Demian Mia vs Carlos Condit
Two of the best welterweights go head to head to cap off this free UFC card on Fox. Not to boil this down to the classic grappler vs striker, but this is totally that kind of a fight. Mia’s boxing has gotten a lot better since Anderson Silvia toyed with him for 5 rounds in a Middleweight championship fight. His grappling is still as lethal as ever. It is hard to forget Mia lateral tossing Chael Sonnen off the cage right into a triangle.
Condit has a diverse striking arsenal with the cardio to use to for all 25 minutes of this main event. Rory McDonald knows all too well that Carlos is in the fight for every second. Because of the way Condit likes to strike, he leaves himself open to takedowns. He has developed a good guard and shown a lot of skill using butterflies to create scrambles and get back to his feet.
This is a coin flip fight for me.
Predictions: Condit by TKO in the 5th
Anthony Pettis vs Charles Oliveira
All eyes are on Anthony, the dynamic striker that captured and retained the lightweight belt, who’s fighting for the first time at featherweight. Pettis was never a huge lightweight so I can see this being a great fit for him if he manages the weight cut correctly. The cut is the biggest X-factor for Pettis in this fight. Will he be the faster fighter and how will his cardio look at 145 lbs?
Oliveira is for the most part the same fighter he has always been. Flashy volume striker with a relentless submission game. I can’t see this fight going to the ground unless Pettis wants it there, so that probably isn’t going to happen. What I expect to see is Anthony outclassing Oliveira for three rounds. Coming off of three losses, it will be interesting to see if he is super conservative or extremely wild. Wouldn’t be surprised by a finish but I think he plays it safe for a solid decision.
Prediction: Pettis by Decision.
Paige VanZant vs Bec Rawling
PVZ is coming off a devastating loss to Rose Namajunas about nine months ago. She looked completely outclassed in that fight. She took a lot of time off fighting to almost win a Celebrity Dancing Show and as far as I know still trains at Team Alpha Male for better or worse. THey have a bunch of elite training partners her size but their coaching staff has been in flux for the past couple of years (AS a tiny side note, she used to date current bantamweight title contender Cody Gabrant. Not sure if that is awkward or not.). I am going to guess PVZ will be super hungry to erase her last fight from everyone’s mind and has worked very hard to fill in the gaps to her armor. She is very tenacious with her grappling and willing to take punishment to give punishment.
While Bec Rawlings is on a two fight win streak. This fight feels like a set up to get PVZ back in the win column against a game opponent. Bec is game but I don’t see her being better than PVZ in any area that is will make much of a difference.
Prediction: Paige by super fun decision
Jim Miller vs Joe Lauzon
Two season vets with a lot of Performance Bonus between them. Both are coming over great wins at UFC 200. Jim Miller battered the “Fireball Kid” Gomi in the first round for a TKO finish. Two fights later to cap off the Early Prelims had Joe Lauzon going against Diego “the dream” Sanchez. J-Lo was able to do something only BJ Penn was able to do, stop Sanchez. Very impressive stuff from both of these men!
I am expecting a wild fight between them with the only looser are the ones who don’t catch it. J-Lo should have the power advantage and I would give Miller the edge on the ground. Don’t sleep on J-Lo as he will snatch any submission he can’t in scrabbles. Tough fight but I think Lauzon still has a little more tread on his tires than Miller.
Prediction: Joe Lauzon by 2nd TKO