UFC 191 takes place tomorrow night in Las Vegas and you can see our predictions for all the fights below.
Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson
Johnson has defeated Dodson by unanimous decision once before, but it was a close fight and with ‘Mighty Mouse’ also having taken out pretty much everyone else that’s relevant in the division it’s ‘The Magician’ who still feels like the guy who can offer the stiffest challenge to the dominant champion.
Johnson is exceptionally well rounded, but striking wise Dodson does hold an advantage with his knockout power and he is quick enough to keep up with his notoriously swift opponent.
Still, Johnson is the more complete fighter overall, possesses the better fight IQ and has greater energy reserves. He’s also riding a greater wave of momentum and the confidence that comes from that, while Dodson has only had one fight back since a long layoff due to an ACL injury and didn’t look like his old self, while he’s also had to deal with a major distraction as his girlfriend just gave birth to their baby girl during fight week.
With all that in mind it’s hard to look past Johnson here to again claim a unanimous decision victory, but he can’t afford to let his guard down even for a second against the dangerous Dodson.
Demetrious Johnson to win by decision.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Frank Mir
Two old warhorses of the UFC’s heavyweight division collide in the co-main event, with both hoping to keep their recent winning runs intact in order to put together one last push for the title they have each held roughly a decade ago.
It’s an interesting match-up stylistically with Arlovski being the better technician on the feet, though Mir certainly packs a mean punch, while ‘The Pitbull’ is capable on the mat, but doesn’t have the same lethal submission prowess as his opponent.
At this stage in their careers though a big question mark hangs over both their chins. Mir’s never taken a punch particularly well, while Arlovski went through a spell in the early part of this decade where his ability to take a punch looked to have deserted him completely.
It’s to Arlovski’s credit that he’s somehow been able to overcome that and actually put together a solid run, and while I still suspect he’s still actually quite vulnerable and may be flattering to deceive somewhat with his performances, he’s going to prove to be less hittable than Mir here and can hurt him to claim a TKO finish.
Andrei Arlovski to win by TKO in Rd2.
Anthony Johnson vs. Jimi Manuwa
This certainly has the potential to be an offensive war as both men like nothing better than to trade blows on the feet and have impressive finishing records to boot.
In terms of raw one-punch knockout power few can compete with ‘Rumble’ Johnson who’s wreaked havoc with his fists from 170lbs all the way up to heavyweight in the past few years. Manuwa will struggle to match him there, but he breaks opponents with violent, sustained assaults which also makes him deadly in his own right.
Manuwa shouldn’t be overlooked, but if this does turn into a toe-to-toe scrap in the early stages as I think it might then I do favor Johnson to produce the finish.
Anthony Johnson to win by TKO in Rd1.
Corey Anderson vs. Jan Blachowicz
Former TUF winner Anderson gets a chance to shine on the main card against Blackowicz here and it’s potentially the toughest test of his young career to date.
Anderson holds a wrestling advantage here and that’s his best route to victory as Blachowicz is the superior striker here. The Polish fighter also holds a vast experience advantage and I think he may prove a little too much for Anderson at this stage as he keeps this one standing and out-finesses Anderson on the feet to a decision win.
Jan Blachowicz to win by decision.
Alex Chambers vs. Paige VanZant
VanZant has the look to be a star and as a result is currently getting a promotional push from the UFC, but beyond that she is someone who appears to have a great deal of potential.
Skill-wise VanZant is still very much a raw work in progress, but then she’s only 21 years-old and from her performances so far it’s evident that she has the natural competitive drive as a fighter and is able to lean on her excellent athleticism to get her through against her current level of competition while she continues to develop her technique.
Despite being much older than her opponent Chambers doesn’t actually have a great deal of experience, though she is capable fighter. She fights at a slower, more methodical pace than PVZ and I believe she’ll struggle to keep up with the relentless action and aggression that’s going to be coming her way on Saturday night, leading to ground and pound stoppage sometime in the second round.
Paige VanZant to win by TKO in Rd2.
Paul Felder vs. Ross Pearson
John Lineker vs. Francisco Rivera
Jessica Andrade vs. Raquel Pennington
Clay Collard vs. Tiago Trator
Joe Riggs vs. Ron Stallings
Nazareno Malegarie vs. Joaquim Silva