UFC 225 "PPV" Main-Card
Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero 2
What a fucking rematch one year into the making. I do think that this fight is super close, but I do think Whittaker will be the improved fighter in this fight even though he hasn't fought due to injuries. Yoel Romero could tweak some things about his game plan to conserve his energy, but if he does that then Whittaker should be able to out volume Romero the entire fight. Whittaker proved that he is a hard man to take down, and even more so, to keeping him down is even more of a task. I don't think that we will see much of Romero's wrestling in this fight, because he knows that he will waste so much energy trying to get this to the mat.
The weigh-ins proved to me that Yoel Romero's path to victory is even harder than I actually first thought. You can't ever count the man out of any fight, and he has more than a handful of third round finishes in the UFC. But Whittaker is always alert of danger, and he is always offensive whenever he has the chance to be. Robert Whittaker is the real deal.
Prediction: Robert Whittaker by TKO, Round 4.
Raphael dos Anjos vs. Colby Covington
Rafael dos Anjos loves to press forward with leg kicks and heavy rear leg body kicks. He quickly follows his kicks up with straight punches to the head to back his opponents up. His highly active stand-up has proven to be hard to deal with. He loves to punch to the body and enter the clinch where he proceeds to throw knees to the body. His top game on the ground is phenomenal. He gives a lot of pressure when on top, and is always looking to pass while smothering you. He is active with his strikes while on top, and will lock up a submission if he finds an opening. His takedowns are decent. He’s not the greatest at getting takedowns against the cage, but he can time a nice takedown in the center of the octagon if he catches his opponent off balance. His takedown defense is fairly good, but he can be taken down by very legit wrestlers. It's been years since he has faced a really good wrestler, and he has evolved so much since he has been tested with wrestling, so it's hard to gauge whether or not he will be able to get back to his feet if he were to be taken down in fights.
Colby Covington is going to be a scary man for a lot of the 170 pound division. He pushes a very high pace with pressure and wrestling against the cage. He has shown the ability to out grapple very strong grapplers. His stand-up is very mediocre, but it doesn't stop him from engaging on the feet. Most of his striking attacks are strikes that get his opponents to cover up, and back up. His striking really gets his opponents to react to him so they cannot get any of their offense going while on the feet. Colby likes to throw wild kicks from a distance to keep his opponents away from him, and he likes to throw a high volume of punches. His punches land, but they don't have much power on them. It has been proven that you can have success against Colby on the feet if you press forward. Colby Covington is a monster, and is a hard man to beat in three round fights, but I am curious if he will not be so dominant in five round fights.
This fight is incredible. Colby Covington has really became the "Bad Guy" of the 170 pound division, and to me his trash talk is cringe-worthy. Ultimately, he is doing his job right when he makes people want to watch him lose. Raphael dos Anjos is a true martial artist. He trains his ass off, and has improved from an 0-2 fighter in the UFC to a Former Lightweight Champ, and is now on the quest to capture the Welterweight strap.
RDA is dangerous everywhere this fight takes place, and has a gas tank that allows him to apply a pace in fights that his opponents can't handle. I think Colby can handle that pace, and I think Colby can use his strength to nullify all of RDA's best offense. I just don't think that Colby can sustain that ability the entire 25 minutes. RDA might get controlled against the fence and smothered on the ground, but after a couple of rounds Colby's sloppy technique will get even sloppier. That's where RDA has his chance to shine in this fight, and I think he will make Covington pay. The leg kicks from RDA will pay dividends if he can get them off early. As the fight goes on he needs to work the body with big shots. Eventually that will set up the shots to the head later in the fight when a slowed Covington cannot get this fight to the ground. This will be a very close fight because of the way these two clash, but the five round fight favors RDA in my opinion.
Prediction: Raphael dos Anjos by Decision.
Holly Holm vs. Megan Anderson
I broke this fight down months ago because I seen a lot of people putting their money down on Holm when the odds were first released. Since I can picture how Holly Holm fights will play out depending on how her opponents fight, I had to see what Megan Anderson was all about. After reviewing the tape, I had to agree with my peers that Holly Holm should get the victory.
Megan Anderson is a big and lanky fighter for any woman's division, and she likes to stand and bang with her opponents. She has shown that she improves fight to fight. She is aggressive and has a lot of power in her hands, but that is about all the credit that I can give her heading into this fight. Anderson does not have any footwork, nor does she have a threatening ground game. She likes to plod forward and swing at her opponents with ill intent. That might work in the regional scene, but against a credentialed fighter like Holm, that will not fly.
Holly Holm will most likely use her footwork to keep her range, and use a high volume of kicks. If Anderson rushes forward, Holm will be able to open up with her hands by countering with her straight left. The aggressiveness of Anderson does give me a scare when thinking about the judges scoring this fight, but there is no doubt that Holm is the better fighter.
Prediction: Holly Holm by Decision.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Tai Tuivasa
Andrei Arlovski has been on a roll, beating his recent opponents with a savvy vet style. He has shown that if he uses all of his tools as a martial artist, he can out class a lot of these Heavyweights. But Tai Tuivasa is a banger! I don't think this guy has much cardio and that is where this fight gets interesting, but his aggressive style with the power that he possesses does not look like it will end well form Arlovski. If this fight hits round two, then it will get very interesting to see if Tuivasa can handle fighting for 7-15 minutes. We do not know the answer to that, but we do know that Arlovski can't handle massive punches anymore. Punches will be swinging and one is bound to land.
Prediction: Tai Tuivasa by KO, Round 1.
CM Punk vs. Mike Jackson
I think the UFC misplaced this fight. This is 0-1 vs. 0-1 fight is more suitable for Dana White's Contender Series that is starting back up next Tuesday. Both men have lost to Mickey Gall, and both lost badly. I recently did a poll: "Who's loss to Mickey Gall was worse, CM Punk or Mike Jackson?" The results: 67% of the poll takers said that CM Punk's fight was worse. But I will have to disagree. Even though it was a mauling and CM Punk did not have a single significant moment, Mike Jackson got dropped and then submitted immediately. It doesn't get any worse than being out classed on the feet and on the ground.
We know nothing about these fighters. All we do know is where and who they train with. Knowing that I would have to lean with CM Punk to have some sort of game plan, and a little bit more knowledge on how to beat a guy like Mike Jackson. No one should touch this fight from a betting perspective, and no one should really care about this fight. In the big picture this is a money grab for the UFC, and a slap in the face for all of the fans that purchase UFC pay-per-views monthly.
I just tried to write how I see this fight going down, and it was getting too ridiculous. I will not invest myself any further than I have with this fight. This fight has the potential to be a huge disaster if it lasts 15 minutes, and it will be made into a huge joke against the sport of MMA and the UFC organization across the internet.
Prediction: CM Punk by Decision.
UFC 225 "FOX Sports 1" Prelims
Alistair Overeem vs. Curtis Blaydes
Prediction: Overeem by Decision.
Claudia Gadelha vs. Carla Esparza
Prediction: Gadelha by Decision.
Ricardo Lamas vs. Mirsad Bektic
Prediction: Ricardo Lamas by Submission, Round 3.
Rashad Coulter vs. Chris de la Rocha
Prediction: Chris de la Rocha by KO, Round 2.
UFC 225 "UFC Fight Pass" Prelims
Rashad Evans vs. Anthony Smith
Prediction: Anthony Smith by KO, Round 2.
Joseph Benavidez vs. Sergio Pettis
Prediction: Joseph Benavidez by Decision.
Clay Guida vs. Charles Oliveira
What a pleasure it was to watch tape on both of these guys. Charles Oliveira is one of the scariest submission artists in the game right now. At the young age of 28, he has faced some of the who’s who in both the 155, and 145 divisions, and has been quite successful. In almost every single one of his fights, especially as of late, he has found great success with getting his opponents in bad fight ending positions. His stand up has improved, and his wrestling is very underrated.
Clay Guida has been in this game for a long, long time, and he has fought the who’s who in the UFC for the past 12 years. His stand-up is a wild, fast paced brawl style, but it does set-up his takedowns. The man has heart for days, and will grind his way to a decision if that’s what it takes for him to get the win. If there was any weakness in Guida’s game, it would have to be his submission defense. He can thwart off submission attempts with pure strength, but on a technical standpoint the man is at a huge disadvantage in this specific match-up.
Charles Oliveira is going to look to get this fight down to the ground as soon as possible. He does a great job getting into the clinch position and tripping his opponents down to the mat. He will let his opponents scoot themselves to the fence, so they can use it to stand back up. That’s when he passes to side control and will take his opponents back if they do get back to their feet. Guida is more than capable to scramble his way out of crazy positions, but I just think he’ll eventually get caught. Guida’s best chance is to use his footwork to keep the distance, and then rush in and throw hard hooks like he did with Joe Lauzon. It has been proven that if you can hurt Oliveira then he will mentally quit, and physically fold. Guida has to put doubt into Oliveira’s head, and avoid the ground game until later in the fight. Not many people have escaped the initial submission onslaught of Oliveira, and I don’t think Guida will in this fight.
Prediction: Charles Oliveira by Submission, Round 1.
Mike Santiago vs. Dan Ige
This fight should be a scrap. Both men like to engage in brawl-like type of fights. Mike Santiago seems to be the better striker, and he should be able to land his kicks to Ige’s liver, and he should be able to have success swarming Ige with punches in bunches. But if history repeats itself, Santiago should eventually clinch up with Ige, and that’s where this fight will favor his opponent. Dan Ige is can take a great deal of damage, and will still walk forward for the entire three rounds of the fight. The clinch is where Ige should shine in this fight. He should be able to take control if they are tangled up, and he should be able to snag a takedown here and there. Santiago has good takedown defense if his opponents are shooting in on him in a desperate manner. The one thing that makes me favor Dan Ige in this fight is the fact that he loses dominant position in every scramble that he has on the ground. And by doing that in this fight would mean that he is falling right into Ige’s world.
Both of these guys aren’t world beaters at this point in their careers, but I do see potential in Ige if he can improve to implement his strong points a little better. This fight is a good test to see if Dan Ige can implement his best work against a guy that has shown weakness on the ground. It’s also a great test for Mike Santiago to go out there and show that he has improved since his last two fights, against a guy that wants to get the win in similar fashion. Because Mike Santiago always puts himself in bad positions, I will have to side with Ige to get the win. This is a fight where both guys will have to dig deep in a back and forth type of brawl, and Dan Ige should shine in that type of fight.
Prediction: Dan Ige by Decision.