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

UFC on Fox 26: Robbie Lawler vs. Rafael dos Anjos

Winnipeg, Canada, will host its second-ever UFC event this weekend as the city prepares for UFC on FOX 26: Robbie Lawler vs. Rafael dos Anjos.

Lawler and dos Anjos headline what is sure to be a thrilling card filled with premium mixed martial arts action. “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler will be looking to make it two wins in a row by defeating “RDA”. Lawler most recently competed against Donald Cerrone at UFC 214 and won the contest via unanimous decision after a powerful first round. The win was the first for Lawler after he was defeated by Tyron Woodley at UFC 201.

Dos Anjos is a fighter who is quickly climbing the UFC’s welterweight division. After making the jump up a weight class, dos Anjos has looked terrific with dominant performances against Tarec Saffiedine and Neil Magny. “RDA” is truly something else now that he doesn’t have to drain his body with a bad weight cut down to the 155 lbs limit.

Ricardo Lamas will face Josh Emmett in the co-main event. Emmett is stepping up on short notice after Jose Aldo filled in for Frankie Edgar just recently. This serves as a huge jump up in skill-level for Emmett, who despite his 12-1 record, has yet to face an opponent of Lamas’ capabilities. Lamas has picked up two fantastic stoppages against Charles Oliveira and Jason Knight to start another win streak in the UFC.

Just before that, Santiago Ponzinibbio will compete with Mike Perry in a heavy-handed welterweight duel. Both Ponzinibbio and Perry are in blazing hot form right now with the former making it five in a row after an impressive first round stoppage victor of Gunnar Nelson. Perry, on the other hand, has bounced back after losing to Alan Jouban to score two consecutive wins via KO/TKO.

And to kick-off the main card, Glover Teixeira and Misha Cirkunov will stand toe-to-toe in an important light heavyweight battle between two fighters looking to redeem themselves. Teixeira was just torched by Alexander Gustafsson in Sweden and will need to get a win here if he wants any kind of momentum. For Cirkunov, he had always looked like he was going to be a serious threat to the top contenders in the division but then he was destroyed by Volkan Oezdemir in just 28 seconds on that same card in Sweden.

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Predictions and Best Bets

Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Mike Perry

This is a match-up that could go either of two ways. Either Ponzinibbio or Perry will land cleanly and finish the fight so early that we still don’t get a good understanding of what they can really do, or the two might just slug it out to a bizarre decision.

If we are backing someone to get an early finish, it has to be Mike Perry. Perry has natural ‘brawler insinct’ and can turn even the most technical of fights into straight-up slugfests. Yes, Alan Jouban picked him apart from the outside but Ponzinibbio isn’t a replica of Jouban.

We’re not underrating Ponzinibbio and his power. Rather, this is a very close fight between two heavy-hitters. This time, we’ll be taking the underdog.

Bet: Mike Perry to win
Odds: +164 ($2.64 or 41/25)

UFC on Fox 26 fight card

UFC on Fox 26 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 4:00 pm ET (9:00pm GMT) on Saturday, December 16.

Main Card

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

  • Robbie Lawler (-102) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (-105)
  • Ricardo Lamas (-260) vs. Josh Emmett (+226)
  • Santiago Ponzinibbio (-180) vs. Mike Perry (+164)
  • Glover Teixeira (+133) vs. Misha Cirkunov (-137)

Prelims

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

  • Jan Blachowicz vs. Jared Cannonier
  • Julian Marquez vs. Darren Stewart
  • Chad Laprise vs. Galore Bofando
  • Tim Elliott vs. Pietro Menga
  • John Makdessi vs. Abel Trujillo
  • Alessio Di Chirico vs. Oluwale Bamgbose

Fight Pass Prelims

UFC Fight Pass (4:00 pm ET / 9:00 pm GMT)

  • Jordan Mein vs. Erick Silva
  • Nordine Taleb vs. Danny Roberts

UFC Fight Night 123: Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega

Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega

The UFC heads to Fresno, California, for UFC Fight Night 123 with 13 thrilling bouts ready to take place on Saturday, December 9.

The event is headlined by a superb featherweight contest between fan-favorite Cub Swanson (25-7) and the rising Brian Ortega (12-0). Ortega, who is yet to be defeated in his career, has won four-straight contests in the UFC via third-round stoppage. As strange as it seems, Ortega is seemingly capable of turning his game up a level in the dying moments of a contest in order to secure a victory. This was vital against Clay Guida at UFC 199, a contest that Ortega was likely losing until the managed to finish Guida with 20 seconds remaining.

There’s no doubting that Cub Swanson is his toughest test to date, however.

After losing to Frankie Edgar and Max Holloway, Swanson has re-emerged as a top contender with four-straight victories. The most notable of these victories was an impressive performance against “The Korean Superboy” Doo Ho Choi at UFC 206 in which he won a unanimous decision. In fact, Swanson has won all four of his prior bouts via unanimous decision.

In the co-main event, Jason Knight (20-3) will face Gabriel Benitez (19-7) in a battle of two featherweights. Knight, who is known for his exciting trash-talking and in-your-face style recently had his four-fight winning streak snapped by Ricardo Lamas at UFC 214. With impressive wins over Daniel Hooker, Alex Caceres and Chas Skelly, Knight had worked himself into the UFC’s featherweight rankings and remains at #15 for this contest.

After featuring in The Ultimate Fighter Latin America Season 1, Benitez has struggled to find success in the UFC. His most recent wins over Clay Collard and Sam Sicilia were outdone by losses to Andre Fili and Enrique Barzola.

One of the most exciting matchups of the entire event is the intriguing contest between Aljamain Sterling and Marlon Moraes to determine bantamweight supremacy. Sterling, who was scheduled to fight Rani Yahya, was left without an opponent once Yahya announced his injury. Now, Moraes steps up to the plate not long after defeating John Dodson at UFC Fight Night 120. The winner of this contest will surely be boosted up near the top tier of the bantamweight rankings.

Rounding out the main card, Eryk Anders (9-0) will battle Markus Perez (9-0) in a fight between two undefeated middleweights. Benito Lopez (8-0) enters the UFC after featuring on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series to face Albert Morales (7-2-1). Scott Holtzman (10-2) and Darrell Horcher (13-2) will also stand toe-to-toe in a contest between two lightweights.

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Predictions and Best Bets

Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega

Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega is sure to be a main event to remember.

Swanson and his seamless striking combinations will be tested by Ortega’s growing stand-up game and excellent jiu-jitsu.

Despite Ortega’s brilliant skills on the mat, he is never shy of a striking contest. “T-City” recently took many of Renato Moicano’s best strikes and continued to march forward before scoring his fourth third-round finish.

His forward-moving approach will match up well with Swanson, who prefers to fight while advancing. While moving backward, he isn’t as dangerous and Ortega can comfortably storm forward at Swanson without fear of being taken down.

While Swanson’s jiu-jitsu is to be respected, Ortega’s guard skills are on an entirely new level.

It’s just a matter of whether or not Ortega can get the finish. If he can’t, Swanson should be able to land enough strikes to convince the judges to side with him.

This fight is about as competitive as it gets, but we are certain that there is a betting edge on Cub Swanson going into this contest.

Bet: Cub Swanson to win
Odds: -110 (10/11, $1.90)

UFC Fight Night 123 fight card

UFC Fight Night 123 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 6:30 pm (11:30pm GMT) ET on Saturday, December 9.

Main Card

FS1 (10:00 pm ET / 3:00 am GMT)

  • Cub Swanson (-110) vs. Brian Ortega (+110)
  • Jason Knight (-265) vs. Gabriel Benitez (+250)
  • Marlon Moraes (-157) vs. Aljamain Sterling (+151)
  • Scott Holtzman (+100) vs. Darrell Horcher (-106)
  • Eryk Anders (-268) vs. Markus Perez (+237)
  • Albert Morales (-108) vs. Benito Lopez (-104)

Prelims

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

  • Alexis Davis vs. Liz Carmouche
  • Luke Sanders vs.  Andre Soukhamthath
  • Carls John De Tomas vs. Alex Perez
  • Frankie Saenz vs. Merab Dvalishvili

Fight Pass Prelims

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

  • Alejandro Perez vs. Iuri Alcantara
  • Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Davi Ramos
  • Antonio Braga Neto vs. Trevin Giles