I am really looking forward to UFC 194. What a totally stacked card!! Thanks Dana White!
The Main Event alone makes this card very interesting, but the top 4 fights all feature excellent fighters. I think all of these fight have the potential to be great. There are no heavy favorites in the top 4 fights. The odds are very close and, frankly, making picks for these fights is very difficult because the fighters are so evenly matched, at least on paper. That may not turn out to be the case once the fights these guys really start trading punches and kicks. I can’t say that I would want to bet a lot of money on any of these fights because I could see every one them going either way. I honestly won’t be shocked if I go 0-4, but here are my predictions:
Champion Jose Aldo (25-1) vs Interim Champion Conor McGregor (18-2)
Odds are basically even for this fight. This might be the toughest pick of all, but I’m going to pick McGregor despite the fact that I concerns about his reckless style. McGregor’s aggressive style is a two edged sword because it leaves him open at times and against a fighter as skilled as Aldo that may prove his undoing because Aldo is one the those fighters who can instantly end a fight with either his fist or feet. However, I think stylistically this is fight works in McGregor’s favor because Aldo is not a great wrestler and that is the type of fighter that I think would have the best chance of beating McGregor, although that fighter would have to have excellent striking as well (someone like Frankie Edgar). Not sure how it will happen, but going with Conor by KO. I think NcGregor’s height and reach advantage will be very helpful to him in this fight.
McGregor wins by TKO 3rd
Champion Chris Weidman(13-0) vs Luke Rockhold (14-2)
Man, strike what I wrote above about Aldo vs McGregor being the toughest fight to pick on this card. This fight is just as difficult. I am a huge fan of both fighters. Both fighters are incredibly well rounded and extremely well trained. Very hard for me to pick against Rockhold, a former Strikeforce champion who has looked devastating in his last few fights. Rockhold thinks Weidman is slow and he will be able to exploit that. I’m not so sure. Weidman is not flashy, but the former NCAA Wrestling Champ is very discipled and has a wide array of weapons. I think Weidman will bring this fight to the ground and there is his wrestling will give him an advantage. Woodman wins by ground and pound.
Weidman wins by TKO, 4th Rd
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (22-3-1NC) vs Yoel Romero (10-1)
Romero is a former Olympic Silver medalist (Cuba – Freestyle Wrestling) who has soundly defeated everyone he has faced in the UFC, where he is 6-0. The guy is a real beast in the Octagon. But Jacare is a truly elite MMA fighter, a former Middleweight Champion in Strikeforce and a very highly decorated multiple time World Jiu Jitsu champion. There are very few UFC middleweights that can defeat Romero right now, but I think Jacare posses the skill and athletic ability to do it.
Souza wins by TKO, 3rd Rd
Demain Maia (21-6) vs Gunnar Nelson (16-1-1)
I admire both of these fighters. Two very intelligent fighters with superb ground games, although both are very well rounded and class acts, too. I’m going to give the edge to Nelson because Maia is 38 yrs old and Nelson is 27 yrs old. Maia has been fighting very well the last year and is on a 3 fight win streak, but Nelson is a young gun on the rise and I think youth will prevail in this fight.
Nelson wins by UD
POST EVENT THOUGHTS:
Well, went 1-3 on my picks, not 0-4. But I did get the Main Event right in predicting that Conor McGregor would win by KO and I’m happy about that. Although, I must admit that KO came a lot faster than anyone would have predicted, including McGregor himself!!