With the fight between Fabricio Werdum vs. Cain Velasquez being cancelled it has led to a massive shake-up of the UFC main event. The cancelled title fight meant that UFC 196 was downgraded to fight night 82, and UFC 197 changed to UFC 196. All of this has been very confusing for fans of the sport, but the match-ups in the new events are well worth all the hassle.
The two headline fights for UFC 196 are now Rafael dos Anjos vs. Conor McGregor and Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate. These are two mouth-watering contests that UFC fans around the globe will be excited to see. Will McGregor manage to win the lightweight title and become a two time world champion? Will Holm be able to defend her title for the first time?
Fight Card For UFC 196
|Rafael dos Anjos||vs||Conor McGregor|
|Holly Holm||vs||Miesha Tate|
|Corey Anderson||vs||Tom Lawlor|
|Erick Silva||vs||Nordine Taleb|
|Darren Elkins||vs||Chas Skelly|
|Diego Sanchez||vs||Jim Miller|
|Amanda Nunes||vs||Valentina Shevchenko|
|Justin Salas||vs||Jason Saggo|
|Ilir Latifi||vs||Gian Villante|
|Vitor Miranda||vs||Marcelo Guimaraes|
There are lots of great match-ups the UFC have put together for the card. Below we look at the card in more detail and make a prediction of the outcome of the fights.
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Conor McGregor
|HEIGHT: 5′ 9″||HEIGHT: 5′ 8″|
|WEIGHT: 145 lbs.||WEIGHT: 155 lbs.|
|REACH: 74″||REACH: 70″|
|STANCE: Southpaw||STANCE: Orthodox|
|DOB: Jul 14, 1988||DOB: Oct 26, 1984|
|Significant Strikes Landed per Minute||3.06||5.53|
|Significant Striking Accuracy||41%||44%|
|Significant Strikes Absorbed per Minute||2.37||3.02|
|Significant Strike Defence (the % of opponents strikes that did not land)||69%||64%|
|Average Takedowns Landed per 15 minutes||2.64||1.92|
|Takedown Defense (the % of opponents TD attempts that did not land)||66%||66%|
|Average Submissions Attempted per 15 minutes||0.8||0|
McGregor is a fighter who likes to challenge himself against the best in the world. After his stunning victory over Aldo, many thought that the Irish fighter would choose an easier fight. Out of all the names mentioned to be his next opponent, Dos Anjos is by far the best. By going up a weight division, McGregor is taking a huge gamble, and it will be interesting to see if his power is still as effective in this weight class.
If McGregor is going to win the belt, he will need to improve his takedown defence. Dos Anjos is one of the best ground and pound fighters in the business, so it is vital McGregor manages to keep on it the feet. In his fight against Chad Mendes the Irishman was taken down with ease, so he will need to do lots of work to improve this side of his game before the contest begins.
This is a defining moment in McGregor’s career. He has talked the talk; now we get to see if he can walk the walk. If he does manage to pull it off and become a two-weight champion, he will become one of the greatest fighters that have ever entered the Octagon. McGregor has predicted that he will KO the Brazilian in the first round. So far almost all the Irish fighters predictions have come true. UFC expert fight picks: Conor McGregor def. Rafael dos Anjos by TKO in Round 1.
Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate
Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate
|HEIGHT: 5′ 8″||HEIGHT: 5′ 6″|
|WEIGHT: 135 lbs.||WEIGHT: 135 lbs.|
|REACH: 69″||REACH: 65″|
|STANCE: Southpaw||STANCE: Orthodox|
|DOB: Oct 17, 1981||DOB: Aug 18, 1986|
|Significant Strikes Landed per Minute||4.09||2.04|
|Significant Striking Accuracy||33%||43%|
|Significant Strikes Absorbed per Minute||2.31||2.53|
|Significant Strike Defence (the % of opponents strikes that did not land)||70%||51%|
|Average Takedowns Landed per 15 minutes||0.83||2.31|
|Takedown Defense (the % of opponents TD attempts that did not land)||100%||53%|
|Average Submissions Attempted per 15 minutes||0||1.9|
It will be Holly Holm`s first fight since beating Ronda Rousey to become bantamweight champion. All eyes will be on her to see if she can live up to the high standard she set when beating Rousey convincingly. Miesha Tate will be an entirely different type of fight and Holm will have to be at the top of her game if she is to be victorious. Cupcake’s, striking over the last couple of years has improved considerably, and she will offer more of a threat on the feet than Rousey did.
Holm is by a long way the best female striker in the UFC. If Tate is going to be successful she we need to make it into a brawl and push Holm against the fence. If Holly can deal with Miesha’s grappling, she will come out on top. Holm is going to be a big favorite with bookies going into the title fight. She is going to be heavily backed, and it will be a major upset if Tate manages to steal the belt away. UFC fight predictions: Holly Holm by unanimous decision.
Corey Anderson vs. Tom Lawlor:
This fight is going to be very exciting for fans. Anderson is making his comeback after being out for two years. Lawlor is a young promising fighter looking to make his mark in the sport.
It is going to be a tough fight to call. Lawlor over his MMA career has managed many impressive wins. He is a fan favorite due to his wacky ways and will be looking to make his stamp on a challenge for the title. Every time he has looked like he is going to go all the way, he has had an injury that has set him back. If he can stay injury free for an extended period, he would surely be ranked in the top 5 fighters. It will be interesting to see if injuries have taken their toll or the long break has helped improve his game.
Anderson is not as popular with the fans due to him only just breaking through. He won the TUF 19 and has a 4 – 1 record in the UFC. It may be too early in his career for a genuine title shot, but with age on his side, he won’t have to wait too long if he can go on an unbeaten run. If he does beat Lawlor convincingly, that shot may come sooner than expected.
If Anderson can handle the pressure of the big night, his power and youth could see him get the victory. If Lawlor can get back to where he was before he was injured, he should have enough to see him through. It is a very tough fight to call and could go either way. UFC 196 betting tips: Lawlor by unanimous decision
Vitor Miranda vs. Marcelo Guimaraes:
Since dropping down a weight class from heavyweight to 185 pounds, Miranda has looked like a different animal. The UFC are hopeful that they have another star on their books, and big things are planned for the Brazilian. They have given him an opponent that they expect him to beat with ease and put on a show for the fans. He will be heavily backed and the betting favourite. Free UFC picks: Miranda wins by KO in the second round.
Justin Salas vs. Jason Saggo:
Saggo needs to prove himself in this fight, or he could soon end up finding he has lost his place in the UFC. After a promising start, he has gone over four years alternating losses and wins. If he is ever going to get a title shot, he will have to have more consistency to his game. This fight could go either way depending on the mental state of the fighters on the day. Whichever fighter handles the pressure best will come out on top. UFC expert fight picks: Jason Saggo by unanimous decision.
Diego Sanchez vs Jim Miller:
The Sanchez vs. Miller fight is going to be on the Main Card for Fight Pass. Both fighters are veterans of the sport and have had long careers in the game. Both will be out to show that they still have what it takes to be considered the best in their weight class. Expect fireworks with both fighters possessing knockout power. If it goes to a third round, Miller should have more left in the tank to get the victory. Whoever lands the cleanest strike early will have the best chance of coming out on top. UFC fight predictions: Miller wins by rear naked choke in the third round.
Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko
Shevchenko looked great in her debut fight beating Sarah Kaufman. Many had thought that she was going to be easily defeated and were taken back by her skills in the octagon. The UFC have matched her up with Nunes, who is vastly more experienced and extremely dangerous. This is a fight that should be happening later in Shevchenko career. If she does manage to pull off an upset by beating Nunes, she could be fighting for a title shot soon.
Darren Elkins vs. Chas Skelly
Skelly is an up and coming fighter in the UFC. He is now on a four-fight win streak, and big things are expected from him. If he can prove himself in this fight, he will get the chance to move up into the top 15 and play with the big boys. To do that, he will have to beat Darren Elkins, who is a veteran wrestler. It will be a very tough night for Skelly, and he may find himself on his back more than he would like. The only way Skelly wins is if he can avoid been taken down. UFC 196 betting tips: Elkins by submission in the second.
Erick Silva vs. Nordine Taleb
If Silva loses against Taleb, it is going to be a very long time before he gets a chance for a title shot. Each time he has been asked to prove himself at the highest level, he has failed. This fight is an opportunity for him to make a claim for a big fight once again. Free UFC picks: Silva by KO in the second.