Dominick Cruz (20-1-0) vs. TJ Dillashaw (12-2-0)
Cruz finally gets a shot to regain his title after over four years since his title defense while Dillashaw looks to make his title the lineal and legitimate title by beating Cruz. I will be looking at this fight how their skills compare and not talk about all the injuries and setbacks of Cruz since that is obvious. These two are the same age, Cruz is a little bit taller and they have the same reach. Dillashaw has better, proven, knockout power, but with the extra height, he may have a hard time reaching Cruz’s chin. Cruz has a better takedown rate, but Dillashaw has never been taken down in his career so far. Also, Dillashaw throws and land more punches but he takes a lot more punishment in his fights that Cruz. Essentially it is very even, and that means the fight may come down to cardio. Both of them have great cardio, but the question remains if Cruz can use his better takedowns in the later rounds? I think this will be a very close fight with Cruz taking it in the closing rounds. Cruz by decision.
Anthony Pettis (18-3-0) vs. Eddie Alvarez (26-4-0)
Another oft injured former champion returns, but now he is face with a hard nosed striker in Alvarez. Pettis is only an inch taller, but he has four more inches of reach than Alvarez. Although, Alvarez has fought up a weight class so a size difference is nothing new to him. In terms of striking, Alvarez throws a lot more than Pettis, but he is also hit a lot more. Alvarez should also be the one to determine where this fight goes. Still, the reach plays a factor in the fight just like it did in the Cerrone fight for Alvarez which leads to a loss. Pettis by decision.
Travis Browne (17-3-1) vs. Matt Mitrione (9-4-0)
This fight will most likely take place on the feet and having Browne been proven he does not have the greatest chin we could be looking at an upset. Mitrione’s four losses are two by submission, one knockout by Roy Nelson and a decision loss to Cheick Kongo. Browne does not have the striking defense of Kongo, the knockout power of Nelson and will most likely keep this fight standing. Even though he is taller, the reach is the same for the two fighters. Browne has been knocked out twice by decidedly smaller fighters similar to Mitrione’s size. Plus, out of his nine wins, Mitrione has eight knockouts. Mitrione by TKO in the second.
Ross Pearson (18-9-0) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (18-4-0)
Trinaldo has only lost fights to people who can out grapple him or take to the fight to the ground which Pearson is not. he X-factor here will be a fighters speed which at 37, Trinaldo may not be the quickest while Pearson is pretty fast in his strikes. This fight is Pearson’s to lose as he can land more and quicker than Trinaldo which is not out of the question. Pearson by decision.