It’s been a crazy few months with the lead up to UFC 200 with the battle between Conor McGregor and the UFC brass, the announcement of Brock Lesnar being added to the card and the recent removal of Jon Jones for doping violations. Yet here we are just hours away from the biggest and (arguably) best card in UFC history. So what can you really expect from UFC 200?
UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship
(C) Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes
On paper this fight looks like it could live up to the potential that Cormier vs. Jones 2 could have been. The truth of the matter is it will likely be a sad ending to what has so far been an incredible weekend of fights.
Here are the facts:
Miesha Tate is one of the most deserving Champions in the UFC but 83% of her fights end in either submission (39%) or decision (44%). Amanda Nunes is a significantly better striker with a 75% KO/TKO ratio while landing almost 4 significant strikes per minute to Tate’s 1.99. Nunes isn’t the grappler that Tate is but she is good enough to prevent Miesha from submitting her as well.
So what does this all mean? A boring fight. Tate will likely avoid standing with Nunes and control her with her wrestling. While Nunes will do just enough to avoid getting submitted leaving us with a disappointing ending to UFC 200.
Prediction: Miesha Tate via Decision #AndStill
Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt
This is my personal main event of the evening and should have been the main event of UFC 200 after Cormier vs. Jones 2 was dropped from the card. I literally could not be more excited to watch Brock Lesnar compete in the octagon one more time. I hate to be a fanboy but to this day my favourite UFC moment was ironically at UFC 100, watching Brock Lesnar hold down a 250 pound Frank Mir with one arm and pummel his face against the cage. It was one of the most impressive things I’ve ever watched in sport.
So to judge this fight is a bit tough for me because although I am admittedly a huge fan of Brock Lesnar, I am also a realist. So what I want to see isn’t exactly what I believe I’ll see. Ideally I’d love to see Brock hit Mark Hunt with a double leg, hold him against the cage and fist drop his way to a decisive victory followed by a WWE type interview with Joe Rogan in which he calls out the winner of UFC 203, Miocic vs. Overeem for the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
What I believe I’ll see though is a first round walk-off knockout. If I’m being honest Brock’s stand up game is without question one of the worst in the Heavyweight division and quite possibly the UFC. Brock’s strength is literally his strength. The problem with this fight is that Mark Hunt is 5’10” and 265 pounds, so taking Hunt down is going to be no walk in the park. Even if Brock can take him down, Hunt’s very capable of getting back to his feet quickly. This is going to force Brock to stand and trade with Hunt at some point which is no where Brock Lesnar wants to be.
Prediction: Mark Hunt via TKO late in the first round
Light Heavyweight bout
(C) Daniel Cormier vs. Anderson Silva
How ironic is it that the UFC replaces Jon Jones, who was removed from the card for doping violations with Anderson Silva who’s been caught doping quite recently? It truly is a great sport. With that being said, if this was a few years ago then I would have a real tough time picking a winner here. This however is not a few years ago and Anderson Silva is on the wrong side of his career. I mean the man just lost to Michael Bisping, who is the UFC Middleweight Champion but is no Daniel Cormier. Not to mention he’s lost three of his last four fights along with a no contest because he was caught doping (again the irony).
Daniel Cormier is 17-1 coming off wins against Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson. It wasn’t that long ago either that Cormier was destroying guys at Heavyweight either. If not for training partner Cain Velasquez being the UFC Heavyweight Champion at the time, Cormier could have easily been the Heavyweight Champion rather then dropping to Light Heavyweight and becoming the Champion there. So to me this a no brainer. Silva may give him some trouble striking but I expect Cormier will manhandle the former UFC Middleweight Champion.
Prediction: Cormier via submission
Interim UFC Featherweight Championship
Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar
This isn’t the first time these two have battled as Aldo won via decision when these two first met at UFC 156 in 2013. A lot has changed since then including Jose Aldo losing his Featherweight title after a quick knockout at the hands of Conor McGregor at UFC 194. Aldo hasn’t looked the same since USADA testing has been implemented leading people to wonder if Aldo had been using throughout his career. Is that the case? I have no idea but based off their past performances I’ve gotta give the nod to Frankie. Edgar looked dominant against Chad Mendes and I expect him to walk away victorious tonight as well.
Prediction: Frankie Edgar via TKO
Cain Velasquez vs. Travis Browne
In almost three years we’ve seen Cain Velasquez compete just one time in which he lost his UFC Heavyweight title to Fabricio Werdum. Prior to that he was running through the Heavyweight division with wins over Junior dos Santos, Antonio Silva and Brock Lesnar. Travis Browne has been up and down but has especially looked bad since joining the Glendale Fighting Club being coached by Edmond Tarverdyan. Reportedly Cain is healthy and 100% but is yet to be seen after after multiple injuries. I still expect Velasquez to come out on top with a semi-dominant performance.
Prediction: Cain Velasquez via submission