The Biggest and Baddest UFC card this year has finally arrived! On paper, UFC 214 is can’t miss. From the prelims to the main card, every fight should be fireworks. I mean, we got THREE TITLE FIGHTS!
Headlining the card is one the most anticipated rematches in UFC History as UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier looks to defend his title against Jon Jones. It’s been a long road to get to this rematch, as they were scheduled to have this rematch at UFC 197 and then UFC 200. At UFC 197, Cormier suffered an injury and had to pull out, leading for the rescheduling of the fight to take place at UFC 200. However, three days prior to the event, Jones was removed from the bout due to a potential ant-doping violation. A total mess and I may be an outsider with this statement, but it only built up the anticipation for this rematch even more.
Co-Headlining the card, UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley looks to defend his belt against BJJ specialist Demain Maia. Woodley, finally fights a fresh contender, as it took two fights against Stephen Thompson to put that rivalry to rest for now. As for Maia, it took seven straight victories to finally earn a title shot. Even crazier, Maia defeated Jorge Masvidal on May 13th, which makes this a little over a two month turnaround. The odds are not in his favor, but the storyline could be that of fairy tales.
Also on the card is a fight for the vacant Featherweight title between the Baddest woman on the planet in Cris Cyborg against a very game and worthy opponent in Tonya Evinger. O and on the card as well, a fight that promises pure violence between former UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
Anyways, let’s get to the Predictions!
UFC 214 Main Card on PPV (10 p.m. ET):
205 lbs.: UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones – Honestly, this fight is tough to call on the stand point of Jones inactivity. In Jones fight against Ovince Saint Preux, he looked very rusty and vulnerable. He wound up easily winning the fight, but one wonders if he would of beat Cormier with that performance. On the other end, Cormier has been excellent since losing to Jones at UFC 182 in January of 2015. He’s won four straight fights, two against knockout artist Anthony Johnson, one against an elite Alexander Gustafsson and one against the one many acknowledge as the greatest mixed martial arts fighter ever in Anderson Silva.
As for a prediction, I’m going with Jones. I believe that if Cormier can’t get Jones down, which he failed to do at a successful rate in the first fight, then it’s Jones on the feet. The reach and height advantage will reign supreme and could see Jones finishing the fight, but due to the layoff and Cormier’s grit, I have Jones via decision.
170 lbs.: UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley vs. Demian Maia – I’m extremely happy for Maia, as he finally get’s to fight for the belt. I mean, seven consecutive wins in my opinion is long overdue for a title shot. However, this fight comes just a little over two months of his last fight and stylistically this is a terrible matchup. Maia’s a one trick pony, as takes opponents down and submits them. His striking abilities are non-existent, although good enough to setup takedowns. Woodley, on the other end is a Division I wrestler, explosive and is heavy handed. According to ufc.com, Woodley’s takedown defense is 91.89%. So how’s Maia winning this fight? I mean, he struggled at times in his last fight to get Masvidal down and on the feet he was touched up very easily. So with that, my prediction is that Woodley retains his title via knockout.
145 lbs.: Cristiane Justino vs. Tonya Evinger for vacant women’s featherweight title – Evinger is tough and very worthy of this fight. She has the grappling abilities and cardio to make this one interesting. However, Cyborg has ridiculous power and it’s just something that will rule the women’s Featherweight division for as long as she’s around. So with that, I have Cyborg winning this via KO!
170 lbs.: Donald Cerrone vs. Robbie Lawler – This is probably my favorite fight on the card, just because I know it’s going to be pure chaos. I mean, you’ve got two strikers who have a knack for finishing fights. However and as much as I’m a fan of Donald Cerrone, I believe that aggressive strikers like Robbie Lawler are Cerrone’s downfall. He’s at his best when his opponent give him space, but I expect zero space to be given in this phone booth fight. So with that, I have Lawler winning this fight ultimately by TKO!
205 lbs.: Jimi Manuwa vs. Volkan Oezdemir – I understand Oezdemir has hit the UFC Light Heavyweight division by storm, but has he been hit by Jimi Manuwa punch before? The answer is no, but he will and he will be dealt with. So with that, I have Manuwa winning via KO!
UFC 214 Undercard on FXX (8 p.m. ET):
145 lbs.: Jason Knight vs. Ricardo Lamas – What an excellent matchup and a huge opportunity for Jason Knight. He’s fighting the third ranked Featherweight in Ricardo Lamas, which a victory would instantly catapult himself into the top five, if not take over Lamas #3 ranking spot. However and I’ve gone back and forth in this prediction, I’ve got Lamas winning this. As much as I love Knight’s fighting style, whether he’s slugging it out on the feet or pulling off slick reversals on the ground, Lamas is just too well rounded and experienced. This fight kind of reminds me of when Dennis Bermudez fought Lamas, as he headed into the bout on a seven-fight win streak, only to be dropped and submitted in round one. Not to say that’s going to happen, but I think Lamas is going to neutralize Knight with grappling and heavy top control. So with that, I have Lamas via decision.
140 lbs.: Renan Barao vs. Aljamain Sterling – Fun fight! I will admit, Barao and Sterling are my two favorite Featherweights, so this is an overly hard fight to call. Obviously in each prediction I try to not be bias, as each’s skill set’s speak for themselves. And in this fight, I have Sterling winning. He’s younger, athletic and just more active on the feet. Before Barao fought Dillashaw, i’d probably say the same about him, but he’s looked like a shell of himself. Against Jeremy Stephens he fared well and took Stephens best shots and kept coming. It was a valiant effort, but the judges saw it for Stephens. Then, against Phillipe Nover, Barao just looked terrible in my opinion. It’s a sad fall from grace, but it happens. So without further ado, I have Sterling taking this fight via decision.
145 lbs.: Renato Moicano vs. Brian Ortega – I don’t think Brian Ortega has ever won a round in the UFC, yet he finds himself a perfect 3-0 inside the Octagon. With three third-round finishes, Ortega should change his nickname to “The comeback kid”. As for Moicano, he’s quietly 3-0 inside the octagon and just pulled off an huge upset over Jeremy Stephens. Both are undefeated, so somebodies 0 has got to go. As for a prediction, the safer play is to go with Moicano, who is a very active counter striker. However and despite Ortega’s periods of inactivity, I just feel that he’s more dangerous in every round. He’s got the best shot to finish the fight and that’s just what he’ll do. So with that, I got Ortega via TKO!
145 lbs.: Andre Fili vs. Calvin Kattar – Never heard of Kattar, as he makes his UFC debut on short notice. I hope they give him another fight too, as I believe Fili will have his way in this fight and make short work of Kattar. With a 4-3 UFC record, Fili has yet to win two straight fights, so he’s definitely due to buck the trend. So with that, I have Fili winning via TKO.
UFC 214 Undercard on Fight Pass (6:30 p.m. ET):
115 lbs.: Alexandra Albu vs. Kailin Curran – With a 1-4 record in the UFC, Curran desperately needs to get a victory. The UFC obviously likes her, keeping her around despite a crap record, but she needs to get it going now. Again, I like fighters with there backs up against the wall, but Curran’s fight IQ is very lacking. I recall her beating the snot out of Alex Chambers, only to get submitted in the third round. Against Moyle she was overly aggressive, leading to takedowns in which kept her matted for long periods of time. I’m not very knowledgeable about Albu, but I believe in her fight she used grappling to score a victory. I can see that same route working against Curran… Albu via decision.
125 lbs.: Jarred Brooks vs. Eric Shelton – Honestly my knowledge of both is limited to looking at there records. Given Brooks is undefeated and is the favorite, I probably should go with him. However, Shelton has already fought in the UFC, losing to Alexandre Pantoja via split decision. UFC jitters can haunt some and Shelton nearly pulled off a big upset, so I consider that a victory in it’s own right. As for a prediction, I’m going with Shelton via decision.
155 lbs.: Josh Burkman vs. Drew Dober – Honestly, Drew Dober should easily win this fight. Burkman is a shell of himself and has looked extremely poor since his upset victory over Jon Fitch in 2013. However, three straight losses and his career in jeopardy, I’m going to go with Burkman. I love to picks guys with there back to the wall and Burkman definitely is, if not caved into the wall. So with that, even after calling him a shell of himself, I got Burkman via decision.