So Baldness is back to give you some hot sports takes – even hotter than your mom – with the upcoming UFC 207 event. My last prediction special was for the huge MSG card and UFC 205 which saw me correctly call the McGregor TKO in the 2nd round. But on the night, I was a somewhat disappointing 7-5 overall. So, for this event, I’m going to put information in, but pick with my fan cap and go with my gut. So, without further ado… Here are Baldness’ picks for UFC 207!!!
Tim Means Vs Alex Olivera (Welterweight Bout)
This matchup of two very technical strikers could be one of the better bouts of the night. It’s the prelims, but this could overshadow most of the main card. Means comes in 26-7-1 with his last two wins coming by way of KO. Olivera comes in at 15-4-1 looking less impressive in his last two matches (albeit both wins). Would not be surprised to see these two stand and bang until someone falls over, but both have legit ground skills too, Means should get the win.
Mike Pyle Vs Alex Garcia (Welterweight Bout)
41 year old Mike Pyle to take on heavy handed Alex Garcia. Short and sweet on this one. I’m going with Garcia to KO Pyle in the 2nd round.
Johny Hendricks Vs Neil Magny (Welterweight Bout)
Hendricks has looked awful in his last 4 fights, albeit against top class opponents. He has had trouble making the weight at 170, and has hinted that if he loses, he may decide to retire. So, that tells me that his heart isn’t in it anymore. Neil Magny has also an 11 inch reach advantage, so if he can keep Hendricks out of grappling range, He should wear Hendricks down. Gimme Magny via decision.
Main Card Matchups
Dong Hyun Kim Vs Tarec Saffiedine: (Welterweight Bout)
Kim has looked bad in losing 2 of his last 3 fights. Saffiedine has split his last two fights, winning a decision vs Jake Ellenberger, but dropping a decision to Rick Story in May. Im going to pick Saffiedine by unanimous decision, but my gut tells me Kim could win it.
Louis Smolka Vs Ray Borg (Flyweight Bout)
Im going to be honest here. I know next to nothing about these two. If it is flyweights and If it’s not involving Demetrious Johnson, really, what,s the point? Borg is probably the better of the two here, and there is some talk of him making a run at Johnson if he wins here. (This run would end in defeat for Borg.) All signs point to a Borg win, which means Smolka will probably pull this off. I will, for the record, call this for Borg via submission.
TJ Dillashaw Vs John Lineker (Bantamweight Bout)
The winner of this matchup should be in line for a title shot against the winner of the Cruz vs. Garbrandt co-main event. This is a classic speed vs. power duel here. Dillashaw, the former title holder, has all the quicks. Hands, feet, and is by far the better grappler. Lineker is a powerhouse Brazillian who wants to put Dillashaw to sleep. TJ has a pretty large chip on his shoulder since losing a split decision to current champ Cruz, which most of the UFC head honchos said they felt Dillashaw won. Either way, look for Dillashaw to outclass Lineker, for a 3rd round TKO after wearing the Brazillian down.
Dominick Cruz (Champion) Vs Cody Garbrandt (Bantamweight Championship Bout)
Ok, so this fight has gotten some degree of hype, due to the talking going on before the match. Clearly they don’t like one another, and Garbrandt is the more vocal of the two.
Here’s how it breaks down. Cruz is one of the most elusive fighters in UFC history. He is lightning fast, and has some solid power as well. Garbrandt is a straight brawler, with 7 of his 9 knockout wins (10 wins overall) coming in the first round. I’m going to call Cruz in this one, probably via 3rd round stoppage after he wears Garbrandt out. BUT… Garbrandt has for real power, and with a 6-oz glove, ANYTHING could happen. Chances are if Cruz can withstand the first round or two, he gasses Garbrandt and wins in the 3rd.
MAIN EVENT: WOMENS BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
AMANDA NUNES (Champion) 13-4 Vs Ronda Rousey (Challenger) 12-1
Ok, so it’s somewhat of a known fact, that I am not a huge fan of womens MMA. I find most of the fights to be slow, boring, and without real appeal. However, the one exception I make, is for Ronda Rousey. Prior to her loss to Holly Holm in Nov. 2015, Rousey was the poster child for the UFC, the most dominant athlete in ANY sport. She was mangling the competition in every fight working her way to a 12-0 record. That all changed at the :59 mark of Round 2 against Holm, when Rousey found herself looking up at the lights for the very first time.
Much has been made of her journey since that point. Depression, suicidal thoughts, a couple of bad movies, and finally she got herself together and is now ready to return to the octagon. Question is, how will a full year off of the sport sit with Rousey? Is her heart still there, her desire and fire? Sure, she can talk a good game, but what will her reaction be if and when Nunes hits her in the face for the first time?
Nunes is the champion that no one is giving a chance. She comes in riding a 4-fight winning streak and looked sharp as a tack, in taking the title from Miesha Tate. (She beat her into retirement!) If you compare common opponents, that may be the reason why no one is giving Nunes a chance. Rousey beat Cat Zingano, Alexis Davis and Sarah D’Alelio all very easily. All of those three have beaten Nunes in the past. The question comes down to heart, and ring rust. Does Rousey still have that championship fire?
Will her lack of any real action in over 400 days be an issue? If those things can be answered early enough, I don’t see much hope for Nunes. If Pre-Holly Holm fight Rousey shows up. It could be a short night for Nunes, but if not, it could end in disaster for Rousey. My prediction,
Rousey by 2nd round submission (probably an armbar).
So, there you have it. My SURE TO BE WRONG predictions. Sad note on this card, too, as UFC 207 will mark the end of an era. Mike Goldberg will be calling his last event for the UFC. He and Joe Rogan made an awesome pair, but the new ownership of the UFC want to go a different direction. Rogan will stay on, and a new partner has yet to be determined for Rogan. Although rumors swirl that it will be Jim Rome????