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UFC 210: Johnson vs Cormier 2 – Buffalo, New York

Cormier photo via ufc.com

(Last Event Record 2-3-1) Overall Record 14-18-1

After a few weeks off from the spotlight the UFC returns to put on UFC 210. The host city of Buffalo has had a bit of a longer layoff. The last event held there was UFC 7 in 1995, which featured a bare knuckle, no rounds 33 minute draw between super fight champion Ken Shamrock and Oleg Taktarov. All of the fights were bare knuckle, and the only rules were no eye poking and no fish hooking. All of the bouts were also contested without weight classes. Marco Ruas won a tournament in which he had to fight 3 times in one night, and was the first fighter to utilize leg kicks to fell an opponent. Some 22 years later a lot has changed and fans in Buffalo are going to see a brand new breed of fighters, as well as enjoy a championship match.

For those not watching in person the pay per view is starting at 10pm eastern on Saturday April 8th. Now lets make some picks.

Will Brooks (-270 favorite) vs Charles Oliveria (+230 underdog) 

To kick off the PPV you have an interesting fight at middleweight. Charles Oliveria has struggled a bit at featherweight and is now taking this chance to move up a division and hopefully see some better results after losing his last 2 fights. Will Brooks is coming off a loss to another Oliveria (Alex, no relation) but in his young career has shown impressive wrestling, good striking and a brutal clinch game. Oliveria has knockout power but also boasts a very good submission game. His 2 inch reach advantage could prove to be very valuable. Brooks has to get in close and has to control the fight. He’s a young gun and we’ll see if he takes a leap forward, or if Oliveria gets back on track. Moving up in weight could prove to be a huge advantage that I think we’ll see come in to play.

(Oliveria by TKO, Round 3) 

Patrick Cote (-160 favorite) vs Thiago Alves (+140 underdog) 

If this fight goes to a decision it may be the most surprising thing to happen the whole evening. Cote is a boxer with scary power, but tends to sit heavy on his lead leg because of that. Alves is a Muy Thai striker who is best known for punishing leg kicks which slow down an opponent and then lets Alves batter them with punches and knees.

On the other hand, Cote looks as if he’s be rounding his wrestling into form and it could prove invaluable later in the fight if he scores a take down and causes Alves to shy away from his kicks. Both men are former title contenders (Cote lost to Anderson Silva and Alves lost to George St. Pierre) and are looking to climb up the mountain one more time in their careers. Cote appears to have the edge, so we’ll see if “The Predator” can hunt down the “Pitbull”.

(Cote by TKO, Round 2) 

Cynthia Cavallo (-230 favorite) vs Pearl Gonzales (+190 underdog) 

Cavallo was very impressive in her debut at UFC 209 with a quick victory. That experience may give her the edge over Pearl Gonzales who is making her first appearance in the octagon. The former Golden Gloves boxer has developed a ground game outside the UFC and looks to be a tough customer, but Cavallo is ahead in her development, and is a member of Team Alpha Male, one of the better camps in MMA today. It won’t be long before she’s in the top ten at 115 pounds.

[Side Note: This might is now in jeopardy after an eligibility issue with Pearl Gonzales. Apparently breast implants are frowned upon. “Inflate gate” has such a nice ring to it though]

(Cavallo by Submission, Round 1) 

#4 Chris Weidman (+110 underdog) vs #5 Gegard Mousasi (-130 favorite) 

The co-main event is a huge match for both fighters trying to pry into the title picture at middleweight. Mousasi is on the best run of his career, and is one of the best all around fighters in the world right now. He can attack you with any facet of his skills and he’s likely to be successful.

The Iranian is a student of Dutch kickboxing and a tireless almost silent worker. Weidman is a former champion, coming off of two straight losses. He’s a former All American wrestler and a power puncher, and is one of the more physically imposing fighters in the division. The word is he’s in the best shape of his life, and he comes from the very solid camp of Ray Longo. Weidman is the guy with his back against the wall and his championship window closing. Mousasi could knock him off but in a three round fight, and with Weidman’s grinding style points and chances will be tough to come by.

(Weidman by Decision) 

C Daniel Cormier (-110 even) vs #1 Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (-110 even) 

Cormier owns a win over Johnson. That victory seems like an age ago. This rematch which has been moved several times due to injury is a long time coming, and giving odds makers fits as they have them even. The edge in power and explosiveness goes to Rumble, who’s known for his first round knockouts. Cormier a former USA Olympic wrestler has the edge on the mat and submitted Johnson in their first fight. Rumble dropped him in the opening round but he recovered.

Cormier grinds, and his style is depressing for opponents. Johnson has to get off first and early if he wants to win. If he can defend the takedown he has a chance in the later rounds but if its not over by the end of the first, Johnson’s chances take a steep dive. Cormier is one of the best talkers in the game, and if he sticks to the game plan he could cruise. If he gets cocky and trades punches he’ll go down, and possibly stay down.

(Cormier by Decision) 

Odds provided by UFC.com. Cornerpubsports.com in no way endorses gambling. Have a gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER 

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