UFC 197 MAIN CARD PREDICTIONS

UFC 197 features some of the UFC’s prolific fighters featuring the return of, possibly, the greatest fighter to step foot in the octagon Jon “Bones” Jones. Jones is fighting the late replacement for Daniel Cormier, up and coming prospect Ovince Saint Preux for the interim Light Heavyweight Title. The main event is accompanied by a second title fight. Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson fights undefeated, Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo for the Flyweight title. In the remaining bouts, ex-Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis attempts to end a two fight losing streak against the always tough Edson Barboza. Middleweight contenders Robert Whittaker and Rafael Natal put their four fight win streaks on the line. Intriguing Featherweight Yair Rodriguez, a walking highlight reel, faces Team Alpha Male product Andre “Touchy” Fili.

Yair Rodriguez vs. Andre Fili

Chad Milburn:

Predicted Winner: Andre Fili by Unanimous Decision: Andre “Touchy” Fili has been a very good prospect who, I feel, has gone under the radar in this fight. I know everyone loves the outlook for Yair Rodriguez, but he eats a lot of punches and loves to fight off his back in full guard. I think it will be a fairly even stand up fight with Fili controlling the majority of the exchanges and grinding out a decision victory. There may be opportunities for Fili to get the finish, but he will play it smart while he is winning on the score cards knowing Rodriguez’s potential to finish a fight with his diverse striking.

Andrew Smolen: 

Predicted Winner: Andre Fili by Stoppage in the 2nd Round: Although Fili is the underdog here, he has been impressive in his professional fights and I fully expect him to win this. The only way Yair Rodriguez is to win is if he takes it to a decision, otherwise I see the Team Alpha Male product running this fight and getting a stoppage in the 2nd round.

Robert Whittaker vs. Rafael Natal

Chad Milburn:

Predicted Winner: Robert Whittaker by 3rd Round TKO: Robert Whittaker is going to be looking to his name thrown around for a title shot or at least a number one contender fight after this fight. He is the overall better athlete, being faster and stronger than Natal. He will take this fight wherever he wants to, blasting him with strikes or out wrestling the crafty Brazilian. Natal, will be worn out and beat up by the third round and Whittaker will go for a big finish and he will get the finish.

Andrew Smolen:

Predicted Winner: Rafael Natal by Split Decision: In what on paper is the closest fight of the main card, I again have the underdog, Natal, squeaking out a win via split decision. I think that its unfair to count either of these fighters out as they both are coming off of a nice win streak they built up but I think Natal’s added height and 2.5 inch reach advantage will help here just barely win.

Anthony Pettis vs. Edson Barboza

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Anthony Pettis is looking to regain his title form Saturday night against Edson Barboza.

Chad Milburn:

Predicted Winner: Anthony Pettis by 2nd Round KO: Anthony Pettis will be looking for another highlight reel finish to add to his collection to get back into the Lightweight title picture Saturday night. He is coming off of back to back loses and seems as hungry as ever, going to Arizona to train with Greg Jackson and notable Lightweight contender Donald Cerrone. Edson Barboza is a great fighter standing and on the mat, but he will be facing the best Anthony Pettis we will have seen. Pettis will be much more assertive on foot, moving forward unlike his last two fights and controlling the fight. I do not see this fight going to the mat. Pettis will dictate the pace and look as great as ever, eventually getting a finish in the second round against Edson Barboza.

Andrew Smolen:

Predicted Winner: Anthony Pettis by 2nd Round KO: Barboza doesn’t stand a chance in my view. I think he fights through and just barely survives through the first round, trying to clench and take Pettis down as much just for a rest from all of the blows he is taking. Pettis, seeing that comes out strong in the second and finish him off quickly.

Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo

Chad Milburn:

Predicted Winner: Demetrious Johnson by Unanimous Decision: I think Henry Cejudo will surprise a lot of people Saturday night, including Mighty Mouse. Cejudo definitely knows how to rise to the occasion when the spotlight is on him, being a gold medalist in wrestling. However, Demetrious is just too technical and pushes a rapid pace that does not slow down over a 5 round fight. Demetrious will get taken down a couple times and Cejudo will even win a round or two. In the end, however, Mighty Mouse Johnson will come out on top as us fighting fans have been accustomed to see him doing since the beginning of the UFC Flyweight division.

 

Andrew Smolen:

Predicted Winner: Demetrious Johnson by Unanimous Decision: Demetrious Johnson hailed the way Floyd Mayweather Jr. fought, this being hit and don’t be hit. Although many will say it is a less interesting point, Johnson made a sound point saying to him its not about entertaining all of us, but taking care of himself and his business. Once again Mighty Mouse will stay cruising through they Flyweight division, where we haven’t seen a very good contender to him in quite some time.

Jon Jones vs. Ovince Saint Preux

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As you can see, Jones has really taken his suspension seriously, becoming a monster in the weight room. Here he is deadlifting 585 lbs.

Chad Milburn:

Predicted Winner: Jon Jones by 3rd Round Submission: Ovince Saint Preux will definitely surprise a lot of people early in this fight. His 80″ reach will give Jones problems just like Gustafsson’s did at UFC 165. Saint Preux is very athletic and has some decent take down defense using his strength and athleticism. However, the tall task of fighting Jon Jones off of his one year hiatus will prove too much for Saint Preux. It will be a competitive fight, but look for Jon to control the action standing and on the mat. Ovince does hold his hands very low and with Jon’s new dedication to lifting weights, that could mean trouble for Saint Preux. Bottom line, Jon will tire out Ovince like Glover Teixeira did when they fought and get the finish a couple rounds into the fight.

Andrew Smolen:

Predicted Winner: Jon Jones by 2nd Round Submission: Saint Preux may, in a year or two be the biggest threat to Jon Jones’ title than anybody we have ever seen, but he is not that finished product yet. This may cause an uproar among all those who LOVE Daniel Cormier, but teach OSP how to work better on the mat and pace himself in fights and he will be a much better fighter. Until then I don’t see anybody but Gustafsson giving Jon Jones a run for his money in his reclamation of the title, including Daniel Cormier. Ovince will gas himself in the first round in this fight, being it for a title Jon Jones will know how to pace himself, and with OSP gassed in the second get the takedown and submission.

UFC Fight Night 85 Main Card Predictions

By: Chad Milburn

 

UFC Fight Night 85 should be a very entertaining card for the fans. I mean who would not want to watch Frank Mir trade blows with Mark Hunt, even if they are getting up in age? And say what you want about both of these men, but Neil Magny has recently been holding up well with some tough Welterweight competition and Hector Lombard is one of the hardest hitters in the division. Not to mention, this is all on Fox Sports 1 for free. The rest of the main card features a lot of exciting up and coming talents in the UFC, making it a very intriguing overall card. A lot of questions will be answered. But now that I am done hyping you up, onto the predictions.

 

Seo Hee Ham vs. Bec Rawlings

Ham enters this Straw weight bout coming off her first UFC win in Korea over Cortney Casey, while Bec “Rowdy” Rawlings is also coming off of her first UFC win over Lisa Ellis. Ham seems to be a quicker striker with more accuracy and less power. She is more of a natural atom weight (105 lbs) while Rawlings is a bigger straw weight fighter.Rawlings is a crafty grappler who will have her home country support in this fight.

Rawlings will be the much bigger fighter and will take down Ham and control the fight keeping Ham on her back. Ham will get worn down by the pressure from Rawlings and will get submitted near the end of the fight after getting beat up on her back for the entirety of the fight.

Final Prediction: Rawling by 3rd Round Submission

 

James Te Huna vs. Steve Bosse

Any match up with Steve Bosse is destined for fireworks. James Te Huna is off almost  a two year hiatus from injuries and returns to fight Bosse who lost his UFC debut to Thiago Santos by head kick. Bosse is 10-2 with 9 KO/TKO victories and Te Huna brings in a 3 fight losing streak from before he encountered injury set backs.

Bosse will come out swinging as always, but Te Huna will be able to avoid these big punches and get the better of the exchanges with Bosse, whos chin may be a bit weaker since suffering the KO to Santos. Bosse will keep coming back trying to find that knockout punch, but eventually Te Huna will catch him and end the fight early.

Final Prediction: Te Huna by 1st Round KO

 

Daniel Kelly vs. Antonio Carlos Jr.

A Middleweight bout with a very diverse stylistic match up. Native Australian Daniel Kelly is well known for his success in Judo. Antonio Carlos Jr. is a great Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner, so it is a safe bet this fight will end up on the mat. Carlos Jr.’s last fight was a no contest due to an eye poke, but before that he defeated Eddie “Truck” Gordon. Kelly is coming off a rather uneventful decision victory at UFC 193.

Carlos Jr. will be the bigger, faster, and stronger fighter as Kelly has really shown that he is closing in on 40 in his previous fights. Carlos Jr. will control all of the scrambles and any action that happens standing up as well. However, Carlos Jr. will take this fight to the mat quick and end the fight early on.

Final Prediction: Carlos Jr. by 1st Round Submission

 

Johnny Case vs. Jake Matthews

This may actually be the most intriguing fight on the entire card. Both of these fighters are very young and have shown a ton of promise inside the octagon. Case is on a 12 fight win streak dating back to January of 2011 and is 4-0 in the octagon during this time. Case has very creative stand up finding many good angles to throw strikes while also using deceptive movements to stay out of harms way. Matthews is a huge prospect fighting in his home country of Australia. He is only 21 but has already fought in 4 UFC bouts going 3-1. He has a very great ground game and an also impressive, but not as noticed, stand up.

Matthews will try to suffocate Case with his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but Case will be fast enough to avoid Matthews’ ground game for most of this fight. Case will also establish to be the faster and more creative striker and control the tempo of this fight. He will not land many big shot, but he will land enough shots to get a victory.

Final Prediction: Case by Unanimous Decision

 

Neil Magny vs. Hector Lombard

This fight really just has people asking who is “for real” in a rather stacked Welterweight division that has a lot of current excitement in it. Can Neil Magny deal with Lombard’s power and maybe even get an exciting finish of his own? Can Lombard sustain a winning streak in the UFC against top opponents and stay out of trouble while doing so? Magny had a very impressive 7 fight win streak going in the UFC before getting pulverized by Demian Maia at UFC 190, but he quickly rebounded with two split decision victories over Erick Silva and Kelvin Gastelum.

This fight is a great battle of intriguing and very different styles. Magny is by far a better technical fighter, but Lombard hits hard enough to end the fight at any time. I think this will be a very close contest, but eventually Lombard will rock Magny and that will be the end of the fight.

Final Prediction: Lombard by 2nd Round TKO

 

Frank Mir vs. Mark Hunt

This fight, just like many in the heavyweight division can go either way, as the striking power of these two men is enough to put a man to sleep in an instant. Mark Hunt is coming off a TKO against Bigfoot Silva at UFC 193, but after two devastating losses that had people thinking that his first war with Silva weakened his chin, but it could just be the fact he was fighting the two men who are now currently going to fight for the UFC Heavyweight title in Fabricio Werdum and Stipe Miocic. Frank Mir had a sneaky two fight KO win streak that had people thinking he could be vying for the title that he once owned. Then he had a major setback in a highly anticipated fight that ended with him losing a rather boring, but close decision to Andrei Arlovski.

I think Mark Hunt comes out swinging for the fences in front of his Australian home crowd hoping for the big KO to end this fight. Mir will avoid Hunt’s devastating strikes and Mir will find that Hunt is rather tired after the first round. He will then shake off the bad performance he had against Andrei Arlovski at UFC 191 and land some big punches on Hunt and get the stoppage in the second round.

Final Prediction: Mir by 2nd Round TKO