UFC 205 Card Analysis and Predictions
Strawweight Title Fight: Joanna Jedrzejczyk versus Karolina Kowalkiewicz
The UFC has finally come to New York City and will be bringing one of the most stacked cards in the company’s history. Here’s a breakdown of the card fight by fight.
The first of three title fights on the card is for the Strawweight title and pits two undefeated Polish sensations against each other. Jedrzejczyk comes into the fight with 12 straight wins in the octagon and Kowalkiewicz has 10. However, these two have faced each other once during their amateur years with Jedrzejczyk getting the win and delivering Kowalkiewicz the only loss of her MMA career. That fight took place in 2012 and Kowalkiewicz believes she has surpassed the champ in that time. However, Jedrzejczyk has been a class above the competition so far in the UFC, defending her title successfully three times. Jedrzejczyk has unmatched speed and has shown she can go five rounds without dropping off in intensity. Kowalkiewicz, if anyone, will be able to go with her for the full bout as she has won her last five fights by decision.
Our prediction: We expect Joanna to retain here simply because she has not shown any weak points in her game since becoming the champion. It’s very hard to bet against her.
Miesha Tate vs. Raquel Pennington
The second women’s bout on the card features former Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate against the fighter she helped train during The Ultimate Fighter season 18. Pennington was a member of Team Tate and made it to the semi-finals of the show. After dropping the title to Amanda Nunes at UFC200, Tate needs to rebound and coming up against a fighter on the outskirts of the divisions’ top 10 should help her get back on track.
Our prediction: Tate should win comfortably here… her career is in big trouble if she doesn’t.
Donald Cerrone vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Unfortunately, Cerrone’s former opponent Robbie Lawler had to pull out of the event due to injury – robbing us of a dream matchup – but never fear, because Kelvin Gastelum has stood up to take the fight. Gastelum has had a rocky year, but will come into this fight with a bit of momentum after his decision victory over Johny Hendricks. Cerrone meanwhile has been undefeated since moving to 170 pounds, sporting a 3-0 record this year. Gastelum is taking this match on short notice, but was preparing for a fight in November regardless and so shouldn’t be at too much of a disadvantage as far as preparation goes. Gastelum is the higher ranked fighter so don’t think this is a throwaway bout.
Our prediction: Cerrone has looked fantastic since changing weight classes and this three round fight should go his way. Both men are slow starters though so a decision seems the most likely finish.
Chris Weidman vs. Yoel Romero
The former Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman is back after dropping the title to Luke Rockhold and is looking to work his way back up the ladder of the division. His opponent Yoel Romero will return to the octagon after a positive drug test earlier this year. As far as the fight goes, many experts see this as a relatively even bout. Weidman is obviously one of the best middleweights in the world, but is in a bit of a slump and Romero’s grappling and striking superiority should give him an edge.
Our prediction: We’re going with the upset here, Romero by knockout early. This is a pick‘em fight though.
Welterweight Title Fight: Tyrone Woodley versus Stephen Thompson
This fight will see the Chosen One take on the Wonderboy. Clearly, the marketing team did well here. Tyrone Woodley got everyone’s attention with his first round knockout of Robbie Lawler to claim the Welterweight Championship. However, his opponent has been unstoppable in big fights since 2013, sitting at 7-0. Woodley has the knockout power, but Thompson has a reach advantage and the fights under his belt to show how good he is. Woodley, despite being the champion, is a bit more of an unknown commodity and whether he can beat someone outside of his knockout strengths will be the question. Woodley is a former NCAA wrestler which gives him the ground advantage, but Thompson has shown against the likes of Johny Hendricks and Rory MacDonald that he can beat proficient mat workers.
Our prediction: This is by no means a one-sided fight and Tyrone Woodley might be the perfect match-up to throw off the Wonderboy, but we’re going with Thompson as the new Welterweight Champion.
Lightweight Title Fight: Eddie Alvarez versus Conor McGregor
It’s fair to say the animosity has been high between these two – but such is every McGregor fight at this point. Whether he can back his words up in the octagon against the bigger opponent will be the question. He barely got over Nate Diaz in their rematch and Eddie Alvarez is a class above Diaz. McGregor will be basing his fight around a first round knockout, whereas Alvarez will probably have a more cautious approach, using a similar strategy to Diaz who dragged out his fight with Conor. The longer it goes, the more it favours the Lightweight Champion as McGregor could quickly gas out late. Champion versus champion fights are about as unpredictable as you can get in an octagon and there are few fighters capable of drawing off that energy better than the Featherweight Champion.
Our prediction: Eddie Alvarez SHOULD retain his title. Barring he doesn’t get rocked early, which is very possible, Alvarez should be too much for McGregor fighting above his weight class.
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Writer at the Australian Betting Organization
Nic studied at Monash University and is currently working as a sports journalist. You’ll often find Nic at the pub enjoying time with friends while watching UFC and WWE.
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