Woman’s Bantamweight: Ronda Rousey 8-0 (-420) vs. Sara McMann 7-0 (+375)
McMann won a Silver medal as wrestler in the 2004 Olympics and is probably the best athlete that Rousey has been faced with to date. However, McMann’s MMA game is simply not as well rounded as Rousey’s is, especially in view of RR’s improved striking. Ronda would probably like to win this fight in some manner other than securing an arm bar, just to show us all that she can. But Rousey is a very smart fighter and she will take what McMann gives her. If the arm bar is available then Rousey will take it and she won’t fool around because McMann is capable of winning this fight if RR lets her guard down.
Rousey wins by submission, 2nd Rd.
Light Heavyweight: Daniel Cormier 13-0 (-925) vs. Patrick Cummins 4-0 (+725)
This might be the most interesting fight of the evening. Patrick Cummins makes his UFC debut against one of the best fighters in all of MMA. Cummnins was working in a coffee shop in Dana Point, CA two weeks ago. Cormier was scheduled to fight Rashad Evans, but Evans had to withdraw due to knee injury suffered in training. Cummins was offered an opportunity to step in and he leaped at it. Cummins previously served a wrestling training partner for Cormier and claims he got the better of Cormier in training, when Cormier was preparing for the Olympics. Cummins is a very good athlete and earned All- American honors twice as a wrestler at Penn St. He has also won all 4 of his MMA fights in the old Strikeforce promotion.
Cummins may prove to be a capable UFC fighter, but I find it hard to believe he can win this fight with only about 10 days of preparation time. However, anything can happen in MMA and if I had to bet on this fight I would probably want to place a small bet on Cummins simply because of the payoff with Vegas making him the +725 underdog.
Cormier wins by TKO, 3rd Rd.
Welterweight: Rory MacDonald 15-2 (-295) vs. Demian Maia 18-5 (+265)
An important fight for two top ten welterweights coming off losses. The winner will remain in the hunt for a championship fight. Both are well rounded fighters, but MacDonald is 24 and Maia is 36. The loser may not see that opportunity for a long time, if ever. Maia has real shot if he can take this fight to ground and use his world class Jui-Jitsu (former world champion). That will tough task because MacDonald is quick, a great striker and has good take down defense. He is also very experienced for age and has trained for years with fellow Canadian , and UFC icon, Georges St. Pierre. Like GSP, MacDonald is also a very good wrestler, so even if Maia does manage to take MacDonald down he may not find him easy to deal with on the ground, yet that is where Maia would seem to have his best chance.
MacDonald wins by decision