Gotham welcomes the UFC for the first time….
Friends, we have made it. This weekend is one of the biggest sports weekends of the year as the UFC, the biggest promotion in mixed martial arts comes to the hallowed ground of New York City and fights in one of the greatest fighting arenas of all time, Madison Square Garden. Not only are we getting a card of epic proportions but we are getting not one, not two, but three title fights where we will see two women from the same country duke it out for the straw-weight belt, two young exceptional athletes battle for the welterweight crown, and a young phenom try to do something that no one has done in the UFC’s history. This is my sports to watch and picks for this weekend’s biggest event, UFC 205. Lets get started shall we? Lets focus on some of the biggest fights of the card.
Analysis: On paper, this fight looks to be a boring one. Most people think this fight will be done mostly on the ground, with not alot of standup in this fight. I however think this fight will barely hit the floor. Yoel is looking to solidify his position for a title shot while Weidman has different plans. Weidman is coming into this fight with a mountain of pressure as he was originally supposed to fight against than champion Luke Rockhold at UFC 199, as it was his rematch fight to his lost at UFC 194. Because of injury, he lost his opportunity to fight and it was then given to the current and reigning champion, Michael “The Count” Bisping. On top of that, the New York native is also under the pressure of being a hometown favorite and a champion to get the event here as he was one of the fighters that alongside Dana White, pushed to have the event in New York, but politics kept it from happening until now( I’m not even going to begin with politics after this week). I think that this pressure is going to weigh on Chris, especially seeing how this fight is the second fight of the main card. But I predict….
Prediction: Weidman wins. That pressure can bust pipes or make diamonds, and in Chris’ case, he is walking around with the biggest diamond in middleweight history. He has faced bigger pressure in multiple fights. People forget he only has one loss on his record, but his wins against Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, and Vitor Belfort has shown he is no joke. Sure Yoel is a problem, and he has the knockout power to win this fight, but I’m looking at Weidman’s speed, his power and his history to say he will win this fight. I got Weidman, 2nd round stoppage.
Analysis: Ugh, this is a big toss-up. Pennington is an amazing fighter, and can definitely hold her own against anyone, and while I love her fighting style, she is going up against a pissed off Miesha Tate who is looking to get back into the octagon. Miesha is coming off a big time loss to current champion Amanda Nunes, where she was stopped in the first round. I think this fight is going to be a tough one to call but I predict…
Prediction: Tate wins. I can’t say I’m picking this one-off confidence because I think if Miesha wants to win this fight, she has to take this fight to the ground and smother Raquel the same way she smothered Holly Holm at UFC 196. If Raquel wants to win this fight, she can’t let this fight go to the ground. Miesha, for all intents and purposes, is the second most dangerous woman when it comes to submissions. I think this fight either goes to a submission victory late or a split decision with Tate winning.
Analysis: Look while I’m looking forward to the next two fights we are going to talk about, this fight has the necessary tools to be the best fight of the night. Joanna is an absolute war machine: she can hit you from anywhere and at anytime. To me, she is the UFC’s version of Marvel’s Wolverine: nice person to be around, but an absolute monster in a fight. Now Karolina is no joke herself. She isn’t the fastest fighter but her level of striking will make this an interesting one. If she can keep up or at least match the pace of Joanna’s striking, except an absolute barn burner.
Prediction: Joanna wins via knockout. I would seriously be shocked if this fight goes past the 2nd round. These two women are going to look to put each other away early and while I think Karolina will use leg kicks to keep Joanna at bay, eventually Joanna will sneak inside and get a couple of powerful shots off to beat her. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Joanna decides to say screw it and just pressure her in the first round. Either way, I got Joanna finding a way to get the knockout and win this fight.
Analysis: Have you ever watched the tv show Into the Badlands? Well if you haven’t seen it, check out this clip of the main character Sunny taking on some Nomads. It’s a great show, but this show reminds me of how this fight is going to go. This fight is a fight between two absolutely amazing athletes in their prime. Tyron Woodley has amazing knockout power and everyone knows it, the man carries nuclear bombs in his hands. Meanwhile, Stephen “WonderBoy” Thompson is an absolute martial artist that can hit you with a barrage of kicks and punches to win a fight. This fight is going to purely come down to gas tanks, as both of these men are pure athletes, but who will have the energy in possible later rounds to win it all? I predict…
Prediction: Woodley wins. If Woodley wanted to fight the best in his weight class, this is a great start. Thompson is no doubt someone who will have the title around his waist one of these days but this fight is not going to be the one. Now I mentioned gas tanks in the analysis part and that is why I think Thompson loses. He is going into his first real shot at the title, while Tyron was an absolute underdog against former champion Robbie Lawler and knocked him out cold in one round at UFC 201. During that fight, we also saw a brief glimpse of something new from Woodley in that he paced his energy but was able to release brief bursts to get a KO. I don’t think Thompson is at that level and while he may have the height and a bit of a reach advantage, it wont matter if Woodley is weaving through attacks to hit you. Woodley gets it done in a late stoppage or a unanimous decision.
Analysis: I know that a majority of my readers, and some new ones, are probably going to skip the previous fights I talked about and go directly to this one. So let’s get into it. This fight is quite literally a fight that no one saw coming for two reasons. One is that most people thought that Conor was still hurt after his bona-fide classic of a fight at UFC 202 against Nate Diaz. Personally, the way Conor was walking after the fight, needing crutches and assistance to move his leg was troubling to me. But apparently the injury wasn’t as bad as it was believed to be. Secondly, most people didn’t believe that Eddie Alvarez would be holding the title, and that he would have lost to the former champion, Rafael Dos Anjos. Remember, the original reason Dos Anjos even fought Eddie was because he couldn’t fight the original fight against Conor at UFC 196, therefore Conor fought Nate Diaz, and the rest is history. Now this fight is essentially a bit like the McGregor vs. Mendes fight last year at UFC 189: Striker vs. Wrestler. While Eddie has some superb boxing, his main weapon is getting you to the ground and putting a thousand pounds of pain on you. Eddie will look to use that against Conor. Conor’s main weapon is his striking and movement. No one can argue against that left hand shot, and it has serious power behind it. Conor has had troubles against wrestlers, see the Mendes fight, while Eddie has issues controlling his tempo. But I predict…
Prediction: McGregor wins. Now before writing this piece, I was going to say that Eddie should win this fight because while Conor has faced a wrestler before, he hasn’t faced one like Eddie, who made me a believer after he beat Anthony Pettis, who has the same kind of fighting temperament as Conor. In all actuality, if the Conor before the Nate Diaz loss fought this Eddie, I would be worried. But he isn’t facing that Conor, he is facing a Conor who has just gone through an absolute war with Nate Diaz and wants more. Plus you have to account that Conor wont be as slow as he was in his previous fight as he will be closer to his natural fighting weight, where he was a speed demon at 145. Eddie unfortunately is falling into that same trap that most of McGregor’s opponents fall into: despite his skills they continue to doubt him. Look I will be the first to say that McGregor has no wrestling background but if you try to trade shots with him, it will not be pretty for you. Plus Conor has improved his takedown defense as he only allowed one takedown during the second Diaz fight, and he wore down Diaz to not even attempt takedowns consistently.
And that brings me to the second reason why I have McGregor winning this fight: Eddie’s thoughts on Diaz v. McGregor 2. Now from what I heard, Eddie says that the only reason that Nate lost that fight is because he is a lightweight fighting at welterweight and isn’t that good of a fighter. Eddie needs to have his head checked because Conor jumped from 145 to 170, twice, had two fights and won one of them. Plus Conor was able to land shots on Diaz, who was clearly the taller man. And this also brings me back to my earlier point of this isn’t the old Conor. The Conor McGregor I saw in the second Diaz fight had more poise, more execution and developed The Irish Roll or as I’m now calling it the Iron Double Pint (yeah still not the best name, you can see where I got the name from here). Eddie’s best bet is to try to take Conor to the ground, but is he going to burn through too much energy trying to do so, or will get KO’ed trying it? Either way, I got McGregor winning this fight and become not only the 3rd man to win at multiple weight classes, but the first man to hold two division belts in UFC history.
Well those are my picks, and legitimately I am so looking forward to these fights. What do you think? Leave your comments down below and like you I’ll be witness to a great night of fights.