Two belts on the line tonight.
The early prelims are a fun beginning to the rest of the violence on this card. It would be easier to predict the number of decisions we’re going to see.
Robertson vs Cachoeira – Can Cachoeira give us another KO? If not, Robertson by decision.
Hall vs Minner – Can Hall deliver the sub? If not, Minner by decision.
Maverick vs Blanchfield – Decision Maverick.
Muniz vs Anders – Decision Muniz.
Sakai vs Tuivasa – This should be a banger and I don’t know who gets it. Let’s go in: Sakai by KO.
Munhoz vs Cruz – Unless something very bizarre happens, Munhoz will get the stoppage win.
Main Card – You guys should know by now how I pick:
Paiva vs O’Malley – Paiva. I am tired of O’Malley. If he’s talented, give him a chance to prove it by getting better opponents. Until then, I can’t be bothered.
Kara-France vs Garbrandt – Kara-France. I think Garbrandt might be the better fighter at this point in his career, but he is moving down for the reasons I discussed previously. This is a great win for Kara-France if he can get it done.
Neal vs Ponzinibbio – Ponzinibbio. Unlucky for Ponz to get KO’d by my guy Li Jingliang, but he gets the W tonight.
Nunes vs Pena – Pena. I like Nunes, but it is time for her to commit to featherweight and make the bantamweights fun again. MBFA, if you will.
Oliveira vs Poirier – Oliveira. Strangely, Poirier stated that he doesn’t want to be an active champ if he wins this fight. Usually, that’s exactly what all new champs say when they win – that they are ready and want to be active – because they want to maximize their income. But Poirier has had two McG fights and is flush with cash at the moment. There is no need to fight so often. Here’s the reality of the fight game: If you have nothing to prove and don’t need the money, why put yourself out there if you don’t have to?
If he wins and that is his stance, all it will take is an exciting fighter or a viral fight sequence to emerge before Dana creates an interim belt while Poirier is on vacation.
Ain’t no love in this sport. I hope Charlie gets the win – there will be fewer opportunities for drama if he keeps his belt.
But UFC likes drama, so we will see.