The Trilogy Fight. This fight will go down as one of the biggest fights, if not the biggest, of all time. The two best heavyweights in the division going at each other for one last time before the retirement of Daniel Cormier. I can’t wait. The rest of the card is alright, it doesn’t compare to UFC 251 but there are a lot of interesting fights on this card.
Magomed Ankalaev vs Ion Cutelaba – Light Heavyweight Division
Now, the last fight between these two ended in huge controversy with a poor stoppage from the referee, Kevin Macdonald, who stopped the fight while Ion was, firstly still fighting, and secondly, pretending as if Magomed’s strikes were hurting him. So, Magomed comes into this fight 4-1 in the UFC and 13-1 in his career. His only loss came against Paul Craig in 2018 where he lost a fight that he dominated in the last second of the fight. Magomed’s striking is brilliant and unlike most Russian’s his grappling and striking are on the same level. Ion ‘The Hulk’ Cutelaba is 4-4 in the UFC and is a fighter that will be looking to end this in round one. His endurance is poor and if he doesn’t find the finish in round one, he’s most likely to wilt in rounds 2 and 3. For that reason, I’ve got Magomed winning in round 2 via submission.
John Dodson vs Merab Dvalishvili – Bantamweight Division
We have the veteran John Dodson fighting next. A brilliant striker with some of the best combinations in the UFC with his lightning-quick speed. He’s coming off a good win after beating Englishman Nathaniel Wood in February. Merab, ‘The Machine’ will be looking to wrestle for the whole fight. However, Merab isn’t too bad on the feet as well, which constantly keeps opponents guessing. It’s going to be key for both fighters to control the distance. If Dodson can avoid the takedown, then I’m sure he’ll win the fight. Yet, I don’t think he will. I’m taking Merab by decision.
Junior Dos Santos vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik – Heavyweight Division
This one is a real tough one to predict. Because out of all the fights on this card, this one is simply who knocks the other one out first. The former Heavyweight Champion Dos Santos may not be at the level he was a few years ago but he’s still world-class. However, his chin right now is his biggest weakness. His last two fights have seen him get KO’d by Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou. ‘Bigi Boy’ has also been KO’d Ngannou. Which happens to be his only loss. Yes, his kickboxing is brilliant but I think in every other aspect of the fight, JDS is better. Yet, that chin is giving me some serious doubts. It’s a 50/50 for me. I’ll go with Rozenstruik by TKO in the second round.
Sean O’Malley vs Marlon Vera – Bantamweight Division
Co-main event time and we’ve got the highest-rated talent in the UFC, Sean O’Malley fighting for the third time this year already! Sean is such a difficult fighter to figure out, his ability to effortlessly switch stances is only matched by the likes of Middleweight Champion, Israel Adesanya and Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones. This ability blends in perfectly to set up his opponents with some deadly strikes. Marlon Vera is a monster, to say the least. His ability to take strikes and walk down his opponents is incredible. For me, this sets up excellently for the fight as I think we’ll see Sean fight outside of round one for the first time since 2018. This is a big test for O’Malley that I think he’ll pass. I hope to see him fight Cody Garbrandt soon as we’ve seen those two go at each other on social media. I’m going with an O’Malley win by decision but I think Vera will push him further than we’ve seen before.
Stipe Miocic (c) vs Daniel Cormier 3 – UFC Heavyweight Championship
This one, like JDS vs Rozenstruik, is so hard to predict. They’ve both beaten each other once, in two completely different fights and go into their last dance as arguably the two greatest Heavyweights we’ve ever seen in the octagon. The Champ, Miocic, is 13-3 in the UFC an all-round great fighter. Everyone talks about his great boxing, but not his pretty good wrestling. Can he compete with the wrestling of the former champion, Daniel ‘DC’ Cormier? Cormier has said that he’s going to wrestle Stipe more this time than he did in their fight last year. Another huge factor is the smaller cage. The smaller cage favours DC’s wrestling and I’m positive he’ll look to push the champ towards the cage. On the other hand, Stipe will be looking for the body shots that one him the title last year much earlier on in the fight. This is so tough to predict, but I think if DC is able to wrestle Stipe and win the fight grappling and on the ground. If the two of them end up standing up, I think it’s still a close fight as we saw last year but I’ve got DC winning by TKO in round 5 and retiring as champion. There’s no wrong pick here and I won’t be surprised if Stipe KO’s Cormier.
So, there are my thoughts and predictions. This is going to be a good card and I can’t wait for Sunday morning. Have a good day!