After years of legal battles, the UFC is finally going to have an event in New York at Madison Square Garden and has put together one of the most stacked cards ever! All going down Saturday night, November 12. This is a massive 4 hour main card, so buckle up for some epic fights & possibly history being made.

 

Lightweight

Eddie Alvarez (c) vs. “The Notorious” Conor McGregor (c)

Former Bellator champ, Eddie is a savage who isn’t afraid to press forward, throw hands, and/or grind out a win on the cage. While he has never been KOed, he does get knocked down in a lot of his fights and has gone through his fair share of wars. He looked spectacular in dethroning Dos Anjos to become champion.

Keys to victory:

  • Tire Connor out in the rounds 1 & 2 with takedowns and cagework
  • Keep a high pace, stay in tight & throw bombs
  • Avoid the left straight

So crazy to think Connor was suppose to fight for the lightweight strap 8 months ago only to lose to Nate Diaz at welterweight on short notice. He barely won the rematch (still at welterweight) and three months later, back to fighting for the lightweight championship. While Connor does have the touch of death in his left hand but if he doesn’t get the finish early he will need to really pace himself.

Keys to victory:

  • Command the center of the cage
  • Set up the left straight
  • Pace yourself incase it goes 5 rounds

Prediction: Conor KO 2nd round to make history


Welterweight

Tyron Woodley (c) vs. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson

Woodley took out Robbie Lawler in the first round in brutal fashion to become champion four months ago. He is an explosive fighter with a NCAA Division 1 wrestling pedigree. He is a long time ATT team member but has started to split his time at Rofusport. The results have been pretty incredible but will still need to use all of his tools if he wants to retain his belt.

Keys to victory:

  • Wrestling
  • Pacing
  • Explode on openings

Stephen is a 15 time kickboxing champion that went undefeated in his amatuer and professional career. After years of being GSP’s training partner, has beautifully transitioned into being one of MMAs best strikers. Like the next champ fighting, Joanna, he has figured out how to use movement and distance to really help prevent takedowns. His ability to throw lead kicks & spinning techniques so quickly and effortlessly forces most opponents off their game.

Keys to victory:

  • Avoid having your back on the cage
  • Counter on his explosions
  • Push the pace

Prediction: & new champ, Thompson by 4rd KO


Women's Strawweight

Joanna “Champion” Jędrzejczyk (c) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Joanna just might be the scariest 115 lbs person on the planet right now. She is a former six-time world champion and four-time European champion in Muay Thai. She doesn’t have the traditional Muay Thai style and instead uses a lot more fast punching combinations and beautiful minor adjustments mid combo to stay in the pocket and continue to throw heat. The champ has shown to be able to go 5 hard rounds while barely breaking a sweat plus her takedown defense continue to get better making her a savage in the cage.

Keys to victory:

  • Put the pressure on hard from the start
  • Stay composed until you find your rhythm
  • Put on a show once your feel her fading and you get her timing down


Karolina has a perfect 10-0 MMA record but no finishes in the UFC. no disrespect to her last opponent, Rose Namajunas, but this is a gigantic step up in competition. She is going to have to bring her absolute A game to come out with her hand raised at the end of the fight.  She is a game Polish fighter that likes to strike and isn’t afraid to throw flashier techniques. She implements a lot of spinning back fists against Rose so it will be interesting if we see more of that from her in this fight.
Keys to victory:

  • Be unpredictable at all time while showing minimal openings
  • Pace yourself for five rounds
  • Get Joanna’s respect to stop her forward pressure

Prediction: JJ by TKO in the 4th or 5th round


Middleweight

Chris Weidman vs. Yoel “The God of War” Romero

After losing the title to Luke Rockhold in devastating fashion, Weidman took a year off to recover and is now back. Yoel is an explosive and tricky fighter so Weidman will have to be very strategic if he wants to increase his chances of winning.

Keys to victory:

  • Tire Yoel out the first round with takedowns and cagework
  • Attack after Yoel does something flashy/explosive as he tends to become inactive
  • Work for the finish in the 3rd round when Yoel is tired

 

The God of War has yet to lose in the UFC cage. He has had some recent PED issues but is back to return to action. Despite some controversial things in the cage (stool gate, gay Jesus, & iffy decision wins) he is a human highlight reel. He has 12 wins and 10 of them are by TKO/KO! He is arguably the best amateur wrestler to ever step in the cage due to the fact he is the only person to beat Cael Sanderson in wrestling, twice. Don’t expect to see much of that wrestling stuff from him thou.

Keys to Victory:

  • Be the better competitor - know when to dig deep and hot to play up to the judges
  • Be unpredictable on the feet
  • Win the wrestling exchanges

 

Prediction: Yoel by Split Decision

 


Welterweight

Kelvin Gastelum vs. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone

Kelvin is stepping in for Robbie Lawler on shortly after the fight was announced so he still had a full fight camp leading into UFC 205. Kelvin has a ton of hype after winning the TUF 17, but weight issues and a couple of recent losses have tarnished that hype. Following up a dominant victory of former welterweight champ, Johny Hendricks, with a good win over the streaking Cerrone would be a big feather in his cap.

Keys to victory:

  • Heavy pressure to keep Cerrone on his heels
  • Work to get on the inside
  • Mix in takedowns and cage work

 

Cerrone continues give 0 fucks after moving up a weight class and is now on a 3 fight streak, all with finishes. Considering how he looked as he finished Patrick Cote and Rick Story, two notoriously difficult guys to finish.He is a mental guy and historically folds in high pressure fights. Now he is older and wiser with an elite striking coach so perhaps that is all behind him.

Keys to victory:

  • Use your 3 inches height & 2 inch reach advantage to keep him on the outside
  • Use step in knees to stop forward pressure
  • If taken down, threaten with submission or get up ASAP
  • Do whatever you did to see the opening that you caught Rick Story with. (see here)

Prediction: Cerrone by 2nd Submission


Women's Bantamweight

Miesha Tate vs. Raquel “Rocky” Pennington

Meisha’s played second fiddle to Ronda on three occasions but took full advantage of her third UFC title fight against Holly Holms to finally become the champion. In her first defense, she got blasted the RNCed in the first round by Amanda Nunes. This is her first fight since & would guess she is very hungry to get a win. She is known for being a tough cookie but this is a quick turn around so it will be interesting to see how her chin holds up if she gets tagged.

Keys to victory:

  • Don’t get in a firefight
  • Use strikes to set up the takedowns
  • Control on the ground and cage whenever possible

 

 

Pennington is tough as nails with some slick boxing. She proved that in her last loss (a split decision) almost 2 years ago to Holly Holms in a fight she arguably won. Now she is on a 3 fight win streak and has the opportunity to get a signature win. Not to get too sidetracked, but found out she is married to other UFC fight Tecia Torres & think that is just awesome! So congrats to them.

Keys to victory:

  • Don’t over extend on strikes leaving yourself open to the reactive double leg
  • Make this a stand up brawl as much as possible
  • Command the center of the cage

 

Prediction: Meshia by split-decision

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