By Patrick DeMoss, 6/8/18–The UFC is headed to Chicago for perhaps the best card of the year, Jimmie Rivera gets derailed in 33 seconds, and oh yeah–CM Punk is back this weekend. This is MMA 360.
Not to mention, last night marked the debut of PFL — Professional Fighters League — league-based MMA that delivered action upon action at MSG in New York City last night. More to come on that in a separate article, or check out the interview we did league president, Carlos Silva, last week.
This Week in MMA Action
Finally, finally! The MMA Gods have answered my prayers, and we finally received a stacked UFC card in 2018. There have been great fights this year, but in terms of a “stacked” card, nothing has really come to fruition. That all should change this weekend with UFC 225.
The main event features a rematch between two of the most frightening middleweights to walk the earth, Robert Whittaker, (19-4, MMA) and Yoel Romero (13-2, MMA). These two last fought at UFC 213, where Whitaker became victorious over the course of a five-round war.
It was a beautiful fight, one which saw Romero come out and control the pace, going up 2-0 headed into the third, just before Whittaker stood his ground and punched his ticket to UFC gold, grinding out a decision to claim the victory.
I’m not entirely sure what will be drastically different in this fight, besides Whittaker being hopefully at 100%. Yoel is always dangerous and can finish the fight in the blink of an eye. Whittaker is a true warrior, and I expect him to take Romero head on, just as he did in the first fight.
In fact, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see the Aussie’s pressure cave in on Romero in the later rounds, leading to Whittaker putting him away and becoming without a doubt, the best middleweight in the world.
The co-main event is intriguing, as we will see an interim welterweight champ be crowned. Rafael Dos Anjos (28-9, MMA), who is the former lightweight champion, looks to claim glory back to his home country of Brazil as foe Colby Covington (13-1, MMA), stands in his way.
Forgetting all the trash-talk that has led to this fight, this really is a great matchup. Even though both are great grapplers, I think this fight is won either on the mat or on the feet, both of which I see Dos Anjos having the advantage. Colby is a solid wrestler, but his jiu-jitsu isn’t all too crisp. His striking has improved massively, but Dos Anjo’s boxing is in a league of its own right now.
With all this said, the only way I see Covington winning is by controlling the takedowns and maintaining top control, which seems too far out of reach for me to say he’ll get the win. Dos Anjos wraps this up in three rounds or less.
I’m excited for every single fight this weekend, but the return of Holly Holm to me is the most interesting. No matter how hard the UFC tries to portray Holly Holm (11-4, MMA) as one of the baddest women to walk the earth, its getting harder and harder to buy into it.
Yes, she took Cyborg five rounds, yes, she dethroned Ronda Rousey…but the rest is just a bit sub-par. Don’t get me wrong I’m a huge Holm fan, but against a very dangerous Megan Anderson (8-2, MMA), she’ll need to learn to just pull the trigger and flow.
I want to say the winner gets a shot at Cyborg, but I only see that applying to Megan Anderson in this one. However, despite the odds and Holm’s somewhat disappointing career thus far, I think she finally can live up to her hype, and finally relieve some pressure from her shoulders. Despite her size, I don’t see Anderson’s striking at the level of Holm, and we know one thing is for sure, Holm can take any women’s best punch.
I’m a bit torn about bringing up CM Punk (0-1, MMA), but since he is such an attraction to the sport, I guess I’ll mention him. He’s fighting in his second ever MMA fight against Mike Jackson (0-1, MMA), who’s loss also comes from Mickey Gall, just like CM Punk’s.
I’m not too sure how I feel about this fight, but I have a feeling Punk loses his second straight in the first. However, in my heart, I’m rooting for the hometown hero all the way to get his first win.
Last Week’s MMA Action
Phew, did you see that head kick? Heading into the Marlon Moraes (21-5, MMA) and Jimmie Rivera (21-2, MMA), fight, I had Rivera winning via decision, but I was shocked to be wrong in just 33 seconds. With the win, I think its safe to say Moraes takes on the winner of Dillashaw and Garbrandt II. The only obstacle would be Garbrandt winning that rematch and thus setting up a trilogy fight, but we’ll see how it goes.
Also, on UFC Utica, we saw lightweight, Gregor Gillespie (12-0, MMA), improve to 5-0 in the octagon, with a submission over Vinc Pichel (11-2, MMA). He is an exciting lightweight, that with a flawless UFC record, may have the chance to get a true test in a top 15 opponent…Let’s hope.
A final note I’d like to make is Jose Torres (8-0, MMA) defeating Jarred Brooks (13-2, MMA), and having the opportunity to now surge in a rather flat Flyweight division. Torres made a great impression in his UFC debut and I’m excited to see where he goes next.
Not a lot happened the past weekend that was all too exciting in terms of fights but, hey that’s the fight business sometimes!