The first UFC pay-per-view of 2017 is upon us and history will be made in the main event of tonight’s UFC 208 card. The first ever UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion will be crowned in the main event as Holly Holm faces Germaine De Randamie. Also, Derek Brunson faces Anderson Silva and Ronaldo Souza looks for another win at middleweight.
UFC Women’s Featherweight Title Decision Fight
Holly Holm (10-2-0) vs. Germaine De Randamie (6-3-0)
Holm will be entering the fight riding a two fight losing streak, having dropped fights to both Miesha Tate and Valentina Shevchenko. De Randamie has won three of four fights under the UFC banner, most notably defeating Julie Kedzie at UFC On Fox 8. Holm is a former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, she defeated Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 to win the gold. De Randamie has only suffered a single loss thus far in UFC competition, that loss came to current UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes.
Prediction: The majority of this fight should be contested on the feet, they are equal with the punching game, but De Randamie has the more fluid kicking game and she finishes Holm with strikes in the second round.
UFC Middleweight Division Fight
Derek Brunson (16-4-0) vs. Anderson Silva (33-8-0-1NC)
Brunson has won five of his last six under the UFC banner, with the more notable wins coming over Lorenz Larkin, Sam Alvey and Uriah Hall. Silva will be entering the fight on a four fight losing streak and he hasn’t earned a victory in over four years time. Brunson has seen his last five fights end in the opening round, it has been over two years since one of Brunson’s fights went past the first round. Silva is the longest reigning UFC Middleweight Champion in the promotions history, he held the belt for over seven years time.
Prediction: Silva has slowed down in recent years, but he’s still a solid counter striker, Brunson overwhelms Silva with combinations early on route to a first round TKO finish.
UFC Middleweight Division Fight
Tim Boetsch (20-10-0) vs. Ronaldo Souza (23-4-0-1NC)
Boetsch will be entering the fight on a two fight winning streak, with those victories coming over Rafael Natal and the late Josh Samman. Souza has won six of seven fights under the UFC banner, with some notable wins coming over Yushin Okami, Francis Carmont, Gegard Mousasi and Vitor Belfort. Boetscho is currently on his first winning streak in over four years time, his last winning streak lasted over a year and saw him win four fights. Souza is a former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, he lost the belt to Luke Rockhold in September 2011.
Prediction: Boetsch has a strong wrestling game and some good striking, but Souza is one of the best submission artists in MMA, Souza taps Boetsch in the first round.
UFC Light Heavyweight Division Fight
Jared Cannonier (9-1-0) vs. Glover Teixeira (25-5-0)
Cannonier has won two of three fights under the UFC banner, with those two wins coming over Cyril Asker and Ion Cutelaba. Teixeira is coming off of a thirteen second knockout loss to Anthony Johnson at UFC 202, it was the quickest knockout loss of his career. Cannonier is a former Alaska Fighting Championships Light Heavyweight Champion, he defeated Tony Lopez in January 2014 to win the gold. Teixeira won three fights before the loss to Johnson and he has also previously challenged for the UFC Light Heavyweight Title.
Prediction: Cannonier has good striking and can get the takedowns when he needs to, but Teixeira has superior striking and he finishes Cannonier with strikes in the second round.
UFC Lightweight Division Fight
Jim Miller (28-8-0-1NC) vs. Dustin Poirier (20-5-0)
Miller will be entering the fight on a three fight winning streak, defeating Takanori Gomi, Joe Lauzon and Thiago Alves. Poirier is coming off of his first loss in the lightweight division, which came to Michael Johnson at UFC Fight Night 94. Miller will be competing on a UFC pay-per-view main card for the first time in over two years, his last appearance on a PPV main card was a win over Yancy Medeiros at UFC 172. Poirier previously competed as a featherweight in the UFC, earning a grand total of eight wins in the promotion.
Prediction: Miller’s best shot at winning is to use his wrestling game, Poirier uses his striking to keep Miller at bay before submitting him in the third round.
Preliminary Card Quick Picks
Randy Brown over Belal Muhammad
Wilson Reis over Ulka Sasaki
Islam Makhachev over Nik Lentz
Rick Glenn over Philippe Nover
Ryan LaFlare over Roan Carneiro