A Tale of Legendary Polish Power, UFC 259 Predictions
Source: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
You remember when you were a kid, and you used to gather around the green box with all your friends and thought "man, life is pretty sweet"? Well, that's how this card feels. You got the cool kid in Izzy, the tough gal in Nunes, the ambiguously eastern European cousins in Yan and Jan, and of course the older kid who just wants to bestow his wisdom upon the group in Cruz. It's crazy loaded card that just makes you yearn for less PPV's and more super cards like this one.
All that aside, this is really the first time I've prepped for a card and been so clueless as to where the MMA landscape could wind up afterwards. This is really a groundshifting event, not just because there are three title fights, but also because we have been blessed with such unpredictable matchups. Honestly, we could see three new champs crowned tonight. Here we go!
Israel Adesanya vs Jan Blachowicz
Wooooooooweeeeeee! Where to go with this one? As many have pointed before moi, it's interesting timing for Izzy to move weight classes just as Jones does the same, but you won't find me complaining. I find this matchup more interesting than any fight that could be put on at 185, Jan presents real problems for Izzy! For starters he'll be huge compared to the middleweight king come fight time, he's got that legendary Polish power, and he can get down and dirty. Also, he's a lot less emotionally invested in humiliating Izzy than Costa was.
I'm really torn which way to side here. I know Izzy has a wizardry about him that we've only seen a few times in the history of the sport, but I just can't get over the size, power and patience Jan has displayed over his last few fights. Simply put, he's been operating on a different level. I just see Jan having more ways to win than Izzy does, and more path to victories means a higher probability of winning.
Of course, there is a massive likelihood that Izzy puts on a masterclass and his legend grows.
Prediction: Jan Blachowicz, 2ND RD TKO
Megan Anderson vs Amanda Nunes
As much as the UFC are trying to build this fight around Megan's size, it's a shame that this fight will 100% come down to skill and that size will become completely irrelevant. The clinch will be Megan's friend, but I don't see how she can avoid the impressively starch striking or the excellently proficient grappling the champ possesses. Nunes is here to stay,
I hope Megan brings her A game, it would be refreshing to see The Lioness have to face some sort of challenge.
Prediction: Amanda Nunes, 3RD RD SUB
Aljamain Sterling vs Petr Yan
Besides the main event this is the fight I'm most looking forward to. I have a ton of faith that if Aljo gets Yan down early he can pull off the upset and fulfill his potential. However, the Russian has displayed on multiple occasions that he is simply a machine and gets better as the fight powers on. To be frank, I have no clue how this one is going to play out.
Can Aljo grind Yan out? Or will Yan continue his reign over the 135 division? Honestly, I can't wait to find out, but if I must pick I'll go with my gut.
Prediction: Aljamain Sterling, Decision
Drew Dober vs Islam Makhachev
This is a pretty easy bout to decide upon. Dober is clearly the more dangerous striker standing, but I just don't see how he can fend off Islam's grappling. That will be the biggest question asked. If he can, I think he can get a stoppage, but I don't that will be the case.
Prediction: Islam Makhachev, Decision
Aleksandar Rakic vs Thiago Santos
I'd like to think the Santos pre-knee injury can still rear his head and deliver a dominant victory, but I think Rakic's wrestling could throw a massive wrench in that fantasy. With that said, Rakic isn't really a great grappler. This could just turn into a kickboxing match and if it does Santos is the more powerful striker. Great matchup. But still, Rakic.
Prediction: Aleksandar Rakic, Decision
Rest of the Card
Cruz def Kenney
Yadong def Philips
Benavidez def Askarov
Kara-France def Bontorin
Elliott def Espinosa
Ulberg def Nzechukwu
Brady def Matthews
Lemos def Souza
Medic def Cruz
2021 Predictions Record: 32-21-1