As Bruce Buffer would say, It’s Time! UFC 200 is here and is packed with premium fights up and down the fight card. Unfortunately we will not see Jon Jones after he failed a drug test. Nevertheless, Dana White rolled with the punches and miraculously found the legend Anderson Silva to replace him.
Now it is time to make some predictions in this historic event. Disagree with my predictions? Make sure to let me know about it on my twitter @treydaubert.
UFC 200: Tate vs. Nunes Main Card – Live on Pay-Per-View (10PM ET)
Miesha Tate (18-5) vs. Amanda Nunes (12-4)
Odds: Tate -250; Nunes +210
Who would have thought that Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes would have headlined UFC 200 a week ago? Amanda Nunes, who is virtually unknown by most people who will be watching. Nunes is by no means a lack luster opponent however. Nunes, 28, is a gifted athlete with quick hands. The problem for Nunes will be an experience factor. This will be her first five round fight and has only fought into the 3rd round on 3 occasions (1-2 in those fights). This is where is expect Tate to take over with timely take downs and punishing ground and pound. Miesha Tate has fought the best of the best in the bantamweight division. When times get tough I expect her grit and grind to get the victory. I’m picking her to get the TKO but I would not be surprised if she wins by submission either.
Prediction: Tate via 4th round TKO
Mark Hunt (12-10-1) vs. Brock Lesnar (5-3)
Odds: Hunt -170; Lesnar +150
With any heavyweight fight it only takes one punch to end it. In terms of knockout artists we have a great one in Mark Hunt. Of his 12 wins, 9 have come by way of TKO or KO. One problem Hunt may be facing is the ground game where he is 0-6 in fights that have ended in submission. This could play right into the hands of Lesnar who is an NCAA champion wrestler whose top game could spell the end for Hunt. Brock Lesnar is the superior athlete who has also spent brief time in the NFL as well. Some people have the rare ability where they can flip the light switch on at any time, Lesnar is one of those freak athlete’s. I don’t expect the long lay off to be a big determine to his striking either. Call me crazy but I’ll go with Lesnar here. Then again maybe I’m just biased being a former wrestler.
Prediction Lesnar via 1st round TKO
Daniel Cormier (17-1) vs. Anderson Silva (33-7)
Odds: Cormier -410; Silva +315
Well as much as we were hoping to see Jon Jones, credit Dana White for finding a replacement in the nick of time. Jones will now face a two-year suspension following the failed drug test.
As for the fight between Cormier and Silva it is kinda foolhardy to believe the spider Silva can win this one. Not only is Silva winless since 2012 but he is also only two months recovered from a surgery that removed his gall bladder. The Spider has also fought the vast majority of his fighting career at middle weight, a 20 pound jump to light heavyweight.
As for Cormier he is a bigger light heavyweight as it is. Cormier is an Olympic caliber wrestler who will likely be too much for the 41-year-old Silva to handle. We have seen crazier things in MMA but I would expect Cormier to get the job done.
Prediction: Cormier via 2nd round KO
Jose Aldo (25-2) vs. Frankie Edgar (20-4-1)
Interim featherweight championship
Odds: Edgar -115; Aldo -105
A fighter can only take so many hits to the face in their career. After Conor McGregor knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds it still looks like the left side of his face had a stroke. On the other hand Aldo has some of the most devastating leg kicks the sport has ever seen. It remains to be seen if his mind is right however. As for Frankie Edgar he is a scrappy wrestler to tends to grind his opponents. Edgar lost to Aldo is unanimous decision in the previous fight but I expect that result to change this time around as I just don’t know what type of shape Jose Aldo is in right now.
Prediction: Edgar via decision
Cain Velasquez (13-2) vs. Travis Browne (18-3-1)
Odds: Velasquez -290; Browne +245
Cain Velasquez must be the most annoying person to fight in the heavyweight division. Velazquez reminds me of a gnat. As much as you try to wave and flail your arms somehow he is still right in your face moving forward. Eventually you get to tired and the gnat eventually wins. That is exactly what I expect to happen here. His superior wrestling, athleticism, and pace should set the tone in this fight. Travis Browne by contrary is a talented opponent. He somehow seems to get better the longer his beard grows. Browne has superior knockout power that could end the fight on one punch. I just don’t like Browne’s chances in this one.
Prediction: Velazquez via decision
UFC 200: Tate vs. Nunes Prelims – Live on FS1 (8PM)
Cat Zingano (-165) defeats Julianna Pena (+145)
Johnny Hendricks (-120) defeats Kelvin Gastelum (+100)
T.J. Dillashaw (-410) defeats Raphael Assuncao (+330)
Sage Northcutt (-335) defeats Enrique Marin (+275)