The UFC returns to New York City after their last trip to Gotham resulted in Conor McGregor making history. This time around, the UFC opted for another “historical” fight with the inauguration of the women’s featherweight division, albeit minus the queen of the featherweights, Cyborg.
The rest of the main card has some interesting matchups pitting Brazilian legends against interesting opponents, while the main card opens up with with an excellent scrap between two action fighters in Dustin Poirier vs. Jim Miller.
Holly Holm vs. Germaine de Randame – for the inaugural women’s featherweight championship
The lack of Cris Cyborg in this fight definitely casts a shadow over the belt, but we still have an excellent stylistic matchup between two of the better female strikers in the UFC. Neither fighter has quite faced an opponent like the other, as both women are long and strong for their old weight class. Holm has fought, and beaten, better competition than de Randame, but de Randame’s losses have all come against fighters who’s primary focus lies on the ground. Holm does not exactly pack much power in her punches, and de Randame is know for her powerful strikes, as she apparently once knocked out a man while training.
This should be an exciting, back-and-forth main event. Because of de Randame’s power advantage, however, I’m siding with her in a close decision.
Anderson Silva vs. Derek Brunson
Silva hasn’t won a fight in his last 5 outings (as long as you don’t count the Diaz fight as a win), and is now on the wrong side of 40. Brunson is a strong, vicious, puncher, and was riding a nice win streak before getting caught by fellow KO artist Robert Whitaker in his last outing.
This is a difficult fight to pick. On one hand, Silva hasn’t shown too much promise in his last few fights, even though they were against the cream of the crop. Additionally, Brunson’s tendency to rush in could provide the perfect opportunity for a counter artist like Silva. On the other hand, Brunson is the younger, stronger, and quicker fighter. Can Silva eat one of his punches? I tend to think not, and am going with Brunson by second round knockout.
Ronaldo Souza vs. Tim Boetsch
Talk about interesting, we have here the consensus #1 contender for the middleweight title fighting an opponent ranked outside the top 10 in the division. This is strictly a “keep busy” fight for Souza, but Boetsch has been known to derail a few hype trains before. Still, Souza is simply better in every aspect of the game, and despite “The Barbarian’s” toughness, should win this convincingly. Souza, by submission, in the second round.
Glover Teixeira vs. Jared Cannonier
Another Brazilian legend faces off against a rising star in this clash. Event at 32 years old, Cannonier is young in fight years as he is relatively new to the sport, while Teixeira has been fighting seemingly forever. Glover is arguably the more skilled of the two fighters, but the light heavyweight division needs new blood, and Cannonier has what it takes to be a star. As a former heavyweight fighter, he will have the decided strength advantage here, and we’ve already seen what his hands can do in the octagon. Glover was KO’d inside of 10 seconds his last time out, so we’re going with the young gun once again here. Cannonier by second round KO.
Dustin Poirier vs. Jim Miller
Poirier has been on a tear since moving up to lightweight, minus his latest stumble against Michael Johnson. Jim Miller has also been on his own tear in 2016, after a rough couple of years that made people wonder when he was going to retire.
This fight promises action, as neither fighter really knows how to put on a boring show. Both fighters are solid in all aspects of fighting, but I believe that Poirier edges out Miller in the overall tally. Dustin should be able to dictate where this fight takes place and come out victorious. “The Diamond” by first round TKO.