UFC 209 Predictions
Here I am with some last minute UFC 209 predictions. Feel free to laugh at me (much like my gambling savant of a sister will) when these picks go down in flames. Do not expect technical analysis here because it’s 5:50 PM ET. Also, this card is full of awesome nicknames.
Photo courtesy of Ultimate Fighting Championship and WME (okay, so I just cropped it off of their website).
Albert Morales vs. “The Asian Sensation” Andre Soukhamthath
Morales’ UFC tenure has gotten off to a rocky start. He fought to a majority draw against Alejandro Perez then got stopped by Thomas Almeida (no shame in that). This is Andre Soukhamthath’s UFC debut. Both men have high finishing rates (22 total fights, only 5 decisions). Morales seems to favor the submission whereas The Asian Sensation goes for the KO. Although it’s his debut, I favor Soukhamthath by TKO.
Tyson Pedro vs. Paul “Bear Jew” Craig
Paul Craig has really won me over because he simply wants to kick people in the dick and that’s something I can get behind. Also, he does a great Mike Perry impersonation. Tyson Pedro is tough as hell and survived some serious adversity in his UFC debut against Khalil Rountree. Both guys are undefeated, both guys like the submission. But like the saying goes, “someone’s ‘oh’ has to go” and I think it’ll be Pedro’s. Craig by submission.
Mark “Hand of” Godbeer vs. Daniel “Daddy Long Legs” Spitz
Nothing says “don’t bet on this” like heavyweight MMA. Todd Duffee was supposed to fight Godbeer in a battle of large men who punch very, very hard. Duffee had to pull out of the fight and was replaced by Daniel Spitz. Spitz trains with Sikjitsu, so I assume that he has some sick jiu-jitsu. Okay, I’m not clever, I’m writing this really late in the day. Godbeer’s experience and knack for getting the stoppage should win out in this fight. Godbeer by TKO
Iuri Alcantara vs. “Cool Hand” Luke Sanders
Iuri Alcantara is one of the most hot-cold fighters I’ve ever seen. Sometimes, he’s hot and cold in the same fight (see his fight with Urijah Faber). He’s coming off a win at UFC 204 where he absolutely styled on Brad Pickett. Luke Sanders, or Becky Lynch’s tiny boyfriend for wrestling fans, burst onto the UFC scene last January with a submission win over Maximo Blanco. He seemingly disappeared for 14 months. He’s a guy that I’ve been hearing about from in-field correspondent Nathan Lint and I think he should live up to his potential in this fight. Hopefully, he stays more active. Sanders by decision.
Mirsad Bektic vs. Darren “The Damage” Elkins
I LOVE ME SOME MIRSAD BEKTIC. Darren Elkins has one of the worst tattoos in MMA. Mirsad is a more dynamic fighter. He’s got better boxing, better wrestling, and will probably win a dominant decision. Dare I say he’ll do damage to The Damage? Okay, I’ll stick to my day job.
Marcin “Tybur” Tybura vs. Luis Henrique
Marcin Tybura is coming off of a brutal head kick victory over Viktor Pesta. It definitely made up for the stumble he had in his UFC debut against Tim Johnson (who is much better than anyone could’ve imagined). Luis Henrique is an exciting, young heavyweight with a nearly even ratio of KOs, submissions, and decisions. He’s coming off of two submission wins after being sent into orbit by Francis Ngannou. Unfortunately, I think he’s going to lose a decision to a much more experienced heavyweight in Tybura. Tybura by decision.
Alistair “The Reem” Overeem vs. Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt
This is a rematch from PRIDE FC. The Reem defeated The Super Samoan in a little over a minute with an Americana. Again, it’s heavyweight MMA. DO NOT BET ON THIS FIGHT. Dadbod Overeem has been weirdly patient and tactical in his approach in his last stint inside the eight-sided cage. Mark Hunt is coming off a no contest against “The Walking Pharmacy” Brock Lesnar. He’s very upset with Brock. He’s with the UFC and USADA. Despite having advantages as far as reach, speed, and grappling go, I believe that Overeem is going to be the unfortunate victim of Mark Hunt’s wrath. Hunt by KO.
“ABC” Amanda Bobby Cooper vs. Cynthia Calvillo
This fight skyrocketed to the main card after the Khabib debacle. ABC is a TUF runner-up and has a boxing background. She’s coming off a solid performance over Anna Elmose. Calvillo is making her UFC debut. She trains with Team Alpha Male and is taking this fight on 10 days notice. Usually, that doesn’t bode well for a debuting fighter and I believe that ABC will win a decision.
“Suga” Rashad Evans vs. Daniel Kelly
I have been weirdly obsessed with this fight. I actually wanted to dedicate an episode of Gogopoda to do a technical breakdown of the fight. Rashad’s an aged and shop-worn fighter making a move to a smaller weight class (a move that could be too little, too late). Daniel Kelly’s almost 40 and didn’t start fighting in MMA until he was in his 30s. On paper, Rashad should absolutely smoke Dan Kelly. Kelly’s kind of slow and plodding. Rashad, even at an advanced aged, should have a noticeable speed advantage. Rashad’s a better striker whereas Kelly likes to throw lots of left hands from southpaw to stay square and set up his judo throws from the clinch. Kelly doesn’t even really have a ton of power, not that he couldn’t hurt Rashad (who has never had the sturdiest chin). But dang it, Dan Kelly is tough as nails and always finds a way to win. He’s got a style that could pose problems for Rashad if he’s timid like he’s been in his last few fights. People really want to see Rashad lose this fight for reasons that I can’t quite understand. Rashad’s one of my favorite fighters, but he’s getting old. Evans eeks out a decision after a dog fight.
“Groovy” Lando Vannata vs. David Teymur
This fight was bumped up to co-main event duty. I’m not sure why the fight got co-main event duty, but I love it. UFC needs to do this more often. Putting younger prospects into high profile positions only helps build fan base and buzz surrounding the prospect. If Lando sends Teymur to Cloud City, you have a new star on your hands. People are going to talk about the kid that wheel kicked someone into oblivion on the UFC pay-per-view because it happened during a time where people were most likely to see it (i.e. NOT THE PRELIMS). Vannata has more skills and more experience than his opponent and I think he’ll get a TKO over a game David Teymur.
Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson (Welterweight championship)
Woodley and Wonderboy fought to a draw at UFC 205. It was a hell of a fight with Woodley taking a commanding first round. Wonderboy, however, found a way to implement his game plan and use his length and movement to hold Woodley at bay for rounds 2 and 3. However, Woodley nearly sent Wonderboy to the Shadow Realm by knocking him down repeatedly and nearly ripping his head off with a guillotine. Although Woodley is the champion, I expect him to come out like the challenger in this fight. I expect him to get after Wonderboy early with leg kicks and multiple takedown attempts. I see Woodley winning a clear cut decision.