Fight Booth OG’s Dwayne Wolff and Dave Reno are here to give you their picks for tomorrow UFC 216 pay-per-view out of Las Vegas. Feel free to join us by leaving your picks in the comments section below or get at us on social media and tell us what you really think over @FightBooth.
• Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee
Dwayne Wolff: The fight between Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee has me all Brian Fantana aroused. Two talented fighters facing off for one of the rare and precious UFC interim title belts. The winner could possibly be Conor’s next opponent. But, before either of them start dreaming about a red-panty night payday, they need to deal with each other first.
One could write pages about the nuanced details of this fight. I think it comes down to what happens during the chaos of the scrambles and which fighter makes a mistake. Just winning does not guarantee a chance against Conor. It will take an exciting win and a finish will help. With both trying to get a finish, one will likely make a mistake leaving an opening for the other one.
While I will not be shocked by a Lee win, I like Ferguson’s experience in big fights to give him the edge in this one.
Ferguson via elbow TKO in the 3rd round
Dave Reno: Crazy fun headliner here between two guys who are being put in a PPV main even for the first time. Lee has shown us that he’s ready for the bright lights and title fights when it comes to his game outside of the cage but he’s yet to do it on the inside. If he can prove it here he may just win the Conor McGregor sweepstakes. If Ferguson wins, I honestly don’t see McGregor taking that fight. He’s too good inside of the cage and he doesn’t do himself a lot of favors on the mic. Too risky for Conor’s legacy and no reward.
Don’t get me wrong. Lee is an exciting fighter with the kind of natural talent that, like Ferguson, is dangerous anywhere the fight goes. I just believe that Ferguson is a little more dangerous. ‘El Cucuy’ gets it done here to cement himself as one of the top guys in the sport today.
Ferguson via Submission, 2nd Round
• The Mighty One vs. Ray Borg
Wolff: Will Demetrious Johnson finally get his chance to break the record or will Ray Borg once again miss the fight? That is the biggest battle in this matchup. I think Borg has potential to be a future champion but in more of a year or two or three kind of way. The Mighty One has no weaknesses. Outside of Borg landing some kind of secret Steven Seagal strike I do not see how he wins the fight.
Johnson via sheer dominance
Reno: Ray Borg is coming into this fight as the biggest dog on the card (-700) against a man who is undefeated in 11 title fights. The only knock on Johnson is that he hasn’t been pushed yet at 125 lbs; he’s yet to find that true adversary. Before he became champ, it seemed like Ian McCall might end up being that guy. Unfortunately, McCall has been dealing with some issues and we may never see him in the cage again. So, what about Joseph Benavidez, the uncrowned flyweight champion before the division even arrived in the UFC? Benavidez has suffered from something known as the pre Cody Garbrandt Team Alpha Male syndrome. He’s beaten all of the same guys that Johnson has, he just can’t seem to figure out the champ. That brings us to Ray Borg? A guy who has beaten none of the top guys but just happens to be the only ranked fighter left that DJ has yet to face. I’m just not buying it. Nobody is. And sometimes, that’s when the craziest upsets in sports happen. That said, those kind of upsets just do not happen when a guy as focused and as talented as Demetrious Johnson is involved. He’s just too great. If not the greatest.
Johnson via whatever he wants
• Fabricio Werdum vs. Derrick Lewis
Wolff: This matchup features everyone’s new UFC’s most hated heavyweight in Fabricio Werdum, who takes over the spot from Travis Browne. He faces off against Houston hero Derrick Lewis. It is without bias that I am picking Lewis to win by KO and not just the outcome I want the most.
Lewis via first round KO
Reno: The day that Derrick Lewis retired was a sad one for the UFC heavyweight division. Now that he’s back, the UFC certainly isn’t doing him any favors. Despite being a total jackass, Werdum is a scary dude who can submit you or TKO you on his worst day.
If picking this fight was based on who is the best Instagram follow, Lewis would get my pick over anyone in the UFC. If I’m being asked to pick a winner here, I have to go with Werdum finishing Lewis in the 3rd. Even if Werdum starts to play around like he tends to do, he’s just too smart to put himself in front of that hammer attached to the right arm of Derrick Lewis early on in the fight.
Werdum via TKO, 3rd Round
• Mara Romero Borella vs. Kalindra Faria
Wolff: Here we have a “why is this fight on the PPV” fight. Both Mara Romero Borella and Kalindra Faria are making their UFC debuts. One of them will win. Honestly could not tell you much about either fighter. Picking Borella based on better quality wins.
Borella via UD
Reno: The battle of two fighters without Wikipedia page. Faria was originally supposed to fight Andrea Lee on the prelims but Lee got scrapped due to a USADA rule that has temporarily delayed Lee’s UFC debut. Faria will now take on Mara Romero Borella in a flyweight scrap that has been promoted to the PPV portion of the card. I don’t see the Brazilian having many issues with the late opponent change here. Expect a lopsided decision victory for Faria.
Faria via UD
• Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham
Wolff: Kicking off the PPV we have two former almost contenders trying to find the momentum for one last run in Beneil Dariush and Evan Dunham. The veteran Dunham is riding a four-fight win streak. Another one here would propel him to the verge of the top ten. While Dariush is coming off a loss to Edson Barboza and looking to start a new winning streak. I like Dariush to take a tough fight with a late third round TKO.
Dariush via 3rd round TKO
Reno: Dunham hasn’t been the most active guy in the world of late. He’ll be taking on a guy in Dariush, who like him just never got over that proverbial hump in a division where you need to be special to even get within sniffing range of a title shot these days. This is the kind of match up that really could get this PPV started on a violent note. Both of these guys are as gritty as the day is long and neither have an ounce of quit in their DNA. I’ll go with Dunham taking a close 3 round war.
Dunham via Decision
Tom Duquesnoy vs. Cody Stamann
Wolff and Reno both pick Duquesnoy
Lando Vannata vs Bobby Green
Wolff picks Vannata, Reno picks Green
Pearl Gonzalez vs. Poliana Botelho
Wolff and Reno both pick Gonzalez
Walt Harris vs. Mark Godbeer
Wolff picks Harris, Reno picks Godbeer
John Moraga vs. Magomed Bibulatov
Wolff picks Bibulatov, Reno picks Moraga
Thales Leites vs. Brad Tavares
Wolff picks Tavares, Reno picks Leites
Matt Schnell vs. Marco Beltran
Wolff and Reno both pick Schnell
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