By Garrett Pelto
It’s been almost two weeks since the last MMA bout: the Cerrone vs Edwards fight. UFC is back with 226, which was looking like the best card of the year thus far, until the week of the fight.
Featherweight champion, Max Holloway, was supposed to fight contender, Brian Ortega, but was removed from the card due to concussion-like symptoms. Had that fight stayed on the card, this writer would be a lot more excited for Saturday night. But the world keeps spinning…
UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic vs. UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier (265 lbs):
First up, I will dive into the main event of this Saturday’s fight card. The new king of Cleveland (cc: LeBron James), Stipe Miocic, will be looking to defend his Heavyweight belt against the current Light Heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier.
Stipe is 12-2 in UFC fights while Cormier is 9-1 with 1 no contest . Stipe seems to be at the top of his game at this point in his career and UFC fans are seeing how long he can keep that belt around his waist. In his last fight, he managed to win by going the distance with Francis Ngannou who will be fighting in the co-main event.
To me, Ngannou was literally and metaphorically the biggest challenge to step into the octagon with Miocic. “The Predator” is just a large human being who, as we saw in the fight against Stipe, doesn’t get taken out easily.
Cormier is the next biggest challenge to Miocic. He is obviously fighting up a weight class and therefore the underdog against Miocic. Cormier has lost to Jon Jones twice now, but the latest fight being determined a no contest due to Jones’s positive PED test.
I don’t think Cormier is big enough to do what he needs to do to beat Miocic. Although, Cormier did weigh in at a heavier weight than Stipe. I just don’t believe he is tall or longer, despite being heavy.
Jon Jones is a huge guy who could handle himself in the Heavyweight division with his unpredictable striking ability. Cormier’s bread and butter is his wrestling game, but I do not think it will be enough for a heavy-hitter like Miocic.
I think it’s going to be a quick match and will cement Miocic as one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, Heavyweight fighter of all-time.
Miocic def. Cormier via TKO in round 2
Francis “The Predator” Ngannou vs. Derrick “Black Beast” Lewis (265 lbs):
Stipe is the only guy to get Ngannou out of the first round. That shows you the power Ngannou has and how fucking hard he’s goes in the first round! Lewis knocks people out as as well, so a lot of people are expecting this to be an intense match on the feet.
Ngannou doesn’t want to go the whole match with Lewis. Ngannou doesn’t seem to have the stamina to go an entire match and we have seen Lewis survive some injuries during matches and make it to the end to TKO his opponent.
If I were Derrick Lewis, I am doing everything I can to waste Ngannou’s energy in the first round. Make it through his first barrage of punches, then take him to the ground where Lewis is dominant.
Lewis def. Ngannous via Decision
Paul “The Irish Dragon” Felder vs. Mike “Platinum” Perry (170 lbs):
Perry is considered an aggressive Welterweight, but not as technical as Felder. I believe Felder is smart enough to avoid Perry’s attacks. But at the same time, Perry has that crazy-eyed look that makes me think he. just. might. do it.
This fight will most likely go the distance due to a lot of hesitant, feeling out process in the beginning of the fight.
Ultimately, Felder will probably win on points while Mike Perry will get his licks in.
Felder def. Perry via Unanimous Decision
Anthony “Showtime” Pettis vs. Mike “Maverick” Chiesa (155 lbs):
By Chris Pelto
This fight was supposed to have happened already. Well, it would of had it not been for McGregor’s actions…
Anthony “Showtime” Pettis has some unlucky draws as of late. His last four fights have resulted in a 2-2 record. In August, Pettis was able to win via submission versus Charles Oliveria and as many forget in December, Pettis also stood in to fight the champ Max Galloway on short notice. He bounced back to win a decision versus Jim Miller and most recently was KO/TKO by Dustin Poirier. Anthony looks to bounce back as father time looks to take most of the premier fighters of this generation.
Mike “Maverick” Chiesa is insane. His last four fights have resulted in a 3-1 record. His only lost is the most recent fight versus Kevin Lee who is now looking towards a belt. Ultimately, Chiesa has the better wrestling style while also having a submission versus Miller similar to Pettis.
In the end, I think Pettis will try to keep the length to his advantage, but Chiesa is going to get inside. Without a Pettis injury, he will keeps things going until the bell.
Chiesa def. Pettis via decision.