Robert Whittaker vs Yoel Romero
There is an interesting theory that says if two guys fight and the younger fighter wins, if the two have a rematch the younger fighter will usually win again but more easily.
This fight is really interesting in that Yoel is 41 and Robert is 27. Yoel is an absolutely world class wrestler and Robert is really hard to keep down. Robert is technically the better striker but Yoel might hit harder. Yoel is bigger but Robert moves better.
I would say, much like the last time, Yoel needs to do his work early. He needs to do his damage in the first two maybe three rounds because the younger smaller man will own the championship rounds. Now I can see Romero catching Whittaker with a hard punch, knee or whatever and putting him away but I think more likely it will go like the last fight. Romero will come forward more to begin with and Whittaker will look to land hard counters and as the fight goes on Whittaker comes on more and more for a decision win.
Update : Romero missed weight by 0.2lbs and almost killed himself trying. As a result of this I still think Whittaker wins but by TKO rather than decision.
Prediction : Whittaker by TKO
Result : Whittaker by split decision
Rafael Dos Anjos vs Colby Covington
The whole mma world is begging, please Rafael, please please beat Covington and beat him with extreme violence. Rafael is a former lightweight champion who has looked great at Welterweight so far. Covington is a good fighter who is trying hard to move into the Chael Sonnen role, trying too hard probably and it doesn’t seem natural…. but it’s played his part in getting him where he is.
As far as the fight goes I think Dos Anjos has the advantage most ranges. He’s a more dynamic striker and a better submission game. Let’s be honest Covington needs the takedown or at least have his chest against Dos Anjos because in the striking range he will get chewed up. If Covington can wear Dos Anjos down against the fence and out wrestle him then he can win the fight but Dos Anjos has looked so good at Welterweight, fast and strong and energetic and I think if its the Dos Anjos that beat Robbie Lawler then he will destroy Covington.
Prediction : Dos Anjos by TKO
Result : Covington by decision
Holly Holm vs Megan Anderson
Megan Anderson is a legit big girl and not some overfed bantamweight. She’s 6ft tall and she hits hard. I think though in this fight Holms experience, striking and movement give her the edge. In a three round fight Holly Holm out points Anderson easily. The only place I see Anderson being successful is using her size in the clinch against the fence, but Holly has a lot of experience and she’s seen it all before.
Prediction : Holm by decision
Result : Holm by decision
Andrei Arlovski vs Tai Tuivasa
Three fights ago we were all thinking that it was time for Arlovski to retire, and we were probably right, he had lost five in a row. Lately he’s been having a bit of a renaissance in beating the hard hitting Junior Albini and the awkward Stefan Struve. Now Tai Tuivasa is more dangerous than those two gentlemen but one thing I noticed recently is that Arlovski seems to have realised that he is not what he was, he’s fighting smarter, getting a game plan and sticking to it. If Arlovski can make it through the first round, using good lateral movement and not taking too much damage, then he can maybe ask some questions of Tai.
In my opinion though, Arlovski’s mini comeback ends here. Tuivasa is too strong and hits too hard. I predict that Tuivasa gets the knockout in the first or second round.
Prediction : Tuivasa by KO/TKO
Result : Tuivasa by decision
CM Punk vs Mike Jackson
Couple things about this fight. Yes CM Punk looked terrible in his last fight his strategy was terrible and he couldn’t recover. So we really don’t know what to expect this time, although we probably have a good idea.
Then you get the opponent, Mike Jackson, motherfucker is talking like he is prime Shogun Rua and Randy Couture rolled into one. Dude you have the same pro record as Punk, a loss to the same opponent in the same round by the same method.
I honestly don’t know how to call this one but Jackson should have the edge but I’m going for Punk here, just so I can look good if he pulls it off.
Prediction : Punk by submission
Result : Jackson by decision
Rest of The Card
Alistair Overeem vs Curtis Blaydes
I really think Overeem can take this one, depends if he fights smart or not. When Overeem was at Golden Glory they perfected his style. They knew he had a glass jaw, everyone did, so they had him fight with his hands up, hard shots and not many combinations so he didn’t open himself up to damage. That style got him a K1 title and a few mma titles. In his last fight though he just seemed to say ‘fuck it here’s my chin’ and he got knocked out.
The game plan for Overeem will be to keep it standing as much as he can and Blaydes has to keep it on the ground as much as he can. Now Blaydes can strike a bit and he has a huge reach but it’s definitely not a good idea to do that with Overeem and of course Overeem will be waiting for the shot and trying to time it for those excellent knees. Alistair is also no slouch on the ground and he’s really not easy to take down but what sways me is that Overeem is far more experienced and has been in with far better opposition than Blaydes has. I see the Reem getting the stoppage here.
Prediction – Overeem by KO
Result : Blaydes by TKO
Claudia Gadelha vs Carla Esparza
Seems like absolutely everyone is counting Esparza out of this fight which is crazy considering that she was the UFC straw weight champion and probably the best in the world at that point. Just shows how fast mma, especially the women’s divisions, moves on.
Common wisdom would say she needs this fight to take place on the ground but unfortunately for her, Gadelha ain’t likely to agree to that. I think Carla will have a problem with the take down defense of Claudia and on the feet she will get beat up. Claudia is very strong and hits very hard.
I don’t see this going any other way than a Gadelha win, either decision or TKO.
Prediction : Gadelha by decision
Result : Gadelha by decision
Ricardo Lamas vs Mirsad Bektic
Could be fight of the night with both guys being aggressive with a good top game. Bektic has looked great in the UFC so far with his only blip being that amazing comeback from Darren Elkins in a fight that Mirsad was dominating. Hopefully he learned from it.
As I said before, at the top level it’s the small things that make the difference and here I think Bektic is a little quicker and keeps a higher pace and if he can impose that on the fight then he can win it.
Prediction : Bektic by decision
Result : Bektic by decision
Rashad Coulter vs Chris De La Rocha
They should actually promotes these fights as ‘loser leaves’, make it more interesting. As it is these are two big lumps who are both on two fight losing streaks. So these guys are going to punch each other in the face till one of them falls down and all we can do is sit back and enjoy, and pray to God that it doesn’t go to the third round.
De La Rocha is the bigger man and I think he can have success if he can use his reach, back Coulter up and try to find openings for the big punch.
Prediction : De La Rocha by KO
Result : De La Rocha by TKO
Rashad Evans vs Anthony Smith
Rashad definitely seems like a guy who should call it a day, he’s not going to recapture past glories or likely any glory. When you take a guy like him and he’s just a little bit slower and his reflexes are just a little bit duller it can make all the difference.
Now Anthony Smith ain’t great but he’s young and big and strong. I think Smith can use his size and bully Rashad a bit. I wouldn’t be totally surprised if Rashad got the win but I think Anthony Smith can slow the fight right down and win a decision or late stoppage.
Prediction : Smith by decision
Result : Smith by KO
Joseph Benavidez vs Sergio Pettis
Time to see what Sergio Pettis is really all about because Benavidez is a step up from anyone he’s faced before. Joseph Benavidez has beaten everyone in his division, everyone except Demetrious Johnson. In fact Benavidez has 4 losses in his 29 fight career, 2 to Demetrious Johnson and 2 to Dominick Cruz, not too bad at all.
Sergio Pettis on the other hand has the pressure of being the little brother of a former world champion to contend with and a win here helps fill those shoes just a little bit more.
The way I see the flyweight division is DJ sitting alone at the top, with Cejudo and Benavidez bellow him and the rest jockeying for position beneath them. And for now that’s how it’s going to stay.
Benavidez is quick, agile, hits hard and is a great grappler and I think he will be too much for Pettis Jr here.
Prediction – Benavidez by decision
Result : Pettis by Split decision
Clay Guida vs Charles Oliveira
This fight will go one of two ways, either Guida will wrestle-fuck Oliveira and wear him down and break him with relentless pace or Oliveira will catch a submission on the way in. I honestly don’t know which is more likely but I always like to see a good sub and also Oliveira is more dangerous and seems to have more ways to win.
Prediction : Oliveira by submission
Result : Oliveira by submission
Mike Santiago vs Dan Ige
I think Santiago can have success here if he can start fast and start well. If he can keep up the pace he can win. If the fight turns slower and more technical it will favour Ige. I think Santiago can do it.
Prediction : Santiago by decision
Result : Ige by TKO
Correct Picks 8/13