siver 12. Clay Guida
13. Darren Elkins 13. Darren Elkins
14. Hacran Dias 14. Hacran Dias
15. Tatsuya Kawajiri 15. Dennis Siver
Lightweight (UFC): Lightweight (Matt and Mike):
Champ. Rafael Dos Anjos Champ. Rafael Dos Anjos
1. Anthony Pettis 1. Anthony Pettis
2. Khabib Nurmagomedov 2. Donald Cerrone
3. Donald Cerrone 3. Khabib Nermagomedov
4. Gilbert Melendez 4. Michael Johnson
5. Michael Johnson 5. Benson Henderson
6. Benson Henderson 6. Gilbert Melendez
7. Edson Barboza 7. Miles Jury
8. Miles Jury 8. Edson Barboza
9. Eddie Alvarez 9. Eddie Alvarez
10. Josh Thomson 10. Josh Thomson
11. Bobby Green 11. Al Iaquinta
12. Tony Ferguson 12. Diego Sanchez
13. Al Iaquinta 13. Dustin Poirier
14. Beneil Dariush 14. Bobby Green
15. Jorge Masvidal 15. Tony Ferguson
Welterweight (UFC): Welterweight (Matt and Mike):
Champ. Robbie Lawler Champ. Robbie Lawler
1. Johny Hendricks 1. Rory MacDonald
2. Rory MacDonald 2. Tyron Woodley
3. Tyron Woodley 3. Carlos Condit
4. Carlos Condit 4. Johny Hendricks
5. Matt Brown 5. Matt Brown
6. Demian Maia 6. Demian Maia
7. Dong Hyun Kim 7. Dong Hyun Kim
8. Tarec Saffiedine 8. Jake Ellenberger
9. Jake Ellenberger 9. Rick Story
10. Rick Story 10. Tarec Saffiedine
11. Kelvin Gastelum 11. Kelvin Gastelum
12. Neil Magny 12. Neil Magny
13. Thiago Alves 13. Thiago Alves
14. Gunnar Nelson 14. Ryan LaFlare
15. Ryan LaFlare 15. Gunnar Nelson
Middleweight (UFC): Middleweight (Matt and Mike):
Champ. Chris Weidman Champ. Chris Weidman
1. Luke Rockhold 1. Jacare Souza
2. Jacare Souza 2. Luke Rockhold
3. Vitor Belfort 3. Vitor Belfort
4. Lyoto Machida 4. Lyoto Machida
5. Anderson Silva 5. Gegard Mousasi
6. Yoel Romero 6. Anderson Silva
7. Gegard Mousasi 7. Yoel Romero
8. Tim Kennedy 8. Michael Bisping
9. Thales Leites 9. Tim Kennedy
10. Michael Bisping 10. Thales Leites
11. CB Dollaway 11. CB Dollaway
12. Costas Philippou 12. Tim Boetsch
13. Tim Boetsch 13. Uriah Hall
14. Robert Whittaker 14. Costas Philippou
15. Roan Carneiro 15. Robert Whittaker
Light Heavyweight (UFC): Light Heavyweight (Matt and Mike):
Champ. Daniel Cormier Champ. Daniel Cormier
1. Anthony Johnson 1. Anthony Johnson
2. Alexander Gustafsson 2. Alexander Gustafsson
3. Ryan Bader 3. Ryan Bader
4. Rashad Evans 4. Glover Teixeira
5. Glover Teixeira 5. Rashad Evans
6. Ovince Saint Preux 6. Ovince Saint Preux
7. Jimi Manuwa 7. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
8. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua 8. Jimi Manuwa
9. Rampage Jackson 9. Rampage Jackson
10. Rafael Cavalcante 10. Rafael Cavalcante
11. Antonio Rogeiro Nogueira 11. Fabio Maldonado
12. Jan Blachowicz 12. Patrick Cummings
13. Fabio Maldonado 13. Antonio Rogeiro Nogueira
14. Patrick Cummings 14. Jan Blachowicz
15. Gian Villante 15. Gian Villante
Heavyweight (UFC): Heavyweight (Matt and Mike):
Champ. Cain Velasquez Champ. Cain Velasquez
1. Fabricio Werdum (Interim Champ.) 1. Fabricio Werdum (Interim Champ.)
2. Junior Dos Santos 2. Stipe Miocic
3. Stipe Miocic 3. Junior Dos Santos
4. Andrei Arlovski 4. Andrei Arlovski
5. Travis Browne 5. Travis Browne
6. Josh Barnett 6. Josh Barnett
7. Mark Hunt 7. Alistair Overeem
8. Alistair Overeem 8. Ben Rothwell
9. Ben Rothwell 9. Frank Mir
10. Frank Mir 10. Roy Nelson
11. Roy Nelson 11. Matt Mitrione
12. Antonio Silva 12. Antonio Silva
13. Matt Mitrione 13. Stefan Struve
14. Stefan Struve 14. Alexey Oliynyk
15. Alexey Oliynyk 15. Todd Duffee
Women’s Strawweight (UFC): Women’s Strawweight (Matt and Mike):
Champ. Joanna Jedrzejczyk Champ. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
1. Carla Esparza 1. Claudia Gadelha
2. Claudia Gadelha 2. Jessica Penne
3. Jessica Penne 3. Rose Namjunas
4. Rose Namjunas 4. Carla Esparza
5. Tecia Torres 5. Paige VanZant
6. Randa Markos 6. Randa Markos
7. Paige VanZant 7. Tecia Torres
8. Maryna Moroz 8. Maryna Moroz
9. Joanne Calderwood 9. Joanne Calderwood
10. Felice Herrig 10. Felice Herrig
11. Juliana Lima 11. Juliana Lima
12. Aisling Daly 12. Aisling Daly
13. Heather Clark 13. Heather Clark
14. Valerie Letourneau 14. Angela Hill
15. Angela Hill 15. Valerie Letourneau
Women’s Bantamweight (UFC): Women’s Bantamweight (Matt and Mike):
Champ. Ronda Rousey Champ. Ronda Rousey
1. Cat Zingano 1. Miesha Tate
2. Miesha Tate 2. Cat Zingano
3. Alexis Davis 3. Alexis Davis
4. Sara McMann 4. Jessica Eye
5. Jessica Eye 5. Sara McMann
6. Sarah Kaufman 6. Sarah Kaufman
7. Bethe Correia 7. Amanda Nunes
8. Amanda Nunes 8. Bethe Correia
9. Liz Camouche 9. Holly Holm
10. Holly Holm 10. Marion Reneau
11. Marion Reneau 11. Liz Camouche
12. Julianna Pena 12. Jessica Andrade
13. Jessica Andrade 13. Julianna Pena
14. Germaine de Randamie 14. Milana Dudieva
15. Raquel Pennington 15. Germaine de Randamie