***WE ARE 1 DAY AWAY FROM THE BIGGEST UFC EVENT EVER!!***
You can’t truly understand how excited I am for UFC 251. Dana White has done a great job at keeping this sport alive with all this COVID-19 mess going on. These fighters are literally going to Yas Island and Abu Dhabi because Dana White turned UFC into “Fight Island”, I mean how sick is that!? And there is 3, that’s right, 3 belts on the line. I am going to give my predictions on the Main Card alone.
Amanda Ribas (9-1) v. Paige VanZant (8-4)
Paige VanZant knew coming to this fight that she was a huge underdog and still took the fight. The thing with her is she is coming off a very long layover of not stepping in that octagon. She has only fought once a year since 2016, didn’t fight in 2017, lost in 2018, and got a win by Submission in 2019. We know just by looking at her that she is incredibly fit, but to go against Ribas, is a different story. Ribas went to decision against Mackenzie Dern (a monster) and has shown a consistent fighting pattern in her career. I have seen crazy things happen in the UFC; I just question how successful Paige will be when it comes time to step into the octagon with a very tough opponent.
Prediction: Ribas wins; It’ll go distance or by submission
Jessica Andrade (20-7) v. Rose Namajunas (9-4) Part II
This is one fight you DO NOT want to miss!! These women are great at Submissions and have very heavy hands. One of the ‘Fight of the Year’ Award this year in question is Joanna Jedrzejczky v. Weili Zhang and Rose beat her twice already. The first fight was crazy because Rose was already boxing Andrade, but she ended up being slammed on her head. I believe this fight will stay standing up, Rose is just faster at throwing those punches and I believe it won’t go to a decision.
Prediction: Rose Wins in TKO/KO
Petr Yan (14-1) v. Jose Aldo (28-6)
This division has some SERIOUSLY scary Bantamweight fighters. Lately, all we have been seeing is Knockout-after-Knockouts from these guys, it is crazy! Petr Yan has got this in the bag. Now, I am not knocking Jose Aldo by any means necessary. The guy is a beast and I believe he won his last fight. The guy looked good for moving down in weight and would have a success at the weight class. I am going with Yan because he has been destroying guys, the power he possesses is something extraordinary. He has defeated Urijah Faber, Jimmie Rivera, and held the belt of an MMA establishment before UFC. Yan’s wrestling will not be a factor in this fight because Aldo’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is just on a complete other level. Both are ready for the fight to go the distance but whoever comes out on top will be our new Bantamweight Champion. These boys are going to bring their A-game!
Prediction: Petr Yan Knockout over Aldo
Alexander Volkanovski (21-1) v. Max Holloway (21-5) II
Another fight, another rematch and last time we saw Max, he lost his belt to Alexander, now he has a chance of redemption. This one hurts me because everyone loves Max. He does not talk trash to anyone, he has been an internet sensation during quarantine playing Call of Duty: Warzone, he is everyone’s favorite Hawaiian. I did not expect Volkanovski to take that Featherweight Belt from him. The biggest thing from that fight were the kicks he was hitting Max with, just destroying his legs, and Max didn’t checking those kicks to block them. He cuts Volkanovski’s kicks away from them he can use his reach to do what he does best- wail on his opponent’s face. It went to decision when at the very end and that was the top factor for Volkanovski’s win. Max has fought some absolute dogs in his career- Frankie Edgar, Dustin Poirier, Brian Ortega, and Jose Aldo twice and One thing for certain, this guys chin is incredible. He has banged with some of the toughest guys out there including Conor McGregor. He has the cardio to go to decision majority of the time if he does not get the KO. I feel we will hear “AND NEWWWW” from Bruce Buffer and see that hand get raised.
Prediction: Max Holloway Decision
Kamaru Usman (16-1) v. Jorge Masvidal (35-13)
If you guys are a fan of the sport like me, you know that these two do NOT like each other. They almost got into a fight at a press conference and have voiced multiple times through social media exactly what they thought of each other. When looking at this fight we need to take in a few factors. One, Jorge took this fight on 6 days’ notice. That is insane. He has wanted to get in the octagon and settle his beef so bad that he hasn’t even went through a fight camp. Which brings me to my second point, Jorge does not need a camp. Yes, it would be ideal, but even Dustin Poirier brought up that he was training with him in the gym during his last fight. We must remember that Jorge started by his videos on YouTube with Kimbo Slice beating people up in a backyard. The dude is an animal! My third and final point, this guy has been on an outstanding streak. Started when he KO’d Darren Till, then gets the fastest KO in UFC history (0:05) against Ben Askren, and then wins a made-up Bad Mother F***er Belt against Nate Diaz. Now this guy has a chance to fight for the Welterweight Belt to add to his success. Most guys look at Usman’s stature and immediately think he takes peoples heads off. I mean look at his record, only one loss. That is not quite the case, he has gone the distance in his last 6 fights (Colby Covington doesn’t count because it almost made it). His last actual KO/TKO was in 2017. I am picking Jorge because he has the ability to go all 5 rounds, has fought longer than he has even been in MMA, and has KO power. Usman has been training for a completely different fighter (Gilbert Burns) but because Burns tested positive for COVID-19, can-not make it. Only way I see Usman winning is takedown, but if Jorge stops it, he goes home with that brand-new Welterweight Belt.
Prediction: Masvidal decision or KO
I know one thing is for sure, you guys will not want to miss this Main Card. These fights are insane and it is going to be a great show!!
Corbin Snellings follow me on twitter @cbizzle93
UFC Writer for The Prophets