1. #106
    PaperTrail07
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    IMO size and Juice lol...otherwise his skills don't matchup
    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo de Naranja View Post
    @Hurl What does B Davis have an advantage in?

  2. #107
    Enfuego
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    Who are these people taking Jodie Esquibel?

    Show yourselves.

  3. #108
    HurlSweatPants
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo de Naranja View Post
    @Hurl What does B Davis have an advantage in?
    Height, and by fight night, probably several lbs. lol.

    You can definitely make an argument that he has faced better competition. Other than that, he may have more power in his hands, but a KO is his only way to victory IMO. I think the odds are pretty spot on.

    I was just commenting on the fact that his last post fight interview, he claimed to have put on an egregious amount of weight back on before the fight, and looked a weight class above Costa. If I had to guess he probably gets SUBd early, or will spend the better part of rounds defending SUB attempts. But he always puts on a good show (FOTN in Austin, Zabit, Costa) and trains with Alan Belcher. I would also like to see how his power looks if it gets out of the first.

  4. #109
    Hugo de Naranja
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    Quote Originally Posted by HurlSweatPants View Post
    Height, and by fight night, probably several lbs. lol.

    You can definitely make an argument that he has faced better competition. Other than that, he may have more power in his hands, but a KO is his only way to victory IMO. I think the odds are pretty spot on.

    I was just commenting on the fact that his last post fight interview, he claimed to have put on an egregious amount of weight back on before the fight, and looked a weight class above Costa. If I had to guess he probably gets SUBd early, or will spend the better part of rounds defending SUB attempts. But he always puts on a good show (FOTN in Austin, Zabit, Costa) and trains with Alan Belcher. I would also like to see how his power looks if it gets out of the first.
    Gotcha. Both he and Kang are BBWs (big bantamweights) but Davis is I’ll be a big taller and probably heavier on fight night. I’d guess he’ll be in the 155-160 area.
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  5. #110
    Thor4140
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    My Opinion. I am already in on Daniel. At heavyweight he just finds a way to win. This might come down to a battle of the chins and im gonna take the guy that can take a punch. Diaz/Pettis. Pettis is so lucky to be here. Lets be honest he is one lucky punch from being irrelevant but here is my big issue taking Nate. The layoff doesn't even bother me but his team has over and over again shown no ability to stop a leg kick. I doubt they even train for it. That is Pettis avenue to win because i think he gets pieced up on the feet. Yoel/Coasta I think if the same Yoel who fought Whitaker shows up we get a spectacular knockout. Costa gets hit and is open a lot but Yoel has been out a pretty long time and when is age going to creep up on him? I still like Yoel. It is Yoel and Daniel for me. Oh an Sanity the whole board is devastated with you not sharing your picks. I know i shouldn't speak for the board but i for one sit on the edge of my seat waiting for you to post. That Dunning Kruger effect you suffer from really needs to be looked at first hand by someone like Dr. Phil
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  6. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor4140 View Post
    My Opinion. I am already in on Daniel. At heavyweight he just finds a way to win. This might come down to a battle of the chins and im gonna take the guy that can take a punch. Diaz/Pettis. Pettis is so lucky to be here. Lets be honest he is one lucky punch from being irrelevant but here is my big issue taking Nate. The layoff doesn't even bother me but his team has over and over again shown no ability to stop a leg kick. I doubt they even train for it. That is Pettis avenue to win because i think he gets pieced up on the feet. Yoel/Coasta I think if the same Yoel who fought Whitaker shows up we get a spectacular knockout. Costa gets hit and is open a lot but Yoel has been out a pretty long time and when is age going to creep up on him? I still like Yoel. It is Yoel and Daniel for me. Oh an Sanity the whole board is devastated with you not sharing your picks. I know i shouldn't speak for the board but i for one sit on the edge of my seat waiting for you to post. That Dunning Kruger effect you suffer from really needs to be looked at first hand by someone like Dr. Phil
    My thoughts exactly with Nate Diaz, Pettis is gonna chop those stick legs down big time.. He'd be stupid not to.. Nate has always been a boxer only type fighter when standing.

    AP may even land one of these on his bony rib cage..



    Or this..

    Last edited by JIBBBY; 08-16-19 at 05:07 PM.

  7. #112
    jacharron17
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    Devonte Smith a lock against Khama Worthy? Lol.

  8. #113
    jacharron17
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    On Under 2.5 +170 Diaz vs Pettis.
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  9. #114
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    20:58


    Yoel weighs 184.5.

    Good cut / bad cut?

  10. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrilla View Post
    Who gives a fukk. Moron says not to look at the odds just bet who you think will win. Guy is a broke retard doesn't know shit about betting which is why you never see him post in sports outside of MMA.
    When people see juicy +odds it clouds their judgement.

    Its like holding a bone up in front of a dog when they get super impulsive and their brains go out a window.

    Bad plays at +plus odds start to look like good plays.

    I hope Jibbby doesn't become a poster boy for this chasing those Paulo Costa +plus odds. But yeah that type of impulsive behavior can be negatively impair judgement leading to people chasing bad plays.

    At a high level the way to do it could be to not look and not think about odds. Its not an odds contest. Its about accuracy and consistency. That's extremely boring to many. Boring is good sometimes for the same reasons so many exciting investment banks folded around 2008, while the stable and boring banks remained solvent.

  11. #116
    JIBBBY
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacharron17 View Post
    On Under 2.5 +170 Diaz vs Pettis.
    Maybe, unless Nate wins in a point boxing round after round match. Nate is a touch volume boxing fighter.

    Still, I like the UNDER also though at those odds. Good find..


    This is looming though, I'm thinking this as a hedge possibly.. Not yet though.. Nate is tough and hard to finish and Pettis has a decent chin and can take a peppering standing.. This is an outside possibility in just a 3 round fight.

    1107 Diaz wins by 3 round decision +240
    Last edited by JIBBBY; 08-16-19 at 08:20 PM.

  12. #117
    bitcoinLuke
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    Quote Originally Posted by JIBBBY View Post
    Romero Soldier of GOD is 42 and is gonna breath dog.. Young undefeated buck will get him late and probably on the cards..

    1207 Costa wins by 3 round decision +525


    Wrestling does rule but wrestling takes energy...

    In reference to TIM KENNEDY gif below..

    Terrible comparison. The Kennedy fight was 5 years ago. He just went 5rds in his last fight and arguably beat the champ

  13. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitcoinLuke View Post
    Terrible comparison. The Kennedy fight was 5 years ago. He just went 5rds in his last fight and arguably beat the champ
    Is was to point out that Romero is 5 years older now and gonna lose against a striker now..

    Thanks for the bump.. 42 years old is Romero.. FADE if you wanna win money!!!

  14. #119
    bitcoinLuke
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrilla View Post
    Only a retard would bet Cormier here given the odds. Miocic was winning the first fight until he got caught. It's heavy weights same thing could have happened to DC.
    The old "I was winning till I got KTFO" argument. Strikes were 31 of 43 for DC and 29 of 56 for Stipe at the end of the fight. Listening to you fools in this thread you'd think Stipe had a 10-8 rd before the KO.

    But LOL at only a retard would bet -132 on a guy who smashed the champ in less than a rd and has never lost a rd at HW.
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  15. #120
    bitcoinLuke
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    Quote Originally Posted by JIBBBY View Post
    Is was to point out that Romero is 5 years older now and gonna lose against a striker now..

    Thanks for the bump.. 42 years old is Romero.. FADE if you wanna win money!!!

    Did you somehow forget he just fought 5rds, and the 5th rd was one of his best of the entire fight, against a better striker than Costa?

  16. #121
    Slevin07
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    Both dc and stipe down about ten pounds for this fight, interesting that both saw the same thing was needed. Speed?

    I got 2.66 to win 2 on dc. And 1.41 to win 1 on Romero. Also a quarter unit on Romero r3. May add to dc bet.
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  17. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slevin07 View Post
    Both dc and stipe down about ten pounds for this fight, interesting that both saw the same thing was needed. Speed?
    They might've been tired in round 1.

    Slimmed down and leaned out a bit to improve cardio.

  18. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by JIBBBY View Post
    Is was to point out that Romero is 5 years older now and gonna lose against a striker now..

    Thanks for the bump.. 42 years old is Romero.. FADE if you wanna win money!!!

    I hope you and prophet win your Paulo Costa bets. I just want to say one thing.




    2:15

    Look how fukkin young Yoel looks for a 42 year old.

    There are a few guys like Floyd Mayweather Jr, Cheick Kongo, Yoel Romero, Urijah Faber who took care of their bodies. Didn't do drugs or PEDs and didn't get drunk all the time.

    Those guys can still fight into their 40s.

    Its the athletes who are doing drugs, using steroids, getting drunk every weekend that won't last past their 30s.

  19. #124
    JC2008
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    Any thoughts on the women's fights, Turbo?

  20. #125
    JIBBBY
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitcoinLuke View Post
    Did you somehow forget he just fought 5rds, and the 5th rd was one of his best of the entire fight, against a better striker than Costa?
    Costa is an undefeated young fighter in his prime.. It's betting suicide usually to bet against undefeated fighters in the UFC. Good luck pal.. I can't see Romero at 42 years old winning this fight unless he connects in the first round when he is fresh and not gassed out...

    I may hedge with this, not sure yet.. I'm gonna sleep on it.

    1221 Romero wins in round 1 +275


  21. #126
    JIBBBY
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    This is an awesome main card.. I'M pumped to see this tomorrow!!! This event sticks out to me.. BRING IT!!!

  22. #127
    nyrider88
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    guys, betting against costa is like playing with fire. yoel gassed in many of his fights, both times with whittaker, and another time sitting on the stool trying to delay the time.. remember?

    unlike other fighters, costa will come forward like a machine just keeping pressuring and won't allow any breathing space.

  23. #128
    Enfuego
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyrider88 View Post
    guys, betting against costa is like playing with fire. yoel gassed in many of his fights, both times with whittaker, and another time sitting on the stool trying to delay the time.. remember?

    unlike other fighters, costa will come forward like a machine just keeping pressuring and won't allow any breathing space.
    Costa gasses too.

  24. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enfuego View Post
    Costa gasses too.
    Yeah, he does.

    And he's bragging about stacking more muscle on top of that.

    Could be a boneheaded move.


  25. #130
    vinhmen
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo de Naranja View Post
    You and Unc are some real veterans. I was big into boxing in college and had heard about Rousey/McGregor who were the big stars at the time. First fight I saw was Rousey vs. Holm and I’ve been hooked ever since.
    Wow hugo for someone who got into it so late you’ve really got up to speed quickly. Great analysis and picks since then
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  26. #131
    G0VERNMENT
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    I want to preface this pick by saying that i have 2 personalities. One that is Thoughtful/Logical and another that is Supremely confident.

    I've been going back and forth on the fight. Will Pettis wreck Diaz with kicks, or will Diaz' pressure be too much for Pettis?

    Drunk Gov however just had an epiphany... Nate Diaz Straight- All Day! I'm not Surprised Mahfuckers!

  27. #132
    G0VERNMENT
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  28. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by G0VERNMENT View Post
    2 people way smarter than i am happen to disagree

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlbLWYC0os0


  29. #134
    G0VERNMENT
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    Cool Video. You are 1 of 4 people on this site that have actually made me go back and rewatch tape.

  30. #135
    G0VERNMENT
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    FWIW UFC 95 is the first card i remember watching
    Last edited by G0VERNMENT; 08-17-19 at 05:00 AM.
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  31. #136
    Teem
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    Assuncao +195 on 5D. What do you guys think of that fight?

  32. #137
    hwgfb
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    JIBBY HUGO Will 6 fights go the distance in this card?

  33. #138
    JIBBBY
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    Quote Originally Posted by JIBBBY View Post
    MMA MANIA prelim write ups -

    155 lbs.: Devonte Smith vs. Khama Worthy

    Devonte Smith (10-1) scored his fourth consecutive stoppage win on “Contender Series” last August, pummeling Joseph Lowry to claim a UFC contract. His Octagon career has seen him knockout Julian Erosa and Dong Hyun Ma in just 4:49 combined, the latter of which earned him “Performance of the Night.”
    Six of his nine knockout wins have come in the first round.
    Worthy (12-6) saw a six fight winning streak give way to a 2-4 skid, but has since bounced back to win three straight. The current run includes two of just four career trips to the judges, with six of his other victories coming by (T)KO.
    “The Deathstar” replaces Clay Collard, who himself replaced
    I couldn’t find any footage of Worthy from the last four years that wasn’t behind a paywall, but there’s not a lot going for him here. Three of his five knockout losses came in a combined 3:19 and he showed zero striking defense against Matt Bessette in his most recent defeat. Unless he’s made a 100% overhaul of his game and somehow reinforced his chin, Smith’s going to knock his block off.
    Worthy’s potential improvement and willingness to throw leather could make this interesting, but odds are that Smith poleaxes him inside three minutes.
    Prediction: Smith via first-round knockout
    Related
    Diaz Prefers Masvidal Showdown Over Khabib And Usman


    135 lbs.: Raphael Assuncao vs. Cory Sandhagen

    After suffering a knockout loss to Erik Koch in his Octagon debut, Raphael Assuncao (27-6) put together an 11-1 streak from 2011 to 2019, beating the likes of T.J. Dillashaw, Aljamain Sterling and Marlon Moraes, among others, along the way. His efforts earned him a No. 1 title contender eliminator rematch against Moraes, who dropped him in the early going and put him away with a guillotine choke midway through the first round.
    He faces a six-inch height disadvantage and a 3.5-inch reach disadvantage.
    Cory Sandhagen (11-1) survived a gruesome armbar to pound out Iuri Alcantara in his second UFC effort, then inflicted an armbar of his own on Mario Bautista five months later for his third finish in the Octagon. This led to a clash with all-action slugger John Lineker, whom Sandhagen controlled with distance strikes en route to a decision victory.
    He had not gone the distance in victory since 2016.
    For my money, this is the most stylistically intriguing fight on the undercard, pitting Assuncao’s patient, potent counters against Sandhagen’s brutal, devil-may-care offense. It’s the best kind of pick-‘em, close enough to keep things interesting, but not so close that they’re liable to get gun-shy and stink out the joint.
    I’ll admit to flip-flopping a bit on this one — Assuncao presents a stiff test for Sandhagen’s offense, but getting cracked by Moraes last time out is worrying, especially considering Sandhagen’s considerable reach advantage. Even with the X-factor of Assuncao’s wrestling, I say Sandhagen outworks Assuncao and powers through enough counters to claim a narrow win.
    Prediction: Sandhagen via unanimous decision
    Related
    Free Fight! Cormier Steamrolls, Miocic, Becomes UFC Champ-Champ


    135 lbs.: Manny Bermudez vs. Casey Kenney

    Manny Bermudez (14-0) racked up nine first-round finishes on his way to the Octagon, six of them in less than two minutes apiece. “The Bermudez Triangle” has enjoyed similar success in UFC itself, scoring a trio of submissions and walking away with a post-fight bonus for his 59-second triangle finish of Davey Grant.
    He’s submitted 11 professional opponents and knocked out one other.
    Casey Kenney (12-1-1) went 1-1 on “Contender Series,” fighting twice in the span of two months, before returning to LFA, where he claimed the interim Bantamweight title with a knockout of Vince Cachero. Eight days after that victory, he stepped up on short notice to defeat Ray Borg by split decision.
    He is three inches shorter than Bermudez and will give up 3.5 inches of reach.
    Win or lose, Kenney looks to be Bermudez’s biggest headache to date. He’s the stronger wrestler of the two and ostensibly has the submission defense to avoid Bermudez’s quick-kill finishes. This fight will give us a good idea of whether Bermudez’s style can win him a decision in the Octagon.
    I don’t think so, at least not against Kenney.
    Kenney’s skilled enough to scramble with Ray Borg and looks to have fixed the cardio issues that led to his defeat on the Contender Series. The last time Bermudez went the distance, he had to be saved by the judges via robbery against Saul Almeida. Kenney’s takedowns, scrambling and clinch skills carry him to victory.
    Prediction: Kenney via unanimous decision
    Related
    UFC 241 Embedded! Cormier The Underdog Against Miocic?


    155 lbs.: Drakkar Klose vs. Christos Giagos

    The upset decision win for Drakkar Klose (10-1) over Marc Diakiese in his second UFC bout cemented his status as one to watch, only for the surging David Teymur to hand him his first professional loss five months later.
    He returned with another upset of Lando Vannata, then narrowly edged Bobby Green in Milwaukee in Dec. 2018.
    He’ll give up one inch of height and 1.5 inches of reach to “The Spartan.”
    Christos Giagos (17-7) initially washed out of UFC on a 1-3 skid, but answered the call to face Charles Oliveira after winning four of five on the regional and Russian circuits. Though he fell victim to “Do Bronx’s” infamous submission game, he enters the cage on the heels of consecutive victories over Mizuto Hirota and Damir Hadzovic.
    Seven of his 10 stoppage wins have come by form of knockout.
    Klose is a strange sort — it’s like he alternates between being forgettable and being a quality prospect from fight to fight. He absolutely did not deserve the decision against Green, but absolutely dominated Lando Vannata in the previous fight. Though he can’t seem to blend his striking and wrestling, his aggression and raw power make him a problem for everyone.
    Giagos included.
    Giagos’ takedown defense has proven insufficient in the past, and even if Klose isn’t the most adept wrestler, he’s physically strong enough to grind it out in the clinch. Between that and his thudding leg kicks limiting Giagos’ explosiveness, I say Klose muscles his way to a close victory.
    Prediction: Klose via unanimous decision


    115 lbs.: Hannah Cifers vs. Jodie Esquibel

    A five-fight win streak that featured four knockouts brought Hannah Cifers (9-3) to the Octagon in Nov. 2018, where she fell to blue-chip prospect Maycee Barber via second-round technical knockout. She returned to action five months later to upset jiu-jitsu ace Polyana Viana by split decision at UFC 235.
    All but one of her five (technical) knockout victories have come in the first round.
    Jodie Esquibel (6-5) lost a split decision to Ashley Yoder in the opening round of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 23 and fell to Alexa Grasso in her return to the Invicta cage, but came back to edge veteran DeAnna Bennett her next time out. She’s yet to taste victory in the Octagon, going 0-3 over a two-year stretch.
    She stands two inches taller than the 5’1” “Shockwave.”
    Esquibel has had three UFC fights to show anything besides grit and decent takedown defense. Instead, she’s absorbed more than 350 strikes. It’s like all you need to beat her is above-average stand up, and Cifers certainly fits the bill.
    Cifers can win this almost purely on the strength of her right cross, and the power she can put behind it bodes ill for the ever-hittable Esquibel. Power punching secures Cifers her second UFC victory.
    Prediction: Cifers via unanimous decision
    Related
    Video: Watch ‘Countdown To UFC 241’


    135 lbs.: Kyung Ho Kang vs. Brandon Davis

    Kyung Ho Kang (15-8) opened his UFC career 2-1 (1 NC) before undergoing his mandatory military service in his native Korea. He returned to action 3.5 years later with a submission of Guido Cannetti, then tapped Teruto Ishihara after a narrow loss to Ricardo Ramos.
    “Mr. Perfect” has submitted 11 professional foes.
    Brandon Davis (10-5) dazzled on the Contender Series with an entertaining decision over Austin Arnett, but struggled to maintain that momentum in the Octagon, going 1-3. This past March, he faced heavy-handed Joe Lauzon protege Randy Costa and survived a wild start to hand the latter his first career loss.
    His six professional finishes are split evenly between knockouts and submissions.
    Davis is ballsy, tough as nails, and hits plenty hard. He also struggles profoundly with grapplers — Enrique Barzola alone dragged him down 10 times, and the hulking Kang looks like he’s got the goods to exploit that weakness yet again. Davis simply cannot handle the Korean veteran on the ground, and though he’s not the type to be mentally broken by a few takedowns, it’ll be hard for him to get anything going on the feet with the threat of them dangling over his head.
    All that said, Kang can get too brawl-happy for his own good, and if he’s reticent to bring his excellent grappling to bear, I can easily see him humoring Davis for too long and dropping a decision. He’s just got too big an edge on the mat for me to pick against him. We get a few minutes of fun brawling before Kang drags him down and forces a tap.
    Prediction: Kang via first-round submission
    Related
    Latest UFC 241 Fight Card, PPV Line Up


    125 lbs.: Sabina Mazo vs. Shana Dobson

    The four-fight LFA career of Sabina Mazo (6-1) saw her score a pair of highlight-reel head kicks, claim the promotion’s Flyweight title, and successfully defend it with a decision over Carol Yariwaki in Nov. 2018. Despite the strong run, she came up short against UFC veteran Maryna Moroz in her promotional debut in March.
    She stands an inch taller than Shana Dobson (3-2) but faces a one-inch reach disadvantage.
    Dobson’s TUF 26 run ended 97 seconds into the opening round courtesy of Roxanne Modafferi’s ground-and-pound. She successfully debuted in the Octagon with a knockout of Ariel Beck, but fell short against Lauren Mueller four months later.
    This will be her first fight in 16 months after injury scrapped a November bout with Yanan **.
    I won’t pretend I wasn’t disappointed in Mazo’s performance against Moroz, but she’s still got potential. I expect her to do quite a bit better against Dobson; while “Danger” offers the sort of pressure that Mazo dislikes, “The Colombian Queen” is the better technical striker and won’t have to worry too much about takedowns.
    It’ll come down to Dobson’s one-shot power against Mazo’s versatile offense, and I favor the latter. Expect the 22-year-old to learn from her first-ever defeat and use her kicking arsenal to piece up Dobson on the feet.
    Prediction: Mazo via unanimous decision

    Main card -

    265 lbs.: UFC Heavyweight Champion Daniel “DC” Cormier (22-1, 1 NC) vs. Stipe Miocic (18-3)
    Daniel Cormier stopped Stipe Miocic when they first fought for the heavyweight title last July. In order to build a case for a different outcome, namely a Miocic victory, we must first determine whether A) “DC” got lucky or B) captured the crown simply by being the better fighter. I don’t think anyone would call it luck, based on what the Olympian has done throughout his storied mixed martial arts (MMA) career, which means Miocic will have to be a better version of the fighter he was heading into UFC 226. Evidence to suggest he’s accomplished that goal remains scarce, as the Modelo spokesman opted to sit out until matchmakers granted him an immediate rematch. Is a longer, more disciplined fight camp enough to pull even with Cormier? Probably not, especially considering “DC” took a bout during that same span. Sure, it was an easy day at the office, but so was his Miocic fight.
    I know it’s still hard for some fans to accept it, but Cormier is probably the second best fighter on the planet, behind Jon Jones. He’s fast, hits with power, and boasts Olympic-caliber wrestling. Five rounds is no issue for the longtime American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) product and Miocic doesn’t have any of the intangibles that a fighter like “Bones” brings to the cage. Granted, the former champion performs at a very high level and has tremendous boxing, but his paint-by-numbers attack is hardly the kind of offense that will keep Cormier on his back foot. Miocic will have to stop the takedown, work the jab, and somehow keep “DC” from closing the distance. I’m not sure that’s something that can be sustained for 25 minutes and I really don’t see the champion being lazy enough to fall victim to the one-hitter quitter.
    I’m just going to be blunt here. Miocic, who turns 37 in less than a week, came into UFC 226 as the most successful UFC heavyweight of all time, winning six straight with five finishes and notching three successful title defenses. And even at his peak, he was still put down by Cormier with relative ease. What can he bring to the table that wasn’t already there at UFC 226? Nothing, and I don’t know if I would bet the underdog on something like “Well this time it’s personal!” Cormier is the better fighter and is more cerebral inside the cage. I do think a smarter gameplan keeps Miocic from kissing the canvas, but he’s going to be outworked for all five rounds en route to a sweep on the judges’ scorecards.
    Prediction: Cormier def. Miocic by unanimous decision
    155 lbs.: Nate Diaz (19-11) vs. Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (22-8)
    It would be unusual to pick a fighter coming off the bench after three years of inactivity, particularly in a sport as unforgiving as MMA. Precision, timing, and of course, conditioning, are difficult to replicate outside the combat sports environment and no matter how good a training camp is, there is simply no substitute for in-cage experience. Then I got to thinking about Nate Diaz and well, he doesn’t really fight like a technician anyway. He’s more like a professionally trained street fighter who can pull a rabbit out of his grappling hat if the situation calls for it (see McGregor, Conor). He’s also one of those cardio lunatics who competes in triathlons like XTERRA because he’s bored. Coupled with his job as a jiu-jitsu coach, you can expect Diaz to be ready to fight tomorrow night in Anaheim.
    Will it be enough? That’s hard to say. Anthony Pettis has been all over the map — literally — so it’s difficult to know where he stands at this stage of his UFC career. I know the “Showtime” camp will tell you he’s “back” after he laid waste to Stephen Thompson at UFC Nashville, but they said the same thing in the wake of his featherweight win over Charles Oliveira at UFC on FOX 21. Pettis has not won back-to-back fights in nearly five years across a span of 10 fights, and let’s be honest here, this is not a legitimate welterweight contest. This is a bout between two lightweights who don’t want to stop eating carbs. That’s better for Pettis, who retains most (if not all) of his power, though I’m not sure a knockout is a realistic goal against a gamer like Diaz.
    The problems Pettis had as lightweight champion have not magically disappeared with a change in weight classes. “Showtime” does his best work when his opponents give him room to breathe, which is how we end up with so many highlights, including his off-the-fence kick against Benson Henderson. But trying to find those openings while getting peppered with rat-tat-tat punches and fade away bitchslaps can be a daunting task. Diaz likes to get up close and personal, disrupting the rhythm while talking trash. A lot of fans think Diaz talks shit because he’s an asshole when in reality, it’s mental warfare and a tried-and-true tactic to disrupt focus, like those weird howls Bruce Lee used to emit with every strike. Pettis might have the cleaner, more polished offense, but this is a cage fight, not a taekwondo tournament. Barring an unexpected takedown, this fight will be three rounds of a frustrated Pettis trying to get out of first gear.
    Prediction: Diaz def. Pettis by unanimous decision
    185 lbs.: Paulo “The Eraser” Costa (12-0) vs. Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero (13-3)
    I can’t believe the betting line is so close for this fight. Paulo Costa is only a +120 underdog when in reality he should be +500. That’s right folks, “The Eraser” is going to have his mind erased by Yoel Romero — who may be shorter but has the longer reach — and it’s going to be one of those violent knockouts that has you questioning your love of MMA. Think I’m being too harsh? Let’s start at the top and work our way down.
    Costa has just four fights inside the Octagon. His first two wins came over Garreth McLellan and Oluwale Bamgbose, who are no longer with UFC. Probably because they are a combined 1-7 dating back to 2016. His third win came over Johny Hendricks, a natural welterweight who retired from UFC after losing seven of 10, only to get knocked out in his bareknuckle boxing debut. Costa’s fourth and final win came over Uriah Hall, who is not even ranked in the Top 10 and sports a .500 record in UFC middleweight fights. This is the kind of resume that has people talking about title shots?
    Times like this I wish my column came with a laugh track.
    Romero has been competing against the best of the best, including a pair of five-round wars against reigning middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker. Outside of his “Reaper” fights, “Soldier of God” laid waste to three former UFC champions. His wrestling was good enough to earn him an Olympic medal and the Cuban hits so hard, I hear they still haven’t found all of Luke Rockhold’s teeth. Probably because they haven’t yet looked on the moon. The biggest knock on Romero is that his weight cuts are a complete shit show, which makes me wonder just how scary he would be slinging leather at 205 pounds. We may never find out if he murders Costa and Israel Adesanya goes on to upset Whittaker at UFC 243, but let’s not put the cart before the proverbial horse.
    Bamgbose landed 33 significant strikes and two takedowns against Costa ... what do you think Romero will do?
    Prediction: Romero def. Costa by knockout
    145 lbs.: Gabriel “Moggly” Benitez (21-6) vs. “Super” Sodiq Yusuff (9-1)
    A lot of fans (and pundits) have already crowned Sodiq Yusuff the next featherweight champion, which is not surprising when you consider his performances inside the cage. After doing enough to impress Dana White on season two of “Contender Series,” Yusuff notched back-to-back wins over Suman Mokhtarian and Sherman Moraes. I don’t want to shit in anyone’s Cheerios, but I need to point out that Mokhtarian was making his UFC debut after failing to make the grade on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 27, while Moraes has a losing record inside the Octagon. Probably not the kind of resume that is going to have Max Holloway looking over his shoulder, but we can also recognize that both were, indeed, “Super” performances that demonstrated his maturity as a fighter.
    Benitez, on the other hand, has already matured and proven to be one of the tougher outs at 145 pounds. The former TUF: “Latin America” standout has been criminally underutilized by the promotion and has not competed since his lights-out finish over Humberto Bandenay at UFC Santiago back in May 2018. “Moggly” has outstruck six of his seven opponents — even in defeat to the wrestle-heavy Enrique Barzola — but did show a glaring hole in his takedown defense, previously exploited by Clay Collard at UFC 188. I’m not sure that’s going to be much of an issue against Yusuff, who has yet to score a takedown or submission in UFC. Both fighters share a similar height and reach, so it comes down to who has the better hands.
    While I don’t think Yusuff has done enough to warrant his considerable hype, he does show a ton of promise. Benitez showcases more nuts-and-bolts offense and can outwork most fighters with his grit, but I think this one gets away from him. Yusuff has more tools in the shed and does a better job of wielding them, so look for a fairly convincing decision handed down after three rounds of fan-friendly action.
    Prediction: Yusuff def. Benitez by unanimous decision
    185 lbs.: Derek Brunson (19-7) vs. Ian “The Hurricane” Heinisch (13-1)
    I hate to be a Negative Nancy right out of the gate, but at age 35, I think we’ve seen the best we’re going to see from Derek Brunson, who crossed over from Strikeforce with pretty high expectations — and failed to live up to any of them. In fact, Brunson was violently finished by most of the major players at 185 pounds, including Robert Whittaker, Israel Adesanya, Yoel Romero, and Ronaldo Souza. The fact that he remains ranked in the Top 10 should give you a pretty good idea of how top-heavy the middleweight division has become in recent years, though Ian Heinisch does have the opportunity to breathe new life into those stagnant waters.
    “The Hurricane” is also a graduate of Dana White’s “Contender Series,” thanks to his brutal finish over Justin Sumter last summer. In the wake of that impressive performance, Heinisch drew two Brazilian veterans in the form of Cezar Ferreira and Antonio Carlos Jr., resulting in two more victories and a spot in the division Top 10. While his knockouts are the talk of the town, he’s no rookie on the ground, previously recording a pair of scarf-hold armlock submissions while plying his trade on the regional circuit. He also spent time on Riker’s Island, so don’t expect him to be intimidated by the step up in competition — or anything else for that matter.
    Brunson is a well-rounded combatant with experience against some of the best fighters in the world. Unfortunately, he does not have the defensive prowess to keep himself off the canvas and simply makes too many mental mistakes when the shit hits the proverbial fan. I would not be surprised to see a closely contested first round as both fighters find their rhythm, but Heinisch is eventually going to settle down, lure Brunson into a fire fight, and land the fight-ending kill shot.
    Prediction: Heinisch def. Brunson by technical knockout

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