THE 216th instalment of a UFC main event hits Vegas this weekend with plenty on the line. Some big reputations and big egos will step inside the octagon on Saturday with two belts up for grabs in the flyweight and lightweight division. After missing UFC 215, Johnson VS Borg will finally go ahead with the likes of Tony Ferguson, Fabricio Werdum, Thales Leites, Will Brooks, Derrick Lewis and Kevin Lee all in action as well. Now that the formalities are done, let’s get down to business and pick some winners.
UFC Predictions: 19-14
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#12 Beneil Dariush (14-3) vs. #14 Evan Dunham (17-6)
THE main card promotion is a testament to both fighters who are trying to crack their way inside the top 10 lightweight ranks with a victory. Dariush has shown he can go toe-to-toe with the division’s best in the past, but has been unable to break through with a noteworthy W. Dunham deserves his spot inside the top 10 too, riding a four-fight win streak into this matchup with Dariush. The bottom line is this is going to be a great scrap with many predicting that Dariush’s experience against better foes in the past will translate to a win. I’m tipping the other way, with Dunham proving he deserves to continue rising up the ranks.
VERDICT: DUNHAM W
Mara Romero ‘Kunoichici’ Borella (11-4-0, 1NC) vs. Kalindra Faria (18-5-1)
IN somewhat of a surprise Borella and Faria find themselves on the main card in an effort to promote the newly created women’s flyweight division. No offence to either of these fighters, who I’m sure will provide a great contest, but under normal circumstances, they probably wouldn’t find themselves on the main card. Therefore, it’s tough to know a lot about either of these two. What I do know though is that Faria has faced some tougher opponents, with her losses coming against notable names. For that reason, I think her experience will help her do enough to get the nod.
VERDICT: FARIA W
#2 Fabricio ‘Vai Cavalo’ Werdum (21-7-1) vs. #6 Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis (18-5-0, 1NC)
BIG boys ‘Vai Cavalo’ and ‘The Black Beast’ are keen to earn a shot at title holder Stipe Miocic’s belt and a triumph in Vegas might propel them to the top of the ‘challenger’ food chain. Since losing the belt at UFC 198, Werdum has done his best to reclimb the mountain splitting contests against Travis Browne and Alistair Overeem. Lewis on the other hand had strung six wins together before Mark Hunt’s fists handed him an L in July. You would think Werdum has the advantage here, but his age is starting to take its toll and you have to wonder if this is the beginning of the end. This is a real chance for Lewis to make a bigger name for himself and take out one of the legends of the heavyweight division. That’s why I’m predicting him to upset the 40-year old.
VERDICT: LEWIS W
Flyweight Title Fight
C Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson (26-2-1) vs. #3 Ray ‘The Tazmexican Devil’ Borg (11-2)
I love watching ‘Mighty Mouse’ fight. There are few people that would disagree with the statement that Johnson is the best fighter in the world and as he continues to build his legendary status a fast-rising Borg stands in his way of an unprecedented 11th straight title defense. Borg’s climb to a title fight helps him shed the label of prospect with the 24-year old emerging as a potential one day champion of the division. That being said don’t expect him to buck the trend of the 10 men before him and find Johnson’s achilles heel to claim a massive upset. Johnson hasn’t lost since 2011 and he’s not about to start doing so now.
VERDICT: JOHNSON W
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Interim Lightweight Title Fight
#2 Tony ‘El Cucuy’ Ferguson (23-3) vs. #7 Kevin ‘The Motown Phenom’ Lee (16-2)
WITH Conor McGregor off chasing boxing crowns the lightweight division needs a new champion. Therefore, both men facing off in the co-main event find themselves on the verge of being a first-time title holder and cementing themselves as the man to beat at 155 pounds. Lee is a fast rising face of the lightweight division, but his opponent is no easy beat. Ferguson has defeated some of the divisions best in the past and emerges as the favourite having beaten a former division champ, Rafael dos Anjos in his last bout. With more tricks up his sleeve and a well-rounded game, Ferguson will win this fight and claim the lightweight belt…..only for McGregor to take it off him in the near future.
VERDICT: FERGUSON W
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