UFC 225 Preview
UFC 225 has come under some scrutiny because it has two title fights on the main card that will be a focus of the card but the most talked about issue with this card is Phil “CM PUNK” Brooks vs Mike Jackson being put on the PPV portion of the card while Holly Holm vs Megan Anderson is relocated to prelims where Claudia Gadelha vs Carla Esparza is. This card top to bottom is the most stacked card the UFC has put out and it goes down June 9th,2018 in Chicago Illinois.
Robert Whittaker vs Yoel Romero 2 (UFC Middleweight Title Bout)
We are a year removed from the last Yoel Romero vs Robert Whittaker face off that resulted in Whittaker walking away with the interim UFC middleweight championship (Now the undisputed champion).
Robert Whittaker one of the most complete strikers in the fight game has half of his wins by knockout. Whittaker is on an 8-fight win streak, 4 wins by KO. What I like about this matchup is that it is still fresh in the minds of everyone. If Whittaker can use the distance, pick apart his foes is where he will need to keep this fight because Romero, is a wrestler first, tends to win fights by slowly picking apart his opponents how Romero does that is using his fighter IQ that allows him to capitalize with a flurry of punches that will for sure keep fans glued to their seats.
Romero is coming off a knockout of Luke Rockhold so pick your poison.
Whittaker might be the favorite/the people’s choice to come out on top in this fight however, don’t be surprised if Romero is able to close the distance to land a KO punch. Whittaker again to claim another victory will have to survive the takedowns, out strike Romero to win again
Verdict: Robert Whittaker via UD
Rafael dos Anjos vs Colby Covington (Interim Welterweight Title)
Colby Covington one of the most talked about fighters mostly bad gets a title shot. His gimmick, yes, I am calling it a gimmick because he has been in the wrestling business side of things and understands that get people to talk, to get something you must get under peoples’ skin it seems. Still proclaimed by many as a boring fighter gets a fight against Rafael Dos Anjos for the interim welterweight title.
Rafael dos Anjos is coming off a tough fight against Robbie Lawler that was a title eliminator bought to get him here. dos Anjos is 3-2 in his last 5 with only one being a finish that came against Neil Magny. Remember from 2012-2015 this guy was 10-1, the face of the lightweight division suffered two losses back to back had him questioning if he was to stay or move up in weight after losing his title.
Rafael dos Anjos moved up to welterweight in 2017 and now has run off 3 straight wins to get a nod for the interim welterweight title. What hasn’t diminished from dos Anjos is his fighter IQ which is almost a genius level.
Colby Covington’s only claim to fame is that he is an NCAA Division 1 all-American. With his wrestling skills it could pose a problem for dos Anjos who isn’t strong off his back so the smothering wrestler could be the problem that derails Rafael dos Anjos The only way Colby wins this matchup is using his wrestling to control the fight, slowing it down and make it a boring fight.
Verdict: Colby Covington by UD (And NEW Interim Welterweight Champion)
Andrei Arlovski vs Tai Tuivasa
A year ago, Andrei Arlovski was on a five-fight losing streak that had him on the verge of retirement, many telling him to hang up his gloves since than he has ran off two consecutive wins tying Frank Mir all time wins record in the UFC heavyweight division. With these two wins at 39 years old puts him back into title talk. Arlovski victory against Stefan Struve showed that he has a little bit still left where he had 4 takedowns, out strike struve 76 strikes. He will have to use his distance, get this fight to the ground if he wants a chance again at UFC gold.
Tai Tuivasa is the opponent of choice where he is 9-0, 2-0 in the UFC. All wins have come by way of knockout. The charismatic big Australian might be the heavyweight that the division is missing. Known to many as “Bam Bam” brings his own bat to work every time he steps in the cage which is his hands. None of his fights have left the first round which lends me to believe that the only way he loses the fight is if he gets taken into deep water out of the first round. Cardio is a question mark for the big Australian and if he can fight off his back.
Arlovski needs this fight on the ground to get the victory, standing up will spell the end to Arlovski.
Verdict: Tai Tuivasa by KO 1st round (still undefeated)
Alistair Overeem vs Curtis Blaydes
Another tough vet on a stacked card who has fallen is Overeem while he gets a fight against an interesting up and coming talent who wants a top spot. For 19 years Overeem has been a staple in the heavyweight division good bad or indifferent he has a name behind him. Overeem coming off a bad knockout lost where he landed only one strike, dropped in under 2 minutes remains to be seen what is left of him. Last time Overeem suffered back to back losses was back in 2013.
Curtis Blaydes coming off a win against Mark Hunt where he had 10 takedowns, landed 126 strikes. At 27 years old he can still move to the top of the heavyweight division over a gate keeper like overeem still having a name. There is no heavyweight in the division that has the conditioning or the ground n pound ability like him. Also, he will be back by fans in the building as he is a Chicago boy.
Verdict: Bladyes via KO 1st round
Phil “CM Punk” Brooks vs Mike Jackson
2016 was the last time Punk stepped inside the cage after what was the most embarrassing losses anyone could have in their career. Getting out punched, then submitted by Mickey Gall. Much like Punk here Mike Jackson was brought into the UFC to face mickey gall where he lost in the first round just like Punk did.
Mike Jackson was an 0-1 amateur when he came into the UFC so, this prompted CM Punk to refer Jackson as a “tomato can” which means an easy win the mma community. Doing that provoked Jackson to call for the match against Punk to battle it out as to who is a tomato can. Both these fighters have 1 fight to break down both are not very good footage to go off.
For these two fighters many will look to see if Punk has done anything to improve his stock in the fighting game. If he loses for the second-time punk will never see the light of day in the UFC again. Question is now after 3 years, has he evolved enough to pick up a win to continue this fantasy going of his?
I believe Phil Brooks being home will give him that extra added boost to get him over the top here against Mike Jackson
Verdict: Phil “CM Punk” Brooks via TKO in 2nd
Holly Holm vs Megan Anderson: Megan Anderson KO 2nd round
Ricardo Lamas vs Misrad Bektic: Misrad Bektic via UD
Joseph Benavidez vs Sergio Pettis: Joseph Benavidez via UD
Clay Guida vs Bobby Green: Clay Guida via UD
Claudia Gadelha vs Carla Esparza: Claudia Gadelha via UD
Rashad Evans vs Anthony Smith: Anthony Smith via KO 1st round
Rashad Coulter vs Chris de la Rocha: Rashad Coulter via UD
Mike Santiago vs Dan Ige: Dan Ige via sub 3rd