Championship fight 5 Rounds
San Jose, California, United States: 21-1-0
Houston, Texas, United States: 21-5-0
The main event fight on the UFC 230 card at MSG takes place at Heavyweight––between Daniel “DC” Cormier and Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis––is similar to the fights between Daniel Cormier and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson that took place at UFC 187 and UFC 210. Rumble had the threat of massive and explosive power in his hands, which DC would have to avoid in order to get in close with Rumble and implement his game-plan. In the first fight Cormier took a big shot from Johnson early that put him down, but DC was able to bounce right back to his feet and recover, going on to grind out Johnson and get the 3rd round submission.
Granted, the fight between DC and Rumble took place at light heavyweight, but there is not an MMA analyst alive that would dispute that nobody hits harder––and has more explosiveness early in the fight––than Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. In the case of DC vs. The Black Beast, there is the threat from Lewis’s one punch knockout power, however, I believe that DC has the speed and cardio advantage over Lewis, and I do not believe that Cormier will let his guard down and allow an opening for the big shot to land. I believe that Cormier will be able to use his speed advantage to get inside and use his world-class wrestling to tire out Lewis and nullify his one punch power. Prediction: Daniel Cormier via TKO stoppage, late in the 2nd round.
Baldwin, New York, United States: 14-3-0
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 25-6-0
The co-main event at UFC 230 is an interesting matchup between Chris “The All-American” Weidman and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at Middleweight. Both fighters are very high-level grapplers, with Jacare being a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion, and Weidman being an All-American wrestler with excellent BJJ skills. Weidman has proven to be one of the best MMA wrestlers we have seen, and has bested world-class level BJJ artists. Jacare has shown big, explosive power in the past, but he has seemed to diminish somewhat as of late. I believe that Weidman has the MMA grappling advantage here and can control where the fight goes. Jacare’s grappling can’t be underestimated here, but I believe Weidman will control the pace of the fight and get the win. He has been able to strike with higher level strikers than Jacare and has grappled with comparable grapplers, such as Demian Maia. Prediction: Chris Weidman via unanimous decision.
Brooklyn, New York, United States: 22-4-0
Glendale, Arizona, United States: 10-4-0
The third fight on the main card between David Branch and Jared “The Killa Gorilla” Cannonier––another fight at Middleweight––is a hard one to call. Branch has more experience and therefore advantage in this fight. Branch is a grappler with solid striking and I think he can control where this fight goes. Cannonier is coming down from light-heavyweight and so he should have the power advantage, though the weight cut could affect his cardio. I’m leaning towards Branch here. Prediction: David Branch via unanimous decision.
Neptune, New Jersey, United States: 6-1-0
Abertillery, South Wales: 22-7-0
The second fight on the main PPV card is between Karl “Baby K” Roberson and Jack “The Hammer” Marshman in the Middleweight division. I don’t know much about either of these fighters, but Marshman has much more experience. Marshman is moving up from welterweight though, and is at a size disadvantage, though I’m not sure that will play into this fight, whereas these guys are both strikers. Roberson has some finishing ability early, but I think Marshman’s experience should allow him to avoid early fight big strikes. Both fighters are .500 in the UFC, but since Marshman has much more experience, I’m giving the edge to him. Prediction: Marshman via uninimous decision.
Wilmington, North Carolina, United States: 18-6-0
Auckland, New Zealand: 14-0-0
The fight that opens the UFC 230 PPV main card is a fight of big significance in the middleweight division. The fight features two top ten ranked fighters, with Brunson at #6 and Adesanya at #9 in the Middleweight division. Brunson comes from a wrestling background but has knockout power, however he does leave himself open to getting hit. I think this fight is a pick em, because either fighter possesses the capabilities to knock the other out. I feel that if Brunson decides to stand and bang, he will get finished, but if he takes the fight to the ground he scores a TKO via ground-and-pound. Adesanya has high-level, dynamic striking and will win if he keeps the fight at distance. This is a tough one to call, but I feel that Adesanya is a rising star who has the edge in confidence. Prediction: Adesanya via first round TKO.