UFC 193 was definitely a high point in MMA history with the stunning upset of an established champ, but UFC 194 offers one of the most stacked fight cards we’ve ever seen. In fact, it’s being referred to in many circles as having the finest UFC main card…EVER. We’re breaking down the two biggest fights on the card and getting in our predictions on how they’ll end up.
Main Event: World Featherweight Title Fight
This title unification bout between José Aldo and Conor McGregor promises five rounds of punishment between the two baddest featherweights in the UFC. These guys were supposed to face off in UFC 189 back in July, but after Aldo was forced to pull out due to a hotly-contested fractured rib, Chad Mendes stepped in and McGregor beat him instead to win the interim championship belt.
You probably know all that, so let’s get to what we know. First of all, McGregor might just have the biggest mouth and ego in the UFC. If this were a smack-talk competition, he’d win by unanimous decision. Not to say that Aldo hasn’t issued his fair share of verbal assaults, but a good amount of McGregor’s saltiness can understandably be attributed to Aldo’s last-minute withdrawal from UFC 189.
Aldo is widely held as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC. Not only does Aldo have a string of 18 consecutive wins since his last loss in 2005, he’s also a devastating striker, pulling well-timed punches while maintaining the stamina that’s so crucial to lasting five rounds inside the Octagon. McGregor may not have the kind of experience Aldo has under his belt, but the Irishman is a vicious challenger, fast becoming known for his grappling style and his ability to put opponents on the ground.
Our Prediction: Aldo keeps the championship belt by unanimous decision. While McGregor is a terrifying adversary, his cockiness and overconfidence may do him in. UFC 189 revealed holes in his striking defense, and we know from past experience that Aldo would be only too happy to take advantage of that.
Co-Main: World Middleweight Title Fight
This one’s for the ladies: two of the best-looking guys in the UFC battling it out for the middleweight championship belt. Just kidding! There are plenty of reasons for the manliest of men to tune in, too. This will be Weidman’s fourth defense of the world middleweight title – most recently, he brutally defeated challenger Vitor Belfort within one round at UFC 187. Rockhold is coming off of four strong consecutive wins over impressive competitors like Lyoto Machida and refers to his unique style of fighting as “legitsu,” claiming that he is capable of beating anyone.
Weidman is known for his flawless wrestling and heavy hands, with only one of his past four fights making it all the way to the judges for scoring. The other three ended in knockouts within the first two rounds. Rockhold brings to the Octagon a skill set that includes kickboxing and jiu jitsu in addition to his wrestling experience. So when we put all this together, what we have is a title fight pitting a defending champ known for his aggressive style and early finishes against a battle-tested challenger with a solid defense and serious kickboxing experience. Is any of this sounding familiar?
Our Prediction: Rockhold claims the title via chiseled jawline and stunning blue eyes…or split decision. We’ve seen a shift in the wind this year in the UFC – seemingly invincible champions have been dethroned by scrappy challengers who weren’t given a second glance before the match. These changes of the guard have been uncomfortable for many, but they’re what keep the sport exciting and keep us coming back for more. Under the right conditions, we think Rockhold absolutely has the chops to take down Weidman.
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