International fight week has been a huge success for the UFC and everything is coming to a close with the UFC 213 card. The card is going to be headlined by a bout for the vacant UFC Interim Middleweight Title as Yoel Romero faces Robert Whittaker. Also, Alistair Overeem faces Fabricio Werdum and Anthony Pettis returns to the lightweight division.
UFC Interim Middleweight Title Decision Fight
Yoel “Soldier Of God” Romero (12-1-0) vs. Robert “Bobby Knuckles” Whittaker (18-4-0)
Romero is going to be entering the fight riding an eight fight winning streak and he hasn’t suffered a defeat in nearly six years. Whittaker is entering this fight on a seven fight winning streak and he was the winner of the UFC Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes. Romero has already defeated two former UFC champions, as he has defeated former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida and former UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman. Whittaker has earned half of his professional MMA wins by knockout and four of his last seven wins have also come by knockout.
Prediction: Romero is going to pressure Whittaker early, but Whittaker starts picking apart Romero in the third round, leading to a fourth round finish for Whittaker.
UFC Heavyweight Division Fight
Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum (21-6-1) vs. Alistair “The Reem” Overeem (42-15-0-1NC)
Werdum is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, having defeated Cain Velasquez at UFC 188 in June 2015 to win the gold. Overeem has won five of his last six, which includes victories over a pair of former UFC Heavyweight Champions in Andrei Arlovski and Junior Dos Santos. Werdum won the first meeting between the two back at PRIDE FC Total Elimination Absolute in May 2006. Overeem would walk away victorious in the rematch against Overeem at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum in June of 2011.
Prediction: Overeem has the power to put away any heavyweight, but Werdum plays elusive for a while, before outstriking Overeem in the last two rounds to get a decision.
UFC Heavyweight Division Fight
Curtis “Razor” Blaydes (7-1-0) vs. Daniel Omielanczuk (19-7-1-1NC)
Blaydes is going to enter the fight on the strength of a two fight winning streak, having defeated Cody East and Adam Milstead. Omielanczuk is currently in the midst of a two fight losing streak and he hasn’t earned a victory in just under a year. Blaydes is going to be making his UFC pay-per-view debut in this fight, the fighter has also previously fought in the Resurrection Fighting Alliance. Omielanczuk has seen all but three of his fights in the UFC go the distance, the fighter has a record of 2-3-0 in those fights that go all three rounds.
Prediction: Blaydes looked like a monster in his last two fights and he does so again as he finishes Omielanczuk with strikes in the first round.
UFC Lightweight Division Fight
Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (19-6-0) vs. Jim Miller (28-9-0-1NC)
Pettis is returning to the lightweight division after a two fight stint at featherweight, where he lost a UFC Interim Featherweight Title Fight to Max Holloway at UFC 206. Miller has won three of his last four in the UFC, with those wins coming over Takanori Gomi, Joe Lauzon and Thiago Alves. Pettis is also a former UFC Lightweight Champion, defeating Ben Henderson at UFC 164 to win the gold. Miller has seen his last three fights go the distance and the last time he got a finish was over Takanori Gomi at UFC 200.
Prediction: Pettis is a fighter far removed from the champion he once was, Miller uses his wrestling to ground Pettis and earn a decision win.
UFC Bantamweight Division Fight
Rob Font (13-2-0) vs. Douglas Silva “D’ Silva” De Andrade (24-1-0-1NC)
Font has won three of four fights during his UFC tenure, with his last victory coming over Matt Schnell at the UFC Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale. De Andrade enters this fight riding a two fight winning streak, those wins have come over the duo of Cody Gibson and Enrique Briones. Font will not only be competing for the first time in 2017, but is also going to be competing for the first time in over seven months. De Andrade has only suffered a single defeat those far in his professional MMA career and that loss came to Zubaira Tukhugov at UFC Fight Night 36.
Prediction: De Andrade is one of the best strikers in the bantamweight division, Font provides a challenge, but De Andrade ultimately finishes him in the second round.
Preliminary Card Quick Picks
Aleksei Oleinik over Travis Browne
Chad Laprise over Brian Camozzi
Thiago Santos over Gerald Meerschaert
Jordan Mein over Belal Muhammad
Cody Stamann over Terrion Ware
Trevin Giles over James Bochnovic