UFC 199 Preview + Predictions

This Saturday afternoon, UFC 199 will be taking place at The Forum in Inglewood, California. The event will feature an aspect of fight promotion that the UFC hasn't landed in a while: well-crafted rematches. I'm fed up with instant rematches in fights that don't need them. Rockhold vs. Weidman was one of them. Although I wish Chris Weidman a healthy recovery, I'm glad we get to see a fresher matchup. Anyways, this PPV is looking solid as hell! Specially the main card;I'm interested in every single bout. There are some big names, including Max Holloway, Dan Henderson and Bobby Green. However, this preview will focus solely on the co-main and main event. Let's talk some MMA:

Urijah Faber vs. Dominick Cruz

The evening's co-main event will have Dominick Cruz defend his bantamweight title against longtime rival Urijah Faber. What I love about this contest is the fact that there is a lot of bad blood between these warriors. They've previously met in two occasions, and they both left with a victory. The fight has so many storylines within itself: the end of their trilogy, possibly Urijah last chance at getting UFC gold, Dominick's opportunity to defeat the man who brought him his only loss (21-1). It's going to be a war!

Dominick, The Dominator, Cruz is one of the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He's known for his agile movement, quick striking, and his tendency to attack from angles. Now, this is a guy that has been through the worst the sport has to offer. A number of knee injuries kept him away from MMA for almost 4 years! On the sidelines, he was able to redesign, rebuild, and reclaim. The way in which Cruz returned after such a long period of time to regain the belt he never lost (with no signs of ring rust) is unprecedented. We might never see it again. He's out there looking the prove he's the best in the world. In order to do it, he will have to beat his nemesis, The California Kid.

Urijah Faber is a fan-favorite. An absolute pioneer, he was able to prove that small guys can also throw hard. When it comes to fighting, Urijah has a very specific set of rules he follows every time he steps into the octagon. He likes to put a lot of pressure, throwing two big punches: an overhand right and a left hook. If he manages to clip you, he will use his fantastic wrestling to take things to the ground and finish you. His style has brought him three title fights. Sadly, he hasn't been capable of becoming champion. Looking to avoid being the first UFC competitor to receive four title fights and lose them all, he is a man on a mission. He must finish Dominick.

Overall, I think this is a very interesting bout. You often hear that athletes learn a lot from each other after being in the cage one time. I can only imagine the amount of intel you obtain after facing an opponent twice. The question is: who will be able to capitalize on the previously gathered information? I think the answer is Dominick Cruz. I should remind you that he possesses the best footwork in MMA. When punching him, you will miss. A lot. Even if Faber doesn't get frustrated, Cruz's skills should earn him a comfortable decision. Do I think Urijah has a chance? Of course. With the right timing, he could clip the champ with one of his signature strikes and finish him. But I'm sticking with The Dominator.

Prediction: Dominick Cruz

Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping

The headlining contest will have current middleweight champion Luke Rockhold defending his belt for the first time against British contender, Michael Bisping. Honestly, too many people are instantly riding Bisping's chances off. There are many elements about their first encounter that people seem to have forgotten. The first round was closely contested and a there was an accidental headbutt that truly changed the dynamic of things. Therefore, I'm excited to see what each guy can bring to the table.

Michael Bisping's road to the title shot has been amongst the best stories in recent MMA history. A boxer, he won the Ultimate Fighter almost ten years ago, and he's been looking to become a world champion ever since. A true warrior, he has helped expand the company in the UK thanks to his aggressive style. After recently getting the better of Anderson Silva, he's finally receiving his chance. On two weeks notice.

Trying to retain his strap, Luke Rockhold will look to shut down Bisping for the second time. An American kickboxer, he's a former Strikeforce champion. When it comes to the cage, he's a very dangerous opponent. He utilizes vicious leg kicks to keep his opponents at range, and loves to catch them with a strong right hook as they attempt to close the distance.

How do I see the fight playing out? Well, Rockhold is the clear favorite. Which isn't necessarily a good thing. Mentally, Bisping has no pressure. He's supposed to lose this fight. That could give him a certain advantage. When it comes to game plans, The Count has to go out there trying to finish the champ quickly. He didn't have a full camp, so he probably doesn't want to go five rounds. He must put pressure and strike from the pocket. Playing Rockhold's range game will not get him where he wants to be. Nonetheless, I expect Luke to connect with a solid punch that changes the entire fight, and eventually ends it.

Prediction: Luke Rockhold

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