UFC returns to New York after the monumental success of UFC 205, and the PPV will be historic in more ways than one. UFC will crown its first ever UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion, with Holly Holm taking on multiple time Kickboxing/Muay Thai world champion, Germaine de Randamie.
Holly is coming off back – to – back losses, losing the UFC Women’s Bantamweight strap to Miesha less than a year ago, and suffered yet another loss at the hands of current number one contender in the 135 pound division, Valentina Shevchenko.
Holly will be a step up in competition for de Randamie, who last faced Anna Elmose in the UFC last year. Germaine previously faced – and lost to Amanda Nunes over three years ago, when Amanda stopped Germaine in the first round.
Anderson Silva will be taking on Derek Brunson in yet another mouth watering encounter. Anderson Silva hasn’t looked like the Anderson of the past, and one of the greatest fighters of all time would want to get his UFC career back on track with a victory over the up – and – comer in the 185 pound division.
As we get ready to witness history unfold in front of our eyes this weekend, here are our predictions for the PPV.
Lightweight bout: Dustin Poirier versus Jim Miller
The first fight on the main card pits “The Diamond” against the veteran Miller. Jim is coming off three victories after back to back losses, and overcame the likes of Joe Lauzon and Thiago Alves in his past two outings. Poirier on the other hand looked completely transformed at 155 – that is before he ran into Michael Johnson.
Both the fighters are exciting on their feet, and have deceivingly good grappling skills to complement their striking abilities. Miller would look to close the gap, and use his wrestling and jiu jitsu to take away any reach advantage Poirier might possess. Poirier starts as the odds on favourite, and we predict he would do just enough to get the victory by unanimous decision.
Prediction: Dustin Poirier by unanimous decision
Light Heavyweight bout: Glover Teixeira versus Jared Cannonier
The UFC Light Heavyweight division is in a bit of a crisis. With Jon Jones out of the picture, it is slim pickings with regards to the match ups. Daniel Cormier is set to face Anthony Johnson for the strap, while Ryan Bader is more than likely to end up in Bellator MMA in the next couple of months. Other than ‘The Mauler’, the only other contender the division has is Teixeira.
Teixeira looked impressive in his fights against OSP and Rashad Evans, but was brutally knocked out by Anthony Johnson in his previous fight. He faces a prospect in Cannonier, who showcased excellent striking during his Light Heavyweight debut against Cutelaba late last year. Cannonier is considered to be one of the top prospects, but we’ll have to wait and see if UFC’s decision to throw him up against a top five guy so soon would come back to haunt them.
Prediction: Glover Teixeira by unanimous decision
Middleweight bout: Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza versus Tim Boetsch
The fact that Jacare was thrown in to fight Tim surprised a lot of people. The middleweight division is going through an interesting phase, with Bisping finding himself as the unlikely leader of the pack. Bisping is set to fight Romero next, while former champion Luke Rockhold is nursing an injury.
Jacare was scheduled to fight Rockhold last year in Australia, but the bout had to be scrapped, and Jacare, who was well on his way to getting a title shot before falling to Yoel, might be just one fight away from getting the opportunity to fight for the title.
Prediction: Ronaldo Souza by TKO in round 2
Middleweight bout: Anderson Silva versus Derek Brunson
Had this fight happened three years ago, there would be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Silva would beat Brunson. Silva in his prime was one of the most evasive fighters, and had a style that was almost impossible to emulate in a camp. However, Silva’s fall from grace has resulted in his opponents believing that Anderson is no longer the invincible fighter he once was.
Brunson on the other hand is scary strong, and had been laying waste to his opponents till he ran into a game Whittaker in Australia. In fact, Brunson stopped his opponents in the first round in the last four of his five fights, and his dominant victory over Uriah Hall proves that Brunson can put you to sleep if he manages to tag his opponents. However, considering he is fighting one of the greatest of all time, it would be difficult to pick Brunson over Silva.
Prediction: Anderson Silva by unanimous decision
Featherweight title bout: Holly Holm versus Germaine de Randamie
After going back and forth between Cyborg – Holly – de Randamie, UFC finally decided to book the fight between Holly and Germaine to crown the inaugural UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion. Holly, who has already tasted gold in the UFC now has the opportunity to become the first two division female champion in the UFC, while Germaine will face her toughest test to date in the promotion.
Both women have excellent striking pedigree, and the fight offers an interesting clash of styles. However, Holly’s progression has a mixed martial artist has been impressive, with the work she has put in with the JacksonWink camp bearing fruits. Holly’s last fight against Shevchenko was interesting because Shevchenko’s game plan effectively negated Holly’s counter striking ability, and also took away her dominance in the clinches.
However, against someone like Germaine, it is difficult to look past Holly, as she looks to create history in The Big Apple.
Prediction: Holly Holm via TKO in round 2