This will be the UFC’s first event in Buffalo since 1995, and what a card it will be. The much-awaited rematch and title fight between powerhouse light heavyweights Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson will headline the event, but with guys like Chris Weidman and Gegard Moussasi also on deck, we’ll never know who can suddenly steal the show.
Read on below and see which fighters you could put your money on!
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UFC 210: Cormier vs Johnson 2
Main Event – UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
It’s a classic battle between a wrestler and a brawler. These two had an entertaining encounter in their championship fight in May 2015. “Rumble” Johnson (22-5), as you may remember, connected his feared right-hand bomb in the first 30 seconds of the opening round, which visibly rocked Cormier (19-1). DC, however, being an elite fighter and all, regrouped and submitted him in the third round.
Such a sequence of action can be expected Saturday night since they are still the same fighters from their initial meeting, although Cormier recently said in an interview (probably jokingly) that he plans to stand up and box with his challenger.
The key for these two warriors is balance. There’s no doubt that DC has the upper hand in wrestling and grappling, and Rumble in striking and power, so if one of them tries too hard to be a hero and fight with a much different style, he will get dropped/submitted.
Writer’s Prediction: Cormier wins via submission or unanimous decision.
Weidman (13-2) is on a two-fight losing streak, but he’s not falling off. Such defeats shouldn’t be considered a decline if one lost competitively. He is still a well-rounded fighter who can be dangerous from anywhere in the octagon.
Against Rockhold, he was doing fairly well before a botched wheel kick drove him down, and against Yoel Romero, he was on his way to winning before getting caught with a knee. Remember, too, that those two are regarded as elites in the division.
This is, of course, not to imply that he’ll run over Moussasi (41-6-2). The 31-year-old is just as well-rounded as he is, and arguably one of the most patient fighters in the business.
What we can expect out of the two is a bit similar: Weidman may look to exchange strikes before setting up his moves for the ground-and-pound. Mousasi, likewise, could try to go toe-to-toe standing up, but he’ll likely keep it that way, especially since he’s trusting his power more as of late, thanks to three straight TKO/KO wins.
Writer’s Prediction: Weidman wins a five-round brawl.
Calvillo (4-0) has a ton of momentum on her side. She is coming off an impressive first-round submission win just a month ago against Ultimate Fighter 23 finalist Amanda Cooper. It was a performance that displayed good versatility, as she was also able to land over 50 percent of her strikes before applying the fight-winning, rear-naked choke.
This battle with Gonzalez (6-1) should be good, who seems to be a well-equipped fighter. The 30-year-old is a boxer and a former Golden Gloves champion, but has since added wrestling and grappling to her repertoire, as evidenced by winning 10 of her last 15 bouts via submission.
Writer’s Prediction: Calvillo earns a unanimous decision.
This will be Alves’s (21-11) first fight back to the welterweight division after a one-off at lightweight. He looks and sounds to be excited for his return at 170, and even admitted that he’s a “better husband” while at the weight class.
“The Pitbull” is a Muay Thai striker who is sure to deliver a relentless attack, which makes this matchup very interesting. Cote (23-10), too, could look to exchange while standing up. Though he’s coming off a TKO loss, his power should never be overlooked, and two of his last three wins still ended in him TKOing his opponents, so he should still be considered a big threat.
Writer’s Prediction: Cote via TKO.
After getting KO’d by a different (Alex) Oliviera, Brooks (19-2) will now a try a different one.
In all seriousness, though, Brooks is a good defensive fighter, and he’s blessed with top-notch coaches at American Top Team. Look for him to showcase his kickboxing and wrestling skills in the bout. He has 10 finishes in his 19 victories – six were TKO/KOs and four were submissions.
Oliviera (21-7), meanwhile, is aiming to get back on the winning column. This will be his return to lightweight after his stint at featherweight saw him lose three of four fights by finishes. “Do Bronx” is boasting a veteran skill set, which includes an impressive Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. If he executes well enough, he could bag another submission win – his 19 wins have 13 via submissions and six via TKO/KOs.
Writer’s Prediction: Brooks wins via unanimous decision.
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