The Predator Returns, UFC 260 Predictions
Source: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
There are very few times in the fighting world where the rematch surpasses the original fight. Fights like Conor-Diaz, Couture - Liddell, St.Pierre - Hughes, all come to mind in terms of iconic MMA rematches and the main event of UFC 260 definitely has that kind of potential. It's the motherfucking Heavyweight championship of the world! If you ain't pumped for this, what in the world are you fan of?
On top of that, we have the return of both Tyron Woodley and Sean O'Malley who are both coming off of losses so they will most certainly want to kick those L's to the curb and get back in the win column. A couple of Canadians are on the card. Gillian Robertson, who got bumped up to the main card after Volkanovski tested positive for COVID, is one of them, and Marc-Andre Barriault is the other. Should be an excellent card!
Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou
The funny thing about this rematch is that it poses a lot of the same questions the original fight did. Does Francis have the all-around game to beat Stipe? Can Stipe avoid the big power of the challenger? Of course, if we went more in-depth those inquiries are a lot more flushed out then they were before, but it still seems as though those are the biggest factors in the fight.
Strange that this fight doesn't feel like it's four years in the making. I think a lot of that is due to Stipe's saga with DC, but also Francis has been absolutely plowing through his latest competition. I mean, his last four fights have lasted a whopping 164 seconds. He's been killing guys. Stipe on the other hand has had three grueling fights with one of the all-time greats.
With that said, 164 seconds doesn't tell us anything besides what we already know. We know Francis is a monster, we knew that going into the last time these two cats fought. Has he improved his cardio? Has he improved his wrestling? What's he gonna turn to if Stipe is still there after a few hard shots have landed? We know what happened to the 2018 version of Francis, but is this truly a different fight?
The champion looks to be the underdog in the eyes of many. It's something he's been getting used to I suppose, but I believe he'll drag this one into the deep end of the pool just like the first fight. It should be another great win on his already stellar resume. The champ retains!
Prediction: Stipe Miocic, Decision
Vincente Luque vs Tyron Woodley
The once great champion Tyron Woodley has seen his stock fall to an all-time low after three pretty lopsided losses. I still believe in him, but it's hard to recapture that spark that makes one great in the first place and this really isn't an easy fight to find a groove in. Luque may not be at the very top of this division, but he's definitely a guy who can cause the tentative Woodley problems.
This to me is the final stand for Woodley's career. A loss here and it wouldn't make any sense to continue. So are we gonna see that Woodley that walked down Lawler? Or are we gonna see the Woodley that just lays back and waits for that perfect shot? Either way, he better not be underestimating what's in front of him or he may end up on a highlight reel.
Prediction: Vincente Luque, Decision
Thomas Almeida vs Sean O'Malley
The O'Malley train has certainly lost a little steam after that odd stoppage loss to Chito Vera. However, the UFC is doing everything it can to get him back on track with this matchup. Almeida is not the guy he was 6 years ago, to say that mildly. An upset win here though would be a big middle finger to the UFC brass for doing him no favours. I just don't see how this one ends any other way than with us being hyped for "Suga" once again.
Prediction: Sean O'Malley, 2nd RD KO
Miranda Maverick vs Gillian Robertson
It's nice to see Robertson back after having to withdraw from UFC 258 due to illness, but she's in tough against a game Miranda Maverick. Besides having a really dope name, Maverick has legit grappling skills which she'll rely on to get the W. However, I like Robertson's boxing in comparison and she isn't a scrub when it comes to grappling herself. I think it'll be closer than most expect.
Prediction: Gillian Robertson, Decision
Jaime Mullarkey vs Khama Worthy
Don't know why they went with this fight to open up the PPV, I mean they have a Nurmagomedov waiting in the wings. However, I guess I'll ride with Worthy.
Prediction: Khama Worthy, 2nd RD TKO
Rest of the Card
Cherant def Menifield
Nurmagomedov def Gooden
Bukauskas def Oleksiejczuk
Morales def Young
Barriault def Azaitar
2021 Predictions Record: 43-24-1