UFC 226 Predictions

Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier

Most people I have spoken to have pretty much dismissed Dan Cormier in this fight and the bookies have Stipe as a decent favourite, and probably rightly so.

Right now at heavyweight Stipe Miocic is the man. He holds the record for most title defences and there are no real credible heavyweight contenders. Cain Velaquez?? Yep, OK when? And can he be what he once was? Questions to be answered in the future.

Cormier is sorta in the same boat in his division. Who’s coming for him, Manuwa? Nope. Gustafsson? OK but been done before. Of course we have a big shadow named Jones hanging around but we’ve no idea when he will be back. So here we are.

A Cormier win is not as unlikely as some make it out. He’s undefeated at heavyweight with some good wins and made it look easy against guys like Josh Barnett and a juiced up Bigfoot Silva, but that was a while ago and he’s 39 now and age counts but he wears it well.

The more I think about this one the more I’m thinking that the underdog (Cormier) gets it done. He has a good chin and I think he will follow a good game plan. He won’t have the emotional reaction he may have had against Jon Jones and DC is the King of the grind.

If Miocic doesn’t get him out of there in rounds one or two I see Cormier getting the decision.

Prediction : Cormier by decision

Result : Cormier by KO

Max Holloway vs Brian Ortega – CANCELLED

I like Brian Ortega, he seems like a good guy and he’s young and skillful. Sky is the limit. He’s also on a nice journey, finishing Cub then being the first to stop Frankie Edgar and winning the title on top of it would be amazing.

Unfortunately I just don’t see this happening. The way Max has been fighting, it’s hard to see it. Max is a ferocious strike who is really coming into his game, guy gets better every time out. As well as that he is confident and believes he is the best featherweight ever, and he might be.

Although Ortega is a pretty good striker and he’s not afraid to throw down, he will be outclassed in a striking match but the flip side if that is that he is one of the best submission guys in the UFC. Another thing I really like about Ortega is that he’s never out of the fight, could be the last 30 seconds of a fight he losing and it doesn’t matter he’s still trying to win and I love that mentality.

I don’t think that will be enough here though. I see Max winning with his superior striking and it will especially show in the championship rounds. A loss here is not really a bad thing for Ortega, he’s young and can use it to grow.

Prediction : Holloway by decision

Francis Ngannou vs Derrick Lewis

Pretty simple here, if Lewis can survive the strikes and get takedowns in the second and third round then he can win this. Saying that, outside of the Miocic fight Ngannou has been impressive as fuck with death in his fists but the blueprint to beat him has now been written.

The question is if Lewis can stay out of danger enough while implementing the plan. Firas Zahabi was on Joe Rogan’s podcast talking about science and knowledge and predicting the future based on the past.

We know Ngannou can be beaten.

We know how he can be beaten.

We know that Derrick Lewis is not the fighter Stipe Miocic is.

What we don’t know is how much Ngannou has been working on his wrestling. That is our variable.

Ngannou has lots of potential with obvious holes in his game. This fight may show us how seriously he is taking it. I’m going to assume he has smart people around him who will try to steer him.

Prediction : Ngannou by KO

Result : Lewis by decision

Michael Chiesa vs Anthony Pettis

Been quite a fall for Anthony Pettis. He’s gone from being the best lightweight in the world to not even being the best Pettis in his gym.

I don’t think Pettis is done though, he’s still dangerous, but there is something missing. It could just be confidence and maybe he just need that one big win to get back in the groove. Anthony Pettis can definitely win this, if he gets his timing early, counters hard and uses those quick body kicks to hurt Chiesa.

More likely though is that Chiesa will put the pressure on, use the fence, get takedowns. If Pettis can’t hurt him early then Chiesa will win a clear decision.

Prediction : Chiesa by decision

Result : Pettis by submission

Gokhan Saki vs Khalil Rountree Jr

Unless Rountree catches a guillotine or something in the first round, this could be bad night for him I think. Khalil is a big muscular guy but he throws punches hard and we have seen him gass out before.

I expect Saki to be maybe a bit reserved in the first round, take what Rountree has then open up in the second.

Prediction : Saki by KO/TKO

Result : Rountree by TKO

Rest of the Card

Uriah Hall vs Paulo Costa

Hall had all the potential in the world, but something just doesn’t click. Some kind of mental block or just never as good as everyone thought he was?

He’s good if you give him time and space to work but not so good under pressure, and I would imagine Costa will bring the pressure. If Costa can take Hall’s shots early and back him up to the cage then I think he can get the stoppage.

Paulo Costa has 11 fights and 11 wins with 10 by KO/TKO and 1 by submission and I see him adding to that. He’s big and strong with good hands and a good hard body kick but more importantly, he is a good finisher. If he smells blood he goes for the kill.

Of course Uriah Hall is also a good striker and he could definitely land something but I think Costa gets the finish in the second round.

Prediction : Costa by TKO

Result : Costa by TKO

Paul Felder vs Mike Perry

I’m not really a fan of Mike Perry, yes he’s entertaining and plays his role well but what I mean is I don’t think he’s that great of a fighter. He has a lot of power but I think he can be a bit predictable and won’t trouble most of the top ten. In this fight however he’s fighting Paul Felder, a lightweight who took the fight on a week’s notice.

If Paul had more time to prepare I think I would give him a shot at winning so although he has big balls for stepping up, I don’t think it will be enough here.

In Perry’s career it seems he either knocks the other guy out or loses a decision and I think that holds true here as well. Perry will manage to cut off the cage on Felder and catch him at some point.

Prediction : Perry by TKO

Result : Perry by decision

Raphael Assuncao vs Rob Font

Assuncao is maybe one of the most overlooked guys in the division. He beat Dillashaw and Moraes and should probably be in the title discussion, which he definitely would be if he were American. Instead he’s fighting Rob Font on the undercard.

Go to go with Assuncao here, he just a better fighter. Yes Font is dangerous and can definitely catch Assuncao but the Brazilians defense is good and he has more ways to win. His striking is good, he has good power and his ground game is much better than Font’s.

I think Assuncao rocks him on the feet then submits him.

Prediction : Assuncao by submission

Result : Assuncao by decision

Curtis Millender vs Max Griffin

I picked against both of these guys last time out. I thought that Millender was a poor mans MVP and hadn’t seen anything from Griffin that made me thing he could beat Perry. I was wrong both times.

I think here, again Millender can use his movement and range to evade and counter the shots of Griffin. I see Millender winning a decision here but if Griffin cracks him, then that can change things.

Prediction : Millender by decision

Result : Millender by decision

Dan Hooker vs Gilbert Burns

Dan Hooker is on a bit of a roll, winning his last three and finishing them all. His confidence is high and it should be because momentum is very import. On the other hand we have Gilbert Burns who is a world class BJJ player and has only 2 MMA losses and he’s finished 13 of his 14 wins.

This could be a great fight. The way I see it going is Hooker will be the aggressor, moving lots and throwing punches. A lot of sideways and in and out movements. Burns will have to fight moving backwards or against the cage to begin with. Burns hits hard though but Hooker is very tough and also has very effective striker.

What I think swings it for Gilbert is his grounds skills and he has the wrestling to actually get the fight to the floor. I think that’s the key to this fight, can Burns time takedowns or will Hooker be able to time and judge his shots and overwhelm Gilbert with volume?

Prediction : Burns by decision

Result : Hooker by KO

Lando Vannata vs Drakkar Klose

Remember when Lando Vannata first showed up in the UFC as a replacement to fight Tony Ferguson? He impressed everyone in a fight he was supposed to get crushed in. He followed that by knocking out Makdessi in under two minutes. Since then though, the momentum has stalled a bit and he needs to step up if he wants it back.

Klose is much the same. He has had some good performances and some not so good.

This is pretty much a pick em for me. Whoever performs on the night. I’ll go with Vannata because I think he is capable of more. Has more potential.

Prediction : Vannata by decision

Result : Klose by decision

Jamie Moyle vs Emily Whitmire

Going with Moyle here. I think she has a bit more about about her and a bit more tenacity and that should get her a decision.

Prediction : Moyle by decision

Result : Whitmire by decision

Correct predictions 5/11

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