UFC 205 Predictions – MyMMANews.com staff make their picks
One of the biggest, if not the biggest mixed martial arts fight cards of all time, finally goes down this Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. UFC 205 features three title fights on the night to include a champion vs. champion matchup that has everyone talking.
Several members of the MyMMANews.com staff are going head-to-head with their predictions. Let’s take a look at the breakdown.
Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez defends against featherweight champion Conor McGregor
‘Beautiful Bob Meloni – The UFC can’t admit it, but they want Conor to win this fight. It sets up so many intriguing matchups in the future. Alvarez does not care about what the UFC wants or anyone else for that matter. Born and raised right down Route 95 in ‘The City of Brotherly Love,’ Eddie will bring his Philly toughness and giant heart to do battle. This will be a slugfest but if it does go to the ground, Alvarez has a big advantage. His submission game is very underrated. He usually likes to stand and bang, so many times, the fans don’t see it. It would be a smart game-plan to take McGregor down early, get him thinking, softening him up. McGregor is a physical specimen and it will be interesting to see how he comes in after that five-round war with Nate Diaz. I will take my hometown champ by submission in the upset. And still the UFC lightweight champion…Eddie Alvarez
Adam Crist – – This fight has so many variables that it makes my brain hurt. However, with the minimal space for opinion, call me bias, but I can’t turn my back on Philly. Eddie is the champ for a reason. He’s as tough as nails and proves it every second of every fight. Not to mention will be the bigger fighter. Conor is CLEARLY talented, but with all this weight jumping and the “Conor Show” as of late, maybe sticking to 145 and defending his belt would be better instead of holding the weight class at a stand-still for him to have his own fun. But who am I to say anything? Here’s hoping for Eddie! Pick – Eddie Alvarez
Eric Kowal – Eddie Alvarez is a tough, durable lightweight, but I don’t see him coming out of this fight with the title. I think Conor is just too elusive, lengthy, and McGregor has too much momentum and hype behind him that he will push the pace in the first two rounds to get a TKO victory and become the first simultaneous two-division champion in UFC history.
Staff Members that picked Eddie Alvarez: 2
Staff Members that picked Conor McGregor: 1
Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley defends against Stephen Thompson
‘Beautiful Bob Meloni – I cannot get a grip on this fight no matter how I analyze it. I know that I can’t wait to see these two marvelous artists go at it for the belt. Woodley’s striking has been very much improved and is quite impressive. Thompson has a style that is hard to duplicate in the gym and in sparring. This could be an epic five round battle. In that case I will stick with the defending champ Woodley in a split decision.
Adam Crist – There’s a saying that “you have to beat the champ to be the champ.” Whereas, I don’t think Wonderboy will stop Woodley, I do think Thompson’s ridiculously awkward style will dictate the pace of this fight and he makes it look easy to avoid Woodley’s brutal power and coasts to a victory. AND NEW!
Eric Kowal – Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson improves with each and every fight and I see no reason why he cannot get the job done here. Thompson has the reach and the tools to keep the champion at bay. I’m not certain Wonderboy will knock Woodley out but I can see him working a decision and taking home the hardware.
Staff Members that picked Tyron Woodley: 1
Staff Members that picked Stephen Thompson: 2
Women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrejczyk defends against Karolina Kowalkiewicz
‘Beautiful Bob Meloni – Definitely a candidate for ‘Fight of the Night.’ Both of these women are relentless and excellent athletes. I cannot pick against the current champ. I’ll pick JJ by a very entertaining decision.
Adam Crist – I have to go with Joanna on this one. I’m not sure how she’ll get it done because I feel she’ll finish it anyway she wants and when she sees fit to retain her strap…I’m also borderline scared to pick against her in fear I’d get a “Liam Neeson” type of phone call from her threatening my life. She’s scary and she’ll stop this contest.
Eric Kowal – And Still!!!!! That’s all you really need to know. Take nothing away from Karolina but she is not on the same playing field as Joanna. Joanna wins via TKO in Round 2.
Staff Members that picked Joanna Jedrejczyk: 3
Staff Members that picked Karolina Kowalkiewicz: 0
Chris Weidman vs. Yoel Romero
‘Beautiful Bob Meloni – “These two beasts are basically fighting for a shot at the championship. Romero has dynamite in his hands. Weidman has lots of game and is the former champ. Toughest fight of the night to call for me. 13-1 vs 9-1. Weidman may benefit from home-town cooking since this is in his backyard and I expect him to make his fans happy with a victory by decision and most likely get a chance to regain his belt.”
Adam Crist – C’mon! A well rounded ex-champion who is fighting at HOME! Are you really going to bet against him? Some might say the huge card might rattle someone, but seriously? Big fights is something Weidman isn’t used to? I have to go with the New Yorker to put himself back in serious title contention talk on this one. He has too many tools to take Romero out.
Eric Kowal – This is a tough one. Will a healthy and rejuvenated Chris Weidman show up? For Weidman’s sake, he needs to. If Chris Weidman wants to get back into title contention he needs this win. His strong wrestling pedigree will be neutralized though by an even better wrestler in Yoel Romero. Romero seems to be the stronger of the two men, but will he be able to get Weidman to the canvas and hold him there? If not, I see Weidman getting a TKO and earning another crack at the title.
Staff Members that picked Chris Weidman: 3
Staff Members that picked Yoel Romero: 0
Kelvin Gastellum vs. Donald Cerrone
‘Beautiful Bob Meloni – Gastellum is coming off of a very nice win over former champ, Johnny Hendricks. The Cowboy is as fierce as there is in the cage. I’m expecting lots of leg kicks from Cerrone to weaken his opponent and then a highlight reel KO from the Cowboy, who will someday get his shot at a title. Much deserved.
Adam Crist – Cowboy fights whoever, whenever, wherever. There’s slim to no chance this mega card will play any part in his mindset. He’s already admitted to being nervous before bouts, but I sincerely doubt this one will ruffle his feathers anymore than normal. Kelvin is a tough kid, and solid grappler, but Cowboy has looked good venturing into welterweight, and I’m taking his striking and all around well roundedness to take this contest.
Eric Kowal – This is an intriguing contest because it’s a classic Striker vs. Grappler type scenario. Gastellum is looking to take the fight to the ground and Cerrone is going to look to use his striking to finish the fight. I see Gastellum landing a few takedowns but not doing much damage in the process and when Cerrone is able to work back to his feet he will outpoint him with strikes. Winner – Cerrone via decision.
Staff Members that picked Kelvin Gastellum: 0
Staff Members that picked Donald Cerrone: 3
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Michael Johnson
‘Beautiful Bob Meloni – This is power versus speed. Johnson is lightning quick with decent punching power. Nurmagomedov remains unbeaten and questioning why he isn’t getting a title shot. I’m taking the underdog, Johnson to win this fight with a TKO
Adam Crist – Well if this isn’t a fun fight, Khabib has managed to stay healthy enough to fight a solid run to see the potential title shot, and Johnson hits as hard as a truck! All jokes aside, I’m glad to see Khabib back and making his case for a shot at the title. Michael Johnson is a tough fighter and heavy striker, but Khabib’s grappling and ability to transition from striking to the ground and outclass almost everyone in the division makes it difficult to pick against the afro wig wearing Russian!
Eric Kowal – If Khabib Nurmagomedov even wants to dream about getting his name back into title contention he needs to put on an absolutely spectacular performance here in this fight against Michael Johnson. The problem however is that he is going against a very tough Michael Johnson who can spoil the party for Nurmagomedov. Johnson is coming off that spectacular KO finish of Dustin Poirier but will that momentum be enough to stop the uncrowned champion in Nurmagomedov? I see the Russian getting a split decision victory over Johnson.
Staff Members that picked Khabib Nurmagomedov: 2
Staff Members that picked Michael Johnson: 1
Miesha Tate vs. Raquel Pennington
‘Beautiful Bob Meloni – Meisha Tate got rocked losing the title in her last fight to Amanda Nunes. Pennington is looking for a win over one of the biggest names in the women’s game. I expect Tate to outlast Pennington and take a unanimous decision win.
Adam Crist – Both of these ladies are scrappy and bring a lot to the cage. However, I’m going with Tate on this one. This is a great match up and can go so many different ways, but at the end of the day, I think Tate’s grappling will play a huge roll in this contest and she will get her hand raised.
Eric Kowal – It is always tough to bet against Miesha Tate. She worked her way up to a championship, dominating all the bantamweight contenders in her path to get there, but then lost the belt in her first defense. Raquel Pennington is on a three-fight win streak and is a very likable figure so it is hard to root against her, however I don’t think she has the tools just yet to take out the former champion. Miesha Tate unanimous decision.
Staff Members that picked Miesha Tate: 3
Staff Members that picked Raquel Pennington: 0
Frankie Edgar vs. Jeremy Stephens
‘Beautiful Bob Meloni – “Frankie Edgar can’t be happy with fighting on an undercard and not for a title. For Stephens, this is his biggest career opportunity against a future UFC Hall of Famer. Edgar’s takedowns and underrated submission game will prevail with a tap out.
Adam Crist – I’m going to be bold and say this is Fight of the Night (in my humble opinion). Frankie, as we all know is so well rounded and as game as they come. Stephens, however, can end your night wish a single strike. Stephens is a huge threat standing so I’m not counting him out, but Edgar has been there and seen it all. It will be a tough bout, but I feel Frankie will come out on top.
Eric Kowal – The former lightweight champion is going to have the crowd behind him, but more importantly he is going to have his heart. No fighter in UFC history has more heart than Frankie Edgar. I don’t expect Edgar to KO Jeremy Stephens like he did to Chad Mendes but I do see Edgar getting the victory. Stephens is a highly talented and experienced fighter but he will not be bringing anything that Edgar has not seen already from the laundry list of top fighters that he has faced. Winner: Frankie Edgar via unanimous decision.
Staff Members that picked Frankie Edgar: 3
Staff Members that picked Jeremy Stephens: 0
Rafael Natal vs. Tim Boetsch
‘Beautiful Bob Meloni – Natal is coming off his only loss in his last five fights. Boetsch is coming off his first win in a while. Natal gets back on the winning side with a hard fought decision
Adam Crist – I’m going to start with the fact that I want Tim to win this bout. I also see ways that he can win this fight especially his grappling prowess and ground and pound. I just don’t see it going his way in this contest. Natal has far better standup and is a damn good grappler. I think the odds are stacked against “The Barbarian” in this one. I hope I’m wrong.
Eric Kowal – Another hard fought decision but the hometown Natal should get the decision win. Boetsch last fought the late Josh Samman who passed away last month from what appears to be a drug overdose. Boetsch needs to win this fight otherwise he could be handed his walking papers as he only has three wins in his last nine fights. If he loses here it will be three in ten. Natal gets the decision.
Staff Members that picked Rafael Natal: 3
Staff Members that picked Tim Boetsch: 0
Vicente Luque vs. Belal Muhammad
‘Beautiful Bob Meloni – Luque is coming off 3 straight wins. Muhammad is a stout 10-1. Muhammad improves to 11-1 with a TKO
Adam Crist – The only thing I see going against Luque in this bout is the late notice in replacing Lyman Good. The kid is young, tough and a heavy hitter who is hungry. Muhammad is a tough egg to crack, but I feel this short notice fight might be a great thing for Luque’s career. Especially if he can put a stamp on it with a stoppage.
Eric Kowal – A change in opponent should not really affect Belal Muhammad that much. Muhammad was preparing for Lyman Good but that fight changed just weeks ago with Vicente Luque stepping up. Luque is on a three fight win streak while the former Titan FC champ is sitting at one. This is a very tough fight to predict but I see Muhammad edging out a decision if he doesn’t put Luque away with a TKO.
Staff Members that picked Vicente Luque: 1
Staff Members that picked Belal Muhammad: 2
Thiago Alves vs. Jim Miller
‘Beautiful Bob Meloni – “A battle of 2 very tough warriosr. These guys both have been through numerous wars. Miller is fighting close to home and should have much of the crowds support. His ground game is lethal and I’m saying he finishes this by submission after softening up Alves with some ground and pound.
Adam Crist – This is an interesting match up because both of these fighters aren’t afraid to grind it out the hard way. Alves will have the size advantage which makes me confident, but his long layoff makes me nervous. Especially with the new weight class. However, I think Alves will weather Miller’s “never stop” style to a hard earned victory. Again, I hope I’m wrong.
Eric Kowal – Thiago Alves last competed in May of 2015 in a welterweight loss to Carlos Condit. Welcoming him to the UFC’s lightweight division will be one of the guys you do not want to fight on your first fight in a new division, Jim Miller. Miller didn’t have a far trek to the City, just hopping on 80 East to get to MSG. Miller is coming off back to back wins over Takanori Gomi at UFC 200 and then Joe Lauzon in a rematch the following month. Alves will have to control his breathing to make sure he doesn’t exert too much energy otherwise Miller will find a way to exploit the weakness. Prediction: Jim Miller via TKO – Round 2.
Staff Members that picked Thiago Alves: 1
Staff Members that picked Jim Miller: 2
Liz Carmouche vs. Katlyn Chookagian
‘Beautiful Bob Meloni – Chookagian is a name on the rise, coming off of her first fight and win in the UFC. Carmouche is the savvy veteran who is always in great shape and has a great chin. I’ll take Chookagian with another win by decision to remain undefeated and move to 9-0.
Adam Crist – An interesting match up and I hate going against the “Girlilla”, I feel Katlyn has a lot of momentum behind her and fighting in her backyard can’t hurt. Liz has had a long layoff which may play a factor. At the end of the day, I’m taking Katlyn to take a decision win in a war.
Eric Kowal – We have not seen Liz Carmouche compete in the octagon since April 2015 with a wealth of experience. If there’s one advantage she has over Chookagian it is experience. Carmouche has fought for a major world title when she went up against Ronda Rousey. She also has experience against Miesha Tate and several other notable opponents. Chookagian on the other hand is on a surge and will be competing before many of her fans from the Tri-State area. This fight is likely going to to go all three rounds with Chookagian have her arm raised.
Staff Members that picked Liz Carmouche: 0
Staff Members that picked Katlyn Chookagian: 3