UFC 208 Fight Card: PPV Schedule, Odds and Predictions for Holm vs. De Randamie

UFC 208 is almost upon us, and the company’s second return to New York is finally here—except this time, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn will be hosting the event, unlike Madison Square Garden back in November. 
The first pay-per-view of 201…

UFC 208 is almost upon us, and the company’s second return to New York is finally hereexcept this time, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn will be hosting the event, unlike Madison Square Garden back in November. 

The first pay-per-view of 2017 may not have the star power that UFC 205, 206 or 207 had, but this is a sneaky-good card for the diehard UFC fans. More so than the inaugural featherweight title up for grabs between Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie, there are also a couple of really interesting fights, including Anderson Silva vs. Derek Brunson and Jacare Souza vs. Tim Boetsch

 

Holly Holm vs. Germaine de Randamie

This is a tough fight for Holm.

The UFC isn’t doing Holm any favors by putting her in the Octagon against De Randamie, a world champion kickboxer and muay thai champion. Holm is in desperate need of a victory on Saturday not only to make history, but to keep her UFC career alive.

Holm isn’t in any danger of getting released by the company or anything of that nature, but a third consecutive loss would make Holm a tough sell to its fans in a time when the new UFC owners and matchmakers are scrambling to put fight cards together to make money.

Holm, for as good as she is on her feet, cannot exchange with a striker like De Randamie, who can overpower Holm standing, in the clinch and on the ground if she has top control.

The best hope for Holm is that she can score a couple of takedowns to disrupt De Randamie‘s rhythm and make her think twice about being too aggressive and overcommitting

Unfortunately for her, De Randamie will pick her apart and get the finish early in this one and make history as the company’s first-ever 145-pound female champion. Is Cris Cyborg next? We shall see. 

Prediction: De Randamie defeats Holm in the second round via TKO.

 

Anderson Silva vs. Derek Brunson

The Spider is back. 

While Silva hasn’t officially won a UFC fight since 2012 after getting knocked out by Chris Weidman, breaking his leg in the rematch against Weidman, a no-contest against Nick Diaz, a controversial loss to Michael Bisping and a loss to Daniel Cormier, it’s still a little strange to see him as an underdog.

Especially to a fighter like Derek Brunson.

Don’t get me wrong, Brunson is worthy of being a Top 10 fighter in this division, but being favored to beat Silva? That’s a bit steep, if you ask me. Brunson is coming off a tough first-round knockout loss to Robert Whittaker. Before that, Brunson was riding high with a five-fight win streak, including an impressive knockout victory over Uriah Hall.

Brunson is more than capable of stopping any fight with his power and precision as a striker, but Silva is arguably the best male striker the UFC has ever seen. Before he can even think of laying his hands on the former world champion, Brunson has to show that he can withstand Silva’s power and technique.

Prediction: Silva defeats Brunson in the third round via TKO.

 

Jacare Souza vs. Tim Boetsch 

When this fight was announced, a lot of pundits were scratching their heads. While this is a huge opportunity for Tim Boetsch to cement himself as a title contender and move up the pecking order for an eventual title shot, it’s hard to see any real benefit for Souza. He has nothing to gain and everything to lose.

And that’s not a good position to be in when you’re a prizefighter.

For The Barbarian, this fight is, stylistically speaking, a bad matchup if Souza can find his way to the mat whether he’s in top control or in full guard. The last thing Boetsch wants to do is play the ground game with Souza, who is one of the world’s most elite grapplers and jiu-jitsu practitioners.

While the Brazilian has shown improvements in his striking over his last few fights, he’s still not an elite-level boxer by any means, which is where Boetsch has a glimmer of hope of taking down his heavily favored opponent.

But leave it to Boetsch to show no fear inside the Octagon against one of the best middleweights in the world. He even predicted that Souza will go down in one round.

That’s right, the underdog is calling his shot.

Everyone loves an underdog story, and perhaps no other sport sees an underdog win as often as MMA does. However, this is not one of those occasions. Souza is too talented and too disciplined to look past Boetsch and not take this fight seriously.

He will look for the quick finish whether it’s on the feet or on the mat and look immediately for a title shot or a fight against another top contender, maybe a rematch with Luke Rockhold whenever he’s healthy after pulling out against Souza late last year. 

Prediction: Souza defeats Boetsch in the first round via submission.

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Holly Holm vs. Germaine de Randamie: Keys to Victory for Fighters at UFC 208

History is in the making Saturday night as the UFC makes its way to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, for the very first time for UFC 208.
The main event, featuring former bantamweight champion Holly Holm vs. former kickboxing/muay thai world …

History is in the making Saturday night as the UFC makes its way to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, for the very first time for UFC 208.

The main event, featuring former bantamweight champion Holly Holm vs. former kickboxing/muay thai world champion Germaine de Randamie, is being overlooked as a money-grab fight for the company’s new owners. After all, how many casual UFC fans had heard of De Randamie leading up to this fight?

This fight card is for the diehard fans, and that’s how it should be.

Holm has the unique opportunity to become the first female two-division champion, despite losing two consecutive bouts. For De Randamie, this is her opportunity to show the UFC and its audience she’s a star and become a headlining act for years to come.

 

How Holm wins

In all honesty, the UFC isn’t doing Holm any favors by putting her in a cage against a monster like De Randamie. By essentially feeding the 35-year-old to a much more skilled striker, the UFC is sacrificing one of its few female moneymakers in hopes that the fans will respond positively to De Randamie. It’s a risk, but the UFC has to do what it can while its superstars are on hiatus.

Holm has, predominantly, been the superior boxer and kickboxer in every matchup she’s had inside the Octagon, with the exception of Valentina Shevchenko.

The American cannot do what she does best in this fight against De Randamie for one simple reason: The Dutchwoman can out-strike Holm in every aspect of her game.

For Holm to have any chance at winning the 145-pound belt, this fight will have to go to the ground, which may seem hard to imagine—the last time one of her fights went to the ground, she was choked out by Miesha Tate.

Holm is not a world-class grappler by any means, but De Randamie is inferior on the mat. By taking the Dutch striker off her feet into a world of combat she is not comfortable in, Holm will have her best chance to get the finish or earn a decision.

 

 

How De Randamie wins

This may seem quite simple, but all De Randamie has to do is avoid getting taken down by Holm and not overcommit on any punches or kicks. By fighting within herself and to her capabilities, there’s little doubt De Randamie shouldn’t run Holm over.

The Dutchwoman isn’t afraid of getting hit, which has been evident in her past UFC fights. This can be a good or a bad thing. It’s good because she shows no fear inside of the Octagon, but it’s also bad because she may leave herself vulnerable to counterstrikes and get finished, like she did against the current 135-pound champion, Amanda Nunes.

While Holm has excellent kicks and straight punches, De Randamie‘s muay thai is off the charts. Not only can she box, but she also knows when to deliver body blows with a vicious knee or body kick to stun her opponent. 

This isn’t rocket science for De Randamie. All she has to do is stay on her feet and do what she does best.

 

Prediction

It’s hard to imagine Holm will lose three fights in a row, but unfortunately, that is her new reality. She will not make history Saturday night, despite a good showing.

Holm will be wrongly labeled as a one-hit wonder in the UFC after knocking out Ronda Rousey, but the fight game isn’t about being fair; it’s about winning.

De Randamie will become the company’s first-ever 145-pound champion and will likely take on Cris Cyborg if she is given an exemption from her suspension.

The Dutch contender will make history and finish Holm in the second round with vicious hooks and knees to the body that will make Holm reconsider her move up the featherweight division.

With the victory, the UFC will have a new star to promote in De Randamie, who has the personality and fighting ability to take her game to the next level. Who knows, maybe even a superfight/rematch with Nunes could be on the table within the next year? 

Read more MMA news on BleacherReport.com

Three Bouts That Could Steal ‘Fight Of The Night’ At UFC 205

UFC 205 in New York is set for this Saturday and the date is fast approaching. The UFC has built a card second to none and is guaranteed to be the biggest card in the sports history. The main card is carrying six fights and to give context to the depth of the card, Frankie

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UFC 205 in New York is set for this Saturday and the date is fast approaching.

The UFC has built a card second to none and is guaranteed to be the biggest card in the sports history. The main card is carrying six fights and to give context to the depth of the card, Frankie Edgar vs Jeremy Stephens  and Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Michael Johnson are both on the undercard. For the fighters it may never be tougher to earn one of the coveted fight bonuses.

With Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez set to make history here are three other fights that could easily pick-up ‘Fight of the Night.’

joanna jedrzejczyk
Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz

These two women are both represent Poland and have ment once before. They met as amateurs in 2012 with Jedrzejczyk picking up the victory. Fast forward four years and these two are both carrying undefeated records in the UFC’s strawweight division and have been on a collision course.

The title is on the line, national pride is on the line and both these women are high-level strikers. Their physical dimensions are almost identicle. They both throw a high volume of strikes and neither one like to take a back step. These two ladies takedown average zero, they are going to stand and bang. There is no doubt that this fight will be fireworks. This could easily be the fight of the night.

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Alvarez vs. McGregor: UFC 205 Odds, Predictions and Pre-Fight Twitter Hype

If Thursday afternoon’s press conference was any indication of what UFC 205 will look like on Saturday, we’re in for one hell of a showdown.
Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez will look to defend his title against featherweight champion and lightweight…

If Thursday afternoon’s press conference was any indication of what UFC 205 will look like on Saturday, we’re in for one hell of a showdown.

Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez will look to defend his title against featherweight champion and lightweight contender Conor McGregor.

It’s a difficult fight to break down for a multitude of reasons, mainly because the UFC has never seen McGregor fight at 155 pounds despite the fact that he was the featherweight and lightweight champion in Cage Warriors before signing on with the UFC. 

But before we get into the chaos that was the press conference and the incredible main event that the world is waiting for, let’s look at the latest pre-fight odds, according to Odds Shark

Alvarez and McGregor were in rare form at Thursday’s press conference, which began with McGregor arriving late, something that UFC fans have become all too familiar with.

Alvarez was vocal, playfully jabbing at the Irish contingency in attendance and even went as far as saying how “embarrassed” he felt for Ireland. 

While the crowd and media anxiously awaited McGregor’s arrival, Alvarez grew tired of waiting and walked off the stage, eerily similar to the way Nate Diaz left the UFC 202 pre-fight press conference (Warning: NSFW). 

When McGregor eventually came out from the shadows in the most fashionable way imaginable, he did what he does best: steal the show.

Call it staged, exaggerated and planned for selling more pay-per-views, but it was entertainment at its finest. 

And for those curious about McGregor’s Gucci mink coat and red turtle neck, Fox Sports gave a good explanation for it on Twitter.

If McGregor was fined $75,000—not $150,000 as originally thought—for throwing a water bottle and a can of Monster Energy Drink at Nate Diaz and his team at the UFC 202 pre-fight press conference, how much would he have been fined for throwing a chair over Alvarez’s head?

Maybe the UFC is taking a page out of WWE’s playbook. Either way, Saturday can’t come soon enough given that both fighters are on edge and ready to throw haymakers at each other. 

McGregor had lots to say, but because most of what he said is inappropriate for many readers, here is the G-rated trash talk from the featherweight champion on Thursday.

There is no way better way to explain this card than epic. From prelim to main event, it truly is the best fight card the UFC has ever put together. And while there are many good, close fights on the card, let’s be real. We’re here to talk about history being made.

McGregor is looking to become the first UFC fighter to ever simultaneously hold two belts in two weight divisions while Alvarez is looking to solidify his place in mixed martial arts history with a victory over the biggest name in the sport.

It’s not an easy fight for either corner. McGregor has to learn to withstand Alvarez’s relentless pressure and his ability to grind out a victory against the cage and in the clinch. The Irishman had some success in the clinch and defending takedown against Diaz, but Alvarez is a much stronger and more technical wrestler. Think Chad Mendes only taller, more aggressive and stronger.

By taking this fight off the feet and slowing down the pace, Alvarez should be able to come away with a decision win or even a submission victory.

But having said that, Alvarez has to withstand “The Notorious.”

There is a reason why McGregor has so much bravado and why he is undoubtedly the face of the fight game. He can walk the walk and talk the talk like no other UFC fighter, and he usually predicts how the fight will end, except for the two Diaz bouts.

McGregor has said time and again that he will rearrange Alvarez’s face and punish him once they step into the Octagon if he can withstand the barrage of strikes in the first round. McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh doesn’t agree with his student’s prediction of a first-round knockout, but he told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour this past Monday that he envisions a second-round knockout of Alvarez. 

Prediction: Alvarez will eventually go down in history as a great fighter, but he will go down in the second round via McGregor’s left hand on Saturday. 

If you want to see everything that went down at Thursday’s press conference, you can watch it here via UFC at the 10:28 mark (Warning: NSFW).  

 

Read more MMA news on BleacherReport.com

Yoel Romero Wants to Fight Georges St-Pierre

The middleweight division got a lot more interesting at UFC 199, as Michael Bisping put together a lifetime performance in knocking out Luke Rockhold. A seemingly advantageous position for ‘Rocky’ actually turned out to be a nightmare. Chris Weidman dropped out injured and ‘The Count’ stepped in on two weeks notice to score a huge win.

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The middleweight division got a lot more interesting at UFC 199, as Michael Bisping put together a lifetime performance in knocking out Luke Rockhold. A seemingly advantageous position for ‘Rocky’ actually turned out to be a nightmare. Chris Weidman dropped out injured and ‘The Count’ stepped in on two weeks notice to score a huge win. Having already wobbled and submitted Bisping in their first fight, The American Kickboxing Academy representative came in to the June 4 pay-per-view main slot as heavy favorite.

After 10 years of toiling in the upper-middle tier, always falling at that pivotal stage of his run at the belt, Bisping had staked his claim, and with that came all new rivalries. Never before has a single victory caused so many ripples, spreading out to the very edges of the division and including some of the most well known names in mixed martial arts history.

060416-UFC-Michael-Bisping-1.vadapt.664.high.51[1]

Suddenly Dan Henderson was being talked about for a rematch, for obvious reasons, and Bisping was on board. But then Georges St-Pierre, the former welterweight champion, claimed he’d be making a return at 185 pounds and wanted a piece of the Englishman. Contenders Jacare Souza and the long-absent Tim Kennedy, former champions Chris Weidman, Luke Rockhold and Anderson Silva all have recently issued challenges to ‘The Count.’ After a decade of being dismissed by his fellow middleweights, Bisping now holds the 185-pound world in his hands.

But one interesting fight that may come of this shuffle of affairs in the middleweight category includes Yoel Romero. Although currently on the USADA (United States Anti Doping Agency) mandated suspension which was eventually agreed upon to expire after only six months, ‘Soldier of God’s’ return date is now in sight. He was initially popped for growth hormone, but it was later revealed through testing that a legal supplement had indeed carried the illicit substance. Romero took to Twitter to send out a statement to the consensus greatest welterweight of all time, Georges St-Pierre:

Given his stern stance against PED (performance enhancing drug) use in MMA, albeit to a lightly lesser and unfortunate degree, do you think ‘Rush’ will have any interest in fighting Romero? Further to that, if the ex-champion can walk straight in to title contention with a fight against Bisping, why worry about anyone else in the meantime?

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“Jacare” Souza Might ‘Spank’ Someone Before Title Shot

When former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman was forced to withdraw from his scheduled title rematch with Luke Rockhold at June 4’s UFC 199, top contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza was the UFC’s first choice to fill in. “Jacare” was dealing with a knee injury, however, and the promotion called on long-time divisional mainstay Michael Bisping

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When former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman was forced to withdraw from his scheduled title rematch with Luke Rockhold at June 4’s UFC 199, top contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza was the UFC’s first choice to fill in.

“Jacare” was dealing with a knee injury, however, and the promotion called on long-time divisional mainstay Michael Bisping to step up and face off with Rockhold.

Bisping would end up shocking the world and knocking Rockhold out cold in the very first round to become the new undisputed 185-pound champion.

Recently speaking with MMAFighting.com, Souza said that he’ll be ready to return by November, and that he feels deserving of the next title shot, although he may ‘spank’ someone else before the shot at gold presents itself:

“I’m not afraid at all, I think I deserve the title shot,” said Souza in response to the idea that he’d be passed over after declining to fill in for any injured Weidman at UFC 199. “Even if they give me somebody else to fight before the title shot, I might take it and spank someone. But I know I have the right to be the next one.”

Despite holding a very impressive 6-1 Octagon record, Souza may very well be passed over, as the title shot could be awarded to Weidman. The ex-champion recently called out Bisping for a fight in his home of New York on November 12, 2016 at UFC 205 which may be too lucrative of an opportunity for the UFC to pass up.

Yoel Romero is another top contender in the title discussion, and he actually owns a win over “Jacare” last December, albeit a controversial victory at best.

While admitting that he should’ve prepared better for that bout, Souza also claimed that “The Soldier of God” fought dirty:

“I probably should have been better prepared for that fight, but I believe I did a good job,” added Souza regarding his defeat to Romero. “I came back, I showed heart. And he was not loyal. He kind of fought dirty, held the cage twice. It is what it is.”

Who should receive the next shot at gold in the stacked 185-pound division?

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