UFC 216 Preview & Tips
This Sunday the 8th of October, the UFC returns to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Nevada, for what promises to be a huge night of fights. This action packed card is headlined by an Interim title fight in the UFCs most ‘Notorious’ division, the 155 pound Lightweight class. With the reigning champion Conor McGregor sitting on the sidelines contemplating his next move, two world class athletes are vying for a shot to possibly fight the UFC’s pay-per-view king. Tony ‘El Cucuy’ Ferguson the no. 2 ranked lightweight in the world will battle up and coming prospect, Kevin ‘The Motown Phenom’ Lee in a fight that has the makings of an all-time classic. In the Co-Main event Demetrious Johnson will finally step into the Octagon to face Ray Borg, a fight that was scheduled and later post-poned at UFC 215. This is Johnson’s chance to break Anderson Silva’s record for most consecutive title defences of 10. Two heavyweights will also throw down, with former champ Fabricio Werdum taking on fan favourite Derrick ‘Black Beast’ Lewis, in a bout that promises fireworks.
The Wolf will preview these along with 2 other great bouts, on a stacked UFC 216 card.
Beneil Dariush vs Evan Dunham
A couple of lightweight vets go head to head in the first fight on the main card, Beneil Dariush takes on Evan Dunham with a possible top 10 ranking spot up for grabs. Both men have a combined 28 UFC bouts under their belts and the winner of this one can begin to make waves in the ultra-stacked 155 pound division. Coming off the momentum of a 4 fight win streak, the betting underdog Dunham is the Wolf’s hot pick for this one. With a seasoned skill set and great offensive grappling to his name, Dunham will look to push the pace in this bout, trying to test the cardio and conditioning of his younger and more explosive opponent. Evan needs to avoid the big power shots and sneaky submissions of Dariush and continue the way he has over the past 4 bouts, look to take his man down and wear him out!!
For Dariush he must stay composed and use his reach and speed advantage. Coming off a tough KO loss to Edson Barboza, Beneil will look to bounce back in a big way and finish his man come Sunday night. If Dariush is to win, he must finish his man with 2 rounds. The fighting style and ability both men possess could thrust this bout into contention for fight of the night. The Wolf likes the underdog in this one, Dunham to extend his decision win streak to 5.
Best: Totals – Over 2.5 Rounds ($1.50)
Value: Dunham on points
Mara Romero Borella vs Kalindra Faria
Kalindra Faria vs Mara Romero Borella is set to be the inaugural female bout at 125 pounds for the UFC. The Flyweight division is waiting for a champion which will be crowned following season 26 of the Ultimate Fighter, in the mean-time fight fans will get a preview of things to come. There is no bigger coming out party then a UFC pay per view, particularly on the main card. Both ladies will look to come out firing, with a golden opportunity to be first in line to face the new champion. Faria who holds a professional record of 18-5, has been doing the rounds in every big fighting organisation apart from the UFC. With 4 arm bar victories coming in her last 10 wins, look for Kalindra to use her favoured move to try and finish Borella. With losses to fellow UFC fighters such as; Gadelha and Aguilar, look for Faria to also use her 8 more fights over Borella in tough situations. For Borella it is all about capitalising on the moment, with multiple victories by way of arm bar, we may see this one end in submission. Both ladies have the chance to make a name for themselves; this fight could fly under the radar and be one of the best of the night.
Best: Kalindra Faria WIN ($1.48)
Value: Faria by Submission
Derrick Lewis vs Fabricio Werdum
Fabricio Werdum vs Derrick ‘Black Beast’ Lewis is an exciting heavyweight contest set to take place this Sunday night. Both men are coming of important loses but an impressive win by either competitor can see them jump right back into title contention. Werdum the more experienced out of both fighters, has taken on and beaten some the best heavyweight fighters MMA has ever seen. From his submission victories over Fedor Emelianenko and Cain Velasquez, to his knockout of Mark Hunt, Werdum possesses worldclass fighting ability both standing up and on the ground. In this fight he will call upon a speed and skill advantage over Lewis, he will be looking to implement his Muay Thai strikes with takedowns to lead to a penultimate submission victory. Fabricio has shown over his career an elite knack at capitalising on opponents small mistakes, ending the night a few short moments after. Look for the betting favourite to attempt a takedown early in the fight, to get it over and done with.
The one key asset that Derrick Lewis has shown over his career is genuine one punch KO ability. Before his last bout, Lewis was on a 6 fight win streak with 5 of those ending by KO/TKO. If Werdum has shown a chink in his armour, it’s his tendency to be susceptible for the knockout. KO losses to both Junior Dos Santos and Stipe Miocic prove this point. In this bout, the Wolf believes that Lewis has a punchers chance and if he is to be victorious, he must finish Werdum in the first round. Though this is not likely, Werdum to win and fight Mark Hunt next!!
Best: Werdum WIN ($1.40)
Value: Werdum by Submission
Demetrious Johnson vs Ray Borg
With the re-scheduling of Johnson vs Borg at UFC 215, fight fans are finally going to see this bout go ahead and with potential super fights in the future, the Wolf CAN NOT wait for this one. Demetrious Johnson is at the top of many peoples pound for pound lists, fighting at 125 pounds he possess one of the most well rounded skill sets in MMA history. His ability to control the tempo of a fight and outlast his opponents, have made him the incredible champion he is today. At UFC 174 Mighty Mouses conditioning was on full display, dominating a full 5 round fight against Ali Bagautinov. What made this more incredible was the announcement post-fight that Bagautinov had failed a drug test; he was caught with EPO in his system. EPO is a commonly used performance enhancing drug, greatly increasing cardiovascular endurance. That just speaks to how incredible the skillset of Johnson really is. His opponent Ray Borg, while still young in his career, possesses incredible heart, determination and grappling ability. Borg’s rear naked choke finish of Shane Howell shows the slick skill he has, Johnson must be very careful not to rush in and get caught by Borg. On paper Johnson is the heavy favourite and rightfully so; he is on the doorstep of becoming the greatest fighter in UFC history. If he gets the win here, he will likely face the winner of Garbrandt and Dillashaw, setting up an incredible super fight with either competitor. Mighty Mouse must use his level changes and mix up striking and grappling like he does so often. Borg is tough, the Wolf sees him lasting the 5 rounds. If Johnson does get a finish, look for him to callout his next challenger, possibly at 135 pounds!
Best: Totals – Over 4.5 Rounds ($2.00)
Value: Johnson by Submission
Tony Ferguson vs Kevin Lee.
The main event of the evening, is one the most exciting and potentially memorable bouts in recent memory. Tony ‘El Cucuy’ Ferguson, who holds the longest win streak in lightweight history, with 9. Has a tidal wave of momentum behind him and an impressive win here will hopefully set-up an immediate unification bout against Conor McGregor. Ferguson who possess the traditional ‘Mexican’ fighting style, sets and maintains an incredible pace during his fights, just daring competitors to keep up with him. His conditioning along with high level striking and grappling skills would be enough to make any fighter great, but with an unorthodox stance and attacks Ferguson is truly a one-of-a-kind athlete. With 5 of his last 9 finishes coming by way of submission, look for Tony to hurt Lee on his feet and take him down. What makes Ferguson so great is his ability to wrap up a choke within a matter of seconds. From a betting stand point, the Wolf sees a submission win to Ferguson as a likely outcome if he were to be victorious
Kevin Lee is still a relatively unknown fighter amongst casual fans, but a PPV main event is a great way to get noticed. With 11 UFC fights of experience, Lee is no rookie to the big stage but it wasn’t until his fight with Michael Chiesa earlier this year, where the fans really go to see the Motown Phenom. In that bout the Detroit native, put on an incredible display dominating a well-known grappler and submitting him with his patented move. Sailing off the back of a 5 fight win streak, a victory here would be huge for Kevin Lee and his career.
It’s hard to manufacture a superstar, they either have that x-factor or they don’t. Kevin Lee has that aura about him, the way he speaks, dresses and moves include all the ingredients to make a superstar cage fighter, all he’s missing is that big win! In this bout Lee, must stay unpredictable keep Ferguson guessing and don’t let El Cucuy get into his grooth. If all things go to plan for the Motown Phenom, fans could be witnessing the next big fight for Conor McGregor. Either competitor must be impressive in victory to get Conor to come back and defend his lightweight belt. With the Diaz re-match not garnishing immediate attention, now could be the perfect time for either man to strike. Look for this one to start slow and build to an epic conclusion, the Wolf sees a fight of the year contender right here.
From a betting stand point this is a flip of a coin and wraps up an incredible night of fights.