There have been some big fight cards in UFC history. UFC 100 was a mammoth event featuring three genuine main events. UFC 194 had two of the most anticipated fights in the history of the business, while UFC 193 was the largest UFC show of all time in terms of attendance.
All three events will be dwarfed by the monster that is UFC 200, which takes place this Sunday afternoon (AEST). Headlining the event is one of the most anticipated rematches of all time when Daniel Corimer defends his title against John Jones.
There is a ridiculous amount of hype surrounding the event, with non-stop action predicted. One thing that is much harder to predict is the results of the fights themselves.
Putting it all on the line, here is the way I see the big five pay-per-view fights going:
Cain Velasquez vs Travis Browne
This fight is a heavyweight bout that could headline a pay-per-view on its own, and one that has genuine title ramifications.
Former two-time champion Velasquez was widely regarded as the number one heavyweight on the planet until he was beaten by Fabricio Verdum.
A dominant win from the Mexican superstar would see him line up for a future title shot against Stipe Moicic, a mouth-watering contest to say the least.
Standing in his way is Travis Browne, who would catipault himself into rare territory if he can upset the former champion.
Browne, quite frankly, has nothing to lose in this contest, while he has huge fights, and riches to gain. A victory would put him right in the title frame.
Prediction: Despite Browne having it all to fight for, Velasquez is the best heavyweight of the modern era, and should have too much class. He’ll be looking for a dominant win in front of a huge audience to ensure him a chance to become a three-time champion. Cain via TKO in the second
Jose Aldo vs Frankie Edgar
This fight is a straight-out war for the next shot at Conor McGregor and his featherweight title, a fight that both Aldo and Edgar want more than anything.
Another fight that could headline a pay-per-view, as it has before at UFC 156, this could be a sleeper for fight of the night.
Aldo is returning to the octagon for the first time since his early knockout loss to McGregor, and will be looking to use Edgar to prove a point and send a message to the champion.
Edgar is looking to secure a shot at the title while cementing himself as one of the best lighter weight fighters of the modern era.
Both men can inflict pain on the feet or on the mat, and neither man will be looking to ease out a points victory, meaning there should be fireworks here.
Prediction: I’m a huge fan of Frankie Edgar, but Aldo is more motivated that ever before in his career and looks as though he’d lose a leg to avenge his loss to McGregor. Aldo via stoppage
Miesha Tate vs Amanda Nunes
Miesha Tate has finally earned the title she has worked so hard for, and will not want to drop it in her very first title defence.
Amanda Nunes may not have the household name power of the Rouseys and Holms of the division but has earned a title shot with three straight victories.
A win here for Tate would mean a big money rematch with either Rousey or Holm is in her future and would further establish herself as a poster woman of the division.
There is a lot of respect here between two elite fighters, but when that cage door closes, that will likely go right out the window.
Prediction: As good as Nunes is, and she can end this fight very quickly, Tate’s riding a wave of momentum right now that won’t see her stopped. Her ability to take the fight wherever she wants is a huge advantage and I expect her to win either via late stoppage or via points.
Brock Lesnar vs Mark Hunt
Brock Lesnar’s presence makes this truly the biggest pay-per-view of all time. Currently one of the WWE’s biggest stars, if not the biggest star, he is also a former UFC champion and headlined the UFC 100 super-card.
Plenty will forget Lesnar’s NCAA history, where he was a division one champion and one of the most decorated amateur wrestlers of the era.
Mark Hunt is a super dangerous opponent with genuine knock out power, hell bent on securing a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship.
Lesnar is the far superior wrestler and will have a huge advantage should he be able to take the fight to the ground, however Hunt has a massive advantage on the feet.
Lesnar’s final two fights in the UFC ended via knock out leading to his chin to be questioned. Hunt is not the man you want testing your ability to take a shot. Lesnar needs to get this to the ground, and quickly.
Prediction: I’m probably not Brock Lesnar’s biggest fan, but I’d be in the top five, both as a wrestler and a mixed martial artist. That being said, he has been out of the fight game for many years, while Mark Hunt has found career best form. Hunt can end this fight in a split second, and his take down defence is incredible. Hunt via tko in the second.
Daniel Cormier vs John Jones
When UFC 200 lost Conor McGregor, plenty said that the event was doomed to fall short of the hype, however the announcement of the grudge rematch many have been waiting for, the questions about the event’s appeal quickly disappeared.
John Jones never lost the title, but was stripped following some mistakes in his personal life. Daniel Cormier won the vacant title in dominant fashion, but won’t be recognised as the true champion by many until he beats Jones.
A second loss to Jones would see Cormier’s legacy questioned, while a win would cement in in a huge way.
Jones looked great in his return to the octagon, but questions remain as to whether he can return to the incredible form that say him established as the pound-for-pound king of the sport.
This is a fight that could end at any time, in any fashion. Both men have knock out power, both are able to out wrestle almost any other opponent, and both can submit you from almost anywhere.
Jones dominated Cormier in the original fight, but Cormier has improved big time since, while Jones has spent a fair bit of time focusing on other things other than training.
Prediction: This is genuinely difficult to predict, as the skill sets of both men are so good that this could end in a flash. I think if both men produce their very best on the night, Jones is capable of producing more than any other fighter on the planet. Jones via decision.