Here are my official UFC 225 predictions, bet them at your own risk!
UFC 225 this Saturday night is STACKED. There’s a ton of amazing fights on this and I can’t wait for the action to kick off on Fight Pass this Saturday. We’ve got amazing title fights, veterans on the undercard and compelling fights in general. Take a look at who I think will win each and every fight, with a little reason why just for fun.
Dan Ige vs. Mike Santiago
Winner: Dan Ige via Unanimous Decision
How: Both fighters enjoyed a lot of success on the regional circuits and entered the UFC via Dana White’s Contender Series. Mike has gone 0-2 since joining the UFC and Ige lost his UFC debut as well. The loser of this fight could very well be gone from the UFC. They are literally fighting for their UFC careers. I think Ige has the edge in takedowns and submissions and if he can avoid being hit and hurt early, he’ll succeed. I think Dan Ige wins a decision in this one.
Clay Guida vs. Charles Oliveira
Winner: Charles Oliveira via Submission
How: This should be a fun fight. Guida has enough cardio to go ten rounds, and Oliveira is a skilled fighter who can win a fight standing or via submission. I think he’s more well-rounded than Guida and if I’m honest I feel Charles will hurt Guida standing, possibly with a kick, and finish him via submission shortly thereafter.
Joe Benavidez vs. Sergio Pettis
Winner: Joe Benavidez via Unanimous Decision
How: Joe Benavidez is the best Flyweight in the world whose name is not Demetrious. He’s been out of action for a bit but he’s not at all happy about being on the Fight Pass portion of the card, and I think he will have a massive chip on his shoulder. Sergio Pettis is a talented fighter, and I think he’s easily top four in the division. That said, he’s not as good as Joe, and Joe will punish him for three rounds on his way to a lopsided decision.
Rashad Evans vs. Anthony Smith
Winner: Rashad Evans via TKO
How: I know Rashad is currently on a big slide. He’s back to Light Heavyweight and I think that’s where he belongs. I know Smith is younger and has won 4 of 5, but I was not blown away by his performance against Thiago Santos or in his victory over Hector Lombard. I think Anthony Smith will let Rashad hang around long enough for Rashad to land something definitive. It might be more of my head than my heart, but I’m going with Rashad.
Rashad Coulter vs. Chris De La Rocha
Winner: Rashad Coulter via TKO
How: Coulter is a better stand up fighter than Rocha, and I expect this fight to be a boxing match. Chris De La Rocha has not fared well in the UFC, losing two in a row, both via stoppage. Of course, Coulter has also lost two in a row via stoppage, but I feel like he has the sharper skillset. He’ll be at a reach disadvantage but if he can get inside, I expect him to find De La Rocha’s chin.
Mirsad Bektic vs. Ricardo Lamas
Winner: Ricardo Lamas via TKO
How: It wasn’t that long ago that Lamas was considered among the best Featherweights on earth, now he’s the underdog in this fight. Bektic has only lost once in his career when he was stopped by Darren Elkins after totally dominating the fight. Ricardo Lamas had only lost to the best of the best in Chad Mendes, Jose Aldo, and Max Holloway in the past 8 years until he was defeated by Josh Emmit in his last fight. I am not ready to write Lamas off yet, and this is a big opportunity to get back in the winning ways in a high profile fight. I think Lamas cashes in.
Claudia Gadelha vs. Carla Esparza
Winner: Claudia Gadelha via TKO
How: Claudia Gadelha and Carla Esparza have been paired off numerous times and now it seems they will finally meet. They don’t like each other much, At the end of the day though, Claudia is just bigger, stronger, faster and more talented. I think Claudia wins this fight in decisive fashion sending Esparza to the back of the line.
Curtis Blaydes vs. Alistair Overeem
Winner: Alistair Overeem via KO
How: Blaydes is a talented heavyweight, but his standup isn’t as sharp as it needs to be in this fight. He’s the betting favorite, but I think he’s going to find himself in the clinch and eating a steady diet of knees and elbows. He can take Overeem down, but I don’t see him doing much there. I think Overeem can threaten with submissions and work his way to his feet. I think Overeem comes off of a devestating KO by NGannou and gives Blaydes some of the same medicine.