UFC 213 Preview
Hi, I'm Brian. I'm pleased to have the opportunity to write for The Keystone Statement and bring my arm-chair view of the UFC to those who may want to read it. Coming up in these previews you'll be seeing my take on the upcoming fights and I'll even toss in my gambling advice for all my fellow degenerates. My thanks to Dominic and Co for this opportunity.
The UFC returns to Pay-Per-View on July 8th with UFC 213: Nuñes vs Shevchenko 2. As I sat down to write this, I had every intention of highlighting the slug fest that would have been Robbie Lawler facing off against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Alas, the fight has been pulled with an in-camp injury to Cerrone forcing the second delay in this anticipated match-up. Guess that's just how it goes in the fight game.
Regardless of that loss, this card is still worth a watch. Women's Bantamweight title holder Amanda Nuñes is a beast, and if that's all you know about Nuñes, that's enough. She's got some serious power in her hands and pushes the pace hard. She took out a favorite of mine, Meisha Tate, in quick fashion to win the title. Then she completely obliterated former UFC golden child Ronda Rousey in 48 seconds. She'll be taking on Valentina Shevchenko in the Main Event.
The undercard of the main event is pretty solid. Even with the loss of Lawler / Cowboy, you've got a lot to look forward to for your post holiday weekend. Here we go:
Amanda Nuñes vs Valentina Shevchenko
Shevchenko comes in as a very slight favorite to this rematch from UFC 196. Nuñes won that bout by unanimous decision on the back of a heavy second round of ground-and-pound domination. Nuñes dominated nearly all of the first bout, and the odds-makers may be looking to Shevchenko's victories over top contenders Holly Holm and Julianna Peña heading into this rematch as a reason to make her the favorite. At near even money, I'd take a bet on the champ.
Yoel Romero vs. Robert Whitaker
Yoel Romero is looking like one bad man these days. He was heading for a fight with Michael Bisping for the Middleweight Championship which was scratched with Bisping falling to injury. Robert Whitaker is riding a 7 fight win streak including back-to-back performance of the night bonus' is his last two fights. Look for Romero to try to get this fight to the floor where he uses his large frame to overwhelm opponents and land heavy ground-and-pound. Whitaker has great take down defense and could keep this fight on the feet. Whitaker is the slight favorite and picking this one is anyone’s guess. I'll take Romero to win the interim title (unless they finally dock him points for sitting an extra 20 seconds between rounds, which he has done in consecutive fights now).
Daniel Omielanczuk vs Curtis Blaydes
This Heavyweight bout was moved from the FS1 Prelims to the PPV card to replace Lawler / Cowboy. Omielanczuk barely cracks the rankings at number 15, Blaydes is unranked. I've seen Blaydes fight once and honestly haven't heard of Omielanczuk. All of Blaydes' victories have come by KO/TKO. Blaydes is a huge favorite at -500. Seems like the odds-makers foresee another KO victory.
Fabricio Werdum vs. Alistair Overeem
Another Heavyweight bout, this one with some division mainstays. Fabricio Werdum is in his second fight since losing the Heavyweight Title to current champ Stipe Miocic. Alistair Overeem is also in his second fight since losing his shot at the belt to the aforementioned champ. Overeem comes in off a KO victory against UFC icon Mark Hunt, Werdum comes in off a KO victory over Travis Browne. Both men are comfortable in all aspects of the game. Werdum will look to use his advantage in the ground game to win but Overeem is adept at take down defense and much more athletic. Overeem is the slight favorite and I would take him to win this.
Anthony Pettis vs Jim Miller
Anthony Pettis comes in as the #6 Featherweight taking on the unranked Jim Miller. Pettis is 1-4 in his last five fights and had a three fight losing streak after relinquishing the division title at UFC 185. His most recent bout had him losing an interim title fight to current champ Max Holloway. Miller comes in having lost his last bout after winning three straight. Miller will definitely be looking to take this fight to the ground. This one might not be everyone’s cup of tea as forty percent of Miller's bouts head to the scorecards. However, Pettis is capable of some very entertaining moves and is an entertaining force in the Octagon. Pettis is a moderate favorite here but I'm not quite sold on his game recently. I might take a flier on the underdog here.
The free on TV part of the card starts at 8 PM on FS1 and is headlined by the Heavyweight match-up between Travis Browne and Aleksei Oleinik. Feel free to roast me for all of my wrong picks in the comments section but most importantly keep an eye out for my recap of UFC 213 next week.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July everyone!