TO close out an epic year in mixed martial arts action we’re heading to Nevada for 219! There are plenty of questions left that need answering before the year concludes. Which Carlos Condit will show up against Magny? Can Nurmy finally stay healthy and be the lightweight champ we deserve? And is Cyborg vs. Holm the biggest bout in women’s UFC history? All that and more awaits us tonight, so let’s choose some winners!
UFC Predictions: 28-17
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#8 Carlos ‘The Natural Born Killer’ Condit (30-10) vs. #12 Neil Magny (19-7)
THE fact that this is Condit’s first fight since August last year makes it all that much tougher to predict what version of the veteran welterweight fighter we will see. Rust and a potential decline in his performances opens the door for Magny, who possess a relentless striking game and a high IQ inside the octagon. In a flip-a-coin type of decision, I’m backing the younger fighter to upset the ‘Natural Born Killer’.
VERDICT: MAGNY W
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#6 Cynthia Calvillo (6-0) vs. #9 Carla ‘Cookie Monster’ Esparza (12-4)
IN the somewhat open strawweight division both 30 year old’s are eager to climb the ladder and establish themselves as a title threat. Calvillo is the up and comer who has breezed her way to 6-0, while the more weathered Esparza is trying to silence generation next. With both women preferring the ground chances are we will see a striking match and for the second straight bout, I’m siding with the lesser experienced, athletic fighter.
VERDICT: CALVILLO W
Dan ‘The Hangman’ Hooker (15-7) vs. Marc ‘Bonecrusher’ Diakiese (12-1)
TWO somewhat inconsistent fighters give us a matchup that could play out a hundred different ways. We found out that Diakiese is human after a split decision loss to Klose, but he is probably still more talented than his Kiwi opponent. Part of me wants to side with the more technical fighter in Hooker, but in a bout of such uncertainty, siding with the best fighter is always the smart move.
VERDICT: DIAKIESE W
#2 Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov (24-0) vs. #4 Edson ‘Junior’ Barboza (19-4)
FINGERS crossed this will be the start of a healthy stretch from Nurmagomedov. After missed weights and injuries have forced him to miss fights for over 12 months he will finally square off against Edson Barboza, who can’t be taken lightly by ‘The Eagle’. If he is even slightly a step slow then ‘Junior’ will pounce and hand Nurmagomedov his first L. If not then expect Nurmy to keep his streak alive.
VERDICT: NURMAGOMEDOV W
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(C) Cris Cyborg (18-1-0, 1NC) vs. #2 Holly ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ Holm (11-3)
THIS bout is massive for both Holm and Cyborg’s legacy. The 11-3 former bantamweight champ provides Cyborg with perhaps her greatest challenge after she has laid waste to opponents in the past. In what might be the greatest women’s UFC bout in history be sure to grab your popcorn as I’m predicting Holm will flip the script on its head much like she did back at UFC 193.
VERDICT: HOLM W
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