A week after the Korean Zombie returned to the octagon after a 3 year layoff, successfully knocking out top contender Dennis Bermudez, the UFC is back in action in Brooklyn, New York. The event will be the UFC’s first in Brooklyn and second in New York since the ban of mix martial arts was lifted.
Headlining the card, is a Championship fight for the inaugural UFC Women’s Featherweight Belt between former Women’s Bantamweight Champion Holly Holm and kickboxing superstar Germaine de Randamie. The introduction of the 145 lbs. Women’s division was meant for the kingpin “Cyborg” Santos, but she turned down several fights citing that her body needed more time. Then, a failed drug test appears, potentially shelving her for a year. Let’s just say, the UFC is probably not happy about the transpiration of events, considering the only reason this division was created was for Cyborg.
Co-Headlining the card, the dubbed “Greatest of All-Time” Anderson Silva returns the octagon against Middleweight contender Derek Brunson. Silva, seeks his first victory since 2012. His last five fights, have resulted in four defeats, two by knockout and a victory over Nick Diaz turned no contest due to a positive drug test. As for Brunson, he will look to get back in the win column, while also adding his biggest win to date. Previous to his last fight, in which he was defeated by Robert Whittaker, he had a five-fight win streak. And four of those wins came via knockout in the first round.
Anyways, let’s just get to the predictions.
UFC 208 PPV Main Card (10 p.m. ET):
145 pounds: Holly Holm vs. Germaine de Randamie for inaugural women’s Featherweight title – This fight seems to being getting a lot of flack for being the main event, but i love it. You got two kickboxers, so this one mainly should be contested on the feet. Holm, is more of a counter puncher and she is very technical in her approach. de Randamie, is more of a power puncher, who will attack the body to open up the knockout. In other words, I doubt this one is going to the distance.
As for a prediction, I have Holm. The former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion is a very cerebral fighter. She has great kickboxing skills and is improving in the grappling department offensively and defensively. She has also been in several five round fights and is more than capable of sustaining a solid pace and having the cardio to last five. de Randamie is not a very active fighter and while she might have the edge on the feet with her knockout power, I think Holm is going to effectively keep her distance and throw in some well timed takedowns en route to a late submission victory.
185 lbs.: Anderson Silva vs. Derek Brunson – Now this is a fight I really like! The dubbed Greatest of All-Time returns to the octagon and I believe, it’s going to be a more serious Silva. Not the guy who fools around, which has cost him his belt and most recently his fight against Michael Bisping. As for Brunson, this is a huge opportunity to add a legend to the resume and elevate himself into a top five matchup. However, I’ve already sold myself on the fact that I believe we are going to see a vintage Silva in this fight. Lot’s of head movement, footwork and precise strikes. I see Brunson trying to take Silva down and he might succeed, but I doubt he will be able to sustain the cardio to do it for three rounds. Silva is well conditioned and if a storm needs weathering, he’s the guy to do it. So with that, I have Silva winning this one via late knockout.
185 lbs.: Jacare Souza vs. Tim Boetsch – Another matchup I don’t like… I mean, Jacare wins this wherever he wants. And Boetsch has made a knack of coming back in fights and winning, but there’s none of that when you face Jacare. So with that, I have Jacare via submission.
205 lbs.: Glover Teixeira vs. Jared Cannonier – I don’t like this fight at all, other than it’s a huge opportunity for Cannonier. I mean, this second fight in the Light Heavyweight division and he’s being pitted against a top five Light Heavyweight. One in which is a knockout artist and submission expert. And considering Cannonier was taken down several times in his last fight against Ion Cutelaba, that spells for trouble. So with that, I got Teixiera via submission.
155 lbs.: Dustin Poirier vs. Jim Miller – Fun fight, as both of these men are pure entertainers. Poirier, is coming off a knockout defeat to Michael Johnson. The defeat halted a four fight win streak, one in which started when he decided to move back to the Lightweight division. As for Miller, the veteran will be making his 26th walk to the octagon. And of recent, Miller has scored three straight victories, which erased any previous retirement talk. As for a prediction, I have Poirier. He’s much younger, faster and has a sizable striking advantage. Miller is all toughness and he’s a great grappler, which is the only route I see him using to victory. However, I can’t see him getting close enough to close the distance, as Poirier will use range to keep distance, eventually landing the knockout.
UFC 208 “Prelims” Undercard on FOX Sports 1 (8 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Randy Brown vs. Belal Muhammad – Not exactly a firecracker of a prelim headliner, but it’s a showcase between two young welterweights. For Brown, the New York native will be making his fifth walk to the octagon since 2016. Impressively, Brown has a 3-1 UFC record and is blossoming into the fighter that Dana White signed on his show. Muhammad, the former Titan FC champion steps into this fight on short notice and is looking to erase his knockout defeat at UFC 200. As for a prediction, I have Brown. I liken his striking, particularly using his reach and also his ability to score some takedowns in route to a decision victory.
135 lbs.: Wilson Reis vs. Ulka Sasaki – Reis all day here. After losing his bid for a title shot against Demetrious Johnson, I can assure you that he’s going into this fight with the goal of making a statement. So with that, I have Reis winning this via late submission.
145 lbs.: Nik Lentz vs. Islam Makhachev – The way Makhachev handled Chris Wade, has me thinking that he should cruise to a victory over Nik Lentz. BUT, then again, he doesn’t quite have the experience Lentz does. Lentz has fought in the UFC 17 times, going an impressive 11-4-1 (1 No Contest). He’s a winner for sure, mainly due to his grinding grappling style. He’s also a sneaky scrambler and submission expert, which is wear I think he can catch Makhachev. So with that, I have Lentz winning this via submission.
145 lbs.: Rick Glenn vs. Phillipe Nover – Dubbed the next Anderson Silva, Nover hasn’t quite lived up to those expectations. However, this fight should be more in his realm than his last fight against Renan Barao. But, Rick Glenn was very impressive in defeat to Evan Dunham. He showed that he has heart and a hell of chin and at various points in the fight, you could’ve mistaken him for a zombie. As for a prediction, I’m siding with Glenn. I think he can turn this into a brawl and score a few takedowns in route to a decision victory.
UFC 208 “Prelims” Undercard on UFC Fight Pass (7:30 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Roan Carneiro vs. Ryan LaFlare – As much as I like Carneiro, Laflare’s style neutralizes him. Add that with Laflare’s volume striking and you got yourself a decision victory for New Yorker.