Ronda Rousey returns to The Octagon to defend her UFC bantamweight title yet again, this time with some hard feelings against Brazil’s Bethe Correia. Is Correia the one to finally defeat the most-dominant fighter in the UFC? Let’s breakdown UFC 190.
Ronda Rousey ($12200) vs Bethe Correia ($7200)
Bethe Correia is 9-0, but beating Shayna Baszler and Jessamyn Duke means absolutely nothing now. There is no one like Ronda Rousey. The only way Rousey loses here is if she has lost her edge, and seeing as how she wants to avenge the losses of her “Four Horsewomen” teammates to Correia, that’s not going to happen. The big question here isn’t who wins the fight. It’s whether Correia taps out or let’s Rousey break her arm to finish the fight.
Pick: Rousey by submission
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua ($10500) vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira ($8900)
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, or “Lil Nog,” took what looked to be a career-altering beating at the hands of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. Even without taking that into consideration, I think Shogun is stronger, faster and a much better striker. This is my lock of the night.
Pick: Rua by KO/TKO
Fernando Bruno ($9200) vs Glaico Franca ($10200)
It’s always a risky proposition picking a fight between two combatants making their UFC debuts. So it goes here between Bruno and Franca, who will be battling for The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 4 lightweight tournament championship. Bruno is a submission specialist who has yet to knock out anyone in his pro career. Franca is a 6’0″ tall lightweight who is well-rounded and nearly ten years younger than Bruno. I think Franca will take this, but it will be by decision as Bruno has never been finished. Still, this is likely a no-play for me.
Pick: Franca by decision
Reginaldo Vieira ($8100) vs Dileno Lopes ($11100)
The Vieira vs. Lopes fight will crown the winner of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 4 bantamweight tournament. It’s all or nothing for Vieira. In 15 pro fights he has only gone to decision twice. He also needed a bit of luck to get into the final, having lost during the competition but later brought back due to an injury. Meanwhile, Lopes was choking people out left and right on the show, and he’ll cap off his tremendous tournament run with another submission win.
Pick: Lopes by submission
Stefan Struve ($10800) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira ($8600)
“Big Nog” will enter The Octagon before his brother fights, seemingly a rare occurrence. This is a tough fight to call because Struve is bigger and younger, but he’s been laid out two times in a row. Big Nog is old and I wonder how many big punches he can actually take before his brain shuts it all down. I’d like to think that Big Nog will be able to work his ground game against Struve and pull off the submission win, but I think the more likely result is Struve firing off a combination that puts Big Nog to sleep.
Pick: Struve by KO/TKO
Soa Palelei ($10600) vs Antonio Silva ($8800)
Antonio “Big Foot” Silva hasn’t been the same since his all-out war with Mark Hunt, and the fact that he can no longer use TRT also seems to be a factor. Soa Palelei has big power, and he’ll use it to knock Silva silly in what will be a statement win for him.
Pick: Palelei by KO/TKO
Claudia Gadelha ($11200) vs Jessica Aguilar ($8200)
I think this will be a fun fight to watch, but I don’t like it for my Draft Kings team. I don’t think Gadelha can finish Aguilar, and $11200 for a decision win just doesn’t cut it. Aguilar might be a decent sneaky play at $8200, but I don’t expect her to rack up the points either. It will likely be Gadelha in a decision win, and picking either of these fighters doesn’t make a lot of sense in that scenario. However, if you run multiple lineups, you could do worse than Aguilar at $8200 if you think she can pull off the win.
Pick: Gadelha by decision
Demian Maia ($10400) vs Neil Magny ($9000)
Maia is basically indestructible, having not been finished in a fight since back in 2009. While his ground game still draws raves, he’s much too content to get in boxing matches that inevitably go to the judges’ scorecards. Magny seems to get better with each fight, and he’s fantastic in winning scrambles. I don’t worry about him getting tapped by Maia. Magny will outscore the Brazilian and take home yet another win. Will that be worth $9000? That probably depends on the rest of your lineup.
Pick: Magny by decision
Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante ($8800) vs Patrick Cummins ($10600)
I’m a bit surprised at the difference in salaries here. Cavalcante has big power to go with a lot of experience, and I think this is a fight that should be in your lineup no matter who you side with, because there will likely be a finish here. My money is on Cavalcante, as I think Cummins is considerably over-hyped. Cavalcante isn’t one of the more active fighters in the UFC, but he’ll make people remember him on Saturday.
Pick: Cavalcante by KO/TKO
Warlley Alves ($11100) vs Nordine Taleb ($8300)
Taleb has fared well in the UFC after a stint in Bellator, racking up three straight wins. Alves is the former TUF Brazil champ who is coming off an impressive win against Alan Jouban. He also has an incredible ground game. Alves will get this to the ground and submit Taleb in short order, scoring 100+ points in the process.
Pick: Alves by submission
Leandro Issa ($8400) vs Iuri Alcantara ($11000)
Alcantara is a beast who has been in the cage with some of the UFC’s top-level talent, including Ricardo Lamas and Urijah Faber. He’s good in scrambles, which will serve him well since Issa loves to get the fight to the ground. Look for Alcantara to overpower Issa, get top position and beat him up until the ref steps in.
Pick: Alcantara by KO/TKO
Clint Hester ($10300) vs Vitor Miranda ($9100)
I’m a huge fan of Clint Hester, who has the tools that kill: speed and power. He’ll end Miranda’s night in the first with a highlight-reel knockout.
Pick: Hester by KO/TKO
Hugo Viana ($10900) vs Guido Cannetti ($8500)
Two former TUF fighters will open the prelims, and both love to strike. This could be a slugfest/brawl, especially with it being the first fight of the night. Gameplans might go out the window when the leather starts flying. If that happens, it favors Viana.
Pick: Viana by KO/TKO