UFC 207 Preview and Predictions

The last UFC pay per view of the year is here. T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas will play host to UFC 207. This stacked card with great fights from top to bottom. Tonight, Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes will headline UFC 207 as she puts the title on the line against the returning Ronda Rousey. That fight itself should be enough to sell you on the card. If it wasn’t then this will, Men’s Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz takes on rising star Cody Garbrandt for the strap. Some other notable names on this card: John Lineker, Alex Oliveira, Tim Means and former champions Johny Hendricks and TJ Dillashaw. Lets break down all 10 fights.

Fight Pass Exclusive at 7:30 PM ET:

Tim Means VS Alex Oliveira

This one is expected to end in a knockout. Both fighters are very comfortable keeping the fight on their feet. This is going to be a brawl and a fight of the night candidate. I’ll take Cowboy Oliveira by TKO.

 

Preliminary Bouts on FS1 at 8 PM EST:

 

Brandon Thatch VS Niko Price

Originally Sabah Homasi was supposed to fight Thatch however he was pulled in favor of his teammate Niko Price. Price is another prospect who has a professional record of 8-0 with 6 of those 8 victories coming via KO. Thatch has lost 3 in a row and he must win, if not he’ll likely be out the door without a job by the end of UFC 207. That being said, Thatch is a little more experienced at this level gets a much needed win by decision.

Antonio Carlos Jr. vs. Marvin Vettori

The Italian Vettori is one of the most well rounded prospects in the middleweight division. His ground game is solid and his striking is outstanding. His opponent Carlos, is a brazilian jujitsu black belt but has yet to win 2 consecutive fights under the promotion. This is going to be a tough fight to predict. I’ll go with fellow Italian Marvin Vettori by unanimous decision.

Mike Pyle VS Alex Garcia

41-year-old veteran Mike Pyle has been through many wars in his MMA career. He has lost 3 out of his last 4 and he’s not getting any younger. While his opponent Alex Garcia has power and goes for the finish each time he steps in the cage. Pyle will want to avoid striking Garcia cause he’ll never win that matchup. I’ll take Garcia by KO

Johny Hendricks VS Neil Magny

Hendricks ended up missing weight by 2 ½ pounds and he’ll have to give up 20% of his purse to Magny. Magny has a reach of 80 inches and it’s the longest in the welterweight division. He’ll have an 11-inch reach advantage over “Big Rigg” Hendricks. All signs point to Magny closing distance on Hendricks but not so fast. Hendricks is technically sound striker with a top-level wrestling ability. I see this fight ending by split decision favoring Magny.

 

Pay Per View Main Card Bouts Live at 10 PM EST:

Dong Hyun Kim VS Tarec Saffiedine

With both fighters ranked, this is a critical matchup that will shift the rankings in a big way. Saffiedine loves to strike and has a great submission game. Kim will have a 6-inch reach advantage over Saffiedine. Kim cannot be taken down to the ground or else he’ll be in trouble. Kim will stay on his feet and get a TKO stoppage solidifying a spot possibly in the top 5.

Louis Smolka Vs Ray Borg

The flyweight division will be on full display on pay per view. Ray Borg missed weight by 3 ½ pounds and he’ll give up 30% of his purse to Louis Smolka. Smolka is an excellent striker but lost a big fight to Brandon Moreno by submission. Of course, Borgs game is based a lot on his grappling and submissions. Smolka won’t let another submission happen twice in a row. I got the Hawaiian Louis Smolka by split decision.

TJ Dillashaw VS John Lineker

A lot is at stake in this fight. The winner of this fight will likely be facing the winner of Cruz/Garbrandt in the near future. Both ranked #1 and #2 respectively, this should be one of the most exciting fights on the card. Dillashaw has not seen in an opponent like Lineker before. Lineker has hands of stone and he is the divisions most powerful force up there with Garbrandt. Dillashaw is a cardio machine and is so quick on his feet. This will be a close fight but Dillashaw will stop at nothing to get back his title. Dillashaw by unanimous decision.

Co-Main Event: Dominick Cruz VS Cody Garbrandt (Men’s Bantamweight Championship)

Garbrandt has devastating power. Every time this kids in there he’s looking for the kill. Who doesn’t love that? Cruz could frustrate Garbrandt with the way he sticks and moves. It’ll be interesting to see if fellow Alpha Male teammate Urijah Faber set a game plan for Cody to use. There’s no one that knows Cruz more than Faber. I’m a big fan of Garbrandt and pulling for him to win the belt, but Cruz has shook off all the rust. After his victories over Dillashaw and Faber., he hasn’t missed a beat. Cruz by unanimous decision.

Main Event: Amanda Nunes VS Ronda Rousey (Women’s Bantamweight Championship)

MMA superstar, Rowdy Ronda Rousey will enter the octagon for the 1st time in over 13 months since being defeated by Holly Holm. With no media obligations for Rousey, there’s no telling how she’s going to approach this fight. She can’t fight scared or this will be over before she knows it. There are not many holes in Amanda’s game. She ‘s an all around great fighter with fantastic striking and is very good on the mat. You do not want to go on the mat with Rousey though. Ronda specializes in Judo and grappling, a deadly combination. 9 of Ronda’s 12 wins have come via submission and that’s how I see it playing out tonight. Rousey will end up standing tall closing the show as the new Women’s Bantamweight Champion of the world.

Notes:

Another great fight that was supposed to take place at UFC 207 was a rematch between Cain Velazquez and Fabricio Werdum. Things changed quickly when it was found out that Velazquez was declared “unfit to compete.” The fight is completely scrapped from the card. Werdum was offered to face Junior dos Santos on 6 days notice, but Werdum asked for more money. The UFC rejected Werdum’s request.

This will be Mike Goldberg’s final broadcast for the promotion. Goldberg has been with UFC for just about two decades. His famous call “It is all over!” will be apart of many highlight reels in the UFC for years to come. So who will take over for Goldberg you may ask. It remains to be seen who will replace Goldberg, but all signs point to Joe Anik taking over as the new play-by-play voice.

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