Stipe Miocic (c) vs Alistair Overeem

Golden glove boxer and NCAA Division 1 wrestler, Stipe is an athletic heavyweight defending his title for the first time. He earn his championship belt knocking out co main event fighter Werdum in impressive fashion in the first round. Stipe has shown a ton of heart in his fights against JDS and proved he can mix up strikes and wrestling to be a real threat to anyone.  His keys to winning are:

  • Chose range carefully
  • Clinch early and often
  • Threaten takedowns while avoiding knees & guillotines
  • Drag it into the championship rounds

Challenging for the heavyweight belt is one of the scariest heavyweights in the world, Alistar Overeem. Overeem has been a champion in ever fighting organization he has ever been in including; Strikeforce, K1 Grand Prix Tournament Winner, & Dream. Alistar had a rocky start to his UFC career winning only 2 of his first 5 fights. Since then, has won 4 straight with three finishes. Alistar seems to have really adjusted his striking find more openings while not opening himself up to be finished. Alistar needs to do the following to win:

  • Control center of the cage
  • Punish Stipe’s forward movement with knees
  • Avoid takedowns and uppercuts
  • Land big counter punches or kicks

This will be a very interesting title fight against two of the best heavyweights. This is a tough one to call.

Prediction: Alistair by 2nd TKO

 

Fabricio Werdum vs Travis Browne

A rematch that is happening because Ben Rothwell had to pull out so Joe Silvia had is making the best with what he has. Werdum is one of the best grapplers in the UFC and has really developed his Muay Thai attack under the coaching of Rafael Cordeiro at Kings MMA Huntington Beach. I have to image Werdum is going to come back extremely motivated and focused after losing his title. What Werdum needs to do to win:

  • A lot of kicks
  • Don’t over extend
  • Knees in clinch to set up takedowns
  • Go for submission on the ground

Travis is a former collegiate basketball player. So he has a long frame and moves very well around the cage. Despite his physical gifts, he has not been very consistent lately (2-3 in his last five) with his only wins coming over fighters no longer in the UFC. Travis doesn’t have a ton of ways to win but lets go over the all the same:

  • Elbows in the clinch
  • Teep kicks to keep the distance
  • Bait Werdum to land a big counter

Prediction: Werdum by Submission 1st round

 

CM Punk vs Mickey Gall

A spectacle fight that has been years in the making. CM Punk has been training at Duke Rofus’s Academy in Milwaukee with Anthony Pettis & Ben Askren since the UFC has signed him in preparation for this fight. Not much is known about CM Punk’s fighting style. Some fighters have said his ground game is more legit than a lot of UFC fighters. Recent training footage shows much improvement. Will it be enough?

  • X-factor

Mickey Gall called out CM Punk knowing Dana White was in the audience of a regional show taping “Looking for a Fighter” to catch the UFC’s attention. He won his deput fight in the UFC (very impressively too) to get this money match up.

  • Don’t suck

Predictions: Mickey Gall 2nd or 3rd round TKO  

 

Urijah Faber vs Jimme Rivera

After losing his millionth attempt to capture UFC gold, Urijah is back to fighting up and comers. I am not sure if no one wants to fight him or the UFC is hoping more non champions beat him because this seems like a weird match up. Faber needs to do the same things he always has for the most part:

  • Be super dynamic and unpredictable while striking
  • Create scrambles
  • Look for the opening

Rivera is a blue chip prospect only losing once in the professional career and is on an 18 fight win streak against some quality guys. Jimmes needs to do the following to win:

  • Set the pace
  • Control Range
  • Don’t get into scrambles

Prediction: Urijah by Decision

 

Jessica Andrade vs Joanne Calderwood

Joanne looked sensational in putting away former title challenger, Valerie Letourneau, in the 3rd round for her last fight. This was after a year off too! She has a strong Muay Thai background and will need to utilize it to get another win.

  • Avoid takedowns with angles
  • Volume to set up the big shots
  • Control in the clinch

Andrade is ranked #6 in her division and is coming off straw weight deput in June when she dispatched a different title challenger, Jessica Penne in the 2nd round. Her loses have come against much bigger opponents in the 135 lb division. She should have the strength advantage in most fights at 105 lbs.

  • Use her size to wear on Calderwood
  • Push the pace

Prediction: Calderwood by split decision

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