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
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.
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
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