UFC 205 will be here in less than a month and it's looking to be the fight card of the year. I know we keep saying this but the UFC keep pitting fantastic fighters against one another completely outshining the previous card. While I’m pretty excited to see Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez as the main event, the prelim fights are looking to be just as powerful! We’ve already broken down the main card which you can check out here, so now we’re taking a stab at the prelim fights. Our resident expert Mark Rhodes has given me his thoughts on each of these fights!
FRANKIE EDGAR vs. JEREMY STEPHENS
Jeremy Stephens has huge knockout power and never gives up, but if he can’t connect with his huge punches, he will get gassed. This is where Frankie Edgar’s great cardio comes into play and he will use his boxing skills to change levels in his attacks on Stephens. Both fighters will be looking to end this quickly. KO/TKO in Round 2 with the win going to STEPHENS.
KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV vs. MICHAEL JOHNSON
Wow, what a match-up! “The Eagle” automatically is going to want to take this to ground, while “The Menace” will try to stay on his feet and use his incredible striking ability. Khabib Numagomedov wants to keep a “goose egg” in the L column, so expect early shooting and some dirty boxing around the Octagon walls. NURMAGOMEDOV for the win in Round 2.
RASHAD EVANS vs. TIM KENNEDY
These two are pretty evenly matched here as both fighters are probably going to exchange a few hits then work in a lot of takedowns, even though their last couple of fights didn’t end in submission. These guys have proven strength, but Rashad Evans has more speed. Keep in mind with that speed comes with a shaky chin as Glover Teixeira proved on their last date in the Octagon. Tim Kennedy will need to control the pace of this bout to win. With that being said, I predict, EVANS wins by decision.
RAFAEL NATAL vs. TIM BOETSCH
While the ground is where these two shine, I am not sure if we will see a KO/TKO. “Sapo” has been a points-grabber as of late, landing a high number of sig strikes per minute. “The Barbarian” is not far behind him but has had a little trouble in the past leaving his chin open, ending his bouts early. This is a tough one, but I am going to go with NATAL by decision.
JIM MILLER vs. THIAGO ALVES
Let’s start with the challenger here, Thiago Alves. You may remember his last fight against Carlos Condit when the doctor stopped it due to Alves’ mangled nose. Make no mistake, Alves had a ton of fight left and continued to mount an offense and press forward. Miller, however, escaped his last fight with a split decision win over Joe Lauzon. Miller is going to enter this fight, looking to finish fast! Alves’ aggression will be his downfall here, as Miller will capitalize by way of getting Thiago to the ground early. MILLER for the win, Submission, Round 2.
LYMAN GOOD vs. BELAL MUHAMMAD
I don’t know much about these guys, but from what I can tell, Belal Muhammad can put up a fight all the way to the final bell. Looking at some of Lyman Good’s TUF 19 footage, it looks like he will spend a lot of time on the ground with Muhammed even though it looks like Good has knockout power. I am going to give this win to MUHAMMAD by decision.
LIZ CARMOUCHE vs. KATLYN CHOOKAGIAN
Right off the bat, you are going see some level changes and combinations coming from Katlyn Chookagian. She knows that in dealing with Liz Carmouche, she needs to keep her at a distance because Carmouche has deadly strength and will earn points with the ground-n-pound. Chookagian will combat Carmouche’s ground-n-pound with her own set of BJJ skills, but will ultimately want to keep this fight on two feet. I don’t know if Chookagian will have enough for a quick finish and if she can keep her defense up using her BJJ while on the ground, so we could see this go all the way. CARMOUCHE for the win by decision.
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