Cris Cyborg vs Holly Holm
Cris Cyborg is about as impressive as it gets for a female fighter, she fights like a man and I don’t mean to be sexist. She’s huge, aggressive and very strong. Most girls struggle to deal with her physicality. She has that Chute Boxe Muay Thai style and hits hard, very hard. I don’t want to get into the is she clean or not thing because of course she isn’t, well she might be now but women taking male hormones experience much more permenant changes. As long as she pisses clean though people will just have to deal with it. When the UFC just went up to 135lbs it was a real problem for her but 145 is much more doable and she is definitely the woman to beat in female MMA.
Right I’ll say it here. I’ve never really been that impressed with Holly Holm. Even though she is the first person to win world titles in boxing and MMA and according to BoxRec she’s the second best female boxer of all time. I remember after she beat Ronda and the Underground forum was all over her, like hero worship. Maybe they were just greatful that she beat Rousey but I was just thinking ‘the only really impressive fight she’s been in has been the Rousey one’. I thought that I was missing something but since then I think I been proved right. Out of her last four fight she has won just one….against Bethe Correia ffs and she gets a title shot.
As for the fight its hard to see past Cyborg. Of course Holm is actually a world class boxer and she has very good movement and a very good counter puncher and has a lot of knockouts with that head kick. Cyborg has that classic Thai style, hands high coming forward always looking for the finish and usually that would play into Holms hands I just think the power difference will be too much. Saying that, Holm is very tough and maybe it will be a case of surviving maybe even the first three rounds and going for it at the end, I could see her getting a result like that. In reality though I think a lot more likely that Cyborg is too big and too aggressive and eventually traps her and maybe even gets the takedown and the finish.
Prediction : Cyborg by TKO (Cyborg by decision)
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Edson Barboza
Nurmagomedov is an absolute monster of the division. A problem no one has been able to solve so far. Now his critics talk about the standard of opposition he has faced and they may have a small point but with RDA and Michael Johnson on his victim list and if he can add Barboza it greatly boosts his credibility and let’s face it if he makes weight and wins this one, a title shot is next. Perfect record 24-0. Amazing relentless grappler and once he gets you on the ground you’re in some shit.
Barboza is almost the reverse of Nurmagomedov style wise. Amazing standup fighter. A Brazilian kickboxing champion. Has long rangy limbs and some very fast kicks he has finished three or four opponents with leg kicks. Has had some tough losses but it seems like when he’s mentally on he is hard to beat.
1-I think Baboza can hang with Khabib on the ground more than Khabib can hang with Barboza on the feet.
2- Usually takedown artists thrive against kickers. As soon as they lift that leg you put them on their ass. But Barboza knows this and can time it and his kicks are much quicker than most.
3- Barboza fights best when people give him distance to work, he has good timing and can sting people to keep them at range. Distance is the opposite of what Nurmagomedov wants to give him.
A real matter of who can impose their game plan. Although the fight starts on the feet Barboza will be taken down and it all depends on him getting back up. Barboza needs to catch him coming in and catch him hard and often, a knee would be nice as well. I don’t see Khabib losing this though, he has the momentum, the belief and the skills. Just hope he can control his weight.
Prediction : Nurmagomedov by decision (Nurmagomedov by decision)
Carlos Condit vs Neil Magny
Fan favorite Carlos Condit returns after more than a year out and pondering retirement. Came after his shockingly easy loss to Demian Maia and I guess he was a little bit embarrassed and wondering if he still had it. Been a rough few years for Carlos, after going 28-5 in his career he has only won 2 of his last 7. That’s not a good trend and the level of competition isn’t gettin easier. He had some soul searching to do and I hope he got the answer he was looking for.
Magny is one of these guys who just quietly goes about getting the job done. Nothing flashy but pretty effective. I don’t see him being a future champion but anyone who’s in there with him needs to be on their game or they could be in trouble. He has wins over Lombard, Hendricks and Gastelum, not a bad hit list.
Both these guys like to use range and use it well, I think Condit has more variety and is more likely to take risks. I also think that wherever the fight goes Condit is just slightly better and of course has that killer instinct, 28 finishes out of 30 wins. Of course anything can happen and as I said you need to be top of your game when facing Magny. This could come down to where Condit is mentally. Hopefully the rest has done him well and he impresses. The Welterweight division is start to heat up with Usman, Covington and Till making a push, hopefully Carlos can get back in the mix.
Prediction : Condit by TKO (Magny by decision)
Cynthia Calvillo vs Carla Esparza
As I said before I don’t really watch much women’s MMA but I remember Calvillo from her fight with Jojo Calderwood. Was a good fight, close enough but I don’t necessarily think it was a controversial decision. Then you have Esparza, former Invicta champion, former UFC champion and vastly more experienced. Basically I don’t think Calvillo can stay on her feet and I don’t think she can handle Esparza on the ground.
Prediction : Esparza by submission (Esparza by decision)
Rest of The Card
Khalil Rountree Jr vs Michal Oleksiejczuk – Oleksiejczuk (Rountree)
Dan Hooker vs Marc Diakiese – Diakiese (Hooker)
Myles Jury vs Rick Glenn – Jury (Jury)
Louis Smolka vs Matheus Nicolau – Nicolau (Nicolau)
Tim Elliott vs Mark De La Rosa – Elliott (Elliott)
Marvin Vettori vs Omari Akhmedov – Vettori (draw)
Correct picks 7/10