Cris Cyborg vs Yana Kunitskaya
Cris Cyborg is simply the most dominant and most feared female fighter of all time. The previous 145lb champion vacated the belt rather than fight Cris. You can easily see why. She’s a monster, in the good way. Shes former Strike Force, former Invicta and current UFC featherweight champion. 21 fights 19 wins and 16 by stoppage. Remember when they used to say Ronda Rousey could beat Floyd Mayweather? Well Cyborg actually would fuck him up.
Seems like an easy way to get a title shot in the UFC is agree to fight Cris Cyborg. We heard that Cris next fight was going to be Amanda Nunes and were still waiting for Megan Anderson, but in the meantime we have Yana Kunitskaya. I guess she’s as good as any, she’ll give it a go, she’s skilled and she’s experienced. 10 wins and 3 losses and trains at JacksonWink. Saying all that, it would be life changing if she could pull it off…
Not really much to say on this one. Just another victim for Cyborg. I would imagine it’s just a matter of how long it lasts. Cyborg is obviously very good on the attack but also good defensively. Usually opponents are too occupied with survival and we don’t get to see it. Another fight with Cyborg showcasing her skills.
Prediction : Cyborg by KO/TKO
Result : Cyborg by KO/TKO
Frankie Edgar vs Brian Ortega
Frankie Edgar has fought professionally 28 times, the majority of those fights in the top league. He has lost 5 times; against Jose Aldo, Benson Henderson and Gray Maynard but he has never been finished. That’s incredible when you watch the second and third fights against Maynard. Yeah Frankie is tough as they come. He’s the former UFC lightweight champion and wants to get a belt at a second weight class, he lost the chance when Holloway got injured and now he has to beat Brian Ortega to keep his place. Big risk but we expect nothing less from Frankie Edgar.
Lot of people think Brian Ortega is the future of the division and he could easily be. He is undefeated so far with 13 wins and certainly has enough skill with some of the best BJJ in the UFC right now and some really good striking. He’s also tough as shit and capable of winning late in fights. This is by far his biggest fight though and it will be interesting to see if it affects him.
This fight for me is a coin toss. You see sometimes when you can tell within the first 2 minutes who’s going to win? I don’t think this one will be like that. These are 2 guys who are never out of a might and will push to the end. Both are comfortable on the feet but have totally different styles. On the ground Frankie likes to be on top where Brian doesn’t mind working from the bottom. Intriguing stuff. Who can impose their game? Frankie has very good movement, in out left right fake shots and up high again. Ortega has a very good relaxed stand up style with nice crisp punches and good kicks and he throws a lot because let’s face it he doesn’t give a fuck if he’s taken down. I think Frankie wins the first round but after that Ortega gets his bearings and gets more of a hold and more control. I hate to pick against Frankie because he defies the odds so fucking much but I think Ortega is just so dangerous. I don’t know if it will be by late sub or decision but since I picked every main card fight as a decision I’ll go submission and Ortega becoming the first man to finish Edgar.
Prediction : Ortega by submission
Result : Ortega by KO
Sean O’Malley vs Andre Soukhamthath
Second UFC fight for Sean O’Malley after beating Terion Ware in his debut. He got to the UFC via the Contenders thing knock his opponent out very impressively. He’s only 23 years old and he’s tall for a bantamweight at 5’11. The height suits he style though, lots of kicks and long punches. He quite unorthodox and pretty wild. Keeps his hands down and launches into things. He’s got away with it so far because his quickness has got him out of situations that his wildness. We all know there are levels to this and he might need to tighten up but its working for him right now.
Soukhamthath is a much more conventional striker. A student of Muay Lao, very similar to Muay Thai. He’s 29, 5’9 with a record of 12 wins and 5 losses. He’s had 3 fights in the UFC, losing his first 2 by close decision then finishing Luke Saunders last time. He really hasn’t looked as good in his UFC fights as he did in the regionals, I know it’s a different level of competition, but he hasnt seemed as relaxed or confident but hopefully the win over Saunders will give him a boost.
It will be an interesting fight between 2 guys who are fun to watch. Southpaw O’Malley will probably be throwing more to begin with, with Soukhamthath countering. O’Malley has an unusual style and all kinds of strikes from all kinds of angles and really unsettles guy over the course of a fight, can’t get their breath. As I said though, because he throws wild strikes, O’Malley does get hit a lot so I think the story if this fight will be if Soukhamthath can take advantage and do it enough over the course of 3 Rounds? I think he will, he’s defensively better and should be able to do more damage.
Prediction : Soukhamthath by decision
Result : O’Malley by decision
Andrei Arlovski vs Stefan Struve
I thought Arlovski was done. He was on a 5 fight losing streak and had been finished in 4 of them, but he pulled one back with a win over Junior Albini last time out. Its been hard to watch Andrei recently, I remember him destroying Tim Sylvia, Justin Eilers and Paul Buentello like it was nothing back in the day. Of course he’s had his loses. He’s a great boxer, good grappler, good power and excellent movement for a heavyweight but for all his skills he never quite had the chin you would want on a top class fighter and over the last few years his punch resistance has deteriorated even more. Still though, he beat Albini and that gives me a little bit of hope. The win over Albini brings his record to 26 win and 15 losses. Has he got at least one more win in the locker? I hope so.
I guess Stefan Struve’s claim to fame these is that he knocked out the current heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, and also the fact that he’s 7 foot tall. So he’s 30 years old, tall with a very big reach. His record is 28 wins and 9 losses (12-7 UFC). As I mentioned he KOd Stipe in what is the biggest achievement of his career but he has also been on the end of some brutal knockouts. Mark Hurt actually snapped his jaw in half. Just after that he found out he had a serious heart condition that could have stopped him fighting completely fortunately they controlled it with medication and he got the green light but he was out for a year and a half.
I see that Struve is quite a decent betting favourite in this one and although I can see why, its a tempting price for an Arlovski win. Honestly I think Arlovski may win this. Struve is very tall and he can fight tall at times with long punches, lots of front kicks and knees. He’s also a very good grappler by the way. I guess he’s what you can call methodical. Thing is, it’s not that hard to get inside especially as the fight goes on and he tends to get into a slow rhythm, looking to land counter punches. I’m not really very confident in this pick but I think Arlovski wins this. I think he does enough damage early before they both slow. He still has good enough movement and can win a decision if he fights smart.
Prediction : Arlovski by decision
Result : Arlovski by decision
Ketlan Vieira vs Cat Zingano
Ketlan Vieira has been flawless so far, six wins in Brazil and 3 wins in the UFC. She’s very well rounded, has black belts in BJJ and Judo, she’s a good striker and good in the clinch and obviously good on the ground.
Cat Zingano has always been one of my favourite female fighters. I think it’s her heart and she had so much potential. I remember her coming from behind to smash Miesha Tate, then her husband passes away and she suffers a bad knee injury. A year and a half later she comes back and stop current champion Amanda Nunes and she’s got herself a title shot against Ronda Rousey. Her title hopes were dashed in seconds and it must have been heartbreaking. A year and a half after that she fought Julianna Pena and lost a decision. Where does she go from here? I guess we’re about to find out.
Honestly the biggest factor for me is how inactive Zingano has been. I think if it was the best version of Cat Zingano was guaranteed, I would pick her to win, narrowly. As it is I think Vieira has youth and is too well rounded and there is an uncertainty about Zingano. Hope I’m wrong but….
Prediction : Vieira by decision
Result : Vieira by decision
Rest of the Card
Mackenzie Dern vs Ashley Yoder
Jiu Jitsu ace Dern should be successful in her debut. Too slick. Hope she makes weight.
Prediction : Dern
Result : Dern
Beneil Dariush vs Alexander Hernandez
Hernandez is stepping in on a week’s notice, a big ask against Dariush.
Prediction : Dariush
Result : Hernandez
John Dodson vs Pedro Munhoz
Dodson should be too agile and too quick for Munhoz. Could get caught but apart from that…
Prediction : Dodson
Result : Dodson
C.B. Dollaway vs Hector Lombard
Think Lombard’s power will show.
Prediction : Lombard
Result : Dollaway
Mike Pyle vs Zak Ottow
Pyle has said this will be his last fight. Not usually a good sign.
Prediction : Ottow
Result : Ottow
Bryan Caraway vs Cody Stamann
Can Bryan Caraway’s year get any worse? Yup
Prediction : Stamann
Result : Stamann
Jordan Johnson vs Adam Milstead
Bookies say Johnson, I say Milstead.
Prediction : Milstead
Result : Johnson
Correct predictions 8/12