UFC 219 in Las Vegas is the UFC‘s end-of-the-year card, this card usually is one of the most stacked cards and tend to deliver (See UFC 207 where Rousey’s return is spoiled or UFC 195 where Lawler and Condit gave each other presents like an earlier date of death hand wrapped in Knuckles and Shins for 25 minutes). While this card isn’t like last years end-cap, it’s still a great card and it will surely be an exciting one to watch.
Neil Magny (+140) Vs. Carlos Condit (-160)
This to me is the toughest fight to pick. Condit hasn’t fought since August of 2016 when he lost to Damien Maia and hasn’t won since May of 2015 in a fight against Thiago Alves. Those two fights sandwich a Fight of the Year candidate against Robbie Lawler, a fight in which Condit lost by split-decision. Neil Magny is a fighter that is 1-2 in his last 3, with losses from Rafael Dos Anjos and Lorenz Larkin. His win was an absolutely terrible fight against Johny Hendricks in which Johny just tried to lay on Magny for 15 minutes. I don’t believe that Magny can hang with the upper echelon fighters of the division and my main question is, Does Carlos Condit still got it? One of the things that really make me hesitant to pick Condit is the fact that he hasn’t fought in the octagon in over 16 months, but people have taken time off and came back to win (Vinc Pichel, Myles Jury). I am going to pick Condit to win, I am not confident about it, but I am more confident about it than if I had Magny. Carlos Condit Def. Neil Magny
Cynthia Calvillo (-240) Vs. Carla Esparza (+205)
Cynthia Calvillo, I firmly believe will be a UFC Champion in two-years time. She is 6-0 as a professional and holds victories over Amanda Cooper, Pearl Gonzalez, and defeated Jojo Calderwood in her homeland of Scotland. Buchholz and Castillo at Team Alpha Male have her on track to be the next one from that camp to hold a belt. Esparza is the first ever UFC Women’s champion not named Ronda Rousey when she won TUF:20 and became Strawweight Champion, but since then she has gone 2-2 and hasn’t really impressed in her victories. I have Calvillo by some sort of finish. Cynthia Calvillo Def. Carla Esparza
Dan Hooker (+170) Vs. Marc Diakiese (-195)
Dan Hooker Vs. Marc Diakiese was put on the main card because Jimmie Rivera vs John Lineker fell through during fight week due to a Lineker injury. I feel like they put this fight on the main card to build a star in one of these to market to their home nations. Diakiese to the UK and Hooker to New Zealand and the whole ANZ region. In the Octagon, Diakiese is 3-1 with his best win being Teemu Packalen and Hooker is 4-3 with his best win being against the aging Ross Pearson. I think Diakiese will win but it will be by decision. Marc Diakiese Def. Dan Hooker
Khabib Nurmagomedov (-280) Vs. Edson Barboza (+240)
Khabib hasn’t fought since UFC 205 where he defeated Michael Johnson and while handing Johnson a TKO beating he was talking to both Johnson and the Cageside Dana White. He was telling Johnson “You have to give up, you know I deserve this” all while handing him a plate of future CTE and he was planning out his next move by telling White “Be Careful. I’m going to smash your boy”, his “boy” being Conor McGregor. When a man can smother a World Class Fighter in Michael Johnson, have the Wherewithal to know he won the fight and urge him to end the fight by quitting and tell Dana White that he’s going to smash his Moneyweight Champion, he’s on another level skill wise. Oh, he is also 24-0, so there’s that. Edson Barboza is a quiet killer, he has won three fights in a row over Former UFC Champion Anthony Pettis, Former Strikeforce Champion Gilbert Melendez, and Beneil Dariush (Won by Flying Knee). His only losses in the UFC are to top-level talents such as Donald Cerrone, Michael Johnson and Current Interim champion Tony Ferguson. I believe that Nurmagomedov will win, but if Barboza was to win, it would be by a highlight-reel knockout. Khabib Nurmagomedov Def. Edson Barboza
Cris Cyborg (-360) Vs. Holly Holm (+295)
The Main Event of UFC 219 is between Women’s Featherweight Championship titleholder Cris Cyborg and Former Women’s Bantamweight Champion Holly Holm. Cris Cyborg hasn’t lost a fight since her first one back in 2005 and is an extremely scary individual and when I say scary I don’t mean Halloween Dracula scary I mean “Oh Crap, I forgot to take the meat out of the Freezer and Mom’s in the Driveway” Scary. Just an absolutely menacing individual. However, if anyone has the ability to take down this behemoth it’s Holly Holm. Holly Holm already has one David Vs. Goliath Story that came back in 2015 when she defeated Ronda Rousey and shocking the world in the MMA’s biggest Upset to date. I feel that with Cyborg’s sheer size and grappling prowess that she can smother Holm and Defeat her, I predict by Second round finish either by Submission or TKO, not KO. Cris Cyborg Def. Holly Holm
Khalil Rountree Jr. (-310) Def. Michal Oleksiejczuk (UNL)(Try pronouncing that Anik)
Myles Jury (-215) Def. Rick Glenn (+185)
Omari Akhmedov (+185) Def. Marvin Vettori (-215)
Louis Smolka (+200) Def. Matheus Nicolau (-235)
Tim Elliott (-210) Def. Mark de la Rosa (UNL) (DO IT FOR COACH HOLLIS!!!!)
PS: If Cyborg defeats Holm and then faces Megan Anderson and defeats her, then she will not have any more competition for the title unless Bantamweights move up in weight.
PSS: Nurmagomedov is 24-1 actually with his one loss being to the Greek Dessert known as Tiramisu. If you don’t know about this look it up, it’s hilarious.