UFC 212 Predictions by Joe LaSala
This weekend’s UFC 212 includes a fight that most MMA fans have been waiting a long time for in the unification featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Max Holloway. The rest of the card may not seem too appealing to the casual fight fan, but I think that it has a lot of sleeper potential for combination brutality and skill that us MMA fans have come to love. I will stick to the Fox Sports 1 prelims and the main event and will predict exactly what way and in what round I think the fight will end. Without further ado here are my predictions.
Fox Sports 1 prelims
Iuri Alcântara (-330) vs. Brian Kelleher (+270)
With his exciting fight style and vast array of submissions, Alcântara is a threat to anyone and has been fighting top talent for years. I cannot see how Kelleher wins this one in his UFC debut.
Alcântara by 1st round submission, Rear-Naked-Choke.
Matthew Lopez (-200) vs. Johnny Eduardo (+170)
This is one of those sleeper fights I was talking about earlier. Eduardo has the edge on experience, but Lopez had a very impressive upset win against Mitch Gagnon in his last fight. I think the promising prospect Lopez propels his career and takes the hard hitting Eduardo.
Lopez by Unanimous Decision
Antonio Carlos Junior (-225) vs. Eric Spicely (+185)
This is one of those middle of the road fights, where both fighters are looking to jump into that upper echelon of the middleweight division. Both are coming off 2 fight win streaks, but I just have a feeling with Spicily getting better and better. While I don’t think Spicely will be able to submit the BJJ world champ I take him in an upset special.
Spicely by Unanimous Decision
Raphael Assunção (+150) vs. Marlon Moraes (-170)
This match up is another case of the UFC putting a fight that could easily be on any main card on the headline of the undercard to get fans to tune in to Fox Sports 1. Morales is on a crazy 13 fight win streak and both fighters are ranked among the top 10 bantamweights in the world. However the level of competition for Morales is lacking, while Assunção has been fighting and sometimes beating, the best fighters in the division. In another upset, I look for Assunção to make a statement here.
Assunção by 3rd round submission, Arm-Bar.
Erick Silva (+120) vs. Yancy Medeiros (-140)
Erick Silva was thought to be the next big thing not too long ago, and has shown flashes of that throughout his career, while, at the same time, taking just as many steps backward. Medeiros has had a similar back and forth career in the UFC. I think that Silva, with so much skill, still has the potential to make a run and be one the top fighters in the division.
Silva by 2nd round TKO.
Paulo Borrachinha (-275) vs. (+235) Oluwale Bamgbose
Both fighters have shown great knockout power in the middleweight division, and both tore through their opponents before coming to the UFC. However I feel that Bamgbose has become a little exposed, and Borrachinha has the potential to become one of the next big things in the division. I have a feeling Paulo tears through Bamgbose early.
Borrachinha by 1st round KO.
Vitor Belfort (-160) vs. Nate Marquardt (+140)
Anyone who has been a fan of the UFC for a long time loves this fight. Both fighters have been in the title picture, (with Vitor becoming champion early in his career). It seems to be the end of the road for both of them, but that is not to say that they both won’t bring it. I can’t see Nate the Great winning of the feet and thats where Vitor will keep it. In a card I think will be full of finishes I take the Phenom early.
Belfort by 1st round TKO
Cláudia Gadelha (-340) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (+280)
These 2 are clearly the numbers 1 and 2 contenders in the women’s’ Straw-weight division. They both, like everyone else, have been unable to solve the Joanna Jędrzejczyk equation and take her title. Still, they are both great fighters. This will be a war, but Gadelha will just be a little too much to handle.
Gadelha by Unanimous Decision
Jose Aldo (-145) vs. Max Holloway (+125) for the Featherweight Championship of the World
Holloway deserves a chance at unifying this title as much, if not more, than Aldo does at defending it. This is such a tough fight to call being that both fighters have been so dominant. Holloway is on a 10 fight win streak that includes 7 finishes and the taking out of 5 consecutive top 10 fighters. Aldo only has 1 blip on his UFC career when McGregor took him out in 13 seconds, besides that he has beaten any and all comers pretty decisively. While my heart is with Holloway, I think that Aldo will lace his opponent with his trade mark leg kicks and take this in a closely contested absolute war.
Jose Also by Split Decision.