Opening Fight: Tecia “The Tiny Tornado” Torres (9-1) vs “The Karate Hottie” Michelle (14-5) Waterson– This one is a little tough to call for me as I really haven’t seen much of either fighter, Torres is a Fall River native with a great striking game that helped her win The Ultimate Fighter. Her base is mostly in Taekwondo and Karate though her wrestling is solid. Waterson’s nickname might make you think her skill set is limited to Karate but as she proved when she choked out Paige Van Zant she’s dangerous on the ground too and damn good at takedowns. Both of these women have fought the reigning champ Rose “Thug” Namajunas, and a victory hear would likely catapult them forward to a chance at a rematch.
Prediction: Torres by decision, both their striking games being well developed likely means a cautious start and I think Torres will take the later rounds and leave it to the judges.
Second Fight: “The Underground King” Eddie Alvarez (28-5) vs “The Highlight” Justin Gaethje (18-0)
This is Justin Gaethje second fight in the UFC. He TKO’d Michael Johnson in the Ultimate Fighter Finale scoring him fight and performance of the night honors, and continuing his path of domination that he went on in World Series of Fighting. However! Eddie Alvarez is not Michael Johnson. Alvarez was the Champ this time last year before he lost the belt to Conor McGregor in a Champion vs Champion fight. Eddie got picked apart by McGregor’s surgical use of his left in that fight, and is coming off a no contest in his last fight against dustin Poirier. Alvarez has the heart of a champ and won’t go down easy, he can slug with the best of them and can raley after he has been dazed.
Prediction: Alvarez 3rd round TKO, this won is going to be bloody. Gaethje only goes forward and Alvarez is a warrior too. Gaethje will catch Alvarez and think he has the fight go for the kill and get caught himself.
Third Fight: Henry “The Messenger” Cejudo (11-2) vs Sergio Pettis (16-2)
Cejudo is the youngest olympic gold medalist in US wrestling history, if he has his way this will be mostly a ground fight, not to say he has no stand up game he has some boxing and good knees but he prefers to takedown and ground and pound. Pettis is a stand up fighter, with great kicks and good power. Also younger brother of Anthony Pettis.
Prediction: Cejudo in a decision, I don’t think Pettis will be able to keep Cejudo from taking this to the mat.
Co-Main Event: Alistair “Ubereem” Overeem (43-15) vs “The Predator” Francis Ngannou (10-1)
Francis Ngannou has one of the craziest back stories of any fighter ever in the UFC. Ngannou was born in Cameroon, his father, a street fighter, walked out on his family when he was six, he bounced with his mother and siblings from home to home, was working in a sand mine at twelve, he went to Cameroon’s capital at twenty two, a few years later he immigrated to Paris and was homeless in France. Ngunnou eventually found his way to MMA after a brief foray into boxing. Ngunnou has smashed his way into the UFC where he is undefeated. Now he has to go up against the living legend and one of the greatest heavyweights of all-time in Overeem. Ngunnou made headlines by recording the hardest punch in UFC history on a pad that records impact, but most people say that’s only because Overeem bothered to hit it. Overeem has been the definition of power in MMA for a decade and has gotten more technical with his strikes in recent years.
Prediction: First, Blood, second Ngannou by KO. Overeem is the Fucking man but he has been in a lot of wars and I don’t think his chin is up to taking the power that Ngannou can dish out.
Main event: Max “Blessed” Holloway (C) (18-3) vs Jose Aldo (26-3)
This is a rematch from UFC 212 where Holloway dropped and finished Aldo on the ground in the third round. Don’t let the result of that fight fool you a lot of people had Aldo winning the first two rounds. If he had laid back he could have taken a decision but Aldo was in his home country of Brazil and was probably looking for a knockout when he pressed to hard and got caught.
Prediction: Aldo in a decision, both of these guys have great stamina so I think this one goes the distance and we get the rubber match in 2018.
Written By: Jason MacKinnon (@ohhkillemjason)