UFC 187: Anthony Johnson vs. Daniel Cormier - Preview and Predictions
This Saturday, UFC is back in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC 187 (Sunday, 4 A.M, IST). From the two world title fights at the top of the card to a stacked undercard filled with top contenders, UFC 187 is probably the best and the biggest event of 2015 so far.
In the main event, two of the top LHW fighters in UFC, Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson will look to claim the LHW title vacated by Jon Jones while the co-main event features a long-awaited middleweight title scrap between Champion Chris Weidman and challenger Vitor Belfort.
My predictions for the entire UFC 187 are as follow:
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass, Sun, 4 A.M. IST)
- Justin Scoggins Defeats Josh Sampo via Decision
- Islam Makhachev Defeats Leo Kuntz via Decision
- Colby Covington Defeats Mike Pyle via TKO
Preliminary Card (FOX Sports 1, Sun, 5:30 A.M. IST)
- Rose Namajunas Defeats Nina Ansaroff via Submission
- Uriah Hall Defeats Rafael Natal via TKO
- Dong Hyun Kim Defeats Josh Burkman via Decision
- John Dodson Defeats Zach Makovsky via TKO
Main Card: (Sony Six / PPV, Sun, 7:30 a.m. IST)
Joseph Benavidez (21-4) vs. John Moraga (16-3)
The main card opener is a fantastic fight between former title challengers Joseph Benavidez and John Moraga, two of the flyweight division's top contenders.
A grappler in his early career, Benavidez has intelligently designed himself into a well-rounded fighter. He has KO power in his hands and has found ways to blend his striking into scrambles that benefit his athleticism. The only losses in Benavidez’s flyweight career have come to champion Demetrious Johnson.
A power puncher with eight career submission victories to his credit, Moraga looks for three straight wins after beating Willie Gates and Justin Scoggins. Moraga has grit in spades and is very hard to finish, even if you make him uncomfortable. His striking is fluid and technical along with a decent ground game to go along with it.
Benavidez is the more technical and consistent striker works at a much quicker pace and likely has more power, in short Benavidez is a better fighter than Moraga and holds all the advantages in this fight. Look for him to dictate the pace and keep eventually taking the fight on the ground and outworking Moraga for whole three rounds.
Prediction: Benavidez wins via Decision
Travis Browne (17-2-1) vs. Andrei Arlovski (23-10)
From flyweight action we move to Heavyweight division. Two big guys trying to take each other’s head off always capture the crowd and that’s what UFC plans to deliver with this fight on the main card.
Browne is a legit top 10 heavyweight in the world. He has finished 15 of his 17 wins, including 13 by knockout, and he has seven stoppages in his eight UFC victories, which demonstrates his ability to finish fights. His footwork and speed for the division is his greatest attribute along with some of the nastiest elbows against the cage.
The 36-year-old Belarussian is a former UFC champion. He has finished 19 fights in his. Undefeated since his return to the UFC, Andrei “Pit Bull” Arlovski has wins over Brendan Schaub and a first round knockout over Antonio Silva. Primarily known for his boxing, he also has an 85% takedown defense rate.B
Browne is the better, younger faster and probably more powerful fighter out of the two. Brown will get the finish and will make a run towards the title.
Prediction: Browne wins via TKO