It’s finally here! UFC 200 is finally here!
No, Conor McGregor isn’t on the card. Jon Jones isn’t either, and the two have nobody to blame but themselves. But you know what is on the main card? A pair of Heavyweight slugfests, including a pair of former UFC champions. And everyone’s favorite, the #1 party guy, Mark Hunt.
There’s two title fights, including a women’s title fight to headline the the card, as the third main event shift on the card in a 24-hour span. Aldo/Edgar 2 is finally happening, and since it’s hard to believe that McGregor will ever return to 145, the Fight might as well be for the real, and not the interim belt.
As for Daniel Cormier? He might not be facing his fierce rival, but he faces the legendary Anderson Silva instead. Will it be sad? Possibly. Or, it could be one of the most beautiful upsets in MMA history, on the biggest card ever.
Anyways, enough chit chat! Here are my picks for what is still one of the most unique main cards ever.
Main card (10/9c, PPV)
(2) Cain Velasquez (13-2) vs. (7) Travis Browne (18-3-1)
Well, who would’ve thought Cain Velasquez would’ve made it to fight night? Fighting for the first time since losing his title last June, and just the second time since 2013, the former Division 1 wrestling star and UFC champion will look to get things going again, in hopes of his 12th career knockout.
As for Browne, things have been better for him in the past. He’s reviled by many due to domestic violence accusations, his relationship with Ronda Rousey, and his dirty actions against Matt Mitrione have made him come off as utterly despicable. He has 14 knockout wins, but hasn’t has a winning streak since 2013. He’s also facing the best fighter he’s taken on since losing to Fabricio Werdum in 2014. He can end the fight with a single punch, but I’m going with the former champ. Prediction: Velasquez via knockout, round 1.
UFC Interim Featherweight championship: (1) Jose Aldo (25-2) vs (2) Frankie Edgar (20-4-1)
Up next is a rematch over three years in the making, as former longtime WEC and UFC Featherweight champion Jose Aldo returns for the first time since his 13-second knockout loss to Conor McGregor last December. The loss snapped his 18-fight winning streak, shot his confidence, and nobody knows what to expect from him.
Meanwhile, Edgar is on a roll. He deserved a title fight against McGregor. He’s won five straight since losing three straight controversial championship decisions, and looks as good as ever. The former Lightweight Champion has ten decision wins and four decision losses, but also has six knockout and four submission wins.
Honestly, this fight sucks to predict. I’ve been a fan of both men for years. They both deserve to be champions. They also gave each other one of the toughest fights of their careers. What does Aldo have left in the tank? Is all his confidence gone? Is WEC Aldo going to return with a vengeance? Or is his chin shattered, and he’ll get knocked out? I have no idea. Regsrdless of who wins, I hope the loser gets a shot within a year too. Gut pick: Edgar via 48-47 decision. Heart pick: Aldo by decision.
(#5MW) Anderson Silva (33-7, 1NC) vs. (LHW C) Daniel Cormier (17-1)
Big ups to Anderson Silva for stepping up on two days notice, just shortly after gallbladder surgery, in a fight where he’s likely to get rag-dolled.
I don’t need to go over the accomplishments of either man. It would take too long, and everyone knows of their accolades already. One is a legend, the other is the undisputed UFC Light Heavyweight champion. Both are class acts, and deserve credit for taking the fight.
If Silva stuns everyone and wins, it will be one of the most memorable upsets in MMA history, on the biggest card ever. But, I can’t let that cloud my logic. I’m expecting a mauling, and it seems like Silva is too. I’ll root for chaos and magic, but I’m not going to predict it. Prediction: Cormier via ragdolling, round 1.
Brock Lesnar (5-3) vs. (8) Mark Hunt (12-10-1)
Brock Lesnar is back! That news almost destroyed Ariel Helwani’s career, but it’s all good for now. And yes, a pair of Heavyweights with a combined record of 17-13-1 will co-headline the biggest card ever. But, one is a WWE superstar who is also the biggest draw in UFC history, and the other is a lovable walkoff ko machine, so it’s okay, I guess.
One of two things will happen here. Either Lesnar will land takedowns and utilize ground n’ pound to win via tko or submission, or Hunto will give us another walkoff ko to remember. Seeing how diverticulitis can’t be blamed for Lesnar’s last loss, which was five years ago. He can win, but my head and heart won’t let me pick against Hunto here. Prediction: Hunt via knockout, round 1.
(C) Miesha Tate (18-5) vs. (4) Amanda Nunes (12-4)
First off let me just say that I love this. I know that not everyone does, but as a huge fan of Women’s MMA, the fact that a pair of women’s fights are headlining the prelim and main card portions of the main card have me feeling giddy!
Let’s get to the bottom of this fight. No deciphering records, or anything like that. Why? Because this fight seems clear as day. Nunes will attack early, and if she can finish quickly, that’s her shot. If not, she’ll gas out like she usually does, and Miesha will take over by the middle rounds. I see the latter happening, with Tate winning via sub in the fourth. An upset would be a memorable ending to such a card, but I won’t be predicting that. Prediction: Tate via submission, round 4.