Daniel Cormier (16-1-0) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (16-3-0)
A lot of people point to Gustafsson’s loss to Phil Davis, who is a superior grappler and submitted Gustafsson, as the reason that Cormier will lose this fight. The bottom line is that loss was five years ago and has no substantial bearing on this fight. Jon Jones had trouble taking Gustafsson down in their fight and he is arguably one of the best wrestlers int he division, with or without the credentials. Gustafsson’s two other losses are to Jon Jones and Anthony Johnson. Obviously, Johnson has incredible known out power and he can drop anyone with a shot if it lands. The Jones loss is obvious. The question is what does Cormier bring to the table that he can beat Gustafsson with? Well, unless he can get it to the ground it will not happen. On the reverse, what does Gustafsson bring to the table that can beat Cormier? Well, we just have his loss to Jones to look at and in that fight he was beaten by a fighter who could defend the takedown, had long enough range to keep him away and outstrip him. Those are all three things that gustafsson can do as well. That is why Gustafsson takes a unanimous decision victory.1“
Johny Hendricks (17-3-0) vs. Tyron Woodley (15-3-0)
Hendricks and Woodley will most likely be a boring fight but it at least eliminates them from title contention for whoever losses. These two pretty much fight exactly the same, but Hendricks is more of an unforgiving fighter. Woodley may be competitive early but he will fail as the rounds drag on giving Hendricks the edge in a decision victory.
Rashad Evans (19-3-1) vs. Ryan Bader (19-4-0)
Evans was once a great fighter, but he is getting up there in age and has been out for a long time. It is hard to say who will win this depending on which version we see of Evans. Will we see the complete evens who took out Phil Davis three years ago? Or will we see the lethargic Evans who lost to Lil Nog two years ago or barely squeaked by Dan Henderson? I think he time off will have rejuvenated Evans and he will pull of a dominate decision victory over the TUF winner.
Ruslan Magomedov (13-1-0) vs. Shawn Jordan (18-6-0)
This one is hard to pick as we have not seen any big holes in Magomedov’s game, but we also have not seen him fight anyone of note yet. Also, Jordan has some obvious holes in his game, but it takes the right type of fighter to exploit them. We have seethe majority of Magomedov’s win come over people tat are past their prime. I believe that Jordan’s superior striking will take this fight via TKO.
Julianna Pena (6-2-0) vs. Jessica Eye (11-3-0)
Pena seems to be getting extremely winnable fights and Eye should be her first big test. Eye has not proven to be the fighter everyone though she would be when she signed,. but her takedown defense should be enough to keep Pena at bay and her striking should be better than the Tuf Winners. So, as long as she does not let us down like she has in her past few fights, we should see Eye take a win via decision or late TKO.