UFC 228 Preview – The Chosen One Vs. The Scouser

UFC 228 is going to be taking place in Dallas, Texas, which seems to be a very popular destination for the UFC to go to for Pay-Per-Views. In the past five years, the UFC has held four PPV Cards in Big D, UFC 171, UFC 185, UFC 211 and now UFC 228, All of those cards were packed full and this one coming up on Saturday is no exception. The Main Card is fantastic, with two incredible title fights headlining the night, even the prelims could easily be its own Fight Night, just a stacked card from top to bottom.

Bantamweight: Jimmie Rivera (142) Vs. John Dodson (+122)

Jimmie Rivera recently took his first loss in the UFC and unfortunately, it was in his first real chance to market himself as an individual. He was defeated by KO in early June by Marlon Moraes, who is now looking for a shot at TJ Dillashaw for the title. Rivera Vs. Dodson is a great fight for both men. Rivera can get back on track against an opponent who has fought for UFC Titles in the past, and Dodson can earn some momentum as he drops back down to his natural weight class of Flyweight (I believe he will, not reported). I think Rivera takes the fight by a close decision. Jimmie Rivera Def. John Dodson

Bantamweight: Aljamain Sterling (-130) Vs. Cody Stamann (+110)

Aljamain Sterling bounced back in a big way when he defeated Brett Johns in April. Johns was looking unstoppable at 135, even getting a victory via Calf Slicer, and Aljo dominated him. He will have another tough test ahead of him when he takes on the upstart Cody Stamann. Stamann is undefeated in the UFC with victories over Terrion Ware, Tom Duquesnoy, and Bryan Caraway and now as a ranked opponent is looking to move up the ladder, Aljo provides him with an opportunity to do so.¬†Typically, I tend to side with the fighters who are less flashy and are more serious, but I believe that the Flashier and brash Aljamain Sterling will be able to take this fight. Stamann won his last two fights via Split Decision and while looking impressive, didn’t show as much as I would’ve liked to see from an up and coming prospect. Aljamain Sterling Def. Cody Stamann

Women’s Strawweight: Carla Esparza (+430) Vs. Tatiana Suarez (-560)

I believe Tatiana Suarez will be the next champion of the UFC Strawweight Division. She was able to dominate Alexa Grasso during her last appearance and is an Ultimate Fighter winner. Her wrestling is easily her strong suit and I’m gonna love watching this battle because wrestling is also Carla Esparza’s strong suit. Esparza is coming off of an unfortunate loss to Claudia Gadelha, one in which Esparza accused Gadelha of greasing herself. Tatiana Suarez and Carla Esparza are the two best wrestling practitioners in the division and while that doesn’t always mean a great fight it always shows you who can dominate the opposition. Tatiana Suarez Def. Carla Esparza

Welterweight: Abdul Razak Alhassan (-135) Vs. Niko Price (+115)

In 6 UFC Bouts, Niko Price is 4-1-1 (Really 5-1) with three incredible victories over Alan Jouban, Brandon Thatch, and Randy Brown. The best thing about Price, in my opinion, is the fact that Price is extremely creative with his techniques inside the cage. For Example, Price was on his back with Randy Brown trapped between his legs and the cage, Price then threw hammer fists from his back and after about two, Randy Brown was out cold. I am extremely high on Niko Price as a prospect, that being said, Abdul Razak Alhassan is no slouch. His striking is incredibly impressive and Alhassan was able to defeat Charlie Ward and Sabah Homasi by using that impressive striking. I’m picking Niko Price as the slight underdog to defeat the Dallas resident Alhassan. Niko Price Def. Abdul Razak Alhassan

Women’s Strawweight: Jessica Andrade (-400) Vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (+350)

KK has a bit of momentum going for her right now. She has defeated Jodie Esquibel and Felice Herrig in back to back bouts and her stock is shifting upwards. Her Problem, she has to face off with Jessica Andrade. Jessica has been virtually unstoppable at 115 pounds, defeating top competition such as Claudia Gadelha, Tecia Torres, Angela Hill, and Joanne Calderwood handily. She reminds me a lot of Khabib Nurmagomedov through her fighting style, relentless pressure, and stout grappling skills. Jessica Andrade will likely win this bout as I’m predicting her too. Jessica Andrade Def. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Featherweight: Zabit Magomedsharipov (-1200) Vs. Brandon Davis (+775)

Props to Brandon Davis for taking this fight on short notice, but look at those odds. If Davis wins this fight it will be the biggest betting line upset in UFC History. No history on Saturday for Davis. Zabit Magomedsharipov Def. Brandon Davis

Women’s Flyweight: Nicco Montano (+900) Vs. Valentina Shevchenko (-1600)

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen an incumbent champion come into a fight with the odds so stacked against them, but Nicco Montano is the new standard for incredible Las Vegas Championship disrespect. Just like the fight previous, this win, if it occurs for Montano, would be the biggest betting line upset in UFC History. Nicco Montano is much better than she is being sold as by Las Vegas, She has defeated multiple top Flyweights during her run on the Ultimate Fighter such as Lauren Murphy, Barb Honchak and Roxanne Modafferi. I believe Montano isn’t getting the respect that she deserves because of what happened to the person in Montano’s shoes from a few years prior. Carla Esparza lost her belt in her first title defense against Joanna Jedrzejczyk, coincidentally also taking place in Dallas. Valentina Shevchenko is worth the hype and will be crucial to the UFC as they continue to break into Eastern Europe and Russia, she has fought for the Bantamweight belt previously and I thought that she won that fight. because of that performance, I believe that Valentina Shevchenko will win the fight, but the lack of respect given to Montano is appalling. The odds should be around (-600, +450). I mean, I’d throw a tenner on Montano though. Valentina Shevchenko Def. Nicco Montano

Welterweight: Tyron Woodley (-112) Vs. Darren Till (-108)

Darren Till exudes confidence with everything he does. Often times when a person acts like he’s the best thing since sliced bread, he isn’t close to it. That is not the case with Darren Till, his confidence in himself is real in every way, shape, and form. His striking performance against one of the best strikers in the UFC, Stephen Thompson was great. He was able to stand with and match up with Thompson at each and every turn and took a victory in a very close fight. Very similarly, Tyron Woodley had a couple battles with Stephen Thompson that were very closely matched. Tyron Woodley, since he started his title reign, has only faced off with specialists, meaning that his opponents had a particularly great skill-set in one aspect of MMA, Thompson had incredible striking and Demian Maia had an incredible ground game. Those specialties made it so Tyron Woodley couldn’t fight a compelling battle. His second fight with Thompson and his Fight with Maia were widely criticized by the Media and UFC President Dana White. While Till definitely has his strong places, Woodley will be able to let his hands go in this fight as Till is a classic Brawler. I believe that Darren Till will take the victory in a close decision, Woodley will win some of the later rounds, but the first three rounds will give till the victory. Darren Till Def. Tyron Woodley

Other Selections:

Middleweight: Charles Byrd (-233) Def. Darren Stewart (+198)

Welterweight: Diego Sanchez (+190) Def. Craig White (-225)

Lightweight: Jim Miller (+125) Def. Alex White (-145)

Women’s Bantamweight: Irene Aldana (-125) Def. Lucie Pudilova (+105)

Flyweight: Roberto Sanchez (-130) Def. Jarred Brooks (UNL)

Welterweight: Geoff Neal (-178) Def. Frank Camacho (+153)

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