UFC 216 should be nothing short of spectacular.
The main event features an exciting UFC Interim Lightweight Championship bout in which the winner of Tony Ferguson (-200) and Kevin Lee (+190) will realistically be awarded with an opportunity to Conor McGregor. McGergor, the current UFC lightweight champion, has recently expressed interest in returning to the cage to defend his title.
The co-main event matchup sees Demetrious Johnson (-1000) square off with Ray Borg (+760) in an attempt to break Anderson Silva’s record of ten consecutive title defenses. Johnson tied the record with a win over Wilson Reis earlier this year and if he defeats Borg at UFC 216, he’ll likely sit in the history books of the UFC forever.
Also on the main card is an exciting heavyweight bout between Fabricio Werdum (-225) and Derrick Lewis (+215). The pairing of Werdum and Lewis will make for an instantly entertaining matchup as they both bring unique styles and abilities with them to the octagon.
The first fight of the main card will be an intriguing lightweight battle between Beneil Dariush (-225) and Evan Dunham (+211). Both Dariush and Dunham are desperately trying to crack into the UFC’s top ten rankings for the lightweight division.
Up-and-coming prospects also feature on UFC 216 in Las Vegas when Tom Duquesnoy stands toe-to-toe with fellow prospect Cody Stamann. Talented flyweight Magomed Bibulatov will also face his toughest test to date when he steps inside the cage with John Moraga.
Predictions and Best Bets
Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee
Want a hot tip? This fight is going to be amazing.
Tony Ferguson, one of the most feared lightweights in all of mixed martial arts, has been clawing his way to a title shot for years now. He’s eventually arrived at the top end of the division and would be a certain challenger for the UFC Lightweight Championship; however Conor McGregor is away from the sport temporarily. The UFC, in recognition of Fergusons’ efforts have created an interim title for him to contend for and he’ll meet Kevin Lee in the main event as a result.
While Ferguson earned his right to contend at the top, Kevin Lee may have just talked his way into this fight. When the two engaged in a heated argument moments after Lee defeated Michael Chiesa via rear-naked choke, the UFC must have been licking their lips. Now, in the lead up to the fight, all the UFC want to show us is the relentless back-and-forth trash talk that these two fighters have been spraying.
Tony Ferguson is a freakishly good mixed martial artist. There’s nothing traditional about his style, either. He uses all sorts of wacky techniques such as inversions, knee bars and unique sprawl attempts to keep his opponent busy. Kevin Lee, on the other hand, is about as traditional as can be. Lee wrestles opponents to the mat before beating them up and submitting them with a rear-naked choke.
There are plenty of things to consider in this matchup, and while Tony Ferguson may have a clear edge in this matchup it might not be by as much as the bookmakers are making it out to be.
Ferguson will have fight-changing moments on the feet, but it may just take one small mistake for Kevin Lee to shoot in underneath one of Ferguson’s spinning attacks and secure a double leg takedown.
Take the underdog in this one and bet on Kevin Lee to win by submission.
Bet: Kevin Lee to win
Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg
Demetrious Johnson is so far above the rest of the flyweights in the UFC that it’s kind of ridiculous.
Time and time again, Johnson has dominated opponents. It’s not an all-out brutality via relentless assault, though. Instead, Johnson is a defensive mastermind and ensures that he gives damage while not taking any. In fact, his last opponent, Wilson Reis, struggled to connect with “Mighty Mouse” and landed approximately 15% of his attempted strikes.
Ray Borg is no easy task for Demetrious Johnson, however. Borg has an insane ability to scramble out of bad positions – probably better than anyone else in the UFC. Even expert jiu-jitsu specialist Jussier Formiga wrapped up Borg from the back in their last fight but Borg scrambled out of the position with ease.
Both Demetrious Johnson and Ray Borg fight with a slow pace as they tend to get a read on their opponent and measure their timing. The first round or two may start exactly the same, but once Demetrious Johnson gets going, its game over. Borg may remain competitive for the first ten minutes as he outscrambles and tries to counter Demetrious Johnson, but Johnson will pick up the pace as soon as he feels confident and by the third round, “Mighty Mouse” should have this one all wrapped up.
In reality, it may take Demetrious Johnson less than five minutes to dispatch of Ray Borg – especially if he wants to put a stamp on his record-breaking performance.
Bet: Total Rounds – Under 4.5
UFC 216 card
UFC 216 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 6:30pm ET on Saturday, October 7
PPV (10pm ET /)
- Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee
- Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg
- Fabricio Werdum vs. Derrick Lewis
- Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham
FX (8pm ET /)
- Tom Duquesnoy vs. Cody Stamann
- Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz
- Lando Vannata vs. Bobby Green
- Pearl Gonzalez vs. Poliana Botelho
Fight Pass Prelims
UFC Fight Pass (6:30 pm ET /)
- Walt Harris vs. Mark Godbeer
- John Moraga vs. Magomed Bibulatov
- Thales Leites vs. Brad Tavares
- Matt Schnell vs. Marco Beltran