Ladies and gentlemen, you're gonna wanna strap in for this one. UFC 217 at MSG this Saturday night will be incredible, with three title fights, a potential welterweight title eliminator fight, and a plethora of high powered fights.
The preliminary card for UFC 217 could be a main card on FS1, and would still draw a ton of views. With young stars like Mickey Gall, Randy Brown, James Vick, OSP, Corey Anderson, and so on, the 4 fights on the pre-lim card are absolutely worth tuning in to. I am most excited to see Mickey Gall get back out there, and hopefully showcase that he is not all hype, and that he is a legitimate future star in the UFC, and Randy Brown is a good opponent for him to do that against, with Brown himself looking for a big win after a tough decision loss in February.
Now for the main card, the first fight on the card is a huge matchup for one reason - if Johnny Hendricks loses on Saturday, I think it will be time for him to hang up his gloves for good. With Hendricks moving up in weight to 185 pounds, he is desperate for a win, and he's also lost 5 of his last 8 fights, following his absolute robbery in his title fight against GSP in 2013. Unfortunately do not think Hendricks will get the win, and I think up-and-comer Paulo Borrachinha will come away with the victory.
Prediction: Borrachinha via 2nd-round TKO
Now we get to the real fun. Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson takes on Jorge Masvidal, in a welterweight fight that will be nothing less than a striking clinic. Both of these men love to stand and trade, and both have excellent stand-up game's, and it should definitely be a war. I think Masvidal has the advantage in the power and toughness advantage, but I think Wonderboy's length will be the difference maker, and if he keeps his distance, he will chip away at Masvidal and pick him apart.
Prediction: Wonderboy via unanimous decision
For the first of our three(!!!!!) title fights, we have the always amazing Joanna Jedrzejczyk defending her belt against Rose Namajunas, in what should also be a very fun fight. JJ is the greatest female straw-weight ever, and she doesn't let us it forget it either, as each fight she looks better and better and breaks more and more records. So far we have not seen anyone who can push the pace for 5 rounds with Joanna and come out victorious, let alone even win a round, and I think Saturday will be much of the same.
Prediction: JJ via unanimous decision
If there has ever been a rivalry in the UFC that was fueled by pure, genuine hatred, the Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw feud could be it. These two former teammates turned enemies, truly hate each other. This is going to be the greatest title fight in bantamweight history, and it is going to be a real life war. I think personally think TJ Dillashaw is a bum version of Dominick Cruz, and Cody embarrassed Cruz. I don't see this fight going the full 5 rounds, because I think there is just too much bad blood and hatred in that octagon Saturday night, and someone is getting laid out.
Prediction: Cody Garbrandt via 3rd-round TKO
And finally, the long awaited, long anticipated, return of GSP. Michael Bisping will be putting his belt on the line for the second time when he faces one of the greatest mixed martial artists ever, GSP, in his middleweight debut. GSP hasn't fought since November of 2013, and has never fought at 185 pounds, so this fight is a true mystery for us all. As the greatest welterweight ever, we were shocked when we heard that GSP would be returning but not at 170, at 185 pounds. I personally think this move will not fare well for GSP, and I think he will be overmatched, overpowered, and undersized for the middleweight division, and he's not even facing the best fighter in the division in Bisping. I think the return of GSP goes much like the return of Ronda Rousey, and the man who once owned the welterweight division will find himself in serious hot water.
Prediction: Bisping via unanimous decision
I am not exaggerating when I say that this card is going to be worth every penny. Three title fights, a long list of potential wars, and a New York crowd that will be out of their seats the entire time.