Ladies and gentlemen, get ready to strap-in, because Saturday night's UFC 214 is going to be absolute madness. Five fights on the main card. Three title fights. Two other fights that easily could headline any PPV this year. Everything a fight fan could ask for will be delivered Saturday.
I'll start out with the first fight on the main card, one that could very well dictate how the Light Heavyweight Title picture shapes out after Jon Jones and DC throw down. Jimi Manuwa will face off against Volkan Oezdemir, in a battle of the heavy hitters. Manuwa, who is coming off of two straight KO wins, bouncing back from his vicious KO loss to Anthony "Rumble" Johnson in 2015, believes that he is already deserving of a title shot, let alone if he defeats Oezdemir Saturday. I for one, disagree, and think Manuwa, even with a victory, will either need to fight Alexander Gustafson to determine the rightful contender, or wait until Gustafson get's his title shot first. Oezdemir is on a 4-fight win streak, the most recent being a brutal KO over Misha Cirkunov, and will look to continue to push his name towards the title contention with a win.
Prediction: Jimi Manuwa via 2nd-round KO
Next, we have quite possibly the greatest fan-favorite fight we could ever ask for, as two absolute warriors square off at 170-pounds, with Robbie Lawler taking on Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone. Talk about a war; these two guys are going to stand and trade blows all night long, and eventually, one of them is going to be the last man standing. Two of the toughest guys to ever step foot into the octagon, and both hungry for a win, with both of them coming off of difficult losses. Ultimately, it is going to come down to who's chin can hang in the longest, because I don't see this fight going to decision.
Prediction: Robbie Lawlwer via 3rd-round TKO
Then we have the first of our three title fights, with Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino taking on Tonya Evinger for the vacant Women's Featherweight Title. Finally we will get to see Cyborg fight for the belt that the UFC virtually created only for her, and I can't wait to see what she does in this opportunity. While Tonya Evinger is no push-over, I just don't believe in my heart of hearts that anyone, and I mean anyone, can stop the power and strength of Cyborg.
Prediction: Cyborg via 2nd-round TKO
Now we start getting into the two awesome title fights, the first being for the Welterweight Title, as Tyron Woodley looks to defend his strap against Demian Maia. This is the definition of "styles make fights", because Maia comes into every fight with the same game plan, and executes it to perfection. The jiu-jitsu phenome makes a living off of strangling the life out of his opponents, however, he has never, and I mean never, faced anyone with the size, strength, and wrestling pedigree of Tyron Woodley. This fight will go one of two ways, as Maia will either find a will to slip his arms around Woodley's gigantic neck, or Woodley will land one of his patented overhand right's and put Maia to sleep just like he has done to so many others in the past, or at least use that power to win in a decision. I ultimately think Woodley is too strong, and too good on the ground to let Maia control him in any way, shape, or form, and because of that, he will walk away victorious.
Prediction: Woodley via Unanimous Decision
Finally, the rematch we have been waiting over two and a half years for, Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier 2, for the Light Heavyweight Title. If this fight doesn't get your blood pumping, you may need to see a doctor immediately. This fight is a career defining fight for both of these men, as one looks to put 2+ years of mistakes, embarrassments, and shame behind him, and the other looks to avenge the only loss of his career, and erase the doubt and shadow that has been cast over his reign as the Light Heavyweight Champion. Make no mistake about it, Jon Jones and DC genuinely hate one another, and this fight will be the culmination of the past 2 years of verbal, and mental warfare that these two have engaged in. If Jones comes out and fights smart, and fights the way he has for the last 7+ years, he will have his hand raised, but if he comes out with his emotions running wild, and lets any bit of ring-rust affect him, he might be in for a long night. DC has to finish Jon Jones in my opinion, because I think it is just too hard to beat him in 5-rounds. DC better pray that Jones lets his emotions get the best of him, because that will be his key to victory. But as a diehard "Bones" Jones fan, I need this win for Jon Jones almost as badly as he does.
Prediction: Jon Jones via Unanimous Decision