The second night of back-to-back fights this weekend is UFC 213 on Saturday night in Vegas, baby!
As with all PPVs, the main card starts at 10pm on pay-per-view, while the under card starts at 8pm on the Fox Sports 1 and the early pre-lims start at 6:30pm on Fight Pass.
I use DraftKings for my UFC daily fantasy fix, so if you don’t have an account you can sign up here (and get a 50% bonus on your initial deposit). Also, if this is your first rodeo you can check out the scoring criteria here.
Alright, enough with the formalities and on to the picks.
I’ve always been a big fan of Jordan Mein, but his fight earlier this year against Emil Meek, after an extended “retirement”, left a lot to be desired, which makes me think that the wear and tear or 10 years of professional fighting has finally caught up to him. Belal Muhammed ($8,100), on the other hand, seems to finally be rounding into form. This will be a good striking match, but Belal is on the ascendancy, while Mein looks to be on his way out.
Travis Browne ($8,600) has had a rough go of late, and this fight might be his “win or go home” moment. Luckily, he is facing a step down in competition as his opponent is ranked #14 in a very thin heavyweight division. I’m expecting a few of those classic Browne “hellbows” in this one, so enjoy.
Oh, Anthony Pettis. The once and former champion and human highlight reel has hit a rough skid since losing his belt to RDA. Jim Miller ($7,300), on the other hand, just keeps doing his thing. Yes, he had a rough stretch recently as well, but it was due to Lyme Disease, which he now seems to have under control. He is simply more than solid in every aspect of the fight game, while Pettis is a superb athlete with some glaring holes. Miller will capitalize on those holes, and at that price you can’t pass on him.
Back in February, Curtis Blaydes ($9,500) showed why he is one of the rising stars in the heavyweight division as he gave a whole new meaning to the term “suplex city”. This outing shouldn’t be very different. He is simply the better athlete, and should completely dominate for however long this fight lasts, which won’t be long.
Arguably the most anticipated fight of the weekend is the interim middleweight championship bout between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker ($8,300). While Romero is a freak athlete and an incredible wrestler, Whittaker is by far the more technical fighter with impeccable timing in his strikes. His dismantling of Jacare Souza showed the levels that he has reached, and he should have similar success against Romero. After all, Tim Kennedy hurt Romero before finally getting knocked out in the third round, and Whittaker is a striker on a completely different level.
The main even pits the women’s bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes against Valentina Shevchenko ($8,200) in a re-match. Nunes won the first fight in a close decision, but Shevchenko did take it to the current champ in the third round. Valentina’s brand of counter-striking should serve her well in a five round fight, especially with Nunes’s history of burning out after the first round. Shevchenko starts slow, weathers the storm, and turns it on after the first to get the finish in the championship rounds.
Alright, this is the lineup that I am rolling with on Saturday. Follow along if you like to win!