The Barclays Center in Brooklyn plays host to the first UFC pay-per-view event of 2017 with the women’s Featherweight battle between Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie headlining.
Both fighters would love the prestige of taking this inaugural Featherweight clash. Meanwhile, there’s even more at stake for Holm given the fact that she could become the first woman to have held belts in two weight divisions.
It’s all shaping-up to be a fantastic event across the pond and to preview the action we’ve enlisted the help of top MMA blog, Ultimate Fight Chat.
These guys know what they’re talking about. And they’ve even thrown in a few punting pointers for good measure.
Here’s how they’re calling the action…
HOLLY HOLM vs. GERMAINE de RANDAMIE
Former bantamweight champion Holly Holm is a phenomenal striker with a decorated boxing background.
She famously became the first women to defeat Ronda Rousey, dethroning her at UFC 193. Since conquering ‘Rowdy’, Holm has been on a skid, losing her last two fights but a stand-up battle against De Randamie should be a more natural fight for ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’.
Germaine de Randamie is another lethal striker, an undefeated kickboxer, winning all 37 bouts, she is versatile and intelligent with her attacks. Despite De Randamie having an unspectacular record of 6-3, she is still to be feared and if she dictates the pace of this fight, she could cause Holm trouble.
But we’re going with Holm to get the win here for many reasons. Firstly, she is accustomed to fighting at 145, her striking is slicker and I believe she hits and moves a lot better than De Randamie. Once Holm keeps that chin tucked in she should collect the belt.
ANDERSON SILVA vs. DEREK BRUNSON
Many would claim that Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva is the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.
However, after suffering a cruel leg break in 2013, failing to win in his last five and at 41-years of age this looks a tough task, even for arguably the greatest ever UFC Middleweight champion.
Since the freak injury that struck Silva, his indestructible aura has dwindled, opponents no longer fear engaging with him and he is no longer as elusive as he once was.
He remains dangerous from almost any position inside the Octagon but he is coming up against a man with solid wrestling skills and genuine knockout power.
However, Derek Brunson suffered a surprise stoppage loss last time out against Robert Whittaker, mainly because he over extended his punches, leaving himself open for the counter.
Brunson has a tendency to start fast and gas late, desperately looking for the early knockout. But one of his greatest attributes is his wrestling, something he seems to have forgotten about of late.
If Brunson can revert back to his old ways he could pin Silva to the mat for three rounds. Although if he chooses to stand and trade then the king of the counter could capitalise.
Maybe it’s sentiment but I really feel like Silva will strike again and catch Brunson as he swings wildly, leaving his chin dangling in the air.
It would be great to see him get another highlight reel knockout but I’ll settle for a decision victory.
RONALDO SOUZA vs. TIM BOETSCH
In relation to the rankings, this fight doesn’t really hold a whole lot of water, but nonetheless it will be an interesting watch.
Tim Boetsch is a seasoned fighter with a big right hand and 10 KO’s to his name. After suffering three successive stoppage losses, Boetsch bounced back with two KO victories over Josh Samman and Rafael Natal.
‘The Barbarian’ has a knack of winning when his back is against the wall but I don’t think this fight will present an opportunity for him to land a big shot.
Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza has built-up a game that is the exact opposite of Boetsch, He likes to take hold of a fighter, drag them to the mat and smoother them into submission, hence the nickname – it’s Portuguese for Alligator. ‘Jacare’ has only lost once in seven fights for the UFC and even that loss was questionable due to ‘Stoolgate’.
Currently ranked #3, his name is firmly in the title picture so taking a risky fight like this is strange but I genuinely believe he has the ability to beat Boetsch and will take him to the mat and stop him early.
GLOVER TEIXEIRA vs. JARED CANNONIER
Glover Teixeira hasn’t been seen since being knocked unconscious by ‘Rumble’ Johnson at UFC 202.
Teixeira is one of the most dangerous fighters in the lightweight division, with powerful hands and strong submissions to match.
Teixeira boasts a record of 25-5 with 22 of those victories finishing early. His opponent on Saturday night will be Jared Cannonier, who made the drop from heavyweight to the 205lb division in his last outing and impressed when beating Ion Cutelaba.
Cannonier is another who doesn’t like going the distance, with only two of his victories needing the judges’ scorecards.
If this fight stays on the feet then don’t blink because someone is getting knocked out. Our inkling though is that if Teixeira fails to win the exchanges, he will take this fight to the ground and look to sink in a choke.
This is a fight that could go either way but I’m relying on Teixeira’s chin holding up after such a brutal KO last time out and taking the victory this time around.
DUSTIN POIRIER vs. JIM MILLER
This will be a battle of two of the finest fighters in the lightweight division.
Dustin Poirier had looked sensational when moving up in weight class, finishing three of his four opponents before facing knockout artist Michael Johnson, where he slumped to Johnson’s power.
Jim Miller has been fighting for 12 years, taking part in 37 pro MMA fights. He has fought and beaten some of the best lightweights around but of late, he has looked better than ever.
Miller is currently riding a three fight win streak beating tough opponents Takanori Gomi, Joe Lauzon and Thiago Alves and will look to continue this rich vein of form against Poirier.
Miller’s great strength is his resilience, he continues to push forward and bring the fight, he is well equipped to cope on his feet but on the ground is where he thrives.
Poirier is primarily a striker with some beautiful boxing; he picks opponents down with his jab and then unleashes a fast flurry of combos. I think Poirier’s crisp boxing and wrestling defence should be enough for him to get the nod from the judges.
BEST OF THE REST:
Randy Brown vs. Belal Muhammad
Brown to win.
Wilson Reis vs. Ulka Sasaki
Reis to win.
Nik Lentz vs. Islam Makhachev
Makhachev to win.
Ian McCall vs. Jarred Brooks
McCall to win.
Marcin Tybura vs. Justin Willis
Tybura to win.
Ryan LaFlare vs. Roan Carneiro
LaFlare to win.
Phillipe Nover vs. Rick Glenn
Glenn to win.
The adventurous bet: All 12 predictions in an Acca pays @ 2541/1.
The inbetweener bet: Holm, Souza, Makhachev and McCall all to win @ 6/1.
The conservative bet: Holm @ 11/10 or Silva @ 6/5.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing