Oh, what a hellacious beating this once great looking card has taken. First, the initial and highly anticipated title eliminator headliner was scrapped because Tony Ferguson, not Khabib, got hurt. Then, Hendo/Machida 2 was removed because of Machida finding out he took a recently banned substance, and a preliminary bout was taken away for the same reason. Now, the main card has lost that “must-watch” luster. It’s still a decent slate, and here are my picks for tonight’s main card.
Main card (8/7c, FOX)
Cub Swanson vs. Hacran Dias
This fight is truly scintillating. Dias has been good for a long time, but tends to wilt against high-level competition. Technically, that means this matchup wouldn’t have been made a few years ago. But, that’s not the case anymore. Swanson seems to have lost a step, and this is a much more even fight. My gut tells me he still has what it takes to win this fight. But, I’m still picking Dias. Head: Dias. Gut: Swanson
Darrell Horcher vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib is back! After two years away due to injury, the man who last defeated Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos (in dominant fashion) has finally returned. No, it’s not against Tony Ferguson as expected. But, it’s still a fight. It’s a tune-up, as it should be for someone who’s been out for so long. Horcher’s no joke, being 12-1 and the CFFC champion. But, even with ring rust , I think Khabib will decision him. Prediction: Nurmagomedov via decision.
Rose Namajunas vs. Tecia Torres
After all the turmoil this main card has had to deal with, this is the only bout that is still intact on the main card. Now bumped up to the co-main slot, it’s a rematch of a fight from three years ago, and is now being viewed as the “people’s main event.” It’ll be tough, scrappy and fun. Last time, Torres won via point fighting decision, as she normally does. Maybe she does it again. For the sake of entertainment, I’ll pick Rose. Prediction: Namajunas via submission, round 2.
Glover Teixeira vs. Rashad Evans.
This is your main event everyone. It would’ve made perfect sense – in 2013. Now, Rashad hasn’t looked good since late that year, in what was his only good performance since 2012. Sure, if he can wrestle Teixeira down and grind through the fight, he can win. But, if not, he’ll fall. It’ll be one of those two scenarios. Prediction: Glover via late tko or Evans via smothering decision.