UFC 210 takes place on Saturday night in Buffalo, New York and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson
It’s been almost two years since Cormier and Johnson last fought, but the dynamics of this fight remain the same.
Cormier is still the superior grappler and has continued to prove that he can fight through adversity to emerge victorious, while Johnson has compiled more evidence that he’s one of the heaviest hitters ever to step into the Octagon.
As in their first fight, Johnson will be at his most dangerous in the early stages of the fight, and if he can connect with his punches then there’s no doubt he can put DC in serious trouble.
However, unless he can definitively put Cormier away, the champion is just going to keep pressing forward looking to stifle ‘Rumble’s’ offensive threat and drag him to the mat, where he was a major advantage.
Johnson’s will to fight on when the chips are down has been brought into question before, and DC is exactly the type of fighter who will put him in the type of situations on the mat that will test his mental strength to the limit.
So, I feel this fight will play out similarly to their first clash, with ‘Rumble’ troubling Cormier early with his power, but ultimately the champion will persevere, wearing down his challenger in the clinch and on top, before either finishing with ground and pound or a submission in the fourth round.
Daniel Cormier to win by submission in Rd4.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Chris Weidman
This is a very intriguing match-up between two highly talented, well-rounded fighters who are experiencing contrasting fortunes heading into this fight.
For a while Weidman was mowing through a succession of big-name fighters as the middleweight champion, but he’s hit upon harder times of late with back-to-back losses against Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero.
That shouldn’t take away from the fact that Weidman is still an excellent fighter, who is very capable on his feet, has good durability and will enjoy a definite edge in this fight when it comes to wrestling.
Mousasi is the better striker though, both offensively and defensively, and while he is comfortable winning a stand-up fight on points, he’s also stepped on the gas lately and put together a string of finishes via strikes that’s given him real momentum heading into this pivotal match-up.
I’m changed my mind a few times about this pick. If Weidman opts to just strike with Mousasi then I think he’ll come off second-best, but given that he’ll be desperate not to extend his losing streak to three fights I think the former champ will revert to his wrestling often in this fight to ensure that he wins enough rounds to claim a decision victory.
Chris Weidman to win by decision.
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Pearl Gonzalez
Edit…the fight is now back on!
Quick Pick: Cynthia Cailvillo to win by decision
Thiago Alves vs. Patrick Cote
Two long-time UFC fighters coming off a loss here and neither will want to add to that as it will undoubtedly bring with it talk that they are on the downside of their careers.
It’s tricky to know what to makes of Alves these days as he doesn’t fight all that often anymore and his last fight was clouded by a botched attempt to drop down to lightweight. It doesn’t feel like he has the same spark he used to back in the days when he made his way to a title shot against GSP, but when he’s in-form he’s still a very talented striker with good takedown defense to back it up.
Cote is savvy 37-year-old veteran who’s not as technically sound on the feet as Alves, but he does have a natural power advantage. He’s also a competent wrestler and that’s something that will his opponent will have to be mindful of.
This is not a confident pick given how things have gone for him over the past few years, but I’m going with Alves to win here on the scorecards as I do feel he will get the better of the exchanges on the feet with his superior striking, while also avoiding enough takedowns to foil Cote’s attempts to steal rounds.
Thiago Alves to win by decision.
Will Brooks vs. Charles Oliveira
Oliveira is a gifted offensive fighter who can be a real handful on the feet, but is particularly dangerous on the mat. however, defensively he is not as robust and can be reckless in pursuit of the finish, while he also has tendancy to tire himself out if he doesn’t get the stoppage he’s looking for.
That means Oliveira has experienced mixed results during his time in the UFC and makes it tough to pick him with real conviction when going up against good, well-rounded opponents, and Brooks certainly fits that bill.
The former Bellator champion might not have the same flair and creativity as the Brazilian, but he has good striking, wrestling and clinch-work, together with being a well-conditioned athlete who should be able to counter Oliveira’s early offense with a strong finish in the final third of the fight en-route to claiming a decision victory.
Will Brooks to win by decision.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Myles Jury vs. Mike De La Torre
Kamaru Usman vs. Sean Strickland
Shane Burgos vs. Charles Rosa
Jan Blachowicz vs. Patrick Cummins
Gregor Gillespie vs. Andrew Holbrook
Josh Emmett vs. Desmond Green
Irene Aldana vs. Katlyn Chookagian
Magomed Bibulatov vs. Jenel Lausa