UFC 225 takes place place tomorrow night Chicago and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Main Card (PPV)
Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero
Almost a year after their first encounter, which was won by Whittaker, the champion and Romero are set to do it all over again on Saturday night in Chicago.
Since then Romero has once again proven how dangerous his sudden bursts of lightning-quick action can be, KO’ing Luke Rockhold, and that means he’s a major threat in this fight.
However, Whittaker has already gone the distance with ‘The Soldier Of God’ before, has terrific takedown defense to stifle his top-flight wrestling, and is a dangerous, aggressive striker in his own right.
There are some concerns about ringrust for Whittaker after sitting out for all ths time after a knee injury and serious staph infection, but I’d still expect his cardio to be better than Romero’s and stylistically he’s likely to be the more proactive and productive fighter, which will lead him to another decision victory to retain his title.
Robert Whittaker to win by decision.
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Colby Covington
the interim welterweight title is up for grabs tomorrow night as the quiet, understated Dos Anjos goes up against the brash, outspoken Covington.
Put all the trash-talk aside and Covington is undoubtedly still a very good fighter who excels at pressuring opponents with his relentless, grinding wrestling that has overpowered a string of quality opponents.
‘Chaos’ has never faced anyone as well-rounded as Dos Anjos before though, and while the former lightweight champion may lose out when it comes to pure wrestling, he’s a more dangerous, refined striker, has a strong Jiu-Jitsu game and blends his skills together in a cohesive manner.
Throw in the fact that RDA also has the gas tank for five rounds, while Covington has never gone beyond the third and I think Dos Anjos will perhaps find himself in some tough spots at times, but over the course of five rounds will have done enough in the striking realm in particular to emerge with his hand raised.
Rafael dos Anjos to win by decision.
Megan Anderson vs. Holly Holm
This is not an easy fight for Anderson to kick off her UFC career, particularly as Holm is an awkward stylistic match-up for her.
That said, both fighters to prefer to stay on the feet, but Anderson is more of a pressure fighter and has proven to have real power in her strikes, but that’s a style that suits Holm, who is at her best when her opponent’s come to her, enabling her to utilize movement to keep on the outside, land counters and the occasional burst forward to unleash an offensive salvo.
Anderson’s striking isn’t as refined and she’s much less elusive than Holm, so I can see ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ comfortably outpointing the former Invicta champion here.
Holly Holm to win by decision.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Tai Tuivasa
A battle of heavyweights here, with the grizzled veteran Arlovski looking to continue another late career return to form against the young, rising Aussie talent in Tuivasa.
Arlovski is still a skilled striker and hits hard, but Tuivasa moves better than you’d expect for his build, has big power in his fists and perhaps just as importantly has a strong chin to back it up, which can’t be said with any real confidence about ‘The Pitbull.’
As such, I favor Tuivasa to get the job done here, landing a big punch to put Arlovski out in the first.
Tai Tuivasa to win by KO in Rd1.
CM Punk vs. Mike Jackson
Really this fight shouldn’t even be on the prelims of a UFC card, let alone a PPV opener, but money talks and the former pro-wrestling superstar Punk can still draw a crowd.
Whether he can fight is a completely different matter though. On the strength of his first outing in the Octagon the answer is ‘not really’, but at least this time around he’s facin someone in Jackson who is just as much of a novice as he is.
Still, nothing about Punk inspires confidence, and while he may have enough of a jiu-jitsu background to trouble the muay thai striker Jackson on the mat, I don’t have faith in his ability to get the fight there in the first place and think that Jackson will get the better of the striking match-up and eventually emerge with a third round TKO finish.
Mike Jackson to win by decision.
Prelims (FOX Sports 1)
Curtis Blaydes vs. Alistair Overeem
Claudia Gadelha vs. Carla Esparza
Ricardo Lamas vs. Mirsad Bektic
Chris de la Rocha vs. Rashad Coulter
Prelims (Fight Pass)
Rashad Evans vs. Anthony Smith
Joseph Benavidez vs. Sergio Pettis
Clay Guida vs. Charles Oliveira
Dan Ige vs. Mike Santiago