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UFC 245 Main Event Predictions



UFC 245 is coming up this weekend and it is a loaded card that should provide us with explosive MMA action right before the holidays!

We are going to be looking at a couple of fights today along with their odds and coming up with predictions of who will win… and how. 

The Main Event

Colby Covington has worked his way to the top of the 170-pound category and finds himself the No. 1 contender with a shot at Kamaru Usman. Colby Covington is a wrestler with fantastic conditioning. But often when we think of wrestlers, we think of weak striking capabilities. That isn’t the case with Covington, at least not anymore. He has improved his boxing game ten-fold and even set the significant strike record the last time he fought, in a bout against Robbie Lawler – no pushover.

Kamaru Usman is a matchup nightmare for Colby as he is also an elite wrestler. Not only that he has been basically flawless, now at 10-0 in the UFC after running the table on The Ultimate Fighter season whatever in 2015. Kamaru Usman was an underdog to Tyrone Woodley – possibly one of the best wrestlers in the history of the UFC– and he smoked him. 

This is going to be a close fight. Usman might be a slightly better wrestler and Covington slightly better at striking. But realistically, they are so close in skill level that it is amazing. This could turn into one of those amazing fights that screams rematch, maybe even trilogy. 

I do like the longshot odds that Covington has. If I were to bet the fight I would probably take a shot at that positive money because there is some serious value there on a 50/50 chance of an upset. But from a purely speculative stance, I think that the Champ barely edges the Challenger out this weekend. 

The Prediction: Kamaru Usman in a tough battle.

Max Holloway vs. Alexander Volkanovski 

This fight will be another epic battle. Here we have a guy who has fought the best in the world on a continual basis in Max Holloway going against the No. 1 contender, who is on a seven-win tear. 

Alexander Volkanovski is a Macedonian born Australian who has a strong wrestling background and elite kickboxing skills. He likes to use his legs to find his range and start chopping at his opponents early in the fight. Alexander’s best asset may be his demeanor and fight IQ. He doesn’t get rattled and executes his game plan. When you watch his fights you’ll see him keep calm and focused, no matter what. He rests between rounds and absorbs the coaching given to him then when the bell rings, steps back out and begins executing what he was told. He has an excellent defense, keeping his guard up all the time and fantastic condition – both of which are critical against a fighter like Max Holloway. 

Holloway is a conditioning beast who has superior boxing skills and throws in relentless volume. He gives a couple of inches of reach away to the much smaller Volkanovski, but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Holloway will just use his unusually large-for-a-featherweight frame to impose his will on the smaller fighter. Holloway’s biggest asset is his battle-testiness. He has fought the best, and in most cases came out on top. He doesn’t have quit in him. Volkanovski has won a lot of fights, but he has never truly been challenged, this is the toughest fight he has partaken in. Conversely, this is not the hardest opponent for Holloway. His resume is stacked with former champions. 

Max Holloway will wear Alexander Volkanovski down. He has gone 5 rounds many times and has the stamina to handle the long fights. We could see a knockout, but I think that Alexander is good enough to stay alive and go the distance. This is going to be a long, drawn-out battle.

The Prediction: Max Holloway wins by decision.


Was Max Holloway Robbed at UFC 251?



Last weekend, Max Holloway earned his featherweight title rematch against Alexander Volkanovski – but was he robbed in the decision? Many fighters and fans think so.

Here’s what legendary MMA fight manager Ali Abdelaziz had to say after the fight:

Nate Diaz was quick to chime in with his thoughts on Holloway’s loss at the hands of the judges as well:

The bottom line is this was a back and forth fight that could have gone either way. Yes, we would have scored it for Holloway too, but this is what happens when fighters leave bouts to the judges to decide.

Professional fighter Joe Schilling mentioned on a recent Joe Rogan podcast that he thought the UFC should add additional measures to keep judges more accountable. Some sort of tracking system that helps identify and remove judges who consistently score fights against the grain would be a great way to keep both fighters and fans appeased during tough decisions like this one.

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UFC 249 has a long and adventurous story



UFC 249 was originally planned to take place on April 18th in New York but, due to the ongoing pandemic, governor Cuomo restricted mass gatherings and sports events, confining everyone to their homes, leaving them with little more to watch than reruns of old fights and perhaps Game Changers. UFC president Dana White then announced that the event was still on but the location will change. Later, it was announced that it will take place at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore, California. ESPN and its parent company Disney didn’t like this, though, pressuring White to suspend the event for the time being – which he did. Finally, the event was rescheduled for May 9

Meanwhile, interesting news started circulating about a potential location for future UFC fight nights that, if it becomes a reality, might put an interesting spin on the world of mixed martial arts.

UFC Fight Island

Even before the issues with the event, White planned to arrange a brand new location where fight nights could be organized: a private island where athletes could train and fight.

“All the infrastructure is being built right now and getting put in place,” he told the press back in April. “As we get closer to that, then I’ll start figuring out booking fights, getting guys ready. Plus, I can ship guys over there earlier, and they can start training over there, on the island. So, once that’s all in place – we’re looking at like a month – I’ll have that all put together, and guys can start training and can go there.”

The UFC is serious about it: it has already registered several trademarks around the “UFC Fight Island” brand, covering several types of goods, services, even jewelry. 

When, and Where?

The “where” is still a mystery. Although he spoke repeatedly about the arrangements being made for athletes to be able to train and stay on the island, White has not revealed its location yet. Some theorize that it may be somewhere in international waters so it could serve as a place where international athletes could stay without restrictions, perhaps off the coast of California. But this is just a theory – all will probably be revealed in due time.

The “when” is a bit less vague: White told the press that UFC Fight Island will be operational by June. It will have amenities like an Octagon on the beach, and hotels for the fighters to be lodged at. And most importantly, it will allow international fighters to participate in fights, even with the pandemic-related travel restrictions still in place.

The idea of an island dedicated to fighting may sound familiar – it was the topic of the 2006 martial arts movie “DOA – Dead or Alive” and 2007’s “The Condemned”, among others. Let’s hope this one will have a happier ending.

As for UFC 249 ‘Ferguson vs. Gaethje’, that event will now take place at Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. 

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What Justin Gaethje’s past fights tell us about his chances at UFC 249



It’s fair to say that Justin Gaethje has firmly taken up the role of underdog ahead of his clash with Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 on May 9th. The latest Tony Ferguson v Justin Gaethje betting offers present Ferguson as the clear favourite, after his opponent was drafted in at the last minute to replace Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is on lockdown in his home country of Russia. 

Gaethje is relatively inexperienced in the world of UFC, having fought just six times in the competition in the past. But his calibre from prior ventures in MMA, notably the World Series of Fighting, means that he is a fighter not to be trifled with, and while he won’t represent as formidable a challenge for Ferguson as Khabib would have, there is much to admire about the 31-year-old.

To understand fully Gaethje’s chances ahead of UFC 249, it’s important to analyse his performances in recent fights. Indeed, his past three bouts have resulted in impressive victories, with Gaethje winning Performance of the Night awards in two of those fights — against James Vick and Donald Cerrone respectively. 

But his UFC started off in disappointing fashion, with just one win from his first three fights. That victory came against Michael Johnson in the reality show The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption Finale, but from there he failed to gain a strong foothold in the championship. He suffered back-to-back defeats against Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier, including a knockout at the hands of the former, as he struggled to adapt to the competitive nature of the UFC.

Those defeats obviously shook Gaethje into life, because he has come roaring back in his last three fights, mustering up a trio of impressive performances to bring him to the level he finds himself at today, where UFC chief Dana White is drafting him to replace someone of the calibre of Khabib. 

The first of this trio of victories was a win over James Vick in August 2018, where Gaethje produced a fine display which silenced some of the doubters who had perhaps questioned his ability at the highest level. He won Performance of the Night for that one, and was then involved in the Fight of the Night the following March as he defeated Edson Barboza by knockout in Philadelphia. His most recent victory was a TKO triumph over UFC veteran Donald Cerrone in October last year, where Gaethje once again walked away with the Performance of the Night accolade. 

All three of his most recent wins have come via first round knockout or technical knockout, proof that Gaethje has the ability to overpower opponents in the opening stages of a fight. Of course, to do this against Ferguson will be a whole different ball game, as he is the most high-profile fighter Gaethje has faced so far, but perhaps the key lies in ensuring he comes out all guns blazing early on.

Gaethje’s Performance of the Night wins indicate that he is capable of producing a show-stopping performance on any given night. He is undoubtedly the underdog going into the fight against Ferguson, but with a few good wins now under his belt, who’s to say he can’t spring a surprise on May 9th and truly announce himself in the UFC. 

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