UFC Light Heavyweight Championship: Daniel Cormier (c) (18-1) vs. Anthony Johnson (22-5)
Luke Irwin: Last time around, Cormier was able to work easily around a gassed Rumble, and dump him on his head. I see no reason why this won’t be any different. Cormier’s chin hasn’t gotten better and no way Rumble can go five round like DC can. Cormier via R3 Submission.
Nolan Howell: All Rumble needs to do against Cormier is fight a more measured fight on the feet. Can he? We’ll see. The opportunity is there if he doesn’t get too blitz happy and get taken down by Cormier. The wrestling of Cormier will be the X-factor if he can get Rumble down and work him on the mat for a round or two. Because of Cormier being competent on the feet and able to defend until he can get a takedown, he is the safer bet because of his more rounded game. Daniel Cormier by unanimous decision.
Middleweight Bout: Chris Weidman (13-2) vs. Gegard Mousasi (41-6-2)
Luke: I can’t pick against Weidman, here. I can’t wrap my mind around him not being smart and grinding Mousasi down. He needs to get an ugly win here to get back into contention. Weidman via UD.
Nolan: If Weidman is smart, he will know where his bread is buttered here and take it there against a takedown-prone Mousasi. Otherwise, it will be a test on the feet where Weidman has suffered two knockout losses in his last two fights. Weidman takes it back to basics. Chris Weidman by third-round TKO.
Women’s Strawweight Bout: Cynthia Calvillo (4-0) vs. Pearl Gonzalez (6-1)
Luke: I don’t think this will be particularly close, as Calvillo will use pace to smother Gonzalez until she gets to an advantageous position. Calvilla via R2 Submission.
Nolan: Blind pick here based on seeing Calvillo impress last time out. Cynthia Calvillo by second-round TKO.
Welterweight Bout: Patrick Cote (23-10) vs. Thiago Alves (21-11)
Luke: Cote vs. Alves! Partying like it’s 2008 in this bitch! But seriously, I don’t have much faith in Alves to put together a consistent performance in 2017. Cote doesn’t offer much more and I have no idea why this is on a PPV main card. Cote via UD.
Nolan: Alves doesn’t seem to be the same fighter anymore and Cote is in the midst of a late resurgence. While based on skill set and abilities in their primes, I would pick Alves by a landslide, timing seems to be the main factor here as Cote has put together an improbable run. Patrick Cote by first-round KO.
Lightweight Bout: Charles Oliveira (21-7) vs. Will Brooks (19-2)
Luke: Brooks has been rather underwhelming since joining the UFC, and while he could grind out a win here, I think Oliveira catches him on the ground as he is wont to do. Oliveira via R3 Submission.
Nolan: Oliveira is the more dangerous fighter, but that tends to leave exploitable holes in a skill set and I think that will be the case here as Brooks makes it a long and ugly night for Oliveria with his wrestling and selective striking. Will Brooks by unanimous decision.