Who You Got?

Who You Got? (UFC 222: Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya)

The UFC returns to Paradise when the most dominant Women’s champion the world has ever seen defends her belt against a massive underdog in the main event of the evening. Here are my picks and predictions for how all of the main card fights of the night will go down:

Cat Zingano vs. Ketlen Vieira

Undefeated fighter, Ketlen Vieira, looks to continue her winning streak by defeating former title challenger Cat Zingano. With Zingano being on a small losing streak as of late, this win can be do or die for her at this point in her career. I feel her losing streak will continue as both are known for grappling in their fights, and Vieira being the more superior grappler. Zingano has been taken down a few times in her prior fights while Vieira has defended roughly 90% of the takedowns shot at her in last three fights. To further back up this claim, Zingano is only a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu whereas Vieira is a black belt in both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo. Zingano is hard to finish, however, so I predict this fight going the distance.

Ketlen Vieira via Decision

Stefan Struve vs. Andrei Arlovski

This can’t possibly go the distance, right? Two heavyweights who are on the brink of irrelevance clash in this main card bout. Somebody is more than likely getting finished, but who? My answer: Stefan Struve. Let me explain. Andrei Arlovski finally picked up a win after a five fight losing streak. He didn’t get the finish but his opponentat the time, Junior Albini, had never been knocked out before then. So it is safe to assume that he is a hard guy to take out with strikes. Meanwhile, Stefan Struve has had a mixed record as of late with his last knockout win coming against the now released and fragile chinned Antonio Silva. His other knockout win before that, however, was against current champion Stipe Miocic. The problem is that it took place all the way back in 2012. So now let’s look at Arlovski’s recent knockout losses that led some to believe he now has a glass chin. Arlovski’s last three knockout losses were to Francis Ngannou, Alistair Overeem, and Stipe Miocic. How unlucky for him to be thrown in against those monsters. This is honestly a coin flip in terms of how likely each fighter is to win since heavyweight fights are always the most unpredictable fights on every card. But looking at Struve’s striking defense compared to Arlovski, I got to go with the ‘Pitbull.’

Andrei Arlovski via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

Sean O’Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath

The latest thing to come out of the UFC hype machine, Sean O’Malley, is set to fight Andre Soukhamthath in what should be an exciting fight. O’Malley is known for his unique striking style and impressive head movement that has made him a fan favorite. Soukhamthath is also an exciting fighter who has the power to knockout his opponents with either punches or a flying knee. The most significant factor in this fight is going to be both fighters’ striking defense. O’Malley showed, especially in his debut fight, that he is an insanely hard fighter to hit as he moves his head around in all sort of angles. Soukhamthath in contrast to O’Malley has been very hittable in his fights. Although he has never been knocked out, I think this will be the time it happens since O’Malley’s striking is lethal.

Sean O’Malley via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega

Both of these fighters each have large a legion of fans pulling for their fighter to win. Frankie Edgar is known for his impressive boxing and elite level wrestling while Brian Ortega is known for his crazy submission game. Many predict Ortega using his grappling game to submit the former Lightweight Champion. However, I see Edgar using his wrestling to keep the fight on the feet and using his boxing to outstrike Ortega on the feet. Ortega is no slouch on the feet, even though he was largely outstruck by Cub Swanson in his last fight, so I see him surviving the full fifteen minutes with Edgar.

Frankie Edgar via Decision

Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya

This is considered by many a one-sided contest for the UFC title. Not one fighter has been able to even come close to conquering Cris Cyborg. Holly Holm had the best chance of any fighter and even took Cyborg to the distance for the first time since 2008. Yana Kunitskaya is a poor replacement for Holm and will probably not do as well (if you want to call Holm’s performance well). I expect a quick night for Cyborg as she takes care of business as usual.

Cris Cyborg via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

Who You Got?

Who You Got? (UFC Fight Night: Stephens vs. Choi)

The UFC returns to St. Louis when two precise featherweight strikers go head to head in the main event of the evening. Here are my picks and predictions for how all of the main card fights of the night will go down:

Kamaru “Nigerian Nightmare” Usman vs. Emil “Valhalla” Meek

Here we have two guys who would love to (and more than likely will) score a knockout of the night. Kamaru Usman has been on a warpath as of late winning ten in a row with half of those wins being knockouts. Emil Meek on the other hand had an impressive debut against Jordan Mein when he was able to get a decision win in his opponent’s home territory. I expect Usman to get the win here with his pressure and right hand power against Meeks crazy swing-for-the-fences style. Since I see Meek getting hit a lot in the opening round, I expect one of those shots to put him away making it a quick night for the “Nigerian Nightmare.”

Predicted winner: Kamaru Usman via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

Paige “12 Gauge” VanZant vs. Jessica Rose-Clark

The hype train the is Paige VanZant moves up to the flyweight division where she takes on fairly new Jessica Rose-Clark. VanZant’s relentlessness will help he trough this fight as Rose-Clark is a great technical fighter who will make this a close fight. The way I see this fight going is VanZant using her cardio and takedown attempts to edge out a decision. Rose-Clark likes to throw down on the feet and only gets top position through reversals and sweeps when taken down. VanZant’s top control is good enough to help her grind towards a decision.

Predicted winner: Paige VanZant via Decision

Uriah “Prime Time” Hall vs. Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort

Darren “The Damage” Elkins vs. Michael “The Menace” Johnson

Sadly Uriah Hall vs. Vitor Belfort had to be taken away from us due to Hall’s weight cutting dilemma (I even had to rewrite this prediction now). So instead Darren Elkins and Michael Johnson will fill in the main card slot.  This is going to be another brawler vs. technical striker (similar to the Usman vs. Meeks bout above). The difference being Elkins constant takedown attempts he does in every fight. However, Johnson is a superb wrestler and more than likely stuff Elkins takedown attempts. Meanwhile, on the feet I expect Johnson to outstrike the ever tough Darren Elkins towards his first win in the featherweight division by a decision.

Predicted winner: Michael Johnson via Decision

Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens vs. “The Korean Superboy” Doo Ho Choi

Finally it is main event time as we see an extremely close matchup that the matchmakers have gifted us with here. I was leaning towards Doo Ho Choi to win this for the longest time but decided to go with the veteran in Jeremy Stephens to get the victory. His ability to pressure and counter at the same time has been so impressive. Choi’s striking has been good but has been hit too many times while on the back foot or when pressured (see his fight with Cub Swanson for example). Takedowns won’t be an issue here either as I expect both to stand and trade with one another. This will lead to a huge win for Stephens which may end in a knockout but I see a decision as the more likely since Choi has such a great chin.

Predicted winner: Stephens via Decision

What's Going On?

What’s Going On? (July 30th – August 5th)

A whole new week means a whole new set of MMA news and events that needs to be discussed by yours truly. So let’s get right into it with some interesting topics for this week:

Tyron Woodley news

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Tyron Woodley has been the topic of much discussion lately in the MMA community. Ever since he had a controversial performance against Demian Maia many people have given their criticism of the UFC Welterweight Champion. However, the fans are not the only ones that has a problem with Woodley. Dana White has shown his displeasure as well even going as far as to give the Georges St-Pierre fight to Michael Bisping instead. “The Chosen One” fired back by threatening to leak confidential information if White did not apologize. According to White, he and Woodley has made up and that Woodley did not mean the comments made towards him. I believe that Woodley was in the right in these remarks as it can become frustrating when even your own boss is being disrespectful towards you after all of the hard work you have done. Although I agree with Woodley on some of these issues, his stance against Robbie Lawler getting a title shot is a bit baffling seeing how Lawler is very deserving of a title shot after his run as a champion and his win over Donald Cerrone. With Woodley being out for about 180 days due to a medical suspension, maybe he will have time to consider Lawler as an opponent. If you want to hear more about Tyron Woodley then CLICK HERE to check out this post I made regarding “The Chosen One.”

Daniel Cormier on his loss at UFC 214

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First off, thank you all for the kind words. I have felt the support. Congratulations to Jon Jones and his team. They did a phenomenal job and got the victory. Also, to Big John McCarthy, I would like to apologize for acting up with you. I am thankful for the time you gave me to try and defend myself and stay in the fight. You are the best in the business for a reason. I also wanna thank my team and my coaches. I love you all from the bottom of my heart. Your time and energy is greatly appreciated. You guys did a wonderful job, I was ready. It's a fist fight and things happen. Dana White and the @ufc, thank you for being the premiere organization in all of MMA. Again, congrats to Team Jones and JacksonWink. Love you all. I'll see you soon. DC 📷@layziethesavage

A post shared by Daniel "DC" Cormier (@dc_mma) on

It was heartbreaking for Daniel Cormier when he lost his title at UFC 214 to Jon Jones. According to Michael Bisping, however, it must have been sweet revenge for Jones. I think that’s a fair assumption. It is delightful to see Cormier handling his loss much better now that he has had time to take it all in. Afterall, he did get a generous payday of $1 million for his efforts. Many have been wanting him to go up to heavyweight and attempt to make a title run there. I have been wanting him to challenge the heavyweight champion for a long time and this seems like the best time to try to make that happen. Even though he suffered a devastating loss, I feel it has opened up a gateway to new opportunities for him.

 

Jon Jones vs. Brock Lesnar

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This super fight is starting to gain some momentum after rumors began circulating of the two facing off against each other. Jon Jones is the odds on favorite to win, especially after his performance this past weekend, but at the same time Brock Lesnar is not someone to sleep on. The fight is not likely to happen,though, until a whole year from now according to reputable source Dave Meltzer. It appears Jones will have to settle with defending his title against a top contender instead, the most likely option being Alexander Gustafsson. Volkan Oezdemir has also been petitioning for a title shot after two first round knockout victories against both Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa with a combined time of 1 minute and 10 seconds. The UFC should book Jones vs. Gustafsson 2 with Oezdemir as a backup plan in case one of them pulls out. Retired UFC fighter, Anthony Johnson has also stated he would come back to fight Jones for the right price but I feel this would be pointless due to Johnson’s lack of interest in the fight game. With Jones being the new #1 P4P fighter and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, he has a lot of responsibility and hopefully won’t blow it this time like he has many other times in his career. He now vows to be the champ fans deserve. One thing that would help is for him to make amends with Dana White. Jones felt abandoned when White neglected him in his time of need when in reality it was White who should be upset at Jones for ruining the UFC 200 main event they had planned. Right now is Jones’ time to really show the world that he is a changed man. Here’s to hoping he is.

Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor fight over glove size

Glove size has been a widely debated issue when it comes down to the big money fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. The bout is going to take place in a boxing ring under boxing rules with 10 oz. gloves, that is unless these two have anything to say about it. Mayweather first posted on social media that he would allow McGregor the opportunity to where 8 oz. gloves instead of the normal sized boxing gloves.

McGregor then responded by stating he normally fights in 4 oz. gloves in MMA competition. The two both seem to want this glove change to happen but the commission may have a hard time granting permission. According to the NAC, Mayweather’s team has already reached out to them about getting the glove sizes changed for McGregor. This is surprising to hear because I never would have thought Mayweather would allow McGregor to wear gloves that would give him a greater chance of knocking him out. When you’re going to make over $300 million, like Mayweather implied, I guess it does not matter if you win or not. Honestly though, I believe Mayweather wants to win this fight but does not want to hear any excuses from McGregor or his fans as to why “Mystic Mac” lost. I just want this fight to happen already so that McGregor can go back and finally defend his lightweight title against either Khabib Nurmagomedov or Tony Ferguson.

Michael Bisping vs Georges St-Pierre back on for UFC 217 in New York

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Th fight is back on and it will take place in New York at Madison Square Garden at UFC 217. Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre is a matchup that is hated by the fans due to how unnecessary it is. But seeing how there are no challengers is available to Bisping, the fight with GSP makes sense right now. Hopefully when the fight is over the winner can go back to facing the rightful new challenger in Robert Whittaker because that is all that really matters. This is just for entertainment purposes.

Other News

  • Frank Mir is negotiating a contracts with Bellator and ACB
  • Jose Aldo and Cub Swanson have both expressed interest in fighting one another
  • Brendan Schaub bets that if Conor McGregor doesn’t last 12 rounds with Floyd Mayweather then he will send a dick pic
  • UFC lightweight Drew Dober must move up in weight according to the CSAC
What Next?

What Next? (UFC 212: Aldo vs. Holloway)

Fighters do not always like to think what fights they will be in next after feeling the relief of finishing their last fight. The fight game is neverending, however, and so I list ouf the best outcome for the winners and losers from the UFC event that shook Rio de Janeiro up.

Erick Silva

The many wars that Erick Silva has been in may have attributed to his loss this past Saturday. He is still a fan favorite and should look to win against a slightly lower tier fighter in Luan Chagas who won on the early prelims of the same card. Chagas deserves the oppurtunity to fight a bigger name such as Silva and I hope he gets it plus it would be a fun fight to see since Silva always puts on exciting matches.

Next opponent: Luan Chagas

Yancy Medeiros

After taking out Erick Silva, Yancy Medeiros will be wanting to face off against a ranked opponent. That may not come just yet since most of them are pretty busy at the moment. So he should face another welterweight trying o become ranked. Peter Sobotta fits that description. Both men have finished there last opponent via KO/TKO in the second round which makes it sound even more like a good idea.

Next opponent: Peter Sobotta

Oluwale “Holy War Angel” Bamgbose

Oluwale Bamgbose is still a dangerous force in the middleweight division and needs to learn from this loss in order to improve as a fighter. A match against jiu-jitsu expert Antônio Carlos Júnior could do wonders for him. He may not do well if he is taken down by Júnior but the fight always starts on the feet where Bamgbose will have an advantage. This is an old fashion striker vs. grappler matchup.

Next opponent: Antônio Carlos Júnior

Paulo Borrachinha

It was impressive for Paulo Borrachinha to get the stoppage againsst a man who has stopped his opponents in all of his victories. This also shows that Borrachinha is not just a first-round-knockout-or-bust fighter. He took minimal damage in this fight and should fight someone who has done the same. My pick for him to fight is Nat Marquardt who has also fought on this card. Although Marquardt did not win to the judges, many believed he won in a great performance against his adversary. This would be a fun matchup as both men have great power and wrestling.

Next opponent: Nate Marquardt

Nate “The Great” Marquardt

See Paulo Borrachinha’s next opponent above for full details.

Next opponent: Paulo Borrachinha

Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort

Although it is highly unrecommended, Vitor Belfort is going to continue fighting in the UFC. He just barely beat an unranked Nate Marquardt in a controversial decision victory it is questionable whether or not he would want to face a ranked opponent. I’m just going to assume he would want to face a ranked opponent next. If he is looking for easy matchups then I could give an endless list of fighters for him to face. Instead, I’m going to match him with the most competitive he can get. David Branch seems appropriate. He is a former two division WSOF champion but put on a boring fight a few months back that he won by decision as well. The two are close to eachother on the ranking, making this match make all the more sense.

Next opponent: David Branch

Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Karolina Kowalkiewicz just revealed a massive Achilles’ heel in her game: her ground game. She needs to go back to the drawing board and develop that portion of her skillset. Her next opponent should be Jessica Andrade who just fought for the title in a losing effort earlier this year. Both are coming off high profile losses and should look to bounce back with a win over the other.

Next opponent: Jessica Andrade

Claudia Gadelha

This one is very complicated but bear with me. Claudia Gadelha has shown that she is the guaranteed second best strawweight in the UFC. She has stated that she does not want to challenge for the title yet and that she wants Rose Namjunas to challenge first. If this happens then Gadelha should definitely challenge the winner for the title. But if for whatever reason the UFC does not pull the trigger with Namajunas then Gadelha and Namjunas should face eachother for the title shot.

Next opponent: Rose Namajunas/Winner of Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk

José Aldo

Poor José Aldo was on top of the world and it all came crashing down. But contrary to what some are saying online, he is far from done. Aldo can certainly get back his title if he takes out a top contender to earn himself a title shot. For now t all depends on his health after suffering that beating in his last fight. If he wants to get back in there quickly then Ricardo Lamas is the perfect pick since his opponent, The Korean Zombie, pulled out of their contest at UFC 214: Cormier vs. Jones 2. If Aldo wants to take a bit of time to recuperate then his matchup should be with Cub Swanson who is also waiting as of now. I do not usually make picks like this but with Aldo it will be determined on what he wants to do.

Next opponent: Ricardo Lamas/Cub Swanson

Max “Blessed” Holloway

The logical choice for Max Holloway’s first title defense is the current top contender, Frankie Edgar. He has shown why he is one of the greatest of all time when he dominated Yair Rodriguez earlier this year. He had a great showing against José Aldo but ultimately came up short. Holloway may end up being a better matchup for him. This could be Edgar’s last chance to win that elusive second UFC championship.

Next opponent: Frankie Edgar