The return of Conor McGregor is going down October 6 in the Las Vegas T-Mobile Arena.
Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov (c) vs. “The Notorious” Conor McGregor
I am crossing all my fingers no injuries happen and everyone makes weight. Not often can you describe a fight seriously like the unstoppable force is going against an immovable object.
Khabib is the most dominant fighter on the UFC roster with an undefeated record. Not just the number of wins that have been so impressive but the way he did it. We can only look at a couple of moments in his career that point to him being human. The first was him getting rocked my Michael Johnson’s cross and going to a decision against a late replacement Al Iaquinta in his last fight to get the belt. Al was able to stop some takedown and have a round of just striking, Moments that make you think Conor can replicate and exploit.
The Notorious One is returning to the octagon after becoming Champ Champ almost two years ago (since stripped of both belts due to inactivity). The good news is he isn’t recovering from a nasty injury but coming back to MMA after the biggest boxing fight in the history of boxing. McGregor’s style has always been weak to grapplers which is why the UFC has only matched him up one with a wrestler. Chad Mendes was a short notice replacement who had very little issues getting him down but ran out of gas in the second round. Let’s not forget Joe Duffy was able to submit him prior to joining the UFC.
If the Khabib that mauled Edson Barbosa comes to fight, this will be a one-sided affair.
Prediction: Khabib by TKO in the third
Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson vs. Anthony Pettis
If either of the main event fighters fall out, guess who the backups are? The winner can easily challenge the champ after this.
Ferguson won the interim belt in Conor's absents but blew out his new on April fools, a week before the fight. He must be Wolverine because that was only five months ago. I don’t know how someone can come back so fast after ligaments coming off clean but his Instagram videos don’t lie. On a 10 fight win streak, El Cucuy is a tough puzzle to figure out. He is extremely wild in the cage from his striking to grappling and willing to eat a few to give a few. Plus his cardio has been endless in the cage.
One of the faces of the sport, Pettis has been going through a rough patch after losing his belt in 2015. Not until his last fight that Pettis is looking like his old self; crisp kickboxing, an aggressive submission game, and little takedown defense.
Not sure where this fight will take place but I am hoping everywhere. Tough fight to call. I give Tony the edge in grappling and Pettis in striking. In the end, Tony’s pace, toughness, and wrestling should win him a close decision.
Prediction: Ferguson by split decision
Ovince Saint Preux vs. Dominick Reyes
Dominick is getting a big step up against OSP. Reyes was an NFL hopeful that transitioned into MMA. After a 6-0 run, he had a stand out performance on Dana White’s Contender Series to get the call to the big show. With four first-round finishes in the UFC, he gets his first ranked opponent. Reyes has only left the first round once giving me concerns that he can pace himself against the elite
OSP is a vet with some powerful strikes and a slick submission game. OSP is basically the 7 year older version of Dominick. Maybe in a year or two, the fight will be different. I think this is too much too soon for Reyes.
Prediction: OSP by decision
Derrick Lewis vs. Alexander Volkov
Thank goodness Derrick finally got his back fix. In his last fight, it was noticeable that his back was bothering him. Despite the stinker in his last fight, Derrik is known to be the most exciting heavyweight on the UFC roster. He pushes a hard pace and rocks a 90% finish rate in his wins.
I liked Volkov even back in his Bellator days when he won two heavyweight tournaments and was even there champ for a bit. All it took was two loss for Bellator to cut ties. A couple of win in M-1 Global and now he is in the UFC. At 6’ 7” with a 81” reach, he like to stay long and punish fighters trying to close the distance. Volkov put on the performance of his career finishing Ferdum in the 4th round in his last fight.
I think Derrick is going to be trying to hard to have everyone forget his last fight and continue to push forward for the clinch nad to work on the cage. If Derrick gets him on top and starts to unload, it is all over for Volkov.
Prediction: Derrick by split decision
Michelle “the Karate Hottie” Waterson vs. Felice “Lil Bulldog” Herrig
A fight to figure out who will be the gatekeeper in the the division’s elite. Michelle was a hot prospect (pun intended) coming from Invicta as the former Invicta atomweight champ. She has lost to the division best and beaten those she should have. She is setting up her own gym and doing a lot of promotion to continue to be relevant. I am worried she isn’t getting any better.
Felice was on a four fight win streak before losing by split decision to Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Despite being a year older than Michele, Felice continues to show improvements. Hopefully, her last loss doesn’t take any of her drive away.
I am expecting a fun scrape to kick off the main event. I’m sure both ladies will have their moments but leaning toward Felice to put it all together a little better than the karate hottie.
Prediction: Felice by decision