On December 10th, UFC Fight Night: Namajunas vs. VanZant will kick off a wild week of fights in the UFC, which includes three events in three days. As stated, UFC Fight Night: Namajunas vs. VanZant will start us off, then the following day will feature the TUF Finale: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber, which is headlined by Frankie Edgar against Chad Mendes. Lastly, the most anticipated fight of the year will finally take place, as UFC superstar Conor McGregor faces off against Featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo at UFC 194. The stacked card also includes a Middleweight Title fight, as the champion Chris Weidman looks to defend his title against challenger Luke Rockhold, as well a number one contender fight in the Middleweight division, pitting Yoel Romero against Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. It doesn’t get any better than this as a fight fan!
To the PREDICTIONS!
Originally, Paige VanZant was set to headline against Joanne Calderwood, in an intriguing fight. However, Calderwood got hurt and in stepped “Thug” Rose Namajunas, which didn’t downgrade the main event at all. Calderwood would of been a stiff test, but Rose Namajunas is a scrapper and will be willing to throw down. I expect the pace of this fight to be off the charts, as well as the number one determining factor in who wins. Which, I’m going to side with Paige VanZant, who has showed to keep a relentless pace for three rounds, albeit this is a five round fight. Namajunas is a crafty finisher, who has won all three of her fights by submission, two in the first round. Namajunas has only had one decision in her short career, which was a defeat to Tecia Torres. I believe this fight won’t be contested on the feet, as I think VanZant will use volume and pressure to back Namajunas up by the cage, where she will inflict damage via clinch work and ultimately takedowns. As far as this fight going the distance, I’m honestly can’t see it with the pace I expect. This fight maybe goes 4 rounds, but ultimately I’m siding with the victor to be Paige VanZant.
As for the rest of the card, I’m going to be brief!
UFC Fight Night 80 Main Card (10 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: Jim Miller vs. Mike Chiesa – Tough fight to call, but I think Chiesa’s lengthy limbs will be a problem for Miller when it comes to grappling.
155 lbs.: Sage Northcutt vs. Cody Pfister – This is just a stepping stone in the the UFC’s building up of Northcutt.
185 lbs.: Thiago Santos vs. Elias Theodorou – Santos is dangerous on the feet, but Theodorou will take him down at will.
UFC Fight Night 80 Prelims (7 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: John Howard vs. Tim Means – Awesome fight, but I’m siding with the “Dirty Bird” to use his reach advantage to pick apart Howard.
170 lbs.: Omari Akhmedov vs. Sergio Moraes – I think Akhmedov avoids Moraes on the ground and picks him apart on the feet.
185 lbs.: Kevin Casey vs. Antonio Carlos Junior – Casey is a strong starter, but Carlos Junior is durable and will finish this late.
145 lbs.: Johnny Eduardo vs. Aljamain Sterling – Sterling has been waiting to fight forever and is going to let that anger vent out on Eduardo.
170 lbs.: Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Andreas Stahl – Ponzinibbio bounces back here after showing promise against Lorenz Larkin.
170 lbs.: Nathan Coy vs. Danny Roberts – Coy is a vet, but on late notice I don’t like his chances against an the athletic striker Danny Roberts.
145 lbs.: Phillipe Nover vs. Zubaira Tukhugov – Nover’s last fight left nothing to be desired and Tukhugov is way better than his last opponent.
115 lbs.: Kailin Curran vs. Emily Kagan – Curran is going to put pressure and pace Kagan can’t sustain for three rounds.