UFC 218 isn’t sneaking up on anyone. While the card may not boast a Jon Jones, Conor McGregor or Ronda Rousey sized superstar, it does provide us with a world title fight, three potential title eliminators and a matchup on paper that screams fight of the year while jumping of said paper at you while attempting to claw your face off. Oh ya, that’s just the pay-per-view.
So, in the words of our current UFC featherweight champion and UFC 218 headliner Max Holloway— without further ado — let’s do the damn thing! Here are our predictions for tonight’s UFC 218 card out of Detroit
Max Holloway vs. Jose Aldo
Dwayne Wolff: I love this rematch. Can Jose Aldo make the adjustments to recapture his title and make one more final title reign? Or, does Max Holloway continue his dominant run and continue his reign as the new King of the Featherweights? I like Holloway’s chances in the rematch. He is the younger constantly evolving fighter who is just entering his prime.
Holloway via 2nd round TKO
Dave Reno: Watching Aldo’s journey has been wild. Last time he was in Michigan, seven years ago, he was awarded the UFC featherweight championship in Auburn Hills, just 30 minutes away from where he’ll fight Holloway tonight. He was smiling, he was giggling — it was the first time he ever went out to buy a suit. Since then, he’s lost the title in dramatic fashion, he won it again and he lost it back. He’s looked jaded at times and he’s wanted out of the company to pursue a professional boxing career. But now, being back in the same state where he officially became a UFC world champion and having the opportunity on relatively short notice to become a champion once again long before he ever thought he would — Aldo looks reinvigorated. The problem for him is that he’ll be facing a young killer in Holloway in a young man’s sport. That said, I like Aldo to become a 3-time world champion in Detroit tonight — those devastating leg kicks will play a major part — thus setting up an exciting trilogy bout in 2018.
Aldo via UD
Alistair Overeem vs. Francis Ngannou
Wolff: Does Alistair Overeem utilize all of his skills or does he get sucked into a standup battle against the powerful Francis Ngannou? A few years ago I would like Overeem’s chances but I think that Ngannou catches Overeem at some point in the first round and ends the fight.
Ngannou via 1st round KO
Reno: While Overeem has become more conservative late in his career he still is about as chinny as anyone in the game. That does not bode well for him against a man who possesses scary one punch KO power like Ngannou. It’s no secret that Ngannou has been spending more time at the UFC Performance Institute than Ngannou. He’s the future of this division and unfortunately for Overeem that means he may never have the opportunity to capture that elusive UFC gold again.
Ngannou via KO
Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
Wolff: Henry Cejudo once again looks to battle Sergio Pettis for possibly the next shot at flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson. Cejudo is looking to use his Olympic level wrestling and powerful boxing to stop the younger Pettis brother. Sergio has often been touted as the brother with the brightest future. I think that future will have to wait a little. I like Cejudo to get the win.
Cejudo 3rd round TKO
Reno: While DJ versus Pettis Jr would be a fun new title fight for the flyweight division I just have a tough time seeing a way Sergio gets past Cejudo. Pettis will have his moments early but Cejudo finishes strong to earn another shot at Mighty Mouse in 2018.
Cejudo via UD
Eddie Alvarez vs Justin Gaethje
Wolff: In this one the lightweight division’s “King of Violence” will be crowned when Eddie Alvarez takes on Justin Gaethje. This fight has many fans anticipating a fight of the year candidate from these two. I am one of those fans. I think it has potential to evoke comparisons to the Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler classic. I like Gaethje to get the win but will not be shocked if Alvarez pulls it off.
Gaethje 2nd round TKO
Reno: The Fight Booth King of Violence 2012 winner, Eddie Alvarez, will take on an undefeated terminator in Justin Gaethje in a fight that is being dubbed as one that will crown the UFC’s most violent man. Did we mention — violence? I don’t see how this one ends with one of these guys looking into a flashlight after eating some heavy leather. Remember, these are two guys that have a history of being stunned and/or flash KO’d before they really get going. This fight is an absolute gift from the MMA gods — sit back and enjoy.
Gaethje via TKO
Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson
Wolff: Tecia Torres takes on Michelle Waterson with each fighter trying to earn a rematch with the newly crowned strawweight champ Rose Namajunas. I like Torres to use her speed advantage to take a three round decision.
Torres via UD
Reno: Torres earned her first career finish earlier this year against the super tough Juliana Lima and with a victory she could earn a rematch against the one woman who has been able to beat her during her professional career, ‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas. The only difference is that this time it would be for a world title. She’ll have her hands full with Waterson, who will be focused on remaining in the title picture after suffering a loss of her own to Namajunas this past spring. Look for a fast paced, high-octane clinic from these two to kick off this PPV with the ‘finish or be finished’ Waterson getting her hand raised in the end.
Waterson via submission
Paul Felder vs. Charles Oliveira
Wolff: Paul Felder via TKO
Reno: Charles Oliveira via submission
Alex Oliveira vs. Yancy Medeiros
Wolff: Alex Oliveira via TKO in the third round
Reno: Alex Oliveira via TKO
David Teymur vs. Drakkar Klose
Wolff: Drakkar Klose via TKO
Reno: David Teymur via UD
Felice Herrig vs. Cortney Casey
Wolff: Felice Herrig via UD
Reno: Felice Herrig via UD
Amanda Bobby Cooper vs. Angela Magana
Wolff: Amanda Cooper via UD
Reno: Angela Magana via submission
Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Sabah Homasi
Wolff: Abdul Razak Alhassan via KO
Reno: Abdul Razah via TKO
Dominick Reyes vs. Jeremy Kimball
Wolff: Dominick Reyes via TKO
Reno: Dominick Reyes via TKO
Justin Willis vs. Allen Crowder
Wolff: Justin Willis via TKO
Reno: Justin Willis via UD
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