UFC 197 Predictions
Alright, I want to write another UFC predictions today. I will keep this short and simple this time.
Jon Jones vs Ovince Saint Preux
Jon Jones vs OSP. Jon Jones’ first fight after about 1 and a half year off from competing at the octagon. I simply believe Jones will win from his previous performances at the octagon. His energy and fight style make me believe in him. I could go on and write 3 to 5 more paragraphs about how he can win against OSP, but I am not going to do that today. Let’s keep this short, Jon Jones wins by TKO or unanimous decision.
Pick – Jon Jones
Demetrious Johnson vs Henry Cejudo
Henry Cejudo looks very good on the weigh in. Now the questions is, can he take DJ to the ground? Is DJ’s take down defense good enough to avoid the olympiant’s attack?
DJ pretty much ran through all of his previous opponents. 7 successful title defenses. No jokes here, those are all top ranked fighters who challenge for the title, and DJ dominated them, out gased them. DJ was able to kept the same pace for all 5 rounds. Can Cejudo’s cardio keep up with DJ if the fight goes into championship round?
Cejudo’s last couple opponents wasn’t top ranked guys, so there is not enough information to analysis Cejudo’s skill against tougher opponents. I see this as another guy who DJ would just run through. Yea, my prediction is that DJ will fight Cejudo for 5 rounds and win by unanimous decision.
Pick – Johnson
Anthony Pettis vs Edson Barboza
Both fighters came back from lost. Pettis lost his last two fights against Eddie Alvarez and Rafael Dos Anjos, where as Barboza lost 2 of his last 3 fights. So this fight is pretty important for both fighters. If Pettis wants to get another crack at the title, he needs this fight. The picture is a little different for Edson Barboza, a top 10 ranked fighter at the lightweight. If Barboza wins, he might be able to crack into the top 5. Another 2 or 3 fight win streak could earn him the title shot if the circumstance is right.
Alright, fight analysis. Base on Barboza’s last few lost, you can see there is a leak in his ground game. Barboza is not great at attacking and defending at the ground. Once he got take down to the ground, he has that moment of panicking. 1 or 2 seconds we are talking about here. A moment that he needs to switch from stand up game to ground game. It didn’t came to him naturally, and he needs to adjust for it. For those 1 or 2 seconds, a high level BJJ practitioner can really take advantage of it. This is exactly what Cowboy Cerrone and Tony Ferguson did. They saw the opening and jumped on him, and eventually submitted Barboza.
If Pettis is able to knock Barboza down with a high kick, stumble him or take him down to the ground, then Pettis has a high chance of grinding out Barboza on the mat and take advantage of Barboza’s weaker ground game. Maybe even a submission victory. If the game is a stand up fight, then Barboza has an edge with his elite Muay Thai skill and vicious leg kick. I would definitely give the fight to Barboza if he could keep the game standing up and avoid the take downs.
I am a long time Edson Barboza fan and I love his fighting styles, I would love to see Barboza take down the victory against Pettis. On the realistic side, Barboza really needs to improve his BJJ and ground skills in general. His leak on the ground is very obvious, and the Pettis team would have notice that for sure. If Pettis’ game plan is to take down and fight on the mat, then its a bad night for Barboza. After putting all the aspects into account, I think Pettis will win if he has a proper game plan and take advantage of Barboza’s weaker ground game.
Pick – Pettis