What’s up, everyone? Welcome back to another lovely edition of Fightin’ Words, where I ramble on and on about fights you may or may not care about. This month, we look at UFC 208 which features some interesting fights highlighted with the crowning of the UFC’s first ever woman’s featherweight champion. Let’s have a look at what’s set to go down this Saturday from Brooklyn, New York.
UFC Women’s Featherweight Title- “The Farmer’s Daughter” Holly Holm (10-2) vs Germaine “The Iron Lady” de Randamie (6-3)- I have to imagine that this wasn’t the title fight the UFC was hoping for when they created this division but due to Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos’ failed drug test the UFC was left in a tough place and had to set-up a title fight for a new division that has only three fighters at the moment which gives us this fight. This division was pretty much created because one of the best fighters in the world, Santos’ was unable to compete in the UFC’s bantamweight division as she isn’t capable of make 135lbs but with her out of competition for the immediate future the division will have to begin without its biggest star. This is both Holms and de Randamie’s first fights at featherweight so it should be interesting to see how both carry the extra ten lbs and whether it will have much effect on their performance. Holm is coming into this fight having lost her last two fights and is 35 years old while de Randamie is on a two fight winning streak and only 32 years old. Holm is primarily a kick boxer who uses good distance and well timed strikes to work her opponents from the outside and is pretty disciplined in her game plan with limited risks taken. Meanwhile her opponent de Randamie is more reckless and takes far more risks in fights which has definitely backfired for her in some of her past octagon appearances. If this fight is to be won by de Randamie she’d going to need to lure Holm into a shot for shot type fight and mix in takedown attempts while bobbing in and out in exchanges to keep the former champion guessing but Holm is a pretty calm fighter who has enough confidence in her skill set and much like the Silva/Brunson fight in the co main event, she’s a great counter striker and should have multiple chances and landing substantial strikes against someone s careless as de Randamie can be. I think Holm picks apart de Randamie in the early rounds and gets a stoppage via strikes in the third or fourth round.
Prediction: Holm by TKO
Anderson “The Spider” Silva (33-8) vs Derek Brunson (16-4)- This fight is likely to steal the show no matter how long it lasts as Anderson Silva faces off against a dangerous striker and hungry middleweight in Derek Brunson. Anderson Silva is one of the greatest fighters in MMA history with highlight reel knockouts and wins over most of the greatest middleweights in the world. That being said, he’s past his prime and in the stages of finishing up his career and this could be one of his last fights and the UFC really didn’t do him any favours in booking this one. Derek Brunson is coming off a knockout loss to Robert Whitaker but before that he was on a five fight winning streak with four of those wins coming via knockout in the first round. Much like Silva, Brunson has one punch knockout power but Brunson is the type of striker who comes at you and throws bombs to get the victory while Silva is a little more patient and composed and relies more on counter striking to end the fight. Both of these guys chins should be questioned when siding with either man but ultimately I think Silva should have several opportunities to counter punch Brunson in the opening frame of this fight and given Brunson’s limited striking defence I think the veteran picks up the win here within the first five minutes and sets him up for one last run at a title shot in the division he put on the map.
Prediction: Silva by Knockout
Glover Texeira (25-5) vs Jared “The Killa Gorilla” Cannonier (9-1)- Questionable fight here as Texeira has been a top ten light heavyweight for years and even worked his way up to challenging Jon Jones for Jones’ championship. Despite a 13 second loss in his recent fight against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, Texeira is still a threat to anyone not in the top three. Texeira is an experienced grappler with submission skills and very heavy hands and will feel comfortable wherever the fight takes place. Cannonier is an explosive striker with an aggressive style and will look to end this fight quick but with limited experience against top level opposition, he’s taking this fight way too soon in his career against such a veteran in Glover. Even with Glover coming off a first round knockout in his last fight and facing someone who is looking to do the same I still think Glover’s experience will let him weather an early storm then drag this one to the mat where he submits Cannonier within the first ten minutes.
Prediction: Texeira by Submission
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (23-4) vs Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch (20-10)- Another questionable fight here as Jacare is arguably the number one contender at middleweight while Boetsch is a top fifteen fighter at best. Boetsch is 11-9 inside the octagon and has several upset victories over the likes of Yushin Okami, Hector Lombard, CB Dollaway and Brad Tavares so he can’t be overlooked. A powerful striker who doesn’t quit easily, Boetsch is currently riding a two fight win streak and a win over Jacare would put him into title contention. Unfortunately for Boetsch he’s facing one of the best jui jitsu practitioners in the entire sport and someone whose 9-1 in his last ten fights. Jacare’s the better grappler and has decent striking skills of his own which he’s become more confidant in as of late but he’s fairly unlikely to look to trade with Boetsch for too long when he has such an advantage on the mat. Boetsch has a lot of heart but Jacare is just on a whole different level and this is just a fight to keep him busy while waiting for the winner of Michael Bisping and Yoel Romero to emerge. Jacare finishes this in the first round by TKO due to ground and pound or submission by rear naked choke.
Prediction: Jacare by Submission
Ryan LaFlare (12-1) vs Roan “Jucao” Carneiro (21-10)- Prediction: LaFlare by unanimous decision
Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall (13-5-1) vs Jared Brooks (12-0)- Prediction: McCall by unanimous decision
Nik “The Carnie” Lentz (27-7-2) vs Islam Makhachev (13-1)- Prediction: Lentz by unanimous decision
Wilson Reis (21-6) vs Yuta “Uruka” Sasaki (19-3-2)- Prediction: Reis by unanimous decision
Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier (20-5) vs Jim Miller (28-8-1)- Prediction: Poirier by TKO
Phillipe “The Filipino Assassin” (11-7-1) vs Rick “The Gladiator” Glenn (18-4-1)- Prediction: Glenn by unanimous decision
Randy “Rude Boy” Brown (9-1) vs Belal Muhammed (10-2)- Prediction: Brown by unanimous decision
So there you have it thank you to all who’ve read this and I hope you enjoy the show Saturday. Make sure to check back in at the beginning of March as I preview UFC 209: Woodley vs Thompson 2.