My Balls Was Hot! – UFC 230 Preview

The UFC always puts on a great show when the Octagon takes Madison Square Garden. At UFC 205, Conor McGregor became the champ-champ. At UFC 217, Georges St. Pierre made his long-awaited return to the UFC and won the UFC Middleweight Championship from Michael Bisping. Now at UFC 230, The man who’s star burned brightest at UFC 229 (Conor Vs. Khabib), Derrick Lewis gets his long-awaited title shot at the UFC Heavyweight Belt against Champ/Champ Daniel Cormier.

Middleweight: Derek Brunson (+259) Vs. Israel Adesanya (-333)

Derek Brunson has fought many of the top 15 Middleweights in the world at this stage of his career, and he has beaten many of them as well. His performances over Lyoto Machida and Dan Kelly were impeccable and his wrestling skills are among the top of the division. His opponent on Saturday is the young and exciting prospect in Israel Adesanya. I was all in on the Stylebender before his first two wins versus Rob Wilkinson and Marvin Vettori, But I thought that he would falter in his third fight which was a main event against the streaking Brad Tavares. I believed that Tavares’ MMA Pedigree would be able to negate Stylebender’s striking and Stylebender proved me wrong. Stylebender’s takedown defense was up to par and if it is against Brunson, he will win the fight. Another tidbit about the fight to remember, Brunson is returning to the state that gave him a Level 10 Screw Job and named Anderson Silva the winner in their fight at UFC 208. That fact may drive Brunson to push forward early against the taller Stylebender, which could be a very costly mistake. Israel Adesanya Def. Derek Brunson

Middleweight: Karl Roberson (-286) Vs. Jack Marshman (+233)

I don’t really know why this fight is on the main card but it’s an entertaining one to watch so why not? Jack Marshman is 2-2 in the UFC and owns an impressive debut win over Magnus Cedenblad, however, he’s also shown a propensity of being finished, done so at the hands of Thiago Santos and Antonio Carlos Junior. In his two UFC losses, he traveled pretty far to get to the fight and the Wales native is making the long trip stateside for this one. Karl Roberson is a Contender’s Series alumni and while he looked impressive in his fight with Darren Stewart, he looked much less so against Cezar Ferreira. Many fans might discount his loss to Ferreira because it was in Brazil and he was looking good until he got caught in an Arm-Triangle Choke, and I would be one of them. I think travel distance will have a lot to do with this fight and I pick New Jersey’s Roberson to win by decision. Karl Roberson Def. Jack Marshman

Middleweight: Jared Cannonier (+283) Vs. David Branch (-370)

David Branch came back from his loss to Luke Rockhold in a big way when he brutally finished Thiago Santos (Yes, the same one with a Sledgehammer tattooed on his chest). If he can beat a healthy Thiago Santos, then I believe that he should be able to defeat a short-notice replacement in Jared Cannonier. That being said, Cannonier is backed against a wall for his Middleweight Debut, but he is also finally fighting in his natural weight class. Depending on the odds, I might throw some money on Cannonier or on the over. My pick is Branch, but betting wise, Cannonier might be the quick money. David Branch Def. Jared Cannonier

Middleweight: Ronaldo Souza (+155) Vs. Chris Weidman (-192)

Ronaldo Souza Vs. Chris Weidman is a fight that should’ve happened a long time ago, but at least we’re getting to see it happen before they really start to regress. Recently,  Ronaldo Souza was on the wrong end of a split decision in his native country of Brazil (wtf?). But Souza has fought almost everyone currently in the upper echelon of the UFC and beaten many currently outside of it such as Gegard Mousasi, Derek Brunson, Chris Camozzi and Tim Boetsch. Chris Weidman is a former champion of the UFC Middleweight division and was successful in title defenses against Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, and Vitor Belfort. He lost his belt to Luke Rockhold at UFC 194 after throwing an ill-advised spinning back kick and then lost twice more to Freak of Nature Yoel Romero and Gegard Mousasi. Weidman was able to use his grappling pedigree to keep Kelvin Gastelum away and even though Gastelum landed a huge blow, Weidman weathered the storm and was able to lock in a submission. The main critique of Chris Weidman is that he fought at a time when the Middleweight division was not as strong as it is now, But I think that’s pretty Bullshit because he knocked out a prime Anderson Silva. I believe that this fight will end via a finish of some kind and it’s a coin flip for me, but I’ll pick Weidman. Chris Weidman Def. Ronaldo Souza

Heavyweight Championship: Daniel Cormier (-714) Vs. Derrick Lewis (+408)

I love that Derrick Lewis is finally getting his chance at the belt. Derrick Lewis has been a very entertaining fighter both inside and outside the octagon for the better part of the past four years. During his last fight at UFC 229, which was on the main card of Conor Vs. Khabib, Lewis was in the process of being beaten by Alexander Volkov, but in the last 15 seconds, he wobbled the 6’7 Volkov and then finished him on the ground. In my opinion, it was a top five comeback victory in UFC History. Once he got the mic from Joe Rogan, he seized the moment and backed up his entertaining fight with some entertaining commentary that the general public watching loved more than the Khabib-McGregor post-fight brawl. Many of my friends who are not hardcore MMA fans, but still tune in to McGregor fights texted me or told me later that they’re favorite or most memorable point in the night was when Lewis told Joe Rogan “My balls was hot”. Lewis is entertaining, but he is also a massive underdog on Saturday when he takes on the second ever two-weight UFC Champion in Daniel Cormier. Cormier is currently at the top of the UFC’s Pound-for-Pound rankings and shown that his ability to gameplan for specific fighters is top tier. He found a very small hole in Stipe Miocic’s game that allowed him to knock out the champion within the first round. I believe that this fight will end via some sort of Knockout from Daniel Cormier as his skills are much greater when he is fighting at Heavyweight then when he is fighting at Light-Heavyweight. Daniel Cormier Def. Derrick Lewis

Other Selections

Featherweight: Jason Knight (-263) Def. Jordan Rinaldi (+210)

Women’s Flyweight: Sijara Eubanks (-556) Def. Roxanne Modafferi (+388)

Featherweight: Julio Arce (-357) Def. Sheymon Moraes (+272)

Welterweight: Ben Saunders (+467) Def. Lyman Good (-714)

Lightweight: Lando Vannata (-256) Def. Matt Frevola (+205)

Featherweight: Shane Burgos (-312) Def. Kurt Holobaugh (+244)

Bantamweight: Brian Kelleher (+105) Def. Montel Jackson (-127)

Heavyweight: Adam Wieczorek (-227) Def. Marcos Rogerio de Lima (+180)

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