UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones will come into this fight on a mission. That mission being to defend his belt for the sixth straight time, which would break a record Jones now shares with former UFC Light Heavyweight champion, Tito Ortiz.
Jones’ opponent in this one is the Swede, Alexander Gustafsson, who is the only opponent of Jones’ that has a height advantage over him, even if it is only by one inch. Many people are suggesting that the size of Gustafsson, compared to other opponents of Jones, will make a big difference in this bout and cause problems for the champion. I for one, don’t see it that way. The reason for this being is Jones still possesses a large reach advantage of eight inches over Gustafsson.
Jones, as always, will use his UFC-longest reach to his advantage, keeping Gustafsson at bay and will dictate the distance of the striking. While Gustafsson may be the more technical striker, I don’t believe he will be able to overcome the reach as well as the unorthodox, dynamic striking of Jones. As for the grappling department, Jones holds a significant advantage, being a JUCO (Junior College) national wrestling champion. While Gustafsson may pose a problem or two during the bout, I can’t see him being the one to solve the puzzle known as Jon Jones. I have picked against Jones in the past, but I learned my lesson and won’t be picking against him any time in the near future. Jones will not only beat Gustafsson, but he will finish him.
Favorite: Jones (-800) Underdog: Gustafsson (+550)
Yes, there will be two title fights on September 21st UFC 165 fight card. With current UFC Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz being sidelined for quite some time due to multiple ACL surgeries, Barao will defend his interim championship for the second time. The former WEC Bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland has looked quite impressive as of late, winning his last two against solid fighters in Scott Jorgensen and Brad Pickett, he has, however, shown in the past that he is unable to defeat the elite of the weight class, and if anyone is elite, it’s Renan Barao. Barao has won an eye-popping 30 straight fights (excluding a no contest) and while there’s always the threat of a knockout coming from the hands of Wineland, I just can’t see him being the man to snap Barao’s streak. In his five UFC bouts, Barao has shown great takedown defense, very technical striking, as well as a nasty submission game, which will be too much for Wineland to handle. Barao will successfully defend his interim title once again and if Barao is able to finish this fight, it will likely be via submission, as half of Wineland’s eight losses have come via submission.
Favorite: Barao (-700) Underdog: Wineland (+500)
Former Team Rashad teammates on “The Ultimate Fighter 10” will square of in this Heavyweight clash. Besides being “TUF 10” alumni, both men have finished a majority of their fights by way of knockout and both have never finished a fight by submission.
While Schaub is known for having a weak chin, I see this being a similar outcome to his last fight against Lavar Johnson; Schaub was able to control Johnson on the ground all three rounds and threaten with submissions.On the other hand, Mitrione does have a punchers chance, but with his weak ground game, the most likely outcome is Schaub winning by submission or grinding out a decision.
Favorite: Mitrione (-120) Underdog: Schaub (+100)
Costa Philippou wins, that’s it. Just kidding, I’ll explain. Both men have had very similar careers up until this point, they’re both still relatively unknown to the casual fan and have been winning fights against top competition to work their way up the ranks.
Yes, Carmont has won 10 straight fights, however, his last two have been very controversial decisions. I personally, along with a large majority of the MMA community believe he lost both. Now Carmont will face a step up in competition in Philippou and it won’t be pretty, Philippou will once again use his ferocious boxing skills to finish Carmont on the feet.
Favorite: Philippou (-190) Underdog: Carmont (+165)
This one is where it gets tricky. We have a tough, experience veteran in Pat Healy, who defeated the always tough Jim Miller in his last bout at UFC 159 (later overturned into a no-contest due to Healy testing positive for marijuana) vs an undefeated Nurmagomedov who set a UFC record of 21 takedowns in his last fight against Abel Trujillo.
The reason this one is so tricky is because both men are strong grapplers with the ability to finish the fight. Nevertheless, I can see Healy’s experience playing a role in this one. Healy has faced some of the best fighters in the world at both Welterweight and Lightweight in his 12 year pro MMA career in men like Carlos Condit, Josh Thomson, Jake Ellenberger, etc., whereas Nurmagomedov’s toughest competition in his career has been Gleison Tibau and former Bellator Featherweight title challenger, Shahbulat Shamhalaev. Just by a flip of the coin, i’ll choose Healy to be the man to end Nurmagomedov’s undefeated streak, but don’t hold me to it if i’m completely wrong on this one!
Favorite: Nurmagomedov (-230) Underdog: Healy (+190)
Myles Jury > Mike Ricci
(#10) Ivan Menjivar > Wilson Reis
Chris Clements < Stephen Thompson
Mitch Gagnon < Dustin Kimura
John Makdessi > Renee Forte
Michel Prazeres < Jesse Ronson
Roland Delorme > Alex Caceres
Nandor Guelmino < Daniel Omielanczuk
My Prediction Record (Total): 5-1
* Predictions began as of UFC Fight Night 28