UFC 250 Main Card Predictions
As the world continues to unravel, the UFC maintains its position as the brand filling the sports void that has been open since early March. UFC 250 will take place tonight at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. While “Fight Island” looms large in the background, the Apex will serve as Dana White’s home base for now. Fans scoffed at the card as the first few bouts were announced, now everyone is ready for what has the potential to be one of the more exciting nights of the year.
UFC 250 Prelim Gems:
Jussier Formiga (23-7) vs. Alex Perez (23-5)
Cody Stamann (18-2-1) vs. Brian Kelleher (21-10)
Ian Heinisch (13-3) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (30-12)
UFC 250 Main Card:
Eddie Wineland (24-13-1) vs. “Sugar” Sean O’Malley (11-0)
The next potential superstar of the UFC Sean O’Malley returns to the octagon for the second time since his two-year suspension ended in March. Eddie Wineland awaits him as the most talented and experienced opponent “Sugar” has ever come across. While O’Malley has made things look easy to begin his UFC career, Wineland has competed against the best of the best for over a decade. In what presents itself as a classic gatekeeper match to start the main card, we’ll see just how mature O’Malley has become.
There’s one thing that O’Malley definitively has over all of the bantamweights, he’s taller and usually has a noticeable reach advantage. His bouts up to this point have come down to how often he’ll push the pace. While Wineland is hard to out-dawg, O’Malley has proven his ability to win in more ways than one. The Apex faithful will get an opportunity to see the O’Malley that plays with his food for 15 minutes or the guy that closes the show before the judges get their hands on the result.
O’Malley strengthens his stance in the bantamweight division by stopping his toughest opponent to date.
O’Malley def. Wineland via KO (2nd round)
Neil Magny (22-8) vs. Anthony Rocco Martin (17-5)
As Anthony Rocco Martin enters the cage tonight, he’ll be well aware that he needs to make a statement. With this being the last fight on his contract and there being no sign of negotiations, Rocco Martin finds himself in a unique situation before facing the savvy veteran, Neil Magny. Some argue that Rocco Martin should be undefeated in his last 10 fights with his two losses coming by split and majority decision. That doesn’t seem like the track record of someone Papa Dana wants to let go.
There is no doubt that Rocco Martin has been more than impressive at Welterweight, but Magny might just be the man that stifles him in this weight class. This will be the first time Rocco Martin has faced someone with the gas tank, length and striking ability that Magny has in his arsenal at 170 pounds. Magny has the potential to make this a long night for the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt if he can keep it on the feet. The same can be said for Rocco Martin if he can get Magny to the mat, he has seemed vulnerable at times fighting off of his back in his UFC career.
Magny keeps his distance and uses his superior striking ability to earn his 23rd career victory.
Magny def. Rocco Martin via Unanimous Decision
Aljamain “Funk Master” Sterling (18-3) vs. Cory Sandhagen (12-1)
The top of the bantamweight division gets revived as two of the top 5 fighters in the 135-pound division try to make their claim to be in line for a shot at the Bantamweight Title. While many seem to be frustrated with giving Jose Aldo a chance against Petr Yan for the vacant bantamweight championship, this fight has the chance to highlight who will get the first crack at the winner of that matchup.
(That’s if Raphael Assuncao doesn’t have anything to say about it.)
With both fighters coming into this fight with impressive win streaks, fans will get to see who will get taken out of their comfort zone for the first time in a while. While Cory Sandhagen is known for the intense pace he can keep up over three rounds, Aljamain Sterling can slow it down with his ability to get anyone to the ground. Sandhagen has been taken down often in his UFC career, so it’ll come down to how aggressive he can be without dealing with the Funk Master’s elite top game.
Sandhagen stays on his feet just enough to inch out his eighth straight victory.
Sandhagen def. Sterling via Split Decision
Raphael Assuncao (27-7) vs. Cody “No Love” Garbrandt (11-3)
The night of the bantamweights continues in the co-main event that will see the former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt face off against the Ascension MMA star, Raphael Assuncao. With neither competitor landing in the win column in over two years, there is a peculiar sense of urgency that no other fight on the card has. As Assuncao tries to make his claim as a legitimate contender for the vacant bantamweight championship, Garbrandt attempts to win for the first time in three and a half years and get his career back on track.
“No Love” was once looked at as the future of the UFC, and then he got knocked out three times in a row. At 28 years of age, with two of those losses coming to TJ Dillashaw who was blatantly cheating and the other coming to Pedro Munhoz, Garbrandt still has plenty of time and leeway to regain his status among the UFC elite. It’s up to Assuncao to address the elephant in the room, which is Garbrandt’s ability to take a shot. While Assuncao may be the most talented Jiu-Jitsu artist at 135 pounds, he doesn’t shy away from standing in the pocket at times. With Garbrandt arguably being the best boxer in the division, the world will see if Assuncao fails to overcome a talented striker once again.
Coming off of a year-long break, Garbrandt stays patient and doesn’t throw himself in harm’s way. The former bantamweight champion returns to style and makes the brotherhood of Team Alpha Male proud.
Garbrandt def. Assuncao via TKO (3rd round)
Women’s Featherweight Champion Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes (19-4) vs. Felicia “FeeNom” Spencer (8-1)
Women’s Featherweight Championship
Amanda Nunes, the greatest female fighter of all time, returns to the cage to take on the fierce Canadian challenger, Felicia Spencer. As the former Invicta FC champion prepares to shock the world, Nunes remains focused on becoming the greatest regardless of gender. With Spencer’s only loss coming to Cris Cyborg in a competitive scrap, there’s no reason to overlook the BJJ black belt who is more than capable of holding her own on the feet.
With that being said, picking against “The Lioness” is more than tough. Spencer does propose a stylistic challenge for Nunes, that doesn’t change the fact that Nunes is the better striker by a wide margin. The “FeeNom” is a better wrestler, but taking down the two-weight world champion has seemed nearly impossible. If Nunes had the same gas tank that she had in her Strikeforce days, Spencer’s Jiu-Jitsu would have a better chance of playing a factor in the outcome. Since then, Nunes has gone five rounds with Valentina Shevchenko and Germaine de Randamie showing no signs of major fatigue.
Spencer will come out of the gates hot attempting to maintain octagon control, but it won’t be enough as Nunes will reign supreme in retaining her 145-pound strap.
Go ahead and schedule the trilogy fight with Valentina Shevchenko.
Nunes def. Spencer via TKO (4th round)