UFC 210

Cormier x Johnson 2

Picks, Parlay, and Predictions

Buffalo Soldiers

PICKS

Cormier x Johnson
Mousasi x Weidman
Alves x Cote
Oliveira x Brooks
Jury x De La Torre
Strickland x Usman
Blachowicz x Cummins
Aldana x Chookagian


PARLAY

"UNDERDOG GOTTA BE TWICE AS GOOD" EDITION
Alves (+140)
Oliveira (+230)
Cummins (+105)
Aldana (+150)
$2.10 to win $83.14

PREDICTIONS

It Feels like Something Is Missing

Daniel Cormier x Anthony Johnson for the Light heavyweight Championship

Where is Jon Jones? Oh, he’ll be seated in the audience. Why? Oh yeah, well he got popped for a handful of banned substances and then, while on suspension, pulled a hit-and-run on a pregnant lady. What a terrible person – did they strip his title? Yeah, a while ago … twice. Good, so who is the champ now? Daniel Cormier. When did he last defend the belt? Oh just 19 months ago. So ... when is Jon Jones coming back? Yeah ... 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Daniel Cormier, but he gets hurt so often that the 205 pound weight class is almost at a complete standstill. Between Jon Jones’ prior dominance and Cormier’s injury bug, the division has been deserted. Cormier and Johnson have been at the top for a long time, and contenders are few and far between. The last big-deal fight at light heavyweight was their first meeting almost two years ago and almost nothing has changed. Ol’ D.C. is still an insanely dominant wrestler with an olympic pedigree. He’s still bouncy and hard to hit. He can still both slug and grind it out. He’s still the second best guy out there compared to Jones, but, rightfully, he’s still the champion. His path to victory is obvious, but, there’s always a puncher’s chance.

Johnson has had three fights since he and Cormier last met, and he’s won each of them with a vicious knockout in less than seven minutes – *combined*. That’s a testament to his power, but that’s never been in question. His issue is cardio, but he has to know that by now. Right? Only four real losses in his career and all of them by rear naked choke. He has to know, right? Right? We don’t know if he has cardio because he renders people unconscious too quickly. He can go to bed after thirteen seconds of fighting for all he cares. Even in the first fight against D.C., it took Johnson less than a minute to bounce Daniel’s head off the mat. I thought it was going to be over, but the always resilient Cormier stood back up, took him down, and beat his ass for the next three rounds before sinking in the all-too-obvious rear naked choke. I don’t see why anything would be different, but I'd love to be surprised. A perfected version of Anthony Johnson going up against an off-season Jon Jones might be the justice we’re all waiting for. 

Chris Weidman x Gegard Mousasi

If a fight happens between two top fighters, but no one cares about the rankings, does it make a difference? It’s a conundrum that has rattled through the minds of MMA fans for ages. These are two of the best middleweights on the planet, but with the log jam at the top of the division, this is more of a fight for the fans. It’s a good one, too, thankfully. This card can use as much help as it can get. 

The timing of this fight couldn’t be better. Chris Weidman has lost his last two fights against two of the three guys currently ranked above him. Gegard Mousasi, on the other hand, has been on a steady tear through contenders that leaves him ranked right underneath Mr. Weidman. It’s a long time coming, too. Mousasi fits the cliché of a wily veteran as this will be the 50th fight of his career. He started as a kickboxer but since developed slick jiu-jitsu skills and a overwhelming top game. The Mous is dangerous everywhere and his signature detached expression makes it difficult to guess his next move. His next move will definitely have something to do with punching you in the face, though. Fist fighting is his forte and Gegard is going to do everything he can to shuck off Chris’ takedown attempts to keep it standing.

Slayer of the once mighty Anderson Silva, Chris Weidman’s career has started to slow after poaching the last of the Brazilian legends. He’s on a two fight skid, which also happen to be the only two losses of his career. I’m blaming Brazilian voodoo. The ex-champ looks energized and rejuvenated in preparation for this fight, which should put the cardio questions to rest. If he starts huffing and puffing, Gegard will take advantage and have his way with him.
 
Considering the momentum of each fighter, this is Gegard’s fight to lose. Weidman has shown KO power, but his true strength is his grappling. He’s not exceptionally fast, unfortunately, which is where Mousasi’s lackadaisical style is most likely to fall short. I think Gegard will be able to pick him apart with superior striking and, as long as he can avoid locking horns with the NCAA wrestler, will probably come out on top of most of the exchanges. However, Chris is unbelievably tough and that may keep him ticking longer than expected. Mousasi fights smart, which means he doesn’t have an overwhelming killer instinct, which will give Weidman the opportunity to steal rounds with pressure and aggression. It’s a tough fight to call, but one I’m looking forward to watching. I’m picking Mousasi because I believe he is sharper in every aspect, even through his methodical style may leave the judges unimpressed. It’s the brain versus the heart.

It’ll be a treat to watch two of the best, well-rounded guys in MMA collide. They both have the power to take this fight anywhere, which should make for a dynamic match and an intriguing showcase for the sport. It’s too bad a title shot will be so close and yet so far.