Catchweight Bout: Robert Whittaker (c) (19-4) vs. Yoel Romero (13-2)
Nolan Howell: Whittaker picked up the win last fight and I think it is safer to pick him as the younger fighter with still some room to improve overall. Whittaker is no slouch at wrestling himself and tends to use that with his karate footwork to maintain a sort of sprawl and brawl style. That ability to fight off the back foot will be key for the blitzing pace of Romero and to keep him fearful of shooting in or charging throughout, whereas Romero tends to use the fear of the takedown to catch his opponents with something surprising on the feet. With that prepared to fight in retreat style, Whittaker takes the rematch. Robert Whittaker by unanimous decision.
Interim UFC Welterweight Championship: Colby Covington (13-1) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (28-9)
Nolan Howell: Dos Anjos has struggled with wrestlers in the past, against the likes of Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov, but those fighters were also equal to or better than dos Anjos on the feet. Covington showed some serious flaws in his striking against Demian Maia last time out and dos Anjos will be able to make him pay for that more than Maia did, while being almost as troubling on the ground. There just don’t seem like that many avenues for Covington to win unless he is able to blanket the more dangerous fighter. Rafael dos Anjos by third-round submission.
Women’s Featherweight Bout: Holly Holm (11-4) vs. Megan Anderson (8-2)
Nolan Howell: Holm would be best served to fight on the retreat and make Anderson pressure her, but not let her get too close as Anderson’s size and power on the inside could spell trouble for a range fighter like Holm. Anderson isn’t anything Holm hasn’t seen on the technical side and the safer bet is her using her kicks to keep Anderson at range for long enough. Holly Holm by unanimous decision.
Heavyweight Bout: Andrei Arlovski (27-15) vs. Tai Tuivasa (7-0)
Nolan Howell: Arlovski has somehow put two wins together after a five-fight losing streak, but the competition hasn’t been as impressive with wins over Junior Albini and a changed fighter in Stefan Struve. Tuivasa is a power striker and that is always a problem for Arlovski, especially at 39. While the technique is still there, Tuivasa should be able to clip him. Tai Tuivasa by first-round KO.
Welterweight Bout: CM Punk (0-1) vs. Mike Jackson (0-1)
Nolan Howell: Punk is almost 40 and still in the infancy of his training. while Jackson is younger and has a lot more time under his belt in the gym at the very least. Strange things can happen at this low of a level, but I will take the younger guy with more experience if nothing else. Unless there is something that is really clear to be taken advantage of on Jackson that has been shown to Punk, it really can’t play out any other way. Mike Jackson by first-round TKO.