Crossing my fingers for no injuries and everyone makes weight. UFC brings another stacked card for the 4th of the July weekend with two title fights and big names down the card. UFC 226 is going down July 7, 2018 in Vegas.



Heavyweight

Stipe Miocic (c) vs. Daniel “DC” Cormier (c-LHW)

On one side of the cage, we have the reigning UFC light heavyweight champ coming back to heavy weight for the first time since winning the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix to challenge. On the other side of the cage, we have the current UFC heavyweight champ and part time firefighter from Cleveland riding a six fight win streak.


Keys to victory


Miocic

Cormier

  • Be the bigger man, make Cormier work for the takedowns
  • Get DC’s respect on the feet early
  • Heavy forward pressure
  • Mixing up boxing exchanges and wrestling
  • Dirty box on the change whenever possible

I love both of these guys so it is tough for me to pick a winner. DC doesn’t lose to anyone not named Jon Jones. At 39 years old, good chance DC retires in the change no matter if he wins or loses. Miocic is 35 years old and still getting better.

Prediction: Stipe by split decision


Featherweight

Max “Blessed” Holloway (c) vs. Brian “T-City” Ortega

What a difficult fight to break down. I love both of these guys so it is difficult knowing one will have to lose. The current champ is riding a 12 fight win streak since dropping a close decision to Conor McGregor in 2013. He was only 22 years old then and grown in leaps and bounds since then. Ortega is undefeated in his career coming off a career defining win over KOing Frankie Edgar on short notice to get his shot at the strap. So there will be tons of confidence in the octagon come July 7.


Keys to victory


Holloway

Ortega

  • Use your height/length with your angles to hit without being hit
  • Don’t let Ortega’s arm anywhere close to his neck
  • Definitely don’t get taken down
  • Heavy forward pressure and no casing
  • Be cautious of body and leg attacks
  • Win the boxing exchanges
  • Initiate clenches and look for the neck non stop
  • Jump guard if starting to lose badly

This fight has all the recipes to be incredible. I have a feeling Holloway is going to land more volume and avoid getting taken down from wrestling by Ortega (not that he is one to wrestle much). Brian will have the power advantage and land some bombs to make it interesting. Never overlook Brian’s submission skills. He is a legit choke expert, just ask Cub Swanson. Something is telling me Ortega is going to find a way to finish Holloway in the late round to become the new champ.

Prediction: Ortega by submission in the 5th



Heavyweight

Francis Ngannou vs. Derrick “Black Beast” Lewis

I can’t get enough of Francis backstory. Sadly, his last fight was very troubling and worried his lack of wrestling has been exposed. Freakishly strong in the first round, he isn’t able to defend takedowns efficiently in round two and beyond. Stories from his camp say he just doesn’t train wrestling so I don’t have tons of faith he is fixed this massive hole in his game.

The black beast is going to get in his face and exhaust him with takedown attempt until the fight is over or the referee calls it off. He might get hit with a bomb in the first round that aestrial projects him to another dimension though . . . .

Prediction: Derrik by exhausting decision



Lightweight

Michael Chiesa vs. Anthony “Showtime” Pettis

A fight that should have happened already if not for doleys and bus. Happy to see Chiesa is healed up and ready to make this fight happen. Pretty classic striker versus grappler situation here. I don’t have confidence Pettis can keep Chiesa from controlling grappling exchanges long enough to get his striking off and get the finish or win rounds.

Prediction: Chiesa by decision



Light Heavyweight

Gökhan Saki vs. Khalil Rountree Jr.

Let’s band bros! Gokhan Saki is one of the scariest kickboxers in the game winning multiple K-1 and Glory titles. Khalil is the TUF 23 finalist with zero ground game.

Prediction: Saki by KO in the 1st round

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