The drama that has taken place on leading up to UFC 206 is ridiculous. Losing DC vs Rumble, GSP’s failure to come to terms with the UFC and then Anthoy Pettis failure to make weight for his interim title fight. Things have been hectic and in all honesty I am just glad the fights are still on.
Pettis vs Holloway
Pettis missing weight puts a bit of a damper on this one, but it should be a fabulous fight all the same. Pettis is has the more powerful striking and his most dangerous weapon the left body kick should be open for him, as Holloway fights at a comfortable range for Pettis to get it off. Also, his counter punching is on point. If he can crack Holloway with some nice counter shots it may make him hesitant about blitzing Pettis and give him the appropriate space to get off his best stuff.
Holloway has an incredible volume attack. He’s going to need it tonight, because keeping Pettis out of his rhythm is going to be crucial. His ability to close space with timing and rhythym a big part of his offence. Holloway is great at closing out his combinations with kicks, if he does that it should be fairly easy for him to negate the counter striking of Pettis. Based on the difference in volume between the two it is very likely Holloway takes the decision if it should go to the cards.
Prediction: Pettis TKO round 2
Cerrone vs Brown
Cerrone has looked great since making the jump to welterweight. Picking up three stoppage victories accompanied by three performance of the night bonuses. Cerrone will have the advantage in a few different places. His striking is more versatile than Brown’s. He has a beautiful way of mixing his kicks with punches and the kicks slam home with authority. Also, he’s got some of the most well timed knees to the body in the business. Brown has been hurt to the body on a few occasions. If Cerrone can land a few well timed knees or some powerful kicks to the body. This could have performance of the night written all over it.
The story of success for Brown is going to be pressure, pressure and some more pressure. He has to keep Cerrone going backwards. Fortunately for Brown that is his fortay. He is a smothering and violent fighter. with a tendency to break his opponents will with relentless brutality. He will need to close the distance on Cerrone and be the bully. Cerrone will be hard to put away, but stylistically Brown is perfect for the job.
Prediction: Cerrone submission round 3
Dooho Choi vs Cub Swanson
This is the biggest fight of Dooho Choi’s career in the UFC. To this point the kid has proved to be a dynamo. His confidence is peaking, he’s coming off three straight wins and two performance of the night bonuses. The kid throws beautiful straight shots with perfect technique. His right hand is a laser beam with precision we only see from a few special talents. On top of that it comes quick and if he touches your jaw, you go to sleep. He has been taken down, but has to this point shown an ability to stay calm and work his way back to his feet with ease.
Cub Swanson has a huge experience advantage and I think an advantage over Choi in the grappling department. I think attempting to take this fight to the ground is the path of least resistance in this one for Cub. He throws loopy power shots and I truly think if Cub tries to stand with him and starts to get a little wild things will go south for Cub and in a hurry.
Prediction: Dooho Choi TKO Round 1
Kelvin Gastelum vs Tim Kennedy
This has the potential to be a great fight. Gastelum is making his return to middleweight after a horrendous weight cut at UFC 205, caused Dana White to force the 25-year-old up in weight. The former TUF winner is going to need to use his wrestling to keep the relentless Kennedy at bay. If he can do that he should have some luck with his hands. Kennedy is competent throwing puches but by no means is a high level striker. Gastelum will need to pace himself, because Kennedy’s gas tank is endless.
Kennedy is going to need to use that gas tank to his advantage and keep forward pressure. Creating as many scrambling exchanges should pay dividends as the fight goes on. If Kennedy can get Gastelum on his back he should have a fairly sizeable advantage. He can strike, but I feel as though Gastelum is a little cleaner so Kennedy may want to keep those exchanges to a minimum.
Prediction: Gastelum decision
Emil Meek vs Jordan Mein
Emil Meek is an absolute savage. He is coming off a first round knockout of former UFC vet Rousimar Palharis. This guy is no secret, from the moment go he comes out to kill. Five of his eight wins have come in under a minute. Jordan Mein is going to have to be careful early. Especially with this being Meek’s UFC debut. He is going to be looking to impress and that could spell trouble.
Mein needs to get through the early storm and the fight will likely start to drift in his favour. He is tough, a very durable guy and he also has some power in his hands. I believe Mein’s ability to fight off the early storm will be the key to his success.
Prediction: Meek TKO Round 1