UFC 196 is only about 10 hours away and we have some predictions for the Pay Per View portion of the event. According to UFC President Dana White, this UFC is going to be one of the most bought ever. If you don’t think there’s any truth to that, Conor McGregor will be taking home the first $1,000,000 paycheck in UFC history. Imagine being Nate Diaz and getting $500,000 for getting pummeled for five minutes by Conor McGregor?
Along with this crazy main event, the Women’s Bantamweight title is on the line. Holly Holm will be making her first title defense against Miesha Tate. It’s been nearly three and a half years since the Bantamweight title fight has not included Ronda Rousey.
Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes vs Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko
Hook: It’s good to see women’s MMA get some love at UFC 196 with two fights on the main card. Usually the women are relegated to the prelims or even the early prelims, only to see the highlights after a quick finish in one of the other higher profile fights. As proven at UFC 193, the women can bang.
Expect Nunes to come out swinging. Wildly. Shevchenko is a little more “tactical” I’ll call it. There’s 3 ways this fight can go. 1. Nunes drops Shevchenko in her initial barrage and finishes with the ground and pound. 2. Shevchenko kicks Nunes in the face as she charges, knocking her the fuck out. 3. Shevchenko hugs Nunes to death and this fight goes all 3 rounds. I’m expecting the 3rd option, with Shevchenko winning 29-28 on all cards.
Earl: If this fight goes beyond the first round, history says that Nunes will not come out victorious. I think I’m going to have to go with history here. As Hook said, Nunes will probably come out like a house of fire. Although Shevchenko is new to the UFC, she is a Kickboxing and Muay Thai World Champion. She will use that to her advantage and technically pick Nunes apart. After you collect your winnings, head over to Jackpot City Casino and make even more!
Look for Nunes to gas out late in the second round or early third. Shevchenko by rear naked choke in Round 3.
Corey “Beasin 25/8” Anderson vs Tom “Filthy” Lawlor
Hook: Tom Lawlor will win the entrance, but Corey Anderson wins the fight. Just check out some of Lawlor’s entrances and weigh ins at past UFC events: https://web.archive.org/web/20221129204732if_/https://www.youtube.com/embed/JXnwUWWot1E
This fight has second round TKO for Anderson written all over it. I think they both play it safe in the first round before Anderson unleashes in the 2nd. This one’s a toss-up, though. Could go either way.
Earl: Tom Lawlor has become just as entertaining during his weigh-ins has he has inside the octagon.
Check out his weigh-in yesterday. https://web.archive.org/web/20221129204732if_/https://www.youtube.com/embed/ev-Dx5MO9GE
Lawlor had been out of the fight game for over two years until he one punch KO’d Gian Villante (who is also on tonight’s card) in the second round of their fight in July. I’m going to go with Lawlor in this fight for the simple reason that I hate watching two guys hug on the ground or cage for 15 minutes. Anderson is a decision guy and that’s not what I’m looking for. My pick is Lawlor TKO (punches) third round.
Gian Villante vs Ilir “The Sledgehammer” Latifi
Hook: Gian Villante looks like the yoked-out Jersey Shore/Long Islander ordering Heinekens at the bar while simultaneously hitting on your girlfriend. He actually fought both Corey Anderson and Tom Lawlor in 2 of his last 3 fights (TKO’d Anderson, got KO’d by Lawlor). Latifi on the other hand is the guy checking IDs at the front door, and dumping you in the alley after Villante kicks your teeth in. These guys’ styles match up well with each other, but I expect the taller Villante to pick Latifi apart using the Gegard Mousasi blueprint. This one goes to the judges after 3 rounds in a unanimous decision for Villante.
Earl: Ilir “The Sledgehammer” Latifi is one guy that has caught the eye of the UFC world. In his last 5 fights (4-1), he hasn’t taken the bout past the first round. His last two fights lasted 28 and 56 seconds. I don’t think there’s any way that Villante is going to be able to handle the onslaught that Latifi will bring. Latifi first round TKO (punches).
Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm vs “Cupcake” Miesha Tate
Hook: My heart says Cupcake, but my head says Holm. “The Preacher’s Daughter” is a terrible nickname. I’d rather they called her “Jolly” or “Hollywood” or anything else, but that’s the angle they’ve taken and I guess it’s stuck. I predicted Holly Holm dethroning Ronda Rousey years before the fight happened. Her length, speed, and pure power is just too much for anyone in women’s MMA to compete with, Tate included. With that said, I’m a huge Miesha Tate fan. If she’s ever going to win the championship, it’s in this fight, but I just don’t see it. Holm KO’s Tate with a kick to the face in the 2nd round as the UFC waits for Rousey to get her shit together for a rematch of UFC 193.
Earl: I’m in the same boat here as Hook. I want to see Tate win, just for the incredible buildup that UFC 200 would have with Tate vs Rousey. But on the other hand, Holm’s combination of length, speed, and kickboxing is probably going to keep Tate at a distance. It will no doubt be a good match, but I’m going to go with a unanimous decision win for Holm. #AndStill.
“The Notorious” Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz
Hook: This is such a paycheck fight for Nate Diaz. You saw him at the press conference. The poor guy sounds like he has brain damage. He might actually die in the ring after Conor McGregor drops him with a right hook. I hope he has a will and testament put together before the fight as Conor McGregor at 170lbs is going to be absolutely lethal. The McGregor hype train keeps chugging along as this one ends in spectacular fashion midway through the first round. Expect some gesturing at each other before a punch is landed, but this fight could be two hits: McGregor’s fist hitting Diaz’s temple, and Diaz’s head hitting the mat.
Earl: This fight is going to be such a cakewalk for McGregor. He’s already jumped from a -260 favorite to nearly -600. I have been glued to these press conferences that these two have been giving, and the have easily been the best promo I’ve ever seen. I would post some of them here but I don’t think we have enough room on our servers for the hours of content.
If you’ve ever seen Diaz fight, he’s a boxer first and foremost. He’s going to stick that lead leg out there and McGregor might even break it before the night is over. Weighing in at 168 pounds, McGregor looks GIGANTIC. Nate Diaz on the other hand, is the “skinniest fat guy”, I’ve ever seen. McGregor nailed it with that comment. When Diaz flexed after his official weight was taken, there wasn’t an ounce of muscle on his body. He looks like he’s never lifted anything heavier than a half gallon of ice cream. I’m going to make two predictions here. First: McGregor will give Diaz the double bird either during the explanation of the rules, or after he wins. Second: McGregor will toy with Diaz in the first 3 minutes, then pummel him and “bounce his head off the canvas” before the 1st round is over. McGregor KO 1st round.