UFC 170 takes place tomorrow night in Las Vegas and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann
McMann brings some impressive wrestling credentials to the Octagon, being no less than an Olympic Silver medalist, but while she has a perfect 7-0 record, her peformances so far haven’t suggested to me that she’s going to set the world alight like Rousey has.
She’s strong, can threaten with takedowns and has good control on top, but the rest of her game isn’t anything to right home about at this stage and I believe Rousey’s striking is superior, her lightning quick, picture perfect judo throws will still cause Mcmann problems, and her submission savvy and all-round agility is going to be too much for the challenger to handle.
As with her last fight I think Rousey will be keen to show off her improving stand-up here, but again will have to settle for an armbar finish mid-way through the fight after some solid resistance from McMann.
Ronda Rousey to win by submission in Rd3.
Daniel Cormier vs. Pat Cummins
I’m not really buying too much into the pre-fight bad blood between these two. Cormier’s proven himself against top level heavyweight despite generally being much smaller than most of them, and I think he’ll take well to competing at 205lbs after a by-the-book weight cut.
Cummins definitely has good wrestling ability, but Cormier can more than match that while he’s also developed into a well-rounded striker with heavy hands and even some kicks thrown in for good measure. I think he wins the striking battle and has the satisfaction of putting the newcomer in his place by way of an early stoppage victory .
Daniel Cormier to win by TKO in Rd1.
Rory MacDonald vs. Demian Maia
Now this is an interesting stylistic match-up. Of the two MacDonald is the more well-rounded, but, aside from his loss to Jake Shields, Maia has a great deal of success so far by outgrappling his opponents and could give problems to his opponent here in that regard.
Maia’s striking has always been suspect though and I think MacDonald is the safer bet here as he picks him apart from range and also shows solid takedown defense over the course of three rounds to earn a win on the scorecards.
Rory MacDonald to win by decision.
Mike Pyle vs. T.J. Waldburger
This is another fight where I think the broader skill-set of one fighter – in this case Mike Pyle – will help him to best his opponent, Waldburger who’s considerably better with submissions on the mat than he is in the striking department.
Pyle’s somewhat of a jack of all trades who’ll more than likely be hoping to just keep this one standing where he should hold a noticeable advantage, but also is very capable on the mat should he need to go there. Waldburger has shown a weakness to being stopped by strikes though and I think that’s where the stoppage is most likely to emerge here.
Mike Pyle to win by TKO in Rd2.
Robert Whittaker vs. Stephen Thompson
Thompson has shown himself to be an adept striker, but despite slight signs of recent progress it’s still clear to see that his ground game is very much a work in progress.
So, a lot depends on what Whittaker chooses to do here. He’s good on the feet and likes to trade, but might come off second best when it comes to accuracy and fluidity which could cost him if it goes to the judges. He’s got the wrestling ability to cause Thompson problems if he chooses to do so though, and I believe that’s going to be the key to him getting his hand raised on Saturday night.
Robert Whittaker to win by decision.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Alexis Davis vs. Jessica Eye
Raphael Assuncao vs. Pedro Munhoz
Cody Gibson vs. Aljamain Sterling
Zach Makovsky vs. Josh Sampo
Rafaello Oliveira vs. Erik Koch
Ernest Chavez vs. Yosdenis Cedeno