What's Going On?

What’s Going On? (Mar 4th – 10th)

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:

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Darren Till vs. Rafael Dos Anjos?

Darren Till has expressed interest in fighting former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos in a recent interview.

Just because of his fan base there, and I’ve obviously lived there. I’ve got a lot of fans there, and I can speak the language. It would be a good sell in Brazil, if he’s willing to do it… I know he’s waiting for [Tyron] Woodley but Woodley doesn’t seem to want to come back.” – Darren Till

As fun as a fight this would be, Dos Anjos has earned the right to fight for the title and should not have to fight the #7 ranked fighter in his division. This would be a repeat of the Jacare Souza situation. Maybe Till can fight Colby Covington in the mean time (I know a lot of people want to see that guy get knocked out badly).

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Mackenzie Dern‘s Debut Draws Viewers

According to Dave Meltzer, Mackenzie Dern’s UFC debut was the most watched portion of the UFC 222: Cyborg vs. Kuntskaya prelims. It was also a bigger draw than the crazy Wilder vs. Ortiz boxing fight. Although Mackenzie Dern herself wasn’t that impressive in her debut (completely lacking in the striking department), she has proven to be a pretty big cash cow for the UFC. I expect them to give her the Sage Northcutt treatment to make he a household name and protect her record. I just hope see fixes her striking or uses her grappling much more effectively, otherwise see will end up like Ronda Rousey when she was exposed in the striking department.

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Conor McGregor, Max Holloway, and Burger King

Conor McGregor and Max Holloway continued to poke jabs at each other after UFC 222: Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya.

So when McGregor announced that he was partnering with Burger King, similar to Anderson Silva, the UFC Featheweight Champion decided to take this opportunity to mock his former advisory.

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Don’t you just love when two fighters get along? In all seriousness, I don’t understand why McGregor is even talking trash to Holloway. I guess he may want to face him when either of those killers, Khabib Nurmagomedov or Tony Ferguson, take his belt. Regardless, in about a month only one of them can call themselves champion.

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Derrick Lewis vs. Francis Ngannou?

Derrick Lewis has been campaigning for a fight with recent title challenger Francis Ngannou. He said recently on a podcast that he would like to get the fight as soon as possible. This would definitely be an entertaining fight and would be easy for the UFC to sell as a must-watch bout. Ngannou may not want to fight Lewis now, especially after coming short against heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, but this could be the fight that would propel him back into title contention. Plus, the rivalry between these two has been bitter from the start. Let’s just hope that when they do fight, the UFC reinforces the octagon cage walls.

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Fabricio Werdum wants to be in WWE

This is probably the most surprising news of the week. Fabricio Werdum has stated that he will meet with WWE executives to talk about a potential crossover into the world of professional wrestling. Werdum then went on the record to say that the idea was nixed and instead he would be considering lucha libre style wrestling. This is a very off move as Werdum feels that he can balance both worlds which has me skeptical. If he ever does go to WWE, however, then I would love to see him and Brock Lesnar in a cage match. The cage should also be in the shape of an octagon.

Other News:

Who You Got?

Who You Got? (UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Hunt)

The UFC returns to Auckland when two of the hardest hitting heavyweights on the planet 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:

Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski vs. Mizuto “Pugnus” Hirota

This fight was clearly put together to show the capabilities of Alexander Volkanovski. Mizuto Hirota is the biggest underdog on this main card in my book. If he somehow pulls off the upset then it will be insane. However, I see “The Great” getting the nod on this one. His 14-1 record speaks for itself. “Pugnus” is hard to finish though, only suffering one submission loss and no knockout losses. This fight should go to decision in Vokanovski’s favor.

Predicted winner: Alexander Volkanovski via Decision

Tim Elliott vs. Ben “10” Nguyen

This may be fight of the night with two of the most talented fighters on the card going head-to-head. Their speed and technique is going to make it a competitive one. Tim Elliott has been impressive but I saw him barely winning his last fight. Although I am a fan of him I see Ben Nguyen taking this one. With both flyweights being generally hard to finish, I see this fight going all three rounds.

Predicted winner: Ben Nguyen via Decision

Ion “The Hulk” Cutelaba vs. Henrique “Frankenstein” da Silva

This is a bold prediction but I see this fight going the distance. Usually when two guys who have mostly knockout wins face eachother, I immediately think that someone is getting knocked out. But time and time again I have been proven wrong as both fighters would go on to slug it out until the final bell sounds. I see Henrique da Silva getting the victory, because of his impressive record, but don’t be surprised if nobody is put to sleep.

Predicted winner: Henrique da Silva via Decision

Dan “The Hangman” Hooker vs. Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson

This matchup is interesting. We have Dan Hooker who is a young and physically impressive fighter going up against elderly Ross Pearson who is a veteran in the sport. Hooker looks like the favorite and may have to use his speed to defeat Pearson but I see “The Real Deal” taking “The Hangman” to school on this one. Hooker has yet to beat anyone with the credentials such as Pearson and Pearson has defeated plenty of fighters such as Hooker. I could easily be proven wrong in this fight but I just see Pearson controlling the fight like a true veteran and getting the decision.

Predicted winner: Ross Pearson via Decision

Derek Brunson vs. Dan Kelly

Dan Kelly has been surprisingly on fire recently. He has taken ot some big names, such as Rashad Evans, and showed how skill can get him the win in all of his fights regardless of how strong or big his opponent is. Derek Brunson however is a knockout artist and just had an impressive showing against Anderson Silva. Kelly might put up a good fight but I see Brunson getting the KO with his immense power. I don’t see Kelly being able to use his skills to get out of this one but he may prove me wrong yet again. It will be fun to see.

Predicted winner: Derek Brunson via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis vs. Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt

This fight looks like it’s going to be a one round war. If it goes outside the first then expect the action to be significantly slower. As much as I love Derrick Lewis, I do not see he beating a power puncher such as Mark Hunt. The only time Hunt has been taken out due to punches while on the feet was in 2008. After that his only KO/TKO losses have came from kicks, knees, and ground and pound. Lewis is going to have a hard time putting him away especially in a five round fight. I expect Hunt to land his devistating right hand, but if its going to put “The Black Beast” away then it is going to have to be in the first round. Although I may not b picking him, I hope Lewis proves me wrong and gets the win here because I am a huge fan of him.

Predicted winner: Mark Hunt via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1