By RJ Marceau
In less than three days, the UFC will have UFC 205 for the first time at Madison Square Garden. About three weeks ago I wrote an article analyzing the UFC Cards for the rest of 2016 but had just a brief prediction for this card.
Over the three weeks I have gone back and forth with my predictions and this will be my official UFC 205 predictions.
Prelims on Fox Sports 1
#2 Frankie Edgar vs. #7 Jeremy Stephens in a Featherweight Bout
This fight in my opinion is the easiest fight to predict. Edgar is coming off a loss to Jose Aldo but he had a 5 fight win streak going in. Jeremy Stephens however is saying he is the hardest hitting 145 pound fighter but only has three knockout finishes in 5 years. Edgar has beaten the same people that Stephens lost to and he beat them decisively. Edgar isn’t a big knockout artist himself but I predict he finishes off Stephens in the 2nd round via KO/TKO.
Frankie Edgar defeats Jeremy Stephens via 2nd round KO/TKO
#2 Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. #6 Michael Johnson in a Lightweight Bout
Khabib Nurmagomedov has been a dominant competitor in the lightweight division since joining the UFC back in 2012. His resume is a perfect 23-0 but he has one impressive victory against former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael Dos Anjos. I don’t want to discredit his abilities but when you destroy guys who aren’t even top 15 in the division it doesn’t mean much. Injuries have hampered his success but a victory vs. Michael Johnson would definitely grant him a title fight.
Michael Johnson is an interesting fighter who has defeated Edson Barbosa, Tony Ferguson and recently Dustin Poirier. He looked impressive in the 1st round vs. Nate Diaz but he let Nate get in his head. He was out boxed in the 2nd and 3rd round and lost via decision. Michael impressed me with an amazing knockout vs. Dustin Poirier. Khabib is definitely the favorite but I have a gut feeling Michael Johnson will beat him.
Michael Johnson defeats Khabib Nurmagomedov via 3rd round KO/TKO
UFC 205 Main Card
#1 Miesha Tate vs. #8 Raquel Pennington in a Women’s Bantamweight bout
Miesha Tate makes her return to the Octagon after being dismantled by Amanda Nunes at UFC 200. Tate winning the belt was a great story but now it’s her time to make a statement and get back in the title picture. Pennington is on a three fight win streak and has a good opportunity vs. Miesha Tate. This fight to me is similar to Holly Holm vs. Valentia Shevchenko. Holm was coming off the title loss and looked to rebound and got beat. I don’t want to be the upset master but I think Pennington will be beat Tate.
Raquel Pennington defeats Miesha Tate via decision
#5 Kelvin Gastelum vs. #6 Donald Cerrone in a Welterweight bout
When it was announced a few months back to be Robbie Lawler vs. Donald Cerrone it was a great fight for fans. Unfortunately Lawler withdrew due to recovering from his past injuries he had absorbed in the Tyron Woodley fight. Gastelum took his spot and will have his hands full with Cerrone. Gastelum defeated Johny Hendricks at UFC 200 but I wasn’t overly impressed. Hendricks didn’t make weight and was drained from a massive weight cut.
Cerrone however picked apart Rick Story at UFC 202 and won with an impressive 2nd round KO/TKO. Cerrone has been unstoppable in the welterweight division and I don’t see Gastelum beating him.
Donald Cerrone defeats Kelvin Gastelum via 2nd round KO/TKO
#2 Chris Weidman vs. #4 Yoel Romero in a Middleweight bout
Chris Weidman makes his first appearance back in the octagon since losing his title to Luke Rockhold last year at UFC 194. Weidman was expected to face Rockhold at UFC 197 but withdrew with an injury. Chris Weidman is one of my favorite UFC fighters so I’m excited to him return.
Yoel Romero has been dominant in his UFC career but won in controversial fashion in his last bout vs. Jacare Souza at UFC 194 in a split decision. Romero is a muscle bound fighter that uses his Olympic wrestling but he gassed out vs. Jacare. Weidman is no slouch on the mat with his wrestling background but I see him using his reach advantage vs. Romero. I don’t see either man winning via KO/TKO and I have Weidman winning via decision
Chris Weidman defeats Yoel Romero via unanimous decision
© Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. #2 Karolina Kowalkiewicz for the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship
When Joanna faced Claudia Gadelha during UFC 200 week I said if Claudia could take Joanna down she would win. Gadelha was able to take her down but gassed out. Joanna was able to out strike her on the feet. When it comes to this fight I would say the same thing for Karolina but to initiate the clinch game. She was able to use this vs. Rose Namajunas and defeated her at UFC 202.
If Karolina just stands and trades with Joanna it won’t be close so she needs to clinch or take her down. Joanna in my opinion is one of the top 3 fighters in the UFC and has the mindset that she is unstoppable. I don’t see Joanna putting herself in bad positions and have her defeating Kowalkiewicz.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk defeats Karolina Kowalkiewicz via unanimous decision to retain the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship
© Tyron Woodley vs. #2 Stephen Thompson for the UFC Welterweight Championship
When Tyron Woodley defeated Robbie Lawler I wasn’t shocked by him winning but via 1st KO I was. Woodley is a freak of nature athlete with one punch KO power. Thompson is a different fighter that uses his karate style to keep guys away. Woodley needs to utilize his wrestling and get inside the pocket with Thompson to win. Thompson has to use his style to keep Woodley on the outside.
Woodley has a ton of confidence in himself and I think he will utilize is power vs. Thompson. He will get inside and trade as well as use his wrestling background to hold Thompson down. If it’s a stand up fight Woodley will be in trouble especially if he is stuck on the outside. Wonderboy has been impressive but I can’t pick against Tyron Woodley. He needs to finish Thompson fast and I see him knocking him out in the 2nd round.
Tyron Woodley defeats Stephen Thompson via 2nd round KO to retain the UFC Welterweight Championship
© Eddie Alvarez vs. © Conor McGregor for the UFC Lightweight Championship
I am not anti-Conor McGregor but he has been on my bad side facing Jose Aldo and Nate Diaz who are two UFC fighters that I like. Alvarez at first didn’t impress me at all. He lost to Donald Cerrone and defeated Gilbert Melendez & Anthony Pettis via split decisions. However he is a tough fighter and was able to beat both former champions. He was able to KO Rafael Dos Anjos in the 1st round to win the Lightweight championship during UFC 200 weekend.
He did impress me but McGregor is McGregor. He was able to defeat Nate Diaz at UFC 202 and get back on top. I want Alvarez to win but I have a feeling Conor will win. Alvarez must take Conor down to win this fight unless he catches Conor on his feet. I honestly just want a great fight but have Alvarez winning.
Eddie Alvarez defeats Conor McGregor via 3rd round KO/TKO to retain the UFC Lightweight Championship
SEE ALSO: "RJ's Two Cents - Analyzing the UFC Cards For the Rest of 2016"