Here is my official UFC 211 Preview:
This Saturday’s UFC 211 in Dallas, Texas, is hands down the card of the year thus far, and most likely will be for the entire year. This card is stacked top-to-bottom, with two title fights, #1 contender fights for the Welterweight and Featherweight titles, and fights with huge 'fight of the night' potential. I am absolutely stoked for this card, and I expect nothing but fireworks from these fighters on Saturday night.
First, we have former Lightweight Champ, Eddie Alvarez, looking to rebound from his embarrassing loss to Conor McGregor in November, as he takes on Dustin Poirier in the main event of the Preliminary Card, on FX. This fight would be a top fight on any other card, but for UFC 211, it can’t even crack the main card. Alvarez is looking for a big statement win, as he hopes to KO Poirier and put his name back in the 155-pound title picture. Poirier on the other hand needs a win, and a win over a top guy like Eddie Alvarez will send him shooting up the rankings. I expect this one to be a 3-round slugfest if no one gets KO’ed, but I do see someone getting finished.
Prediction: Eddie Alvarez wins via 2nd-round KO
The card did suffer a loss this week, as Henry Cejudo, who was supposed to take on Sergio Pettis in a big Flyweight matchup, had to withdraw from the card with a broken hand, and rather than finding a replacement for Pettis, the UFC scrapped the fight all together. Now, the Middleweight matchup between Krzysztof Jokto and David Branch will kick things off for the main card, and to be totally honest with you, I have no prediction for this fight. I expect it to go three rounds and be a decision regardless of who wins, but hopefully the fight gives us a bigtime finish.
Next, we have a fight that will almost certainly determine the next challenger for the Featherweight division, pending the winner of Holloway vs. Aldo at UFC 212, as #2 ranked Frankie Edgar takes on a rising star in #7 ranked Yair Rodriguez. Frankie Edgar is a legend in the UFC and although he fell short to Jose Aldo for the second time in their Interim Title at UFC 200, he’s still a threat to the champ regardless of who it is. Yari Rodriguez on the other hand is in possibly the best spot he could ask for, because unless he gets embarrassed on Saturday, he will continue to move up the rankings, and with his absolutely explosive fighting style, he could be the first person to KO Frankie Edgar.
Predication: Frankie Edgar wins via Unanimous Decision
This next fight should absolutely be a title elimination fight, and the winner should be next in line for the Welterweight Title, as #3 ranked Demian Maia will take on #5 ranked Jordge Masvidal. This is a big-time stylistic matchup, as Demian Maia is the best grappler on the UFC’s roster, and can submit anyone, at any time, while Masvidal is a lethal striker, who brutalized Cowboy Cerrone in his last outing. Both men are riding win streaks, Maia’s been one of the most impressive in the UFC, win 6-straight wins, and Masvidal having won 3-straight. This fight will come down to which fighter gets their way, and if Masvidal can keep the fight standing long enough, I think it’s inevitable that he puts Maia away with strikes, but Maia’s ground game only needs a small opening and he can end the fight.
Prediction: Jorge Masvidal wins via 2nd-round TKO
Now the real fun starts, as we get to our Co-Main Event, when Strawweight Champ Joanna Jedrzejzyk puts her belt on the line against #3 ranked Jessica Andrade. JJ is truly one of the most well-rounded fighters to ever step in the Octagon, male or female, and she makes her opponents look like they don’t even belong in the cage with her, defending her belt four straight times and being the UFC’s only Strawweight Champion ever. However, her opponent, Jessice Andrade is no pushover, and has won three straight fights since she dropped down to Strawweight, as she looks to be the first woman to ever beat JJ in her career. I expect this fight to be filled with fireworks, with both women coming out swinging, and putting every bit of their skills to the test.
Prediction: Joanna Jedrejzyk wins via Unanimous Decision
And finally, our main event, the battle for who the baddest man on the planet is, as Stipe Miocic puts his Heavyweight Title on the line against former-champ and #4 ranked HW Junior Dos Santos. These two met back in December of 2014, and put on a 5-round show, slugging it out for 25 minutes and leaving everything they possibly had in the cage. JDS would win the fight via Unanimous Decision, but the fight was far from one-sided, and I expect their rematch to be equally as entertaining. The Champ has not lost since that night in December, and JDS has only fought twice since then after battling some injuries, losing one and winning one, but Dos Santos is one of the greatest Heavyweights in UFC history, and his boxing skills are incredible, as are Miocic’s. I think Miocic has the ground advantage, but truly when it comes to the striking matchup, these guys are about as equal as it can get. I am honestly so excited for this fight, but as a big-time Stipe Miocic fan, I am hoping he gets the win, and defends his belt for the second time, tying the record of Heavyweight Title defenses.
Prediction: Stipe Miocic wins via 3rd-round KO
This card is can’t miss, and I suggest everyone and anyone watches it, whether you’re a UFC fan or not, because there are going to be some serious fireworks on Saturday night.