By Eric Jacinto, Matt Koontz & Mike Whitestone
This card has been full of drama already with it moving on 6 days’ notice from Vegas to California because Jon Jones once against tested positive for a banned substance. The morons are claiming it was a substance from 16 months ago, but tests show that in early August this year he was negative then the substance showed up again in 3 tests. Then it was gone again for multiple tests before showing back up again. This fight shouldn’t be happening because Jones is no way clean entering this fight. It just logically has so many red flags and Dana White, Jeff Nowistky, and Jon Jones refused to actually answer questions that the media had after they had time to research it all. The rest of this card though is pretty awesome so be excited for that.
By Eric Jacinto, Matt Koontz and Mike Whitstone
One of the biggest PPVs in UFC history is about to take place and the main event is the reason for this. Khabib and McGregor’s rivalry and hate is well known and documented. The fight is for more than just the lightweight belt. The rest of the card is absolutely stacked, and we will be treated to a great night as fight fans. Most people are getting caught up in just the McGregor and Khabib hype, but this card is no joke. Mike did a phenomenal job with his picks so I myself (Matt) will only be putting my differences in picks. If I have a different winner, I will write a small analysis on why.
I myself (Eric) will only be putting my predictions (not the early Prelims as I'm doing this little after 6:30pm ET) as Matt and Mike did an excellent job on their breakdown/analysis of all the fights on this great card. I'm so looking forward this fight and have been for for awhile. As Matt said it's not just about McGregor vs Khabib, you have another Lightweight bout that's pretty good in the Co-Main event as Tony Ferguson battles the former UFC Lightweight champion, Anthony "Showtime" Pettis.
By Matt Koontz
UFC Fight Night Boise: Dos Santos vs. Ivanov: This fight card is stacked, and it is like it was kept a secret. The UFC barely advertised this card and most fans seem to know nothing about this card. It is a shame because this card will be one of the best FS1 cards of 2018. I am excited for the entire card top to bottom.
By Matt Koontz and Eric Jacinto
UFC 226: Miocic vs. Cormier: Well this card lost what I believe was the most exciting fight on the card when Holloway had a terrible health scare and has shown some issues similar to a concussion. Ortega was offered Jeremy Stephens and I was told other fighters as well, but he turned them all down really making me lose a bit of respect for that. People can argue he had a camp for Holloway but he would be taking on a fighter without a camp at all on 3 days’ notice who would be tired from cutting the weight unexpectedly and he is supposed to be the best in the division in his own words, so he should be able to take on any opponent. The UFC then tried to schedule Edgar vs. Stephens for the interim featherweight belt. Edgar and Stephens both accepted but Edgar’s family then said there is no way he can take this fight so that fight fell through. So, moving to the co-main is Ngannou vs. Lewis and stepping up to the main card is Felder vs. Perry. Here are my predictions for this card following the weigh-in’s Friday morning.
UFC 223 Fallout:
Devin Clark beats Mike Rodriguez by unanimous decision. This fight had the potential to be great, but Devin couldn’t hang on his feet and used his much heavier size to clinch and hold A LOT and made this fight come to a screeching halt. It worked for him but if he wants to beat top light heavyweight’s he is going to have to significantly improve his standup. Who should Clark fight next? I believe he should get Gadzhimurad Antigulov and prove he can handle a ranked fighter. Fight Grade: C-
Ashlee Evans-Smith defeats Bec Rawlings by unanimous decision. Ashlee pretty much dominated Bec in this fight using her larger size and weight to push Bec around. She was making her flyweight debut and she looked like she could do some damage in this division I would like to see her be tested a bit more and unfortunately this fight might have been the last of Bec’s UFC career as she moves to 7-8. I think Ashlee should fight Rachel Ostovich next and see where she stands in the flyweight division moving forward. Fight Grade: C-
Olivier Aubin-Mercier Knocks out #15 Evan Dunham in round 1: I mean I thought Olivier was going to win this one, but I had no idea he was going to do what he did. A great lightweight fight for the whole 54 seconds it lasted. I was pleasantly surprised, and I hope that he finds himself ranked now on UFC.com as he will surely be on my site. This fight lasted less than a minute as he weathered a very early storm from a power puncher in Dunham and KO’d him. I think Mercier should fight James Vick next in this division and see if he can crack the top 10. Fight Grade: B+
#3 Karolina Kowalkiewicz defeats #6 Felice Herrig by split decision: This fight had moments of excitement, but it seemed Felice got tired early into round 2 and that was when it slowed down. Felice should have considered shooting for a takedown to use her power and wrestling skills to get this fight in her control. Karolina dominated this fight on the feet really and set up a fight with either Gadelha or Joanna after this performance. I believe Felice Herrig should fight the winner of Waterson and Cortney Casey this weekend. Karolina Kowalkiewicz, I believe should fight Joanna for a number one contender spot in a rematch as Karolina has grown a lot. Fight Grade: B-
Chris Gruetzemacher stops Joe Lauzon by doctor stoppage at end of round 2. Joe started this fight incredibly well, but he tired so fast. This lightweight battle was fun though for the 10 minutes it lasted. Once Joe tired out Chris turned the tables and started dominating Joe and bloodied him fast. Chris was so much more powerful than Joe and just dominated him. I have to give Joe credit though as he never went down and kept fighting regardless of being completely battered and beaten to a pulp. I would like to see Chris fight Alexander Hernandez and set up a great standup brawl. Fight Grade: B
Zabit Magomedsharipov defeats Kyle Bochniak by unanimous decision: This featherweight brawl was fight of the night EASY. This fight was absolutely insane. Zabit showed his composure and skills. He was technical and precise. He was a lot of fun to watch and showed why 5 different featherweights turned him down. Bochniak showed that he is absolutely insane and kept coming regardless that he was getting battered and beaten. Every time Zabit hit him it seemed to fire him up even more, I see a future Diego Sanchez in this kid. I would like to see Bochniak and Dooho Choi throw down next. As for Zabit I would like to see him take on Ricardo Lamas in his next fight as he called out Yair Rodriguez but Yair has said he has a fight announcement coming out soon. Fight Grade: A++
#12 Renato Moicano defeats #14 Calvin Kattar by unanimous decision: This featherweight fight was actually really a dull fight which I wasn’t expecting. Moicano utilized the inside leg kicks and Kattar after getting his legs chopped couldn’t do much at all offensively. This fight would have been a great fight if they could have both gone at it. I was shocked that regardless Kattar didn’t have an offense that Moicano didn’t take the fight to the mat or at least stop it by KO. I think Kattar should fight Myles Jury in his next fight and set up a fun fight for the fans. Moicano I believe should take on the Korean Zombie Chan Sung Jung. Fight Grade: C
Champ Rose Namajunas defends her strawweight title against #1 Joanna Jedrzejczyk by unanimous decision: This fight was a really good back and forth battle between the top two women in the division. This fight showed that Rose doesn’t need to go to the mat to win a fight though even against top opposition. It is nice to see how much Rose’s stand-up game has developed and now shown that she is a very well-rounded fighter. Joanna needs to learn how to handle a fighter putting pressure on her because when she wasn’t moving forward she was getting beat. She needs to pick up a bit of better head movement, but I personally think she should go up to flyweight as it would be better for her career. I think Joanna should fight Karolina Kowalkiewicz if she stays at strawweight. I think next for Rose and her next title defense should be Jessica Andrade which would be an incredible fight. Fight Grade: B+
#2 Khabib Nurmagomedov defeats #11 Al Iaquinta by unanimous decision to win the lightweight belt: This fight might have changed opponents for Khabib 2 different times and been offered 5 different fighters, but this absolutely DID NOT live up to the hype. Khabib was known for being able to take his opponent to the mat and dominate them. That did not happen at all, Al kept fighting his way back to his feet and eventually managed to keep it standing with takedown defense. Iaquinta might have been able to win this fight if he got close and managed to use his striking skills but he looked worried to go for broke on his feet in fear of the takedown. Khabib when on his feet looked like he had no place among the elite of this division. His ground and pound is one thing but you can’t be a top fighter in the UFC without being a well-rounded mixed martial artist. I would love to see Iaquinta fight Michael Chiesa after this one. Khabib I personally want to see fight the winner of Poirier and Gaethje but realistically it will be Tony Ferguson or Conor McGregor. Fight Grade: D-