Tomorrow night UFC on ESPN 3 will take place in Minneapolis, Minnesota and will be headlined with Heavyweight title contenders (#2) Francis Ngannou and (#3) Junior Dos Santos. The main event has serious potential produce a Knockout of the Year candidate. The co-main event also has potential title implications as (#1) Jussier Formiga faces off against (#2) Joseph Benavidez who holds a win over the current Flyweight and Bantamweight champion, Henry Cejudo.
The UFC Fight Pass preliminary card will begin at 6 p.m. ET, followed by the main card at 9 p.m. ET
BELOW ARE PREDICTIONS FOR THE CARD:
(#2) Francis Ngannou vs. (#3) Junior Dos Santos
This is the most excited I have been about a Heavyweight contest since Daniel Cormier dethroned Stipe Miocic to become the Heavyweight champion at UFC 230. Both men are on hot streaks coming off back-to-back KO victories over the likes of Cain Velazquez, Curtis Blaydes, Tai Tuivasa, and Derrick Lewis. Excited yet? I believe we see some new tools in the bag of Francis Ngannou in this fight. Following his losses to then champion Stipe Miocic and the snooze fest that was his fight with Lewis, he has added aspects to his game surely making him undeniable. His wrestling defense looked good against all time great Cain Velazquez for as long as it lasted and his approach is much more patient. As for JDS, it is hard to say his best days are behind him as he continues to defy the odds of age with convincing victories. I expect JDS to be very methodical in rounds 1 and 2 while winning both on the judge’s scorecards but Francis will adjust and find his timing.
Pick: Francis Ngannou via 3rd Round KO/TKO.
(#1) Jussier Formiga vs. (#2) Joseph Benavidez
Thank you Henry Cejudo! Stemming back to January of this year, UFC President, Dana White elected to keep the Flyweight division around after Cejudo defeated TJ Dillashaw to retain the Flyweight belt. I know many casual fans have difficulty appreciating 125-pound men fight but as a purist, this is one of the best divisions in MMA regardless of promotion. Jussier Formiga is on a 4 fight-winning streak displaying his versatility with dominate decision and submission victories. Joseph Benavidez was the last man to defeat the current Flyweight and Bantamweight champ Henry Cejudo. The decision was controversial but with the wreckage Cejudo has spread throughout two divisions lately, the victory was impressive in retrospect. While Formiga undoubtedly has the more impressive ground game, Benavidez is one of the most well rounded fighters in the division.
Pick: Benavidez via Decision
Demian Maia vs. Rocco Martin
No analysis or breakdown warranted. If there is a God above, please allow Maia to show up and finish the tail end of his career with some dignity and a few wins.
Pick: Maia via Submission
The Rest of the Card:
Roosevelt Roberts def. Vinc Pichel via Decision
Drew Dober def. Marco Polo Reyes via KO/TKO
Alonzo Menifield def. Paul Craig via Decision
Ricardo Ramos def. Journey Newson via KO/TKO
Eryk Anders def. Vinicius Castro via Decision
Jared Gordon def. Dan Moret via Decision
Dalcha Lungiambula def. Dequan Townsend via Decision
Amanda Ribas def. Emily Whitmire via Decision
Junior Albini def. Maurice Greene via KO/TKO