BROOKLYN will play host to the latest big UFC card this weekend at the Barclays Center. UFC 208 holds many interesting storylines centred around the 1st women’s featherweight title fight between Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie. While it may not hold the similar ‘big star’ names other UFC bouts have in the past, 208 still demands your attention.
Lightweight – #10 Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier (20-5) vs. Jim Miller (28-8, 1 NC)
SEASONED vet Jim Miller was supposed to be nearing the end at the beginning of last year. Instead the all-time leader in lightweight division wins went 3-1 for the year and continues to build his legacy. His opponent the younger, hard hitting Poirier has impressed since his return to lightweight, with the exception of receiving a KO in September last year at the hands of Michael Johnson. Miller’s strength lies in his grappling and submission game, but with Poirier last submitted in 2012 he may struggle to drop Poirier. And despite Miller’s resilience and toughness the hitting power of his opponent will lead to his demise.
VERDICT: POIRIER W
Light Heavyweight – #3 Glover Teixeira (25-5) vs. #15 Jared ‘Tha Killa Gorilla’ Cannonier (9-1)
GLOVER Teixeria is a well known UFC journeyman, with highlight wins over the likes of Rashad Evans and Ovince Saint Preux. A lot of people are questioning though if Teixeria at the end of his prime. With a KO loss in his last fight there are concerns emerging about the 37 year old’s future as an elite fighter. On the other side of the octagon Jared Cannonier is a relatively unknown fighter, who has only been a professional fighter since 2011. The newcomer has seized his opportunity, perhaps deciding at age 32 he has to step up sooner rather than later, or miss his chance at making a name for himself. Taking on a top five fighter at his weight division is a mammoth challenge though, and unfortunately for ‘Tha Killa Gorilla’ not one I see him winning.
VERDICT: TEIXERIA W
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Middleweight – #3 Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza (23-4, 1 NC) vs. #13 Tim ‘ The Barbarian’ Boetsch (20-10)
THERE is no point beating around the bush, this is Ronaldo Souza’s fight to lose. Souza is clearly trying to stay on the forefront of people’s minds, seemingly next in line to challenge Michael Bisping for the middleweight belt. He needs to be careful though as Tim Boetsch is a veteran mixed martial artist, with the potential to cause an upset if he isn’t careful. Going 4-6 in his last 10 bouts, this is a massive chance for Boetsch to build on his reputation as a comeback artist. I don’t seeing ‘Jacare’ letting this opportunity slip though.
VERDICT: SOUZA W
Middleweight – #7 Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva (33-8, 1 NC) vs. #8 Derek Brunson (16-4)
YOU have to admire the tenacity and desire of the illustrious Anderson Silva. Even though evidence of his decline can be traced back over five years ago, he continues to book fights and bounce back after a loss, perhaps cementing himself as the greatest of all time. Derek Brunson, the stronger wrestler of the pair with youth on his side is hoping to move up the rankings, while avenging a loss in his most recent bout last November. While it will be great to see Anderson Silva in the ring, if he doesn’t land his strikes early to capture victory, Brunson will capitalise.
VERDICT: BRUNSON W
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Women’s Featherweight – Holly ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ Holm (10-2) vs. Germaine ‘The Iron Lady’ de Randamie (6-3)
TWO elite kickboxers are vying for the belt in the last fight of the night, and it’s not often we can say that in MMA. Holm and de Randamie both have a wealth of experience as kickboxers and will be content to exchange blows at range. While they almost cancel each other out in their strengths and weaknesses, ‘The Iron Lady’ does posses the potential to change the fight with her hands. Holm has the power in her kicks, but lacks many other ‘finishing blows’. De Randamie also has the ability to evade those moves from Holm thanks to her awareness and footwork. While the result could be decided by a flip of the coin in the eyes many, when it’s all said and done expect Germaine de Randamie to become the first UFC women’s featherweight champion.
VERDICT: DE RANDAMIE W
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