UFC Fight Night 126: Cowboy vs. Medeiros

UFC Fight Night 126: Cowboy vs. Medeiros

UFC Fight Night 126: Cowboy vs. Medeiros will see a relatively stacked event take place in Austin, Texas, on February 18.

The fight card is filled with interesting personalities and talented fighters throughout, but the headline bout is the one to keep your eye on. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone will return to action against Yancy Medeiros in what could be a back-and-forth welterweight slugfest.

After a tremendous 2016 campaign that saw him pick up four wins in the welterweight division, “Cowboy” has since lost his last three bouts to the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Robbie Lawler, and Darren Till. Cerrone proved to be no match for Till at UFC Fight Night 118, and the young star rolled straight through the veteran.

Yancy Medeiros will feature in his first UFC main event after picking up three consecutive victories. Medeiros submitted Sean Spencer at UFC 203 before finishing Erick Silva at UFC 212. Most recently, Medeiros was involved in a “Fight of the Night” with Alex Oliveira before he came out on top in the third and final round of the contest.

Prediction: Donald Cerrone by KO / TKO – Round 2

Fan-favorite Derrick Lewis will also step back into the UFC’s Octagon after losing to Mark Hunt in New Zealand. He’ll take on Marcin Tybura, who recently gained respect for hanging in there with Fabricio Werdum over five rounds in Sydney, Australia, last time out. Lewis has promised that he’ll call out Francis Ngannou if he manages a win this weekend.

However, despite Lewis’ ability to defeat six consecutive opponents in the UFC between 2015 and early 2017, he still has some major holes in his game that Hunt quickly exploited. Lewis is an extremely powerful puncher but relies on landing his big shots without any proper setups. Tybura, on the other hand, is confident in his range and strike selection and capable of outworking Lewis with strikes over the 15-minute period.

Prediction: Derrick Lewis by KO/TKO – Round 1

The strangely-underappreciated James Vick will also step back into the cage this weekend. Vick is up against Francisco Trinaldo and is a man on a mission considering that he is angered about not being featured in the main event here in Austin. Vick is 8-1 in the UFC and believes his time is now, but he’ll need to make it through the super-tough Trinaldo first.

Francisco Trinaldo has lost only once since May 2014. Since then, he’s won eight fights and lost just once. His loss was against Kevin Lee, and Trinaldo had very nearly stopped the fight and scored a first-round victory against the lightweight that day in Brazil.

Vick vs. Trinaldo is a very highly-skilled matchup.

Prediction: James Vick by KO/TKO

Thiago Alves vs. Curtis Millender will also feature on the main card as the two compete in a welterweight fight. Alves hasn’t competed since April 2017 when he defeated Patrick Cote at UFC 210.  He’ll welcome Millender to the UFC, who is riding a six-fight winning streak through Bellator and LFA most recently. Millender is joining the UFC at the age of 30 but is undoubtedly stepping in with plenty of confidence.

Prediction: Thiago Alves by unanimous decision

“Super” Sage Northcutt is back in action in what could be a favorable matchup against Thibault Gouti. Northcutt looked superb when we saw him against Michel Quinones at UFC Fight Night 120 which speaks volumes to his recent training with Team Alpha Male. Gouti lost his first three fights in the UFC decisively but managed to bounce back in a big way against Andrew Holbrook at UFC Fight Night 115.

Prediction: Sage Northcutt by unanimous decision

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UFC Fight Night 126 fight card

UFC Fight Night 126 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 5:30 pm ET (10:30 pm GMT) on Sunday, February 18.

Main Card

FS1 (9:00 pm ET / 2:00 am GMT)

  • Donald Cerrone vs. Yancy Medeiros
  • Derrick Lewis vs. Marcin Tybura
  • Sage Northcutt vs. Thibault Gouti
  • James Vick vs. Francisco Trinaldo
  • Thiago Alves vs. Curtis Millender

FS1 (7:00 pm ET / 12:00 am GMT)

  • Sarah Moras vs. Lucie Pudilova
  • Geoffrey Neal vs. Brian Camozzi
  • Joby Sanchez vs. Roberto Sanchez
  • Jared Gordon vs. Diego Ferreira

UFC Fight Pass (5:30 pm ET / 10:30 am GMT)

  • Steven Peterson vs. Brandon Davis
  • Joshua Burkman vs. Alex Morono
  • Oskar Piechota vs. Tim Williams

Bellator 194: Nelson vs. Mitrione

Bellator 194: Nelson vs. Mitrione

Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix continues this weekend when Roy Nelson meets Matt Mitrione at Bellator 194.

The main event will see Nelson and Mitrione battle for the second time in their career. The two originally met way back at The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale in 2012, and it was Nelson who came out on top that day with a first-round KO/TKO victory.

Recently, however, Mitrione is beginning to look like the best heavyweight that Bellator has to offer. Since leaving the UFC, he’s finished three fights, including a stunning knockout of Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator NYC last year. Nelson joined Bellator in 2017 and looked superb in his debut with the organization at Bellator 183 when he controlled Javy Ayala for three rounds before winning an easy decision.

Prediction: Matt Mitrione by unanimous decision

Patricky Freire and Derek Campos will collide as they enter Bellator 194 with winning streaks behind them. For “Pitbull,” he steps in after wins over Benson Henderson and Josh Thomson. Campos hasn’t been defeated since November 2015 when he lost to Brandon Girtz. Since then, he’s defeated Melvin Guillard, Djamil Chan, Derek Anderson, and Brandon Girtz.

Prediction: Patricky Freire by KO/TKO – Round 3

Before the co-main event, Liam McGeary will fight Vadim Nemkov in a light heavyweight contest. McGeary, who was once tearing through the light heavyweight division has since lost two of his last three fights. He suffered a decision loss to Phil Davis in November 2016 and also was submitted by the crafty Linton Vassell at Bellator 179. Nemkov is currently on a three-fight winning streak that stretches through Fight Night Global, Rizin and now Bellator. He debuted at Bellator 182 and defeated Philipe Lins by first-round KO/TKO.

Prediction: Liam McGeary by submission – Round 1

Heather Hardy – one of Bellator’s many rising stars – will return to the Bellator cage this weekend after experiencing a tough outing at Bellator 185. Hardy debuted in a fantastic way against Alice Yauger at Bellator NYC in June 2017 when she picked up a third-round stoppage in a very entertaining scrap. At Bellator 185, however, Hardy struggled with Kristina Williams’ striking and range before eventually going down in the second round.

This time around, Hard will face off with former ONE Championship martial artist Ana Julaton. Julaton made the trip over to Bellator late last year and lost a split decision in her debut with the organization.

Prediction: Heather Hardy by unanimous decision

And to get the main card started, Tywan Claxton will face off with Jose Antonio Perez. The last time we see Claxton inside the Bellator cage, we witnessed an incredible flying knee knockout of Jonny Bonilla-Bowman. The finish was superb, and Claxton is now on the ‘must-watch’ list of fighters in Bellator. He’ll be up against Perez, who struggled through a 1-3 amateur MMA career and an unsuccessful MMA debut at Bellator 185.

Prediction: Tywan Claxton by unanimous decision

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Bellator 194 fight card

Bellator 194 begins on paramountnetwork.com from 7:00 pm ET (12:00 am GMT) on Friday, February 16.

Main Card

Paramount Network (9:00 pm ET / 2:00 am GMT)

  • Matt Mitrione vs. Roy Nelson
  • Patricky Freire vs. Derek Campos
  • Liam McGeary vs. Vadim Nemkov
  • Heather Hardy vs. Ana Julaton
  • Tywan Claxton vs. Jose Antonio Perez

paramountnetwork.com (7:00 pm ET / 12:00 am GMT)

  • Marcus Surin vs. Dean Hancock
  • Andre Fialho vs. Nick Giulietti
  • Peter Nascimento vs. Kastriot Xhema
  • Regivaldo Carvalho vs. Thomas English
  • Tyler Hamilton vs. Pat Casey
  • Vinicius de Jesus vs. Jesse McElligott
  • Mike Kimbel vs. Geoffrey Then

UFC 221: Yoel Romero vs. Luke Rockhold

Perth, Australia, will host the UFC’s second pay-per-view event of 2018.

The organization had hoped to showcase the UFC Middleweight Champion, Robert Whitaker, in front of his fans in Australia, but a list of injuries has forced Whittaker to withdraw. In his place, Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero will now do battle for the UFC Interim Middleweight Champion and the winner will likely receive a shot at Whittaker sometime in 2018.

While the absence of Whittaker certainly impacts the Australian fans, the main event bout between Rockhold and Romero is truly world-class. Rockhold and Romero are two of the most physically superior athletes in mixed martial arts. Rockhold uses his strength and power combined with excellent technique to apply incredibly heavy top pressure to his opponent when the fight hits the ground. Romero, a former Olympic wrestler, is incredibly explosive and only narrowly lost to Whittaker in 2017.

Rockhold steps into this fight after defeating David Branch at UFC Fight Night 116. Rockhold showed some concerns while standing, but managed to get the fight to the ground before ground and pounding Branch into submission. For Romero, this will be his first fight since losing a unanimous decision to Robert Whittaker at UFC 213. Whittaker is the only man to have defeated Romero in the UFC.

Prediction: Yoel Romero by KO/TKO – Round 2

In the co-main event, Mark Hunt will take on Curtis Blaydes in a battle between two heavy-hitting heavyweight fighters. Hunt showed his wealth of experience and knowledge at UFC Fight Night 110 when he cruised past Derrick Lewis before securing a KO/TKO victory in the fourth round. The win helped him bounce back from two consecutive defeats and was his first win since he defeated Frank Mir at UFC Fight Night 85 in March 2016. Hunt is renowned for his walk-off KO’s.

Curtis Blaydes has jumped up the UFC’s heavyweight rankings after two consecutive victories. Since he lost to Francis Ngannou in April 2016, Blaydes has won three contests and been involved in one no contest. Blaydes is an excellent wrestler with heavy hands to go with his grappling ability.

Prediction: Mark Hunt by KO/TKO – Round 3

Moments before that co-main event, Tai Tuivasa will face Cyril Asker in another heavyweight matchup. Tuivasa bounced onto the scene after knocking out Rashad Coulter in 4:35 at UFC Fight Night 125 in November last year. His successful UFC debut also marked the eight victory in his undefeated career so far. Tuivasa will meet Cyril Asker, who is a relatively low-standard heavyweight in the UFC. Asker has traded wins and losses since joining the UFC in April 2016 and how has a 2-2 record in the organization. Most recently, he picked up a submission victory over Yaozong Hu in China.

Prediction: Tai Tuivasa by KO/TKO – Round 1

Jingliang Li, who is one of the rising stars of the UFC, will take on hometown favorite Jake Matthews in a welterweight bout. Li is riding a four-fight winning streak that includes a big win over Zak Ottow at UFC Fight Night 122 in Shanghai in November. The last time “The Leech” lost was in August 2015, when he was submitted by Keita Nakamura in Japan. He’ll be up against Jake Matthews who is experiencing somewhat of a bad stretch. Matthews lost to Kevin Lee and Andrew Holbrook before just scraping through for a split decision victory against Bojan Velickovic at UFC Fight Night 121 in November.

Prediction: Jingliang Li by unanimous decision

And to get the main card started, Tyson Pedro will look to rebound from his first-ever loss as he competes against Saparbek Safarov. Pedro was one of the fastest-rising stars in the light heavyweight division until he ran into Ilir Latifi at UFC 215. Latifi used his experience to slow the fight down and grind out a unanimous decision against Pedro. Safarov entered the UFC after managing an 8-0 professional career in Europe. However, he lost his debut in the organization in a “Fight of the Night” with Gian Villante at UFC Fight Night 102.

Prediction: Tyson Pedro by KO/TKO – Round 2

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UFC 221 fight card

UFC 221 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 6:30 pm ET (11:30 pm GMT) on Saturday, February 10.

Main Card

Pay-per-view (10:00 pm ET / 3:00 am GMT)

  • Yoel Romero [+125] vs. Luke Rockhold [-135]
  • Mark Hunt [+140] vs. Curtis Blaydes [-160]
  • Tai Tuivasa [-330] vs. Cyril Asker [+270]
  • Jake Matthews [+180] vs. Li Jingliang [-220]
  • Tyson Pedro [-260] vs. Saparbek Safarov [+220]

FS1 (8:00 pm ET / 1:00 am GMT)

  • Damien Brown vs. Dong Hyun Kim
  • Rob Wilkinson vs. Israel Adesanya
  • Alexander Volkanovski vs. Jeremy Kennedy
  • Jussier Formiga vs. Ben Nguyen

Fight Pass Prelims

UFC Fight Pass (6:00 pm ET / 11:30 am GMT)

  • Ross Pearson vs. Mizuto Hirota
  • Haruto Ishihara vs. Jose Quinonez

Luke Jumeau vs. Daichi Abe

UFC Fight Night 125: Machida vs. Anders

UFC Fight Night 125: Machida vs. Anders

The UFC travels to Belém, Brazil, this weekend for UFC Fight Night 125: Machida vs. Anders.

The event, which will be held on Saturday, February 3, will be headlined by a middleweight matchup between Lyoto Machida and Eryk Anders. Machida, a former UFC light heavyweight champion, will look to get things back on track in front of his Brazilian fans after a disappointing return to competition in October last year when he lost to Derek Brunson. Machida was stunned by Brunson early in the contest and the referee stopped the contest just 2:30 into the first round.

It does not get any easier for him at UFC Fight Night 125, either. Machida will be facing the undefeated Eryk Anders who has taken the UFC by storm since arriving in July last year. With consecutive wins over Rafael Natal and Markus Perez, Anders has quickly stood out and is now hoping to score a ‘big name’ win over Lyoto Machida in this main event.

Prediction: Eryk Anders by KO/TKO – Round 1

In the co-main event, two talented bantamweights will do battle as John Dodson meets Pedro Munhoz. Dodson is experiencing somewhat of a downward slide at the moment after recording two losses in his last three contests. After losing to John Lineker, Dodson would bounce back with a victory over Eddie Wineland at UFC Fight Night 108. However, in his most recent bout, Marlon Moraes outworked him over three rounds and defeated Dodson by split decision.

Dodson now faces the surging Pedro Munhoz, who has now recorded three straight victories after losing to Jimmie Rivera at UFC Fight Night 77. Three of Munhoz’s last four wins have come via way of “Performance of the Night” worthy submissions. Also of note is that Munhoz has recorded two underdog victories in his last three bouts and his most recent was a first-round submission of the highly-talented Rob Font in Brazil.

Prediction: John Dodson by unanimous decision

Moments before the co-main event, Valentina Shevchenko will battle UFC newcomer Priscila Cachoeira. Shevchenko, who was one of the best women’s strawweight fighters in the organization will make her debut in the women’s flyweight division at UFC Fight Night 125 after losing a championship bout with Amanda Nunes.

Despite the disparity in experience and level of opponents, Shevchenko will be up against the wall when facing Cachoeira in front of thousands of Brazilian fans. “Pedrita” has never fought outside of Brazil through her eight-fight career and has never suffered defeat. No matter the case, it’s going to be a fascinating matchup with significant outcomes for the newly created flyweight division.

Prediction: Valentina Shevchenko by unanimous decision

Also on the main card is what is sure to be an exciting scrap between Michel Prazeres and Des Green. The 36-year-old Michel Prazeres has risen to a new level after recording five-straight victories dating back to November 2015.

He’ll look to continue his streak against the ferocious Des Green. Green had his five-fight winning streak snapped by Rustam Khabilov in his last bout and now looks to break the momentum of another fighter when he meets Prazeres in Brazil.

Prediction: Michel Prazeres by unanimous decision

A heavyweight bout will feature on the main card of UFC Fight Night 125 as Timothy Johnson meets the undefeated Marcelo Golm.

Johnson was most recently beaten up by the striking capabilities of Junior Albini at UFC on FOX 25 in July last year. The defeat was his third in just five fights. Johnson will face 6-0 Marcelo Golm, who scored a first-round submission victory against Christian Colombo in his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 119.

Prediction: Marcelo Golm by unanimous decision – Round 2

And to get the main card started, Thiago Santos will go to war with Anthony Smith in a middleweight contest. Santos has quickly got back on track after shockingly losing to Eric Spicely at UFC Fight Night 95. Since then, he’s scored wins over Jack Marshman, Gerald Meerschaert, and Jack Hermansson.

Santos will meet Anthony Smith who has also enjoyed a three-fight winning streak recently. With just one loss in the last 4 years and last 11 contests, Smith has now managed three KO/TKO victories in the past 13 months.

Prediction: Thiago Santos by unanimous decision

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UFC Fight Night 125 Fight Card

UFC Fight Night 125 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 7:00 pm ET (12:00 am GMT) on Saturday, February 3.

Main Card

Pay-per-view (10:00 pm ET / 3:00 am GMT)

  • Lyoto Machida vs. Eryk Anders
  • John Dodson vs. Pedro Munhoz
  • Valentina Shevchenko vs. Priscila Cachoeira
  • Michel Prazeres vs. Desmond Green
  • Timothy Johnson vs. Marcelo Golm
  • Thiago Santos vs. Anthony Smith

Prelims

FS1 (8:00 pm ET / 1:00 am GMT)

  • Sergio Moraes vs. Tim Means
  • Alan Patrick vs. Damir Hadzovic
  • Douglas Silva de Andrade vs. Marlon Vera
  • Iuri Alcantara vs. Joe Soto

Fight Pass Prelims

UFC Fight Pass (7:00 pm ET / 12:00 am GMT)

  • Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Joseph Morales
  • Maia Stevenson vs. Polyana Viena

Bellator 193: Larkin vs. Gonzalez

Bellator 193: Larkin vs. Gonzalez

Bellator will be competing with the UFC for the second consecutive weekend as we approach Bellator 193: Larkin vs. Gonzalez.

Ex-UFC star Lorenz Larkin looks to get back on track in Bellator in a main event showdown with Fernando Gonzalez. Larkin, who dropped a decision to Douglas Lima at Bellator NYC, was expected to claim the Bellator welterweight title from Lima at the time. Unfortunately for the striker, however, Lima defeated him over the course of five rounds to defend his title. Things got a whole lot worse for Lima, though, and in his next bout he was brutally knocked out by Paul Daley in the second round at Bellator 183.

He now finds himself in a position to bounce back against yet another tough opponent in Gonzalez. While Gonzalez might not have the star power that a Douglas Lima or Paul Daley provide for Bellator, “The Menifee Maniac” has been on a recent streak that includes victories over Brandon Girtz and Brennan Ward. He now finds himself in the biggest spot of his Bellator career, situated in his first-ever main event with the promotion.

Prediction: Lorenz Larkin by decision

Saad Awad and JJ Ambrose will meet in a clash between two lightweights in the co-main event.

Awad most recently finished the Zach Freeman hype-train (if you can call it that), after Freeman managed to KO Aaron Pico in his MMA debut. Awad finished Freeman in the first round and makes it two in a row after a decision victory over Ryan Quinn at Bellator 178.

JJ Ambrose returns to Bellator for the first time since 2013. Since then, Ambrose has been competing in the Australian circuit and will step back inside the Bellator cage with five consecutive victories behind him.

Prediction: Saad Awad by KO/TKO

Moments before that, Kendall Grove will face AJ Matthews in a middleweight bout. The 29-year-old AJ Matthews has lost his last four contests across both Bellator and RIZIN. Most notably, he has also been finished in the first round on two occasions. In his last outing, he took the 7-1 Andre Fialho to a split decision.

Kendall Grove is also on a losing streak of his own, but it is against much higher quality than the opponents of Matthews. Grove has lost to Alexander Shlemenko and John Salter and now looks to get back on track against Matthews.

Prediction: Kendall Grove by KO/TKO

To get the main card started, Tyrell Fortune will face Joe Hernandez in a heavyweight matchup.

The 3-0 Tyrell Fortune has proved successful in his Bellator campaign so far with consecutive victories tucked away on the Bellator prelims. It’s important to remember, however, that Fortune’s opposition had never competed in a professional mixed martial arts contest before they met, though.

Across from him this time is an opponent with experience in the sport and a 4-2 record to go with it. Joe Hernandez won all four of his first professional bouts before eventually slipping to Josh Appelt and Jared Vanderaa. He is unlikely to pose a significant challenge to Fortune in this matchup.

Prediction: Tyrell Fortune by KO/TKO

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Bellator 193 fight card

Bellator 193 begins on Paramount Network from 9:00 pm ET (2:00 am GMT) on Friday, January 26.

Main Card

Paramount Network (9:00 pm ET / 2:00 am GMT)

  • Lorenz Larkin vs. Fernando Gonzalez
  • Saad Awad vs. JJ Ambrose
  • Kendall Grove vs. AJ Matthews
  • Tyrell Fortune vs. Joe Hernandez

UFC on FOX 27: Ronaldo Souza vs. Derek Brunson

UFC on FOX 27 Ronaldo Souza vs Derek Brunson

The UFC returns to FOX this weekend with ‘UFC on FOX 27’ and marks the organization’s first appearance in Charlotte since 2010.

A middleweight matchup between Ronaldo Souza and Derek Brunson will headline the event. Souza and Brunson previously met in Strikeforce in 2012, as the co-main event to Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman. It took just 41 seconds for Souza to finish Brunson’s night early. Now, the two meet again but this time with much more at stake.

After losing to Robert Whittaker, Brunson was ‘robbed’ of a decision against Anderson Silva not long after.  But since that day, Brunson has bounced back to form with consecutive victories against Daniel Kelly and Lyoto Machida in the first round.

His opponent, “Jacare” Souza has only ever lost to the ‘three-headed monster’ in the middleweight division. That is, of course, Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero, and Luke Rockhold. His most recent defeat came at the hands of Whittaker at UFC on FOX 24. Despite entering the fight as a slight betting favorite, Souza was completely outclassed by the Australian.

Prediction: Jacare Souza by submission – round one

In the co-main event, Dennis Bermudez will battle with Andre Fili in a featherweight contest. Bermudez, who was floored by “The Korean Zombie” early last year, dropped his second fight in a row when he faced the rising Darren Elkins at UFC on FOX in July. The split decision has left Bermudez scrambling to recover the pieces as he looks to stay in contention in the featherweight division.

Andre “Touchy” Fili has alternated wins and losses in his previous nine bouts dating back to 2013. After being defeated by Calvin Kattar at UFC 214, Fili got back to winning ways against Artem Lobov at UFC Fight Night 118.

Prediction: Dennis Bermudez by decision

Also on the main card, lightweight forces in Gregor Gillespie and Jordan Rinaldi will clash just after scoring submission victories. Gillespie is undefeated in his ten-fight career and has managed three consecutive victories in the UFC since joining in September 2016. After upsetting Glaico Franca, he backed it up with stoppages of Andrew Holbrook and Jason Gonzalez.

The 13-5 Jordan Rinaldi was unsuccessful in his UFC debut vs. Abel Trujillo but soon impressed when he defeated Alvaro Herrera at UFC Fight Night 114 last year. All three of Rinaldi’s latest victories have come via way of submission.

Prediction: Gregor Gillespie by decision

After four years in the UFC, Drew Dober finds himself in his first-ever main card at UFC on FOX 27. Dober will face the incredibly entertaining Frank Camacho, who has two ‘Fight of the Night’ awards to his name in just the two fights he has had with the UFC.

Dober recently picked up a first round KO/TKO victory over Josh Burkman at UFC 214 and moves to 3-1 in his last four outings. Camacho, on the other hand, is now 1-1 in the UFC after picking up a split decision win over Damien Brown at UFC Fight Night 121 in Australia.

Prediction: Drew Dober by KO/TKO

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Best Bet

Derek Brunson enters the main event with Ronaldo Souza as a slight betting underdog in a very tempting position.

Brunson himself said that he was relatively inexperienced at the time of their first match and rushed in toward his opponent with overwhelming confidence. Now, however, Brunson employs a more tactical gameplan and waits for his opportunity to explode before doing so. It’s also important to note that he rocked Robert Whittaker in that crazy back-and-forth first round in Australia before Whittaker ended up winning the fight.

This also marks the first time that Souza has entered the cage in nearly nine months. In that fight, Souza was utterly dominated by Whittaker’s defensive wrestling before being beaten on the feet.

However, it might not be that easy for Derek Brunson. Whittaker tactfully dissected his opponent with a blend of patience and aggression before connecting with significant head kicks that changed the course of the fight. He also has the wrestling pedigree to shake off Souza’s grappling.

Brunson’s biggest weapon right now is his hands, but Souza is excellent at defending punches – he just stays slightly out of range before eventually shooting in for a takedown. Souza also has the hands to smash Brunson if he moves in carelessly.

Bet: Total Rounds – Under 1.5 (+115)

UFC on FOX 27 fight card

UFC on FOX 27 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 3:30 pm ET (8:30 pm GMT) on Saturday, January 27.

Main Card

Pay-per-view (8:00 pm ET / 1:00 am GMT)

  • Ronaldo Souza vs. Derek Brunson
  • Dennis Bermudez vs. Andre Fili
  • Jordan Rinaldi vs. Gregor Gillespie
  • Drew Dober vs. Frank Camacho

Prelims

FS1 (5:00 pm ET / 10:00 pm GMT)

  • Bobby Green vs. Erik Koch
  • Mirsad Bektic vs. Godofredo Pepey
  • Katlyn Chookagian vs. Mara Romero Borella
  • Randa Markos vs. Juliana Lima
  • Justine Kish vs. Ji Yeon Kim
  • Vinc Pichel vs. Joaquim Silva

Fight Pass Prelims

UFC Fight Pass (3:30 pm ET / 8:30 pm GMT)

  • Niko Price vs. George Sullivan
  • Austin Arnett vs. Cory Sandhagen

UFC 220: Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou

UFC 220: Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou

The UFC’s first pay-per-view of 2018 is a big one.

UFC 220 will feature an astounding clash between two of the ‘Baddest Men on the Planet’ as Stipe Miocic meets Francis Ngannou in the main event. Miocic and Ngannou will battle for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. The main event is backed by an exciting co-main event as Daniel Cormier defends his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against rising Volkan Oezdemir.

Francis Ngannou’s rise to the top is about as destructive as they come. Since his debut in December 2015, Ngannou has knocked out five of his six opponent’s and submitted the only other man to not fall victim to his fists. “The Predator” really gained traction when he brutally knocked out Alistair Overeem at UFC 218 in December. Now, Ngannou gets set to challenge for Stipe Miocic’s title.

Miocic’s reign as heavyweight champion began in May 2016 when he stopped Fabricio Werdum in the first round at UFC 198. Since then, he’s cleared every top-ranked contender in Alistair Overeem and Junior dos Santos. Next in line is the rising Francis Ngannou and a victory against “The Predator” might just cement Miocic as one of the greatest heavyweight’s of all time.

Prediction: Stipe Miocic via KO/TKO – Round 2

In the co-main event, another rising star in the UFC will challenge for a championship. Volkan Oezdemir has stormed through the light heavyweight division with consecutive wins against Ovince Saint-Preux, Misha Cirkunov, and Jimi Manuwa. In particular, it was the method that Oezdemir finished Cirkunov and Manuwa that really put him right in place here as the top challenger for Cormier’s title. Oezdemir finished Cirkunov in just 28 seconds before stopping Manuwa in 22 seconds, earning his nickname “No Time”.

Standing across from him, though, is the exceptional Daniel Cormier, who has defeated all opponent’s not named Jon Jones. With wins over Anthony Johnson (twice), Alexander Gustafsson, Anderson Silva, and Dan Henderson, Cormier is a force to be reckoned with and plans to show that he is many steps above the level of Oezdemir.

Prediction: Daniel Cormier via Submission – Round 2

Also on the main card, Calvin Kattar will face Shane Burgos in a featherweight battle.

After defeating Andre Fili in his UFC debut in July last year, Kattar is boosted straight into the main card of a pay-per-view. Entering as a significant underdog vs. Fili, Kattar outworked him for three rounds to win a unanimous decision.

His opponent, Shane Burgos, is undefeated in his ten fight career and has since picked up three consecutive victories in the UFC since joining in December 2016. With wins over Tiago Trator, Charles Rosa, and Godofredo Pepey, Burgos looks to keep the streak alive against Kattar.

Prediction: Shane Burgos via decision

Gian Villante will face Francimar Barroso in a clash between two light heavyweight’s.

While on paper this doesn’t seem like a pay-per-view quality fight, it could be unsuspectingly enjoyable considering that both Villante and Barroso have plenty to fight for. Villante steps in after losing two in a row to Mauricio Rua and Patrick Cummins, while Francimar Barroso enters this one after losing to Aleksander Rakic.

Prediction: Gian Villante via KO/TKO – Round 1

In what is sure to be one of the most exciting fights on the main card of UFC 220, Thomas Almeida looks to stop Rob Font in a bantamweight fight.

After working through Matt Schnell and Douglas Andrade, Rob Font’s streak was ended by Pedro Munhoz at UFC Fight Night 119 late last year. Meanwhile, Thomas Almeida, who was once considered one of the hottest prospects of the division has since lost two of his last three bouts – albeit against top quality opposition in Cody Garbrandt and Jimmie Rivera.

Prediction: Thomas Almeida via KO/TKO – Round 3

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Best Bet

While the UFC marketing team might be at full-steam for the Francis Ngannou train, it seems like many are forgetting how dominant of a champion that Stipe Miocic has been.

Of course, Ngannou’s win over Overeem was truly outstanding and he is deserving of the ‘hype’. But, there is no way that Francis should enter this championship fight with Stipe Miocic as a moderate betting favorite. As with all heavyweight fights, it really only takes one strike to end the fight and Miocic has a proven track record of being able to dish out damage just as well as he takes it.

Miocic enters this contest after stopping Andrei Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem, and Junior dos Santos all in the first round. He’ll successfully defend his championship for the third consecutive time this weekend at UFC 220.

Bet: Stipe Miocic to win (+165)

UFC 220 Fight Card

UFC 220 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 6:30 pm ET (11:30 pm GMT) on Saturday, January 20.

Main Card

Pay-per-view (10:00 pm ET / 3:00 am GMT)

  • Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou
  • Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir
  • Calvin Kattar vs. Shane Burgos
  • Gian Villante vs. Francimar Barroso
  • Thomas Almeida vs. Rob Font

Prelims

FS1 (8:00 pm ET / 1:00 am GMT)

  • Kyle Bochniak vs. Brandon Davis
  • Sabah Homasi vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan
  • Dustin Ortiz vs. Alexandre Pantoja
  • Dan Ige vs. Julio Arce

Fight Pass Prelims

UFC Fight Pass (6:30 pm ET / 11:30 pm GMT)

  • Matt Bessette vs. Enrique Barzola
  • Maryna Moroz vs. Jamie Moyle
  • Islam Makhachev vs. Gleison Tibau

Bellator 192: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Chael Sonnen

Bellator 192: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Chael Sonnen

In what was a late change to the main event of Bellator 192, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will headline the event in a bout with Chael Sonnen. The former main event, Douglas Lima vs. Rory MacDonald, has since been moved to the co-main event slot and the two will battle for Lima’s Bellator Welterweight Championship.

The heavyweight clash between “Rampage” and Sonnen is the first scheduled contest of the Bellator MMA World Grand Prix 2018 – which will determine the new heavyweight champion at Bellator. With four fights between eight contestants, “Rampage” and Sonnen will clash first and the winner of this bout will collide with either Fedor Emelianenko or Frank Mir.

“Rampage” enters this fight after losing to Muhammad Lawal at Bellator 175, a defeat that snapped his five-fight winning streak dating back to November 2013.

Chael Sonnen steps into the cage in this main event after defeating Wanderlei Silva at Bellator NYC. The victory was Sonnen’s first since he submitted Mauricio Rua in 2013.

Prediction: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson by decision

Douglas Lima vs. Rory MacDonald might just be one of the best fights that Bellator MMA has ever scheduled.

Two of the very best welterweight’s in the world, Lima and MacDonald will do battle in a five-round contest for the title that Lima currently holds.

People ‘in the know’ understand and respect Douglas Lima as one of the toughest mixed martial artists in the world and he’ll finally get a chance to prove his ability against the battle-tested Rory MacDonald. Lima, who won the title from Andrey Koreshkov at Bellator 164 has since defended his title against Lorenz Larkin at Bellator NYC.

After leaving the UFC for Bellator, MacDonald successfully debuted in the organization when he made easy work of Paul Daley at Bellator 179 in May 2017. It was MacDonald’s first victory since 2014 and he erased memories of defeat vs. Robbie Lawler and Stephen Thompson.

Prediction: Rory MacDonald by KO/TKO – Round 4

Michael Chandler and Goiti Yamauchi will meet in a title eliminator bout at Bellator 192.

After losing his Bellator Lightweight Championship to Brent Primus last year, Michael Chandler finds himself fighting for a chance to redeem his title. Bellator originally attempted to schedule a rematch between Chandler and Primus at this event, but Primus was unable to compete at the moment.

So, Chandler finds himself in a battle with the fast-rising Yamauchi. The Japanese fighter has now submitted his last three opponents in the first round after finishing the previously undefeated Adam Piccolotti at Bellator 183.

Prediction: Michael Chandler by decision

Aaron Pico continues to be tested against tough opposition.

Pico, who is now 1-1 as a professional mixed martial artist, will step inside the Bellator cage with 12-3 Shane Kruchten. After his MMA debut came to a devastating ending, Pico bounced back with an impressive KO victory against Justin Linn in September.

The 21-year-old will challenge Kruchten, who has now won 12 of his last 13 bouts. However, Kruchten’s last fight in December 2016 is his only appearance since March 2014.

Prediction: Aaron Pico by decision

Henry Corrales might have had the toughest run of any featherweight newcomer in Bellator history. With three consecutive fights against Daniel Straus, Emmanuel Sanchez, and Patricio Freire, Corrales has since strung two consecutive victories together by defeating Cody Bollinger and Noad Lahat.

In particular, his victory against Noad Lahat is especially significant considering that he nullified the grappling of Lahat – and this is exactly what he needs to do against Georgi Karakhanyan at Bellator 192.

Karakhanyan enters this fight with Henry Corrales after returning to winning ways at Bellator 182. After losing to Emmanuel Sanchez in January 2017, Karakhanyan scored a second round KO/TKO victory over Daniel Pineda.

Prediction: Georgi Karakhanyan by decision

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Bellator 192 Fight Card

The Bellator 192 main card begins at 9:00 pm ET (2:00 am GMT) on Saturday, January 20.

Main Card

  • Quinton Jackson vs. Chael Sonnen
  • Douglas Lima vs. Rory MacDonald
  • Michael Chandler vs. Goiti Yamauchi
  • Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Henry Corrales
  • Aaron Pico vs. Shane Kruchten

UFC Fight Night 124: Jeremy Stephens vs. Doo Ho Choi

UFC Fight Night 124: Jeremy Stephens vs. Doo Ho Choi

The UFC begins their 2018 campaign with a fun-filled UFC Fight Night card that is set to take place in St. Louis, Missouri.

In the main event of the evening, Jeremy Stephens will clash with “The Korean Superboy” Doo Ho Choi in what is sure to be an electric battle. After dropping two consecutive contests, Stephens bounced back with an impressive victory over Gilbert Melendez at UFC 215. Stephens worked behind devastating leg kicks to take out his tough opponent and score himself a position in this main event at UFC Fight Night 124.

Doo Ho Choi rose to fame after his involvement in one of the best fights of 2016. Choi met Cub Swanson in an enthralling back-and-forth collision at UFC 206. Despite the excitement, Choi fell short against Swanson at the end of the three rounds. Prior to the Swanson fight, Choi had knocked out his last three opponents all in the first round – this is the type of form that many are hoping to see from “The Korean Superboy” again at UFC Fight Night 124.

Prediction: Doo Ho Choi by unanimous decision

In the co-main event, Uriah Hall will step inside the UFC’s Octagon with Vitor Belfort. After being on the wrong end of three consecutive stoppages, Belfort managed to marginally defeat Nate Marquardt at UFC 212 in Brazil. The win marked Belfort’s first victory since November 2015. Hall similarly snapped a losing skid when he defeated Krzysztof Jotko at UFC Fight Night 116 in the second round. Interestingly, though, all three of Hall’s losses in 2016 were to quality opposition.

Prediction: Vitor Belfort by unanimous decision

Also on the main card is an important female flyweight battle between Paige VanZant and Jessica-Rose Clark. VanZant and Rose-Clark are some of the first faces to make the switch to the new women’s division in the UFC and many believe that VanZant is not far from a title shot in this newly created division. After finishing Bec Rawlings with a stunning kick at UFC on FOX 21, VanZant was then submitted by Michelle Waterson in December of 2012. This will be the first time we see Vanzant inside the Octagon since that day. Australian Rose-Clark successfully debuted in the UFC against Bec Rawlings at UFC Fight Night 121, where she won a close split decision.

Prediction: Jessica-Rose Clark by split decision

To get things started on the UFC Fight Night 124 Main Card, Kamaru Usman will face Emil Meek in a battle between two tough welterweights. Usman, who is one of the most in-form welterweights in the UFC, is yet to lose in the UFC and steps into this fight after he torched Sergio Moraes in the first round at UFC Fight Night 116. Meek, who debuted at UFC 206, defeated Jordan Mein via unanimous decision in what was a mild betting upset. However, due to complications with his Visa, this is the first time Meek has entered the cage since that day in December of 2016.

Prediction: Kamura Usman by second round TKO

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Best Bet

Jeremy Stephens vs. Doo Ho Choi is undoubtedly going to be a thrilling main event. The two punchers are not just extremely powerful, but also precise and calculated in their approach to the fight game. On paper, it seems like a close matchup between two guys who are capable of ending each other’s night early, but upon breaking it down we can see that Doo Ho Choi has a sizable advantage in this fight.

Unlike Stephens’ last opponent in Gilbert Melendez, Choi doesn’t stay heavy on his front leg and instead skips in and out of range at just the right moment. At times, he will connect with a stiff jab to the head or body before moving out of range. Stephens generally has trouble with this kind of striking and could find himself being picked apart by the timing of Choi.

For Stephens, he will need to continually move forward and force Choi to fight from his back foot. Stephens is certainly capable of this, but Choi’s counter striking and distance management is at a high level.

Choi will frustrate Stephens with a stinging jab before opening up with his other strikes. The only question that remains is whether Choi can finish Stephens inside the distance. Historically speaking, Stephens is a hard man to finish and Choi might have to just outwork him for the distance in this one.

Bet: Doo Ho Choi to win (-155)

UFC Fight Night 124 fight card

UFC Fight Night 124 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 6:00 pm ET (11:00 pm GMT) on Sunday, January 14.

Main Card

Pay-per-view (10:00 pm ET / 3:00 am GMT)

  • Jeremy Stephens vs. Doo Ho Choi
  • Uriah Hall vs. Vitor Belfort
  • Paige VanZant vs. Jessica-Rose Clark
  • Kamaru Usman vs. Emil Meek

Prelims

FS1 (8:00 pm ET / 1:00 am GMT)

  • Darren Elkins vs. Michael Johnson
  • James Krause vs. Alex White
  • Matt Frevola vs. Marco Polo Reyes
  • Thiago Alves vs. Zak Cummings

Fight Pass Prelims

UFC Fight Pass (6:00 pm ET / 12:00 am GMT)

  • Kalindra Faria vs. Jessica Eye
  • Talita Bernardo vs. Irene Aldana
  • Kyung Ho Kang vs. Guido Cannetti
  • Danielle Taylor vs. JJ Aldrich
  • Mads Burnell vs. Mike Santiago

UFC 219: Cris Cyborg vs. Holly Holm

UFC 219: Cris Cyborg vs. Holly Holm

The UFC looks to close out 2017 in a big way with a stacked pay-per-view for fans in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Headlining the event is a fantastic UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship contest between Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm. Cyborg, who is respected as one of the most powerful and dominant women in the history of mixed martial arts is coming up against “The Preacher’s Daughter”. When Holly Holm defeated Ronda Rousey and put an end to her dominance, Rousey was regarded in the same way that Cyborg is. However, there’s a huge difference between the two. Cyborg is genuinely technically sound, strong, and fearless. Holm will be tested to the very limits in this matchup for the title.

Prediction: Holly Holm by decision

In the co-main event, Khabib Nurmagomedov will finally re-enter the octagon to take on Edson Barboza in a clash of two incredible lightweight martial artists. Nurmagomedov, who is undefeated after 24 fights, will look to keep his record intact against one of the most dangerous strikers in the world. Nurmagomedov will rely on his overwhelming wrestling ability to control Barboza, and Barboza will be hoping to intercept Nurmagomedov with a perfectly placed strike to end the fight.

Prediction: Khabib Nurmagomedov by KO/TKO – Round 2

Just before Nurmagomedov and Barboza collide, two bantamweight’s will battle it out in what seems to be a title eliminator. Jimmie Rivera, who has just one loss to his name after 22 contests, is just one fight away from challenging from the UFC’s Bantamweight Championship. Standing in his way is John “Hands of Stone” Lineker, who packs terrifying power into his punches. Lineker will be hoping to walk Rivera down before unleashing his signature series of hooks, while Rivera will need to intelligently pick and choose when to trade with Lineker.

Prediction: Jimmie Rivera by decision

In the first of the two women’s bouts that feature on the main card, Cynthia Calvillo will look to cap off an excellent 2017 by defeating Carla Esparza. Calvillo made her UFC debut in March this year and has won all three of her contests in the organization to date. Up against the streaking Calvillo is the always-tough Carla Esparza. Esparza is 2-1 in her last three contests and one of those fights includes the strange split decision that was awarded to Randa Markos at UFC Fight Night 105.

Prediction: Carla Esparza by decision

And the pay-per-view begins with a bang when Carlos Condit meets Neil Magny in a significant contest between two welterweights. Condit returns to the cage for the first time since losing to Demian Maia in August 2016 and will look to get his career back on track against Magny, who has been struggling of late. Magny, who was once one of the most feared in the division, has since dropped two of his last three contests after losing to Lorenz Larkin and Rafael Dos Anjos. Does Condit still have what it takes to hang in there with the contenders of the division?

Prediction: Carlos Condit by decision

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Best Bets

There is plenty of value through the UFC 219 card for bettors. In particular, there are two fights on the main card in which are prediction is actually entering the contest as a significant betting underdog.

Holly Holm (+320) steps into the cage with Cris Cyborg (-320) as the underdog, and while it is unsurprising considering the level of hype surrounding Cyborg, there is also a little bit of underselling on Holm’s side here. Let’s remember that Holm is one of the very best strikers in women’s mixed martial arts. Yes, Cyborg is powerful, strong, athletic, and precise, but Holm has the technical advantages to be able to slow Cyborg down to a halt and slowly pick her apart. It won’t be easy, but it can be done.

Bet: Holly Holm to win (+320)

The second of our underdog bets is Carla Esparza (+255) to defeat Cynthia Calvillo (-310). Again, the public is overwhelmingly in support of Calvillo, mainly because of her perfect 2017. Her resume looks impressive, however her most recent win over Joanne Calderwood wasn’t all that impressive. On the other hand, Esparza’s record shows as if she is struggling a little bit lately, but she has defeated Maryna Moroz, Juliana Lima and arguably defeated Randa Markos. This fight is much closer than the bookmakers are making it out to be.

Bet: Carla Esparza to win (+255)

UFC 219 fight card

UFC 219 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 7:00 pm ET (12:00 am GMT) on Saturday, December 30.

Main Card

Pay-per-view (10:00 pm ET / 3:00 am GMT)

  • Cris Cyborg vs. Holly Holm
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Edson Barboza
  • Jimmie Rivera vs. John Lineker
  • Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza
  • Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny

Prelims

FS1 (8:00 pm ET / 1:00 am GMT)

  • Khalil Rountree Jr. vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk
  • Daniel Hooker vs. Mark Diakiese
  • Myles Jury vs. Rick Glenn
  • Louis Smolka vs. Matheus Nicolau

Fight Pass Prelims

UFC Fight Pass (7:00 pm ET / 12:00 am GMT)

  • Daniel Vettori vs. Omari Akhmedov
  • Tim Elliott vs. Mark De La Rosa