APOLOGIES for missing UFC 212, but I am back with my UFC predictions for the up coming card in Nevada. With the interim middleweight and women’s bantamweight title fights as headliners, UFC 213 shapes as yet again another important card that could potentially be one of the best MMA events of the year.

UFC Predictions: 11-8

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Lightweight

#6 Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis (19-6) vs. Jim Miller (28-9, 1NC)
THIS fight isn’t quite the headliner that it might have been a few years ago. Pettis, a former featherweight champ, has lost four of his past five fights and Miller (with nearly 40 fights on his resume) is starting to show the detrimental signs a long mixed martial arts career has. After a brief featherweight stint, Pettis returns to the division he once held the belt in and many have him tabbed as the favourite to win. It isn’t a formailty, with Miller a formidable takedown artist, but I’d be surprised if ‘Showtime’ didn’t add win #20 to his tally.

VERDICT: PETTIS W

Heavyweight

#1 Fabricio ‘Vai Cavalo’ Werdum (21-6-1) vs. #3 Alistair ‘The Reem’ Overeem (42-15, 1NC)
WITH a combined age of 76, Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem have been around the octagon a few times before. The veteran mixed martial artists are two of the finest to grace the sport in the past decade and they meet up for the third time in their careers with the ledger sitting at 1-1. A lot has changed since their last bout in 2011 though and I’m predicting a powerhouse flurry of punches to finish Werdum’s night early.

VERDICT: OVEREEM W

Heavyweight

#15 Daniel Omielanczuk (19-7-1, 1NC) vs. Curtis ‘Razor’ Blaydes (7-1)
ONE way traffic in this fight should see Curtis Blaydes find an easy victory in the third fight of the night. Should. Nothing goes according to plan in the world of sports, so be ready for anything. The up-and-coming Blaydes should easily account for the down-and-going Omielanczuk.

VERDICT: BLAYDES W

Interim Middleweight Title Bout

#1 Yoel ‘Soldier of God’ Romero (12-1) vs. Robert ‘The Reaper’ Whitaker (19-4)
IT seems like this fight is destined to go the distance. In perhaps the closest bout of the evening most of the expert pundits are expecting a ‘flip of the coin’ contest. If Romero can take Whitaker to the mat, I think that he will walk away with the belt. He also has the power to finish this contest early with a combo of moves. Despite his age, I’ll back in the ‘Soldier of God’ to use one of these manoeuvres to claim the middleweight title.

VERDICT: ROMERO W

UFC 213 Preview 1Image from bloodyelbow.com

Women’s Bantamweight Title Bout

C Amanda Nunes (14-4) vs. Valentina ‘Bullet’ Shevchenko (14-2)
THIS is the fight you CAN’T MISS. It’s impossible to split the pair as they head into a rematch of their epic first time match. Nunes’ power will play a factor in the early rounds, but Shevchenko has proven she can last five rounds. I could talk into I’m blue in the face about how close this fight will be, but it will come down to little mistakes and one slip up could end either fighters night early. I think Shevchenko takes the rematch though.

VERDICT: SHEVCHENKO W

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