It’s finally here. One of the biggest UFC pay-per-view events of the year has finally arrived. The event is relatively stacked with high-level fights, and the fight card is headlined by a fantastic rematch between Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero.
Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero
Robert Whittaker became the UFC’s middleweight champion by accident, but that’s not to say that he didn’t deserve it. “The Reaper” won the interim title when he marched past Yoel Romero in a close contest back at UFC 213 in July last year. The victory marked the top of an eight-fight win streak, and his efforts were topped off when he was awarded the UFC Middleweight Championship after Georges St-Pierre vacated the title late in 2017.
As for Romero, although he couldn’t get over the line against Whittaker in their first matchup, he has since destroyed Luke Rockhold – the other top contender in the division – and earned his right to a rematch. Romero is viewed as one of the most feared athletes in the world of martial arts and is renowned for his impressive size, strength, athleticism, and wrestling capabilities. As he displayed against Rockhold, as well, Romero has the patience and ability to send an opponent home with his heavy hands.
If you saw the first fight, you could be excused for thinking: Robert Whittaker defeated Yoel Romero over five rounds even with a banged-up knee, he should be able to win this fight considering he’ll be at full health.
There’s more at play here, however. Whittaker will have to carefully navigate through a potential 25-minute fight with one of the most explosive athletes we’ve ever seen in the UFC.
The smart play is to back Whittaker to get it done again.
Robert Whittaker to win by decision
Bet: Robert Whittaker to win
Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Colby Covington
The interim UFC Welterweight Championship is up for grabs in this co-main event between Rafael Dos Anjos and Colby Covington.
“RDA” has been one of the best lightweight fighters for a very long time, and since moving up to welterweight, he’s been even more terrifying. His three-fight streak has included wins over Tarec Saffiedine, Neil Magny, and then Robbie Lawler. The Magny fight showcased Dos Anjos’ brilliant jiu-jitsu, while the Lawler fight showed that “RDA” is capable of dishing out the punishment while standing; something we’ve seen many times before.
He’ll be facing the controversial Colby Covington, who has risen to new fame considering his desire to attract “haters” and “fans” alike. His trash talk outside the cage has been backed up with brilliant performances while inside it. He shot up the rankings when he defeated Demian Maia at UFC Fight Night 119 in Brazil. His wrestling is about as good as it gets in this division, but his standup leaves a lot to be desired.
“RDA” might melt Covington inside the opening minutes of the fight.
Prediction: Rafael Dos Anjos inside the distance
Bet: Rafael Dos Anjos to win
Holly Holm vs. Megan Anderson
Holly Holm might be the most well-known female star in the UFC today, and she’ll be up against a newcomer to the organization who enters with a track record of excellent performances.
Megan Anderson has been a stand-out martial artist at Invicta FC for quite a while now. Fighting in the featherweight division, Anderson is one of the few high-caliber athletes that have made their way to this division in the UFC. In fact, outside of Holly Holm (whom Cris Cyborg has already defeated), Anderson might have the best chance of anyone at defeating Cyborg and ending her reign as champion.
Despite a challenging run of late, Holly Holm is ready to put it all behind her and send Anderson home early. Holm has lost four of her last five fights, but they have all been against top-quality competition. In particular, Holm lost to Cyborg in her last fight at UFC 219 and lost to Germaine de Randemie and Valentina Shevchenko before then. She was beating Miesha Tate all the way up until the last round at UFC 196, as well.
It’s a tough fight to call, but Holm is a tricky customer and will likely outwork Anderson over five rounds.
Prediction: Holly Holm to win by decision
Bet: Holly Holm to win
Andrei Arlovski vs. Tai Tuivasa
In what is sure to be an action-packed heavyweight bout, Andrei Arlovski will do battle with Tai Tuivasa at UFC 225.
Arlovski, who is a veteran of the sport, has recently bounced back in a big way and managed to string consecutive wins together. His efforts come as somewhat of a surprise, considering he had lost five bouts before his new two-fight win streak. He outworked Junior Albini after a tough opening round to pick up a decision at UFC Fight Night 120 and then backed it up with an impressive performance against Stefan Struve, as well.
Arlovski will be facing one of the most dangerous rising talents in the division when he meets Tuivasa, however. Tuivasa is a power-punching machine who walks forward with vicious intentions and can connect with overwhelming combinations of punches, elbows, and all types of other strikes. Tuivasa is now 2-0 in the UFC and is undefeated as a professional mixed martial artist after nine fights – all by way of KO/TKO.
Prediction: Tai Tuivasa to win inside the distance
Bet: Tai Tuivasa to win
CM Punk vs. Mike Jackson
No, this isn’t a joke. CM Punk will legitimately be entering the UFC’s Octagon for the second time this weekend when he faces Mike Jackson in a welterweight fight.
Punk, who is now 39-years-old, has swapped over from WWE to explore a career as a mixed martial artist and will be fighting for his first-ever win this weekend. Fortunately, his opponent has never won a mixed martial arts bout, as well. Jackson, a 33-year-old sports journalist (seriously), will be stepping in with CM Punk.
Now, to honestly break down this matchup is a nightmare, but let’s do it. CM Punk is bad, and there’s no other way around it. His one strike against Mickey Gall showed the world that Punk doesn’t belong in here with anyone that knows what they are doing. Punk was taken down and hung in there for a little while against Gall (who is a talented grappler). So, Punk is ‘ok’ at jiu-jitsu. He knows what he should be doing. Getting this fight to the mat is Punk’s best chance of victory – especially considering that Mike Jackson is a relatively experienced striker.
Prediction: Mike Jackson to win inside the distance
Bet: Mike Jackson to win
UFC 225 fight card
UFC 225 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 6:15 pm ET (10:15 pm GMT) on Saturday, June 9.
Pay-per-view (10:00 pm ET / 2:00 am GMT)
- Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero
- Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Colby Covington
- Holly Holm vs. Megan Anderson
- Andrei Arlovski vs. Tai Tuivasa
- CM Punk vs. Mickey Gall
FS1 Prelims (8:00 pm ET / 12:00 am GMT)
- Alistair Overeem vs. Curtis Blaydes
- Claudia Gadelha vs. Carla Esparza
- Ricardo Lamas vs. Mirsad Bektic
- Rashad Coulter vs. Chris De La Rocha
UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims (6:30 pm ET / 10:30 pm GMT)
- Rashad Evans vs. Anthony Smith
- Joseph Benavidez vs. Sergio Pettis
- Clay Guida vs. Charles Oliveira
- Mike Santiago vs. Dan Ige