This UFC pay per view is definitely one worth buying. Maybe you’re interested in buying a couple betting tickets as well. Either way, we have you covered. The main event will be for the Women’s Bantamweight (135 lb) Championship between the Champion Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes versus Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko. This will be a rematch from when they collided in a non-title fight back in March of last year with Nunes emerging the victor by unanimous decision.
Amanda came out in the 1st round strong while Valentina focused primarily on counter punching. Nunes landed an outside trip to take Shevchenko down and won the round. The 2nd stanza had a similar outcome with Amanda landing another takedown to win the round. In the 3rd, Valentina finally showed some aggression after reversing an attempted inside trip by Nunes to land in the top position on the ground. It proved to be too little too late as Amanda Nunes won two rounds to one 29-28.
The co-main event will feature two very heavy hitters in a matchup to determine the #1 contender in the UFC’s Middleweight division. Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker is a very heavy-handed Kiwi from the fighting country of New Zealand. The former TUF Smashes winner has quickly risen through the middleweight ranks knocking out his opponents usually with a clean left hook.
Opposite Robert across the Octagon on Saturday night will be one of the most intimidating fighters we have ever seen step into the Octagon. Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero has ripped through the middleweight division as well, just maybe with a hair more ferocity than any fighter we’ve ever seen. He’s a super-athlete with power in both hands and an Olympic Silver Medalist in freestyle wrestling.
Also on the main card is a replacement fight for the Cowboy Cerrone and Robbie Lawler showdown that has now been moved to UFC 214 due to a stubborn staph infection Cerrone wasn’t able to shake in time for the fight. This Saturday night we will see Curtis “Razor” Blaydes take on 15th ranked Pole Daniel Omielanczuk.
Blaydes is a young heavyweight out of Chicago who possesses an 80-inch reach and fearless aggression. He is 1-1 in the UFC with 1 no contest. Omielanczuk is 2-2 with his wins inside the Octagon coming by way of decision. Both of these guys will be looking to make a strong impression with the UFC brass and fans alike. They weren’t expecting to get this kind of exposure, so this fight shouldn’t disappoint.
Alright, here we go with the big names again! This next contest will be another fight on the card that determines the #1 contender for the UFC Championship. This time between perennial heavyweight powers Alistair “The Reem” Overeem and Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum. This is actually a rematch from almost 6 years ago to the date when Overeem won a unanimous 3 round decision over Werdum.
Rounding out the main card on Saturday, two UFC vets with opposing styles will throw bones in hopes of painting themselves into the lightweight title picture. Anthony “Showtime” Pettis will look to keep this fight standing and use his deceptive kicks to maintain range and hopefully hurt his opponent, Jim Miller. Jim is a grinding grappler from New Jersey whose best game plan will likely be to take down Pettis and focus more on controlling the fight than finishing it.
Nunes vs Shevchenko
The champion Amanda Nunes has been known to fade after the first two rounds of action, and the first fight between these two ladies was no different. The upcoming main event on Saturday night will, of course, be for the title and is scheduled for 5 rounds. Amanda respects Shevchenko’s Muay Thai striking prowess enough to slow down her typical 1st and 2nd round borderline over-aggression. This may end up benefitting Nunes because she’s likely to save some energy for the later rounds.
Shevchenko will need to get out to a faster start. Waiting on Nunes to make a mistake is a mistake in and of itself. She is a great counter fighter, but against the longer opponent, she will need to lead with more aggression. If the fight picks up where the last contest left off, Shevchenko should be very successful as she was picking up quite a bit of steam towards the final bell.
This fight is just as even on paper as it is in the sportsbook. The first fight between the two warriors wasn’t the most exciting of contests. This was somewhat of a surprise to fans as both fighters normally produce action-packed fights. These two women have a great deal of respect for one another, but hopefully, let their hands go a bit more than we saw in the last contest.
Both fighters are on a hot streak. Nunes has a brown belt in Judo to go along with her BJJ black belt. This should give her the advantage with takedowns and takedown defense. Valentina though is a world champion in Muay Thai.
Many forget that in full Muay Thai rules, you can dump or trip your opponents. While some get away with ignoring clinch work during training, champions simply do not. Valentina did reverse an attempted takedown by Amanda to help her win the 3rd round of their last fight. This one is scheduled for 5 rounds as it’s of course for the belt.
Amanda won’t likely be able to finish Valentina early on, so her stamina will need to be much better this time around. Nunes had lost all her pop after the first 10 minutes while Shevchenko seemed to be just getting started. We expect Nunes to come out of the gate hard and Shevchenko to keep the same game plan and hope to be in the same position she was in at the end of their last fight with Nunes gassed and much more likely to get caught.
Our pick: Shevchenko by 4th round TKO
Romero vs Whittaker
This one is going to be a banger. While both fighters respect each other, each possesses dynamite in their hands. These are two knockout artists who will be representing their small fighting countries in hopes of starching their opponent in the middle of the cage.
Robert Whittaker is on a winning streak just like his opponent. They have both defeated Jacare in the past year. While Robert’s win was more decisive, Yoel can hit you from anywhere as it was a spinning back fist that made the difference in his fight with Jacare.
Whittaker isn’t known to be a submission artist. Even if he was, controlling Romero on the ground is nearly impossible nevermind submitting him. Therefore, Yoel should look to take this fight to the ground and look to finish with strikes or a submission. Romero without a doubt has the ability to stop Robert on the feet, but why risk it if you don’t have to?
Technically speaking, Romero is a southpaw while Whittaker is a conventional fighter. Usually, when this happens, coaches will tell their fighters to focus on throwing shots from their rear or power side. Throwing too many lead kicks or lazy punches will get you countered hard by your opponent’s power side.
While Whittaker doesn’t throw many lazy punches, he will likely need to throw his patented left hook from a different angle to avoid a strong side counter. Landing the left hook with a vertical fist (boxing style) is much more difficult against a left-handed fighter. This is Robert’s money punch that he uses to knock people out. If he can throw it downward from a ¾ angle, it will force Yoel to turn towards the power side of Robert where he can possibly land his straight right hand.
This is a 3 round fight, so Yoel’s lack of endurance shouldn’t be much of a factor. With that being said, he has shown to be a bit reckless in his aggression. This plays directly into the heavy hands of the Kiwi Whittaker. Yoel could probably take him down, but he loves to scrap and will likely be happy to keep it standing. Either in the 2nd or 3rd rounds when Yoel becomes frustrated with Whittaker’s deceptive striking, he will likely get caught running in being careless.
Our Pick: Whittaker by 3rd round TKO
Blaydes vs Omielanczuk
This one looks to be a standup war between two hungry heavyweights looking to make a name for themselves on this big stage. As you can see, Vegas doesn’t even have this one close. -700 is too much lay on anyone, especially an inexperienced heavyweight. Is +525 too much of a reach though?
Omielanczuk is worth a small wager as anything can happen in a fight, and as we have learned this is especially true in the heavyweight division where everyone has KO power. Blaydes only UFC loss was against up and coming phenom Francis Ngannou. “Razor” will most likely hurt his opponent early, and finish with ground and pound to secure a TKO win. Again, if you want some excitement brought to a fight with guys most people don’t know, throw 20 bucks on the underdog and hopefully take home over 100.
Our Pick: Blaydes by 2nd round TKO
Overeem vs Werdum
Back to the big names and nearly even betting lines! This is a rematch from the old Strikeforce days. The biggest advantage for either fighter would lay with Werdum on the ground. He has submitted some of the best heavyweights of all time.
One thing most people forget about the times he subbed Cain Velasquez and Fedor, is that both of these guys took the fight to the ground. Werdum isn’t overly strong or a great athlete (two things Overeem is known for), and has struggled taking fighters down in the past.
One aspect of Alistair’s game that is often overlooked is his fight IQ. Believe it or not, someone whose body looks that good can still be highly intelligent. It’s not fair, I know. Overeem will keep this fight standing as long as he can. Even if he hurts Fabricio with a shot, I don’t see him following Werdum to the ground recklessly like Fedor did in the past.
This fight will likely stay standing. While Werdum has improved his striking game tenfold training with Master Rafael Cordeiro at Kings MMA, Overeem is still better. Alistair’s chin has been getting much weaker over the last few years. So if Werdum finds it, it may be a short night for the Dutchman.
As awesome as “The Reem” looks, he sometimes seems to find a way to lose. Overeem will likely stay out of the clinch to avoid the takedown which will bring the fight closer to even on the feet. If Werdum hurts him, he will have no qualms about following his opponent to the ground and looking for a way to tap out “The Reem”.
Our Pick: Werdum by 2nd round submission
Pettis vs Miller
Rounding out the main card on pay per view will be Anthony Pettis fighting Jim Miller. Both guys have fought many of the same opponents over the years in the UFC, but never each other surprisingly. It’s important to note that this fight will be at 155 lbs. Pettis recently tried his hand in the 145 lb division but lacked strength and endurance as it was simply too much weight to cut.
This one is simply striker vs grappler. If it stays standing, Pettis will most likely win. If Miller gets the fight to the ground 2-3 times and controls Pettis, he should win. Pettis is favored in this one almost 2.5 to 1 which should probably be 1.5-1. A wager on Jimmy Miller to win will pay out 2-1, so you are getting good value there. An even better value would be to take him to win a decision.
Our Pick: Miller by unanimous decision
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