Well, what do you know, Jon Jones ruined another fight card. This time even before the event happened. For those of you who are unaware. The Nevada State Athletic Commission is not sanctioning Jon Jones to fight in the State of Nevada because the minuscule amount of Performance Enhancing Drugs in his system from the Daniel Cormier fight in July of 2017 is still in his system. The UFC was able to salvage the card by moving the whole thing to California, but the damage done to fighters and fans makes this action pretty much unacceptable. For those like myself who did not have tickets to UFC 232, the card thankfully is a banger. From undercard fights like Curtis Millender Vs. Siyar Bahadurzada to Main Card slugfests like Ilir Latifi Vs. Corey Anderson, there is action absolutely everywhere.
Featherweight: Alexander Volkanovski (+130) Vs. Chad Mendes (-147)
Over the last few years in the UFC, 18-1 prospect Alex Volkanovski has been ripping apart the UFC featherweight division scoring massive victories over prospects like Shane Young and Jeremy Kennedy while also taking wins off of grizzled veterans such as Darren Elkins and Mizuto Hirota. He will be facing his toughest test on Saturday Night when he takes on Former world title challenger Chad Mendes. Mendes returned from a bogus PED suspension in July where he defeated the streaking Myles Jury by TKO. This is easily Volkanovski’s toughest test as a professional and I believe this is finally where the prospect falters. Mendes’ wrestling should be able to negate the advancing tendency of Volkanovski and take a unanimous decision. Chad Mendes Def. Alexander Volkanovski
Light Heavyweight: Ilir Latifi (-141) Vs. Corey Anderson (+125)
Ilir Latifi is a rising star of European MMA and currently holds a record of 14-5, including a very impressive stoppage victory over Ovince St. Preux in his last trip to the Octagon. He is also the Sweden vs USA Co-Main event, as his teammate Alexander Gustafsson will fight for the Light Heavyweight title later in the night. but fortunately for Ilir, he will not be taking on Jon Jones and will instead face Corey “Overtime” Anderson, after taking two brutal Knockout Losses at the hands of Ovince St. Preux and Jimi Manuwa, Anderson grinded out decision victories over Patrick Cummins and Glover Teixeira. Unfortunately for Anderson, Latifi is a much more powerful striker than Cummins and Teixeira are and we’ve seen the lights go out for Anderson when he faces those higher-quality strikers. I expect Ilir Latifi to take a second-round victory by KO or TKO.
Welterweight: Michael Chiesa (-164) Vs. Carlos Condit (+145)
After Condit’s last performance against Alex Oliveira, I saw that his drive has significantly diminished and “The Natural Born Killer” has taken a massive step back. Since his absolutely crazy fight of the year war against Robbie Lawler, Condit has lost three consecutive fights against Demian Maia, Neil Magny, and Alex Oliveira. Michael Chiesa made a name for himself during his ultimate fighter days where he won season 15 and has been competing at Lightweight since then and is now making the jump up to Welterweight. At lightweight, Chiesa defeated the likes of Beneil Dariush, Al Iaquinta, Jim Miller, and Francisco Trinaldo, but after losing two straight to Anthony Pettis and Kevin Lee he decided the move up to 170 would benefit him. Chiesa is a natural 165-pound talent and should be fighting at that weight class when/if that division gets made in the coming years, but he seems to be just fine and dandy fighting at 170. I expect Chiesa to win and Condit to retire shortly after. I believe that Condit would be an incredible Coach and Jackson Wink should try to retain him.
Women’s Featherweight Championship: Amanda Nunes (+198) Vs. Cris Cyborg (-227)
Here we have two different types of domination going at it as Current Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes will take on Featherweight Champion Cris Cyborg for the Featherweight Strap. The reason why this fight was made is simple. Cris Cyborg doesn’t have any competition available for her to fight and Amanda Nunes was the best they could find. They’ve both been dominant inside their respective weight classes. Since this fight is being contested at 145 pounds, I believe that Cyborg will take the victory. Although I like Amanda Nunes and think she is a great role model for women in MMA, I will not bet against Cris Cyborg at Featherweight. I just won’t do it.
Light Heavyweight Championship: Jon Jones (-278) Vs. Alexander Gustafsson (-228)
The first fight between these two is my favorite light heavyweight fight of all time, just two absolute warriors taking and giving shots with high volume and high power. Jon Jones won this dogfight by Unanimous decision and after rewatching the fight I agree with the decision, I had the fight 48-47 for Jon. At the time, Jones was a bonafide star in the sport of MMA and Alexander Gustafsson was a worthy, yet, unknown contender. This time a lot has changed, as Jones has had multiple problems outside the cage and Alexander has continued to build on a great resume. Also, Alexander and Jon have built a rivalry over the last few years, mainly as a result of Jon’s repeated drug test failures. Jon hasn’t fought since July of 2017 where he defeated Daniel Cormier to win back the Light Heavyweight Title. Gustafsson has won two in a row since he was unsuccessful in his most recent Light Heavyweight title fight against Daniel Cormier and most recently dominated Glover Teixeira in front of a sold out Stockholm crowd. I want to make this clear, I want Alexander Gustafsson to win this fight. I do not believe he will but I want him too. Jon will use his extensive reach advantage to keep Alexander Gustafsson away and Jones will also probably poke him in the eyes a few times and kick out his knee with his Oblique Kicks. Vinna Dagen Alex! Jon Jones Def. Alexander Gustafsson
Heavyweight: Walt Harris (-172) Def. Andrei Arlovski (+152)
Women’s Featherweight: Megan Anderson (+121) Def. Cat Zingano (-141)
Bantamweight: Petr Yan (-300) Def. Douglas Silva de Andrade (+225)
Featherweight: Ryan Hall (-435) Def. BJ Penn (+350)
Bantamweight: Nathaniel Wood (-118) Def. Andre Ewell (-105)
Middleweight: Uriah Hall (+100) Def. Bevon Lewis (-112)
Welterweight: Curtis Millender (-152) Def. Siyar Bahadurzada (+135) – This’ll be a banger
Bantamweight: Brian Kelleher (+137) Def. Montel Jackson (-154)