UFC 206 is a big come down after the epic 205. First of all, the scheduled main event between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson for the Light Heavyweight Title fell through after DC got injured. Second of all, all the speculation that Georges St-Pierre would make his UFC return in his native Canada never came to fruition. So what did the UFC do? They stripped Conor McGregor of his Featherweight Title, they promoted interim champion Jose Aldo to Champion status, and then organised a Max Holloway v Anthony Pettis Interim Featherweight Title fight. Makes sense? Didn’t think so.
One thing that I can say from watching plenty of UFC events, is that quite often it is the underwhelming card on paper that can deliver the best events. There is no doubt that this won’t be the biggest selling card in UFC history, but there are still plenty of fights for us to find a winner.
Max Holloway v Anthony Pettis – Interim Featherweight Title
Holloway arguably was one of the biggest contributing factors in the UFC forcing McGregor to give up his belt. Since losing to McGregor, Holloway has ripped off a nine fight win streak and a shot at the title was well overdue. With McGregor taking on other projects, it looked as though this would not happen for him. Pettis, a former UFC Champion, is only taking his second fight at Featherweight after dropping three straight at Lightweight. I give Holloway the edge in most crucial aspects of this fight (perhaps apart from submission ability), and can see him riding the momentum of his win streak to take it to ten on the trot, and a shot at Jose Aldo for the undisputed title to boot.
Best: Holloway WIN ($1.50)
Value: Holloway by decision ($2.80)
Donald Cerrone v Matt Brown
Cowboy Cerrone moves on to Matt Brown after his opponent at UFC 205 Kelvin Gastelum (who is also on this card), failed to make weight. Together, these two fighters have combined for 41 finishes in their careers, so I see no reason why this fight should go the distance. Cerrone looks very comfortable at this weight class, but Brown has one of the better defences in the division, and certainly knows how to finish a fight.
Best: Cerrone WIN ($1.35)
Value: Cerrone by submission ($3.20)
Cub Swanson v Doo Ho Choi
11th ranked Choi heads into this featherweight clash as favourite against the 4th ranked Swanson off the back of three straight first round knockouts. He has power, he is accurate, but he hasn’t been tested. Swanson is a veteran of the game, and presents a big jump in class for Choi. The value is with Swanson.
Best: Swanson WIN($2.75)
Value: Swanson by decision ($4.00)
Kelvin Gastelum v Tim Kennedy
As mentioned earlier, Gastelum failed to make weight at UFC 205, so the UFC have forced him up a weight class, and steps into the octagon with Tim Kennedy. There is no doubting the talent and potential of Gastelum, but he needs to start delivering. Kennedy has had over two years out of the octagon, and is challenging a young fighter with a point to prove. He has the height and reach advantage, but I’ll take the outsider in Gastelum to get the job done as Kennedy tries to shake the ring rust.
Best: Gastelum WIN ($2.25)
Value: Gastelum by decision ($3.00)
Jordan Mein v Emil Meek
Jordan Mein steps out of a short-lived retirement, to take on UFC debutant Emil Meek. Mein is fighting in front of his Canadian fans, and should have the class to get this one done, and early.
Best: Mein WIN ($1.60)
Value: Mein by decision ($2.75)