UFC 206 has somehow been given the reputation of UFC’s red-headed step child this year, despite having a more than decent main card. It is, however, sandwiched between arguably the most epic UFC card of all time in 205, and another insanely stacked card with 2 title fights in 207.
Rumor had it that the card was originally slated for the return of long-time champ Georges St. Pierre, but that never materialized. On top of that, the card lost its main event, a light heavyweight title bout between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson. Stepping in as the new main event is an excellent fight between two of the best 145ers – Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis. For a belt?
Yeah, we won’t get into that…
Max Holloway vs. Anthony Pettis – for interim featherweight championship
Damn. What. A. Fight. In all honesty this is one hell of a match up, even if it is for a fake belt. Holloway has not lost since he faced “The Notorious” Conor McGregor, and it looks like “Showtime” Pettis is back in full force at 145 lbs.
Both fighters are excellent strikers in their own way, and with their own forms of power. In this fight Pettis will have a definite size advantage, while Holloway should have the cardio advatange. Additionally, not only does Holloway seems to get better and better between each fight, but he seems to get better between each round. I envision Pettis having success early in the fight, but Holloway making the necessary adjustments to seal a decision victory and a “belt”.*
*Update: After this writing, Anthony Pettis missed weight by 3 lbs., meaning that it is no longer an interim title fight. Except if Holloway wins, then he get an interim belt. Yeah, I don’t get it either…
Donald Cerrone vs. Matt Brown
Another excellent match up, as the new bully of the welterweight division, “Cowboy” Cerrone looks to continue his assault on the 170ers by knocking off former championship contender Matt Brown. I didn’t think much of Brown’s loss to Maia, but the fact that it was followed up by a first round KO loss to Jake Ellenberger does not bode well for the Immortal’s future. Cerrone has looked like an absolute world beater at 170 lbs., as the lack of a hard weight cut seems to improve his fighting. Look for Cerrone to put this fight away with a finish in the second round.
Cub Swanson vs. Doo Ho Choi
The “Korean Superboy” has been super in his 3 fights so far in the UFC, knocking out all of his opponents in under a combined time of 5 minutes. However, Swanson is his toughest test to date by far. There do seem to be some holes waiting to be exploited in Choi’s game, but I doubt that Swanson is equipped to exploit those holes. Choi with a second round KO.
Tim Kennedy vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Tough, tough fight to call, as both fighters have large question marks hanging over them.
Kennedy hasn’t fought in two years, and is now 37 years old. Before his hiatus, he was beating a who’s who list of middleweights, including the current champ. But that was 2 years ago…
Gastelum at times looks like a top 5 fighter, at others we don’t see him fight at all because he can’t make weight. Now forced to move up to 185 he will no longer be the stronger, bigger guy, but it’s hard to deny that there’s talent there. Question is, can it be tapped to its full potential?
I’m going with Kennedy in this one by decision, but really it’s a coin toss fight.
Jordan Mein vs. Emil Meek
Jordan Mein returns from retirement at 27 years old, and Meek beats the stuffing out of a former UFC fighter and makes his debut on a PPV main card.
I haven’t seen much of Meek, but he looks to have a lot of power for welterweight – his KO over Palharis was vicious. However, Mein is an extremely well-rounded offensive fighter, and I imagine that his experience will lead him to a victory here by decision.