UFC FIGHT NIGHT: Dos Anjos vs. Cerrone:
I am so excited for this fight night, there are good fights sprinkled about the prelims and ¾ of the main card. I will be calling all of them but only talking in analysis behind some of them. I am going to tell the readers now that the Main Event is going to be so hard for me to call and I might just give an analysis because I am one of the biggest Donald Cerrone fans ever. I will try to keep out my bias though because we know Dos Anjos is a great fighter and this fight might be fight of the year.
UFC Fight Pass Prelims (3:30PM/ET):
Francis Ngannou (5-1) vs. Luis Henrique (8-1, 1NC): The opening fight of the night is in the heavyweight division. I think it could go to the mat and finish there. I am going with Francis Ngannou through a 2nd round submission.
Hayder Hassan (6-2) vs. Vicente Luque (7-5-1): This fight between two bitter rivals in the welterweight division should be fun. These two were seen in the TUF season of ATT vs Blackzillians and they will be battling it out as hated gym rivals. Hayder is a monster who I truly think will make some noise in the UFC. He is a very confident and strong fighter who can knockout just about anyone. This kid needs to learn and improve his ground game which would make him a better fighter. Luque is a young fighter who lost on TUF to Michael Graves. Luque has struggled to show anything he is truly dominant at and should improve his all-around skills. I prefer Hayder in this fight and think he will end this fight in the 1st round via KO/TKO.
Kamaru Usman (6-1) vs. Leon Edwards (10-2): This fight to finish the fight pass prelims is going to be either on the mat in favor of Usman or stay standing which will favor Edwards. I think Usman is the better fighter and gets this fight to the ground and picks up the win but he will grind it out for 3 rounds. Usman by unanimous decision.
Fox Sports Prelims (5PM/ET):
Cole Miller (21-9) vs. Jim Alers (13-2): The fight to kick off the televised prelims is going to be fun to watch while it lasts. I think the better fighter at this point in their career should be Jim Alers. Alers wins by 2nd round submission.
Nik Lentz (27-7-2, 1NC) vs. Danny Castillo (17-9): This fight in the lightweight division is so close it is hard to call. I think the winner of this fight will be Nik Lentz in a split decision.
Josh Samman (12-3) vs. Tamdan McCrory (13-3): This fight in the middleweight division is a good matchup that could go less than 5 minutes and these two love to KO their opponents. I am going to take Samman though with a 1st round KO in less than 4 minutes.
#5 (5) Sarah Kaufman (17-3, 1NC) vs. Valentina Shevchenko (11-1): This fight in the women’s bantamweight division is between UFC ranked fighter Sarah Kaufman and new comer Valentina Shevchenko. Sarah is the favorite but I think that’s only because she is a veteran of the octagon I do not believe that she is the better fighter. I am going to take the upset, Valentina wins this thing in an upsetting fashion with a 2nd round KO.
#12 (13) CB Dollaway (16-8) vs. Nate Marquardt (36-15-2): This fight is going to be between two formerly title contending middleweight fighters who are past their primes and ready to put on a show. Nate is a very balanced fighter who can finish the fight standing or on the mat. He is a very smart fighter who is looking to find a way back into the rankings with this win. Nate is trying to turn around his late loses and get back on a hot streak but if he loses here we could see him talk retirement after 3 loses in a row. Let’s hope that’s not the case because this guy is so entertaining. Now his opponent CB is trying to turn around two recent loses and get back moving up in the division. CB is another very well rounded fighter who happens to let more of his fights go to decision than his opponent does. CB is a tough fighter to take down as he posts an 83% success rate for takedown defense and I think that he will be able to use that to control this fight. I am going to take the fighter who is honestly better at this point and take CB with a unanimous decision victory.
#7 (6) Charles Oliveira (20-5, 1NC) vs. #9 (8) Myles Jury (15-1): The Fox Sports televised prelim, main event should be a good one in the featherweight division I believe. Oliveria is a featherweight fighter who missed weight by 5 pounds and Myles Jury is a lightweight fighter who made weight at featherweight which makes this fight confusing. I think this fight will be so much fun between two great fighters regardless of the weight issues. These two have contrasting styles as Jury seems to be a KO machine while Oliveira likes to take fights to the mat and finish them on the mat. I think Jury will be in better shape though because he didn’t seem to have any problems cutting the weight while Oliveria not only missed but he looked rough after struggling to reach weight. I think this will give a huge stamina advantage to Jury and it’s hard to win a fight on the mat when you’re tired. I think Jury will win this fight through a 3rd round KO to end this fight.
Fox Main Card (8PM/ET):
#7 (7) Randa Markos (5-3) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (7-0): Here is the kick off fight for the main card in the women’s strawweight division. This fight is going to be a close one regardless that it’s between a top 10 ranked fighter and a UFC newcomer. I am again going to take the upset because this fight could be absolutely incredible due to Karolina being a good fighter. I think Karolina wins this thing via a 2nd round KO.
#6 (4) Michael Johnson (17-9) vs. #15 (NR) Nate Diaz (18-10): This fight in the lightweight division is absolutely amazing and will be a heated rivalry. I can’t wait to watch these two scrap as they already kind of did before the fight behind the scenes. These guys are getting into it outside of the octagon and once they are allowed to go at it they will not disappoint. Michael Johnson is the way better fighter and will be looking to display that his last loss was a joke and the judges really failed as they always tend to do. I think Nate is a trash talking nobody with a skill set that has become weaker and isn’t truly good enough to be rewarded with this scheduled fight. I think Michael Johnson is a win or two away from a title shot here and I think if he wins here he should get the loser of the title fight for the number one contender spot. Michael Johnson wins this thing by 2nd round KO, these two will keep this thing standing and scrap the whole way without backing down.
#2 (5) Junior Dos Santos (17-3) vs. #9 (8) Alistair Overeem (39-14, 1NC): The co-main event of the evening is a true battle in the heavyweight division. Junior has made some bold statements claiming this fight does nothing for his career which is a little insulting if you ask me for Overeem due just to how big his name is alone. These two will be two one punch finishers looking to propel themselves back into title shot talks with a win here. Overeem has one part to his game that Santos isn’t the best at and that would be his ability to finish the fight on the ground. Dos Santos has the ability to submit his opponents but Overeem is the better fighter when it goes to the mat, hands down. Now when this thing is standing I can’t give either fighter the edge because these guys can both finish the fight with one punch and they will be ready to scrap to show off who is the better KO artist. I think this fight will be so much fun and could go either way and I am not sure who will win this thing. I am going to seriously take another “upset” with this one. I am going to take Overeem with a surprising KO victory in a 2nd round KO.
(C) Rafael Dos Anjos (24-7) vs. #2 (1) Donald Cerrone (28-6, 1NC): The title fight I have been waiting for all year long in the lightweight division. Cerrone to me is a top fighter in the UFC he always is ready to scrap no matter what weight class and will take the fight on short notice just to make sure the fans get to see a fight. I bet this time off between fights to avoid injury had to be so hard for a guy who wants to fight 5 times a year. We are finally going to see the cowboy get the title shot he deserves and will I think take a big step forward in his career showing off how well rounded of a fighter this guy can truly be. This fight should be good though because both fighters are good on the mat and standing. Now the thing I don’t like about Dos Anjos is he tends to go to decision a lot more than his opponent as he grinds out things and is a slow paced fighter as of late with the exception of the Pettis fight. I am not sure where this fight will go but I think Cerrone has the edge both standing and on the mat. Don’t get me wrong I think Dos Anjos is an incredible fighter and he might just be the second best in this weight class at this moment, but I truly believe Cerrone is the best fighter in this weight class. I think Cerrone wins this thing in the 4th round by way of a RNC crowning us a 3rd title change in 7 days.
- Matt Koontz
UFC 194, the last pay per view of the year and it closes out with a bang. A lot of action will be seen all throughout this card including names like Tecia Torres, Frankie Saenz and Urijah Faber just in the prelims. In the main card there are two title fights, one for the middleweight and the other for featherweight. A number one contender fight will take place between two of the middleweight division's top fighters and we will see the "Grappling God" Demian Maia in action. Hopefully by the time Sunday comes we can put two new faces on our slideshow.
Fox Sports 1 Prelims
Leonardo Santos vs. Kevin Lee: The first fight of the prelims is in the lightweight division. Leonardo Santos has a professional record of 14-4-1. Santos has a record of 8-1-1 in his last ten fights. He has ten finishes with nine of them being in the first round. Nine of his finishes were by knockout and one by submission. Santos has a fourth degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and a near 90% takedown defense. His opponent, Kevin Lee, has a professional record of 11-1. Kevin Lee is on a four fight win streak. Lee has five finishes by submission and three of them in the first round. I think this fight will be a lot more technical than violent. Both fighters will be looking to take this fight to the mat and implement their game plan which will most likely be getting the other to tap out. I tend to lean in favor of belts so I am going to say that Leonardo Santos will be able to pull off the submission victory late in the first.
Warlley Alves vs. Colby Covington: The next fight will take place in the middleweight division meaning Colby Covington will be going up a weight class. This bout will be a war of streaks as both fighters are undefeated. Warlley Alves is 10-0 with a perfect takedown defense. Alves has five wins by submission and one win by knockout, but he favors his kickboxing. Colby Covington has a record of 8-0. Covington was a 2x NCAA All-American wrestler with no surprise considering he wrestled for Iowa. He has three wins by submission and two by knockout, with three of those finishes in the first round. It’s clear that Covington will look to dominate on the ground and gain the submission while Alves will most likely want to keep this standing then once he rocks his opponent finish it how he sees fit. I believe we will see a lot of shots taken in this match and in the beginning of the fight Alves will do a great job of defending them. It will be up to Alves to finish this quickly or else I think Covington will wear him down and end this fight. I am going to favor Alves in saying he will be able to keep this fight standing and be able to finish this in the first round with a knockout or TKO.
(#5) Tecia Torres vs. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger: The third fight in the prelims will be a womens flyweight matchup between a ranked fighter and a new fighter to the UFC. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger has a record of 6-1 and is on a four fight win streak. Jocelyn has only finish and it is by submission in the first round. She also has a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Her opponent is the number 5 ranked Tecia Torres. Torres has a record of 6-0. Torres has won all of her fights by decision and has a prefect takedown defense. This fight is going to be a very technical stand-up battle. Torres is not an exciting fighter and she doesn’t finish her fights, but she is very technical and knows how to beat every person put in front of her. For these reasons I am going to call that Tecia Torres will win by decision.
(#4) Urijah Faber vs. (#13) Frankie Saenz: The main event on the prelims is a bantamweight matchup. One of these fighters is on his way up while in my opinion is on his way out. Frankie Saenz is the number 13 ranked featherweight. Saenz is 11-2 and is on a seven fight win streak. Saenz has three wins by knockout and two wins by submission and three first round finishes. His opponent is the number 4 ranked Urijah Faber. Urijah has a record of 32-8 and has won six of his last eight. The reason I say Urijah is on his way out is, other than Frankie Edgar, most of his fights have been in the prelims to fighters of low rank if ranked at all. Faber is only keeping a strong record because he is only fighting people he knows he is better than and he can’t keep up with main card fighters anymore. With that being said it is possible that Faber wins this because it’s clearly in his favor, but Frankie Saenz is gaining a lot of momentum and I both hope and believe that Saenz gains the knockout in the second round.
(#5) Max Holloway vs. (#8) Jeremy Stephens: The first fight of the main card will take place in the featherweight division. Jeremy Stephens is the number 8 ranked featherweight with a 24-11 record. Stephens has 17 wins by knockout and two wins by submission. His opponent is the number 5 ranked Max Holloway. Holloway has a professional record of 14-3. He has eight finishes and six of them occurred during his current seven fight win streak. Six finishes were by knockout and two were by submission. This is going to be the most exciting matchup so far with both fighters striking very fast and pushing the pace. The only way this fight is going to last a while is if both fighters invest in good defense. However I don’t think this will consist of too much defense and I predict that Max Holloway will pick up a knockout or TKO victory somewhere in the second round.
(#6) Demian Maia vs. (#12) Gunnar Nelson: This next fight will be a welterweight fight and it will be an interesting grappling matchup. The number 12 ranked Gunnar Nelson has a professional record of 14-1-1. Nelson has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and a brown belt in Karate. He has nine wins by submission and four by knockout, with 11 finishes in the first round. His opponent is the number 6 ranked Demian Maia. Maia is 21-6 and the best grappler in the UFC today. Demian Maia has a fourth degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and has 10 wins by submission. Trying to grapple with Demian Maia is probably the single fastest way to lose in the UFC so Gunnar Nelson will need to keep this fight standing no matter what his grappling background may be. Unfortunately for Nelson, he will most likely not be able to keep this fight standing and Demian Maia will walk away with another victory by submission.
(#2) Ronaldo Souza vs. (#3) Yoel Romero: This next fight is a middleweight matchup and is a match to determine who will face the middleweight champion next. Yoel Romero is the number 3 ranked middleweight and has a record of 10-1. Romero has nine wins by knockout; four of them were in the first round and is on a six fight win streak. His opponent is Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Jacare is the number two ranked middleweight, but he should be the number 1 and honestly his title shot is overdue. He was the number 1 ranked and somehow went down a rank after winning a couple months ago. Jacare has a pro record of 22-3 and has won 12 of his last 13 and on an eight fight win streak. Jacare has 13 wins by submission and five wins by knockout. This fight will be an absolute war and it could go anywhere and I think both fighters could hold their own. I don’t want to see either fighter lose this fight, but I think Jacare Souza is the best person in this division to fight for the title. I am going to call this Jacare winning by decision so we can all watch this fight as long as possible.
(C) Chris Weidman vs. (#1) Luke Rockhold: This is the co-main event of the night and will be a middleweight title fight. Luke Rockhold has a professional record of 14-2. Rockhold has won 13 of his last 14 fights and has 10 first round finishes. He has 12 total finishes and eight of them were by submission while the other four by knockout. Rockhold has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. His opponent is the middleweight champion, Chris Weidman. Weidman has a record of 13-0 and also has a perfect takedown defense. He has six wins by knockout and three by submission with six of them in the first round. This fight is going to be intense and I’m sure will go into many rounds. Both fighters will be ready to keep this thing standing as long as they need to, but both will want to work towards the mat. While they are standing Weidman will have overconfidence in himself because of his recent wins. On the ground Weidman will want to control the top while Rockhold would be more in control on his back because of his Jiu Jitsu background. Each fighter will incorporate striking into trying to make the other tap out. I am going to call that Luke Rockhold will pick up the submission victory in the fourth round.
(C) Jose Aldo vs. (IC) Conor McGregor: The main event of the night is the long awaited title fight between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor. This fight has been a long time coming and was even delayed due to Aldo backing out of their scheduled match in July. Aldo backed out due to “injury” after an accident in training camp, even though the doctors cleared him to fight. For anyone that doesn’t know, McGregor has a mouth to back up his work and I personally think he had Aldo scared and that’s the real reason he backed out. Anyway let’s get into the stats of this fight. The Interim Champ Conor McGregor has a professional record of 18-2. McGregor has 16 wins by knockout and one by submission with 12 first round finishes. He is also on a 14 fight win streak. His opponent is the Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo. Aldo has a record of 25-1 and is on an 18 fight win streak. Aldo has 15 wins by knockout and one win by submission. This is no doubt going to be a standup war at its finest. As much as I want to say Aldo is going to get dominated I just don’t believe that will be the case. I think this fight will go into the second or third round and both fighters will get banged up, but I believe Conor McGregor will walk away with the knockout victory and the true gold around his waist.
- Mike W.
I will again be picking all the fights the online prelims I will be just giving the winner as well as Tecia Torres’ fight due to the fact that I know nothing about her opponent it would be hard to give an analysis. Otherwise I will be a little in depth tonight as this might be the best fight card ever until UFC 200. So here we go.
Online Prelims (6:30 PM/ET) UFC Fight Pass:
Court McGee (16-4) vs Marcio Alexandre (13-2): This fight here in the Welterweight division to kick off the prelims here online will be an interesting one. I think Court McGee will pick up the win here in the first round with the KO.
John Makdessi (12-4) vs. Yancy Medeiros (11-3, 1NC): This fight in the Lightweight division is between two fighters looking to pick up a win and get into a ranked conversation soon. I am going to pick John Makdessi in this one with a split decision.
Joe Proctor (11-3) vs. Magomed Mustafaev (12-1): I am excited for this lightweight fight here to end the online prelims. I am going to take Joe Proctor with a 2nd round KO victory.
FOX Sports Prelims (8PM/ET):
Leonardo Santos (14-4-1) vs. Kevin Lee (11-1): To kick off the televised prelims we are going to start where we left off in the lightweight division. Kevin Lee is a machine at 23 years of age he is a future star. I am so sold on this kid he has rolled off 4 straight wins in the UFC out of the 5 he has fought. He has stopped 5 of his 11 fights, all 5 are by way of submission. He has 3 of those fights stopped in the first round. I think if Kevin Lee can improve his stand-up he could quickly climb into the rankings and head for the title one day. Now opposite of Kevin Lee is Leonardo Santos. Leonardo is a 35 year old Jiu-jitsu specialist. He has stopped 9 of his 14 by submission and one more by KO showing off how good his jiu-jitsu skills and submission game are. I think he is a tad underappreciated but he isn’t a fighter to be taken lightly because he has such a good skill set on the mat and great cardio he could grind out a win if he needed. I think this fight ends without a decision. Kevin Lee wins this thing by 2nd round submission showing this kid is for real when it comes to his skills on the mat and takes a shot for rankings.
Warlley Alves (10-0) vs. Colby Covington (8-0): Oh man what a fight here in the welterweight division between two undefeated freaks. Colby is a 27 year old star on the rise with a bright future. He has stopped 5 of his 8 wins, 3 are by way of submission and the other 2 by way of KO. He stopped 3 of those fights in the first round showing that he can come out of the corner fast and get a fight over with quickly if you underestimate him. His last win was against Mike Pyle and that impressed me and showed that this kid can do something if he continues to improve, watch out. Covington is a good wrestler with some power in his hands and is able to ground and pound his way to a win if the fight goes to the mat. His wrestling skills are backed by a good cardio providing him the ability to fight his aggressive fight style without tiring out. Now his opponent is undefeated as well and is a monster, Warlley Alves. This kid is 24 years old and is 3-0 in the UFC looking for his 4th win in the octagon. Alves has finished 6 fights, 5 by way of submission and one by KO. Those finishes can be deceiving though because he does have the power to end a fight. This guy is a freak right out of the gate as he has stopped 3 fights in under 1 minute 58 seconds. Alves in three fights so far has not been taken to the mat and that will be a real test here for Covington because he might want this fight on the mat and it won’t be easy to take to the ground. This fight is going to be so much fun and everyone should watch this thing because it’s in my opinion the best fight on the prelims. I am going to take Alves by a 1st round KO victory.
#5 (3) Tecia Torres (6-0) vs. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger (6-1): This battle is in the women’s strawweight and sadly I just don’t know much about Jocelyn and I think Tecia is incredible and will pick up a 2nd round TKO.
#4 (8) Urijah Faber (32-8) vs. #13 (13) Frankie Saenz (11-2): I am not a fan of this fight at all in the Bantamweight division as the Fox Sports prelims. Frankie is a good fighter don’t get me wrong he just has a similar fight style to Urijah. Both fighters are very well-rounded and have incredible cardio and can go all 3 rounds full length at full speed. The lack of excitement comes from the simple fact that these two just like to take it slow and hug and grind out points. That is an extremely boring way of fighting that honestly just isn’t good for the sport and Urijah is way over hyped and I hope people start to see this guy isn’t really that exciting a fighter. I am having a tough one with this one but I will go with the future HOFer who has lost 6 fights while fighting for a title showing that he just can’t reach the top. But this fight isn’t for a title and it isn’t against Frankie Edgar so I am confident in Urijah here to out grind Frankie. Faber wins by unanimous decision.
Main Card (10PM/ET) PPV:
#5 (5) Max Holloway (14-3) vs. #8 (7) Jeremy Stephens (24-11): WE ARE LIVE FROM THE MGM GRAND IN LAS VEGAS NEVADA!!!! We are starting off the most stacked main card in UFC history with a heck of a battle in the featherweight division. Jeremy Stephens is a 29 year old finally seeming to put things together and looking to raise the table for a title shot one day. Stephens is a guy who has never known how to quit in his entire MMA career and his heart is legendary. Now his stand up is his strength and it’s because of his incredibly powerful hands that could stop a fight with one clean blow. This kid has stopped all but 5 of his wins by way of 17 KO/TKO’s and 2 submissions. Stephens last fight was a pretty impressive win over Dennis Bermudez in what seemed to be a really close fight until he caught him with those incredible hands and ended the fight in the third round. Stephens needs to be careful not to let this one go to the mat because I truly believe he will be outclassed there and should look to keep this fight vertical. Now his opponent is the fighter I am most excited for in the UFC. The young super star and future champion Max Holloway. Holloway is just a future legend in my opinion. This kid hasn’t lost since August 2013 and that loss was to Connor McGregor. If you look at Holloway’s 3 losses in his professional career they come to some pretty great fighters in Dennis Bermudez, Dustin Poirier, and Connor McGregor. He has finally found a way to finish fights as he is on a 7 fight win streak with 6 of them coming to finishes, he has only finished 8 fights meaning he really is now becoming a finisher. Holloway is a great stand up fighter and I wouldn’t say that Stephens has an edge on him there but Holloway is a better fighter on the mat and his win over Cub Swanson in was a performance of the night and he submitted one of the tougher guys in the UFC to submit. Holloway has great cardio and if this fight goes into the third round I think he will have a significant amount more energy than Stephens and should be able to end it there. This fight shouldn’t go the whole way. I think Holloway picks up the win and puts himself right behind Frankie Edgar at the top of this division. Holloway wins via 2nd round TKO.
#6 (4) Demian Maia (21-6) vs. #12 (11) Gunnar Nelson (14-1-1): Grapple war!!!!!! This fight in the welterweight division is going to be on the mat almost the whole time. Gunnar Nelson has stopped 13 of his 14 fights!!! Gunnar has stopped 9 fights by submission and 4 more by KO. This kid has stopped 11 of them in the very first round, Gunnar is so exciting I am having a hard time not gushing about him just because of how great this kid can be. He was awarded his black belt in BJJ from Renzo Gracie himself. Gunnar is a true submission artist having submitted 4 of his 5 wins in the UFC 4 of his 6 total fights. Nelson is facing a submission artist and BJJ legend himself though that might just out match him, maybe. But his opponent is the legend himself Demian Maia. Demian is a 4th degree black belt in BJJ and he honestly might be one of the best grapplers in the WORLD not just the UFC. He isn’t the best fighter standing and I think if Gunnar wants to win this thing he should use his brown belt in Karate and keep this thing standing. There is not a quicker way in the UFC to lose than try and out grapple Demian, truly it is a guaranteed way to lose a fight. This will either be over quick when they go to the ground because Maia ends it or they will somehow stay standing and Nelson will win, it’s tough to decide which way it will go though. The odds are even as well for the betting odds which makes this even harder no help in opinion. I know Mike took Maia and I think he has a fair argument, that being said I am going to pick Nelson in the most shocking type of victory, Nelson wins by 2nd round RNC submission victory, SAY WHAT?!? No joke.
#2 (1) Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (22-3, 1NC) vs. #3 (3) Yoel Romero (10-1): SHHHHH don’t talk to me, this fight is going to steal fight of the night. I, along with all UFC fans, have been waiting for this fight for a long time. Ok this fight in the Middleweight division will be for the number one contender for the title, there is no doubt about that. Romero is the most powerful man in the UFC by a long shot. He has won 6 in a row entering this fight and has stopped 9 of his 10 fights by KO. 4 of his wins are in the very first round and his last fight against Lyoto Machida in a fight where he brutalized a legend. Yoel is so strong and his ground game is under appreciated and he does have the skills on both wrestling and BJJ to at least deserve respect from his opponents. Now his opponent is the guy I believe should be facing Weidman tonight over Rockhold and is dying for his title shot. This guy’s name is Jacare Souza, he is a freak of freaks. He is a future legend in my eyes. He has rolled off 12 wins in his last 13 fights, 8 of them straight. This guy has stopped 18 of his 22 wins, 13 of them by submission and 5 more by way of KO. Now the most impressive part of these wins is that he has finished 15, FIFTEEN of them in the VERY FIRST ROUND! This guy is so good and I can’t figure out why he gets no credit for the skills he has and the proof is in the record and his past 13 fights. It’s obvious his submission game is strong but his incredible strength and ability to stop a fight with his hands shouldn’t be forgotten. Granted most fights you will see him use his amazing takedown abilities and he will land some great looking takedowns. I honestly think Romero could win this thing and it wouldn’t shock me at all but I am going with one of my favorite fighters to ever step in the Octagon. Souza wins by submission in the 1st round after coming out strong and displaying he is ready for the winner of the next fight.
(C) Chris Weidman (13-0) vs. #1 (2) Luke Rockhold (14-2): The Co-main event of the evening is a Middleweight title bout and I will tell you now that I have no idea who will win this thing and it will be so close and could go either way. That being said everyone says Weidman is the best wrestler and best fighter on the mat in this division but I disagree entirely, I think Rockhold is better on the ground. Weidman is undefeated don’t get me wrong but has beaten Machida which took him all 5 rounds in which Rockhold submitted in 2 rounds, Belfort who is 38 years old, and Silva twice who was caught screwing around and then to a broken leg. That isn’t quite honestly the most impressive score card honestly on wins, only due to it being that point in their careers. Every single win before those title fights were against nobodies who aren’t anything in the UFC now a days and this fight is the fight where he has to impress me. Rockhold handed Machida his ass in their fight, after beating Souza, Costas, Boestsch, and Bisping. Granted again most of them have been out of their primes during those wins with the exception of Souza. Looking at it though I just am more impressed by Luke when I watch him fight then I am with Weidman so I am going with the “upset” Rockhold wins the title 4th round submission victory.
(C) Jose Aldo (25-1) vs. (IC) Connor McGregor (18-2): All the Trash Talking has finally landed the fight. The battle for the unified featherweight title is finally here. This fight is going to be fun and just AHHHH IM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!! Connor I believe got in the mind of Aldo and scared him away the first time they were meant to battle, but this new approach of not saying anything has played into Aldo’s hands he seems really relaxed coming in. Connor is one of the most unorthodox fights in the UFC and he trash talks more than anyone but he backs it up and will continue to do so in his entire career. Aldo hasn’t lost since 2005. That being said he hasn’t fought since October 2014 and has only fought 4 fights since the beginning of 2013. He seems to be injured a lot and not taking many fights. McGregor is always ready to scrap and is a more aggressive human being. Aldo is one of the best fighters in the world I will give him that I just wish he would stay healthy and fight more often. I really am torn to pieces because I like McGregor and Aldo both in their own different ways. This fight uhhhh it is so hard I really can’t figure out where this is going. I truly believe Aldo is the faster fight and more calm but is that an advantage over stronger, smarter, and crazy? McGregor is just so crazy and he knows if he loses this fight his reputation takes a huge hit because of all the smack he was laying down. I think the crazy dude just comes out and uses shock and awe and sends Aldo into a new weightclass or retirement whichever he feels best. McGregor wins by 1st round KO just like he said he would. (Wouldn’t be shocked if Aldo does get this win though).
- Matt Koontz.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT (UFC Fight Pass)
I will be covering 7 of the fights on this UFC Fight pass only fight card. I will be doing all 4 main card fights and 3 prelims of the 8. Some of the fights just aren’t really leaving me enough to talk about but I might still take a pick in the other ones without an analysis. Numbers in parentheses next to a rank is our ranking on the site.
Prelims (6:45 on Fight Pass):
Kailin Curran (3-1) vs. Emily Kagan (3-2): Women’s Strawweight division. Kailin Curran will win by unanimous decision.
Zubaira Tukhugov (17-3) vs. Phillipe Nover (12-5-1): Featherweight battle. I am going to take Zubaira Tukhugov by a 1st round KO.
Danny “Hot Chocolate” Roberts (11-1) vs. Nathan Coy (14-5): This fight in the Welterweight division excites me just because I really like both of these guys. Nathan Coy if you watched TUF 21 ATT vs Black-zilians was on team ATT. He had his moments of up and down. I think Nathan is a bit of a passive fighter and it could cause him problems here and in the UFC. Nathan needs to learn how to become more of an aggressive and stronger fighter. The issue being he is already 37 years of age and making his UFC debut at that age means he might not have a long career nor much of an upside honestly. Danny Roberts is making his UFC debut at 28 years of age and is entering on a 5 fight win streak. He hasn’t fought in over a year dating back to May 3rd, 2014 which is really a worry for me entering this fight. He is a finisher though stopping 9 of his 11 fights. He has stopped 5 of them by KO and the other 4 are by submission. The thing to watch out for with Danny is his knees, as he has started 4 of his 5 KO’s with brutal knees. Roberts is a brutal fighter with an aggressive nature and here we will see an aggressive vs passive fight style. I am going to take Roberts to win his UFC debut here by a 3rd round KO over Coy.
Santiago Ponzinibbio (21-3) vs Andreas Stahl (9-1): A welterweight battle here in which I see Ponzinibbio winning this fight by a split decision.
#5 (5) Aljamain Sterling (11-0) vs. #10 (10) Johnny Eduardo (27-9): This is a battle in the Bantamweight division that I believe should be in the Main card because this one is going to be awesome. Johnny Eduardo has rolled off two in a row and won 13 of his last 14 fights entering this one. His lone loss in his last 14 is against a beast Raphael Assuncao in a decision in his UFC debut. Eduardo has stopped 14 of his 27 wins in the very first round. He has stopped 20 of his 27 professional wins, 11 by submission and 9 more by KO/TKO. He is one incredible striker with a really smooth transition game when on the ground. My advice would be to avoid the ground against Eduardo because he is known for one lethal ability to lock in the RNC. Now standing opposite of Eduardo is the undefeated Aljamain Sterling. Aljamain is a beast at 26 years of age and still has the chance to learn and grow. This guy has finished 7 of his 11 fights, like his opponent showing his lethality on the mat with 5 wins by submission and two more by KO/TKO. Aljamain is a brutal dude who just he can handle a pounding and deliver one heck of one two if the fight stayed standing. He is a very creative fighter with a very unorthodox ability to deal damage from anywhere. I think if this fight goes to the mat we could see two guys scramble a lot and try and find ways to stop the other with little success. I honestly think this fight standing is close to even as well but a slight advantage to Sterling. I am torn here but will go with personally who I think just is slightly the better fighter. Aljamain Sterling picks up a 2nd round RNC to end this fight.
Antonio Carlos Junior (6-1) vs. Kevin Casey (10-3): This middleweight battle here could be good but I see it being a tad bit boring. I think the edge goes to Antonio Carlos Junior in a unanimous decision.
Omari Akhmedov (15-2) vs. Sergio Moraes (9-3): I think Omari Akhmedov wins this one by 1st round KO in a pretty quick battle here in the welterweight battle.
Tim Means (24-7-1) vs. John Howard (23-11): This battle here as the main event of the prelims is a good one in the welterweight division. I think John Howard is a decent fighter but has a lot of weaknesses. I think boxing skills he stands out and he has some pretty decent power with those hands. Now John comes into the fight with a ton of heart and could seriously take a beating if it came down to it because this guy just doesn’t know the definition of the word quit. Now the issues I have with John is that he might be able to finish on the ground but he isn’t a fighter that should look for the mat. John is coming into this fight with a 1-3 record in his last 4 and should really be a bit of a concern that he is starting to decline but this will be the telling tale for me if John Howard should still be around or not. Now his opponent is a good fighter in Tim Means. Tim is coming off a loss to Matt Brown but has won 4 of his last 5 so he is on a bit of a roll still here. This guy is a KO artist having stopped 16 of his 24 wins by KO and 4 more by submission meaning only 4 of his fights have gone to the judges score card. Means is 4-2 in the welterweight division and I think personally this is the weight class that best suits him. Now when it comes to his performance and what you should expect to see it will be a guy with good technique especially standing who loves the flying knee so he could bring some serious excitement. I personally think this fight will be fun though because both of these guys have a ton of heart and don’t know the definition of the word quit. I am going to take the better all-around fighter though and go with Tim Means via a 2nd round KO.
Main Card (10PM on UFC FIGHT Pass):
Elias Theodorou (11-0) vs. Thiago Santos (11-3): Ladies and Gentleman we are LIVE!!!! The start to the main card has begun with a middleweight battle. Thiago Santos is a machine who if you stay standing with you will get the lights turned off in your head. This guy can kick the crap out of you and do so with high kicks like they are going out of style. Santos has finished 8 of his 11 wins and yes 7 of those 8 are by brutal KO finishes. This kid is on the verge of getting himself ranked in a very tough division and he could be pushing through if he can find a way to win this thing tonight. He will have to use his aggressive back you down fight style and just win with those hands and especially the legs. Now his opponent though is the undefeated Elias Theodorou. Elias has stopped 7 of his 11 wins, 6 by KO and the other by a submission. He was the winner of TUF Nations: Bisping vs. Kennedy. There is one thing about this kid that I absolutely love and I can say nobody else can match him in the ENTIRE UFC with. This guy’s cardio, I mean he could probably fight for an hour and still be coming at his opponent. I was impressed during TUF and I get more impressed each time this guy fights. I think this fight is going to come down to who controls the octagon more and if Elias can make Thiago tired it could change the whole element to this fight. I am torn here but I am going to go with the kid on the rise and keep him undefeated Elias Theodorou by unanimous decision.
(12) Sage Northcutt (6-0) vs. Cody Pfister (12-4-1): This battle in the lightweight division is a fight I have been waiting for since it got announced. Cody has finished 7 of his fights, 4 by KO and 3 by submission, all 7 stoppages I might add are in the very first round. Meaning it seems like if you escape the first round you have a slower paced maybe more tired Cody and can beat him before it goes to the scorecard. He has gone 1-1 since joining the UFC and looks to get his second win here. Cody is a very strong fighter with a lot of aggression to his fight style and will look to use that aggression to back Sage down. In his MMA career he has been known to have a lot of heart and drive never seeming to quit or give up no matter how bad the hand has been dealt to him. Unfortunately for him he will be facing possibly the best fighter the UFC has ever seen “Super” Sage Northcutt. Sage has finished all 6 of his professional wins and 5 of those stoppages in the very first round including his UFC debut against Trevino who was overweight and apparently doping. Sage is a karate expert who is learning Jiu-jitsu more and more each and every single day. He is a gym rat and is the definition of perfectly fit. I honestly would be shocked if he had more than 1% body fat on him. Sage is a freak and I personally think when his career is over, barring any terrible injuries, he will be known as the best of all time. Sage is a hard working kid and he never quits, he is always learning more and never settles with being “good enough”. His conditioning is unreal and his fight style is untouchable. He has incredible power, one punch power, and when you match that with this kid’s incredible speed in his hands and his feet, he just isn’t beatable. He is continuously working to improve his ground game and once that is polished off, where can you beat him? I obviously am going to take Sage here I personally don’t think this will be even close. Sage Northcutt by 1st round KO.
#14 Jim Miller (25-6, 1 NC) vs. Michael Chiesa (12-2): Here is another fight in the lightweight division between a ranked fighter and a fighter looking to get himself ranked with a win here. Michael Chiesa is coming in winning 3 of his last 4 fights and looks to keep momentum going hoping to find a way to the rankings here with a win. He has stopped 8 of his 12 wins, all 8 by submission. This guy is not someone anyone wants to take to the mat. The scary thing is 5 of those 8 are in the first round and all 5 are in under three minutes. He is good at getting his opponents to the mat and off their game because he is a scrambler and likes to just make things messy and capitalize which is an interesting fight style but it is one we see in Paige VanZant and a few others and seems to be working well. Now his standup game is good enough that his opponents have to respect it and not just think they will dominate him standing or anything of the sorts. Now his opponent is Jim Miller who is a veteran of the Octagon. He has finished 17 of his 25 fights, 14 by way of submission and the other 3 are by way of KO. He is a good standup fighter with great wrestling skills and would love to take most fights to the mat. I personally think though if he takes this one to the ground he will be outmatched by Michael and Jim is a smart guy and will most likely look to keep this thing standing. If he does that I think he has the slight edge on his feet and can post a KO finish. But that being said that is not how I see this fight going at all. I think Michael will control the pace make it a wild scramble in the second round and catch Jim with a RNC to pick up a 2nd round submission victory.
#3 (2) Rose Namajunas (4-2) vs. #7 (4) Paige VanZant (6-1): The main event is in the women’s strawweight division between two ladies who would love a shot at the winner of Jedrzejczyk and Gadelha for the title. Paige got popular really fast out of nowhere and she deserves it, she is a good fighter with a scramble fight style. She trains at Alpha Male which makes me less excited about her skills because I don’t think Alpha Male produces the best fighters, especially with Dillashaw gone the only one who consistently impresses me is Mendes. She is a well-rounded fighter with the ability to finish standing or on the mat. I have a feeling we might see her look for score more and more though and grind out wins by scorecard as it seems to be the trend of her gym buddies. Now if Paige can keep herself away from the slow paced, passive, hug and hold, fight style she could become one of the more dominant women in this division. She has a good skill set she just needs to learn that some of her scrambles against a better fighter she could leave herself exposed for a clean shot or a submission. Now following that I want to about her opponent who is a great fighter in Rose Namajunas. Rose has submitted all 4 of her professional wins. She is a beast on the mat and her only loss in the UFC came in a disappointing one where I thought she was the better fighter when battling for the title against Carla Esparza. She has finished 3 out of her 4 wins in the very first round and again they are all by submission. She has incredible jiu-jitsu skills and is honestly maybe the best fighter on the mat in this division. She is improving her standup game and her striking has actually developed into a real weapon that her opponents going forward will need to look out for. I know the Vegas odds have VanZant as the favorite so I will be going with the “underdog” and take the more disciplined fighter, Rose Namajunas with a 1st round submission, catches Paige in one of her scrambles with a RNC.
- Matt Koontz.