UFC 198 Preview – Werdum Vs Miocic

UFC 198 preview

Check out our UFC 198 preview.

After all of the UFC 200 and Conor McGregor drama, there hasn’t been much of an emphasis placed on marketing this show. And it’s a sneaky good one. There’s three fights on the prelims that could be on the main card. We’re even bringing one of the prelims into our preview since Anderson Silva’s fight with Uriah Hall was scrapped because of an injury to Anderson. (We also didn’t like the fight they chose to replace it on the main card. We make our own rules.)

In addition to the FGB crew, included in our picks are John LaRocca, president of Premier, Las Vegas Review-Journal’s own Heidi Fang, and our jiu-jitsu expert, Alex Goff.

Here’s how we’re doing so far:
John: 15-8
Duan: 14-9
Jim: 13-10
GG: 13-10
Alan: 12-11
Alex: 11-12
Heidi: 9-14

Here’s our UFC 198 preview:

Demian Maia Vs Matt Brown

Heidi: Demian Maia
Without question, Matt Brown is one of the most intrepid fighters the UFC has. Never one to back down from a battle, Brown wanted this fight because it’s the biggest challenge he could take. That’s bold and I love it. But, Demian Maia is bar none, the most elite submission specialist of the welterweight division (and possibly even in the UFC). To date, Brown has been finished by submission nine times in his professional career. Even if MMA math isn’t an exact science, I think Maia will take this one.

Duan: Demian Maia
Alan: Demian Maia
John: Demian Maia
Alex: Demian Maia
Cactus Jim: Demian Maia
GG: Demian Maia

Maurício Rua Vs Corey Anderson

GG: Corey Anderson by decision
Anderson’s UFC career really got started when he knocked out Matt Van Buren in the TUF finale. But he hasn’t won a single fight by stoppage since, going 4-1 since with all his wins being by decision, including barely eking one out over Filthy Tom Lawlor in a fight that many thought the filthy one won.

Shogun might be the oldest 34-year old in the UFC and he hasn’t looked great in a couple years. On this stage, inside a huge arena of fans behind him completely, he could have another great performance in him. But Anderson is patient and I think he’ll be fully content with stretching this fight out and winning on points. He’s fairly inexperienced and that probably will hurt him, especially early on, but I just don’t see Shogun having enough in the tank to put him away, which he’ll probably have to do.

Duan: Maurício Rua
Alan: Corey Anderson
John: Corey Anderson
Heidi: Corey Anderson
Alex: Corey Anderson
Cactus Jim: Maurício Rua

Cristiane Justino Vs Leslie Smith

Cactus Jim: Cristiane Justino by 1st round TKO
Smith is a tough cookie with a lot of fight in her, but Justino is a stone cold killer who has left more women waking up wondering what the hell happened to them than Bill Cosby. In her UFC debut I can’t imagine this playing out any other way than a swift one sided mauling of Smith by Justino.

Duan: Cristiane Justino
Alan: Cristiane Justino
John: Cristiane Justino
Heidi: Cristiane Justino
Alex: Cristiane Justino
GG: Cristiane Justino

Ronaldo Souza Vs Vitor Belfort

Alan: Ronaldo Souza by 1st round TKO
Under “questionable” means, Vitor Belfort had quite the late career resurgence in the early part of this decade. That said, in the last three years he’s only defeated one man – Dan Henderson, who himself is suffering from the same “restrictions” that may or may not be currently handcuffing Belfort. Yes, I’m completely beating around the bush that is HGH. We all know the story at this point on Vitor, but in this fight I don’t think any of it matters. At any time, on any drugs, I don’t think Belfort beats Ronaldo Jacare Souza. Jacare has at times in his career been one of the most decisive, impressive fighters in the world. He’s an absolute monster on the ground and had finished 5 of his last 7 wins in the first round. He’s composed on his feet and won’t be overwhelmed by Belfort. I see a fired up Jacare eager to make up for his loss to Yoel Romero, coming in here and handling Vitor in the first round.

Duan: Ronaldo Souza
John: Ronaldo Souza
Heidi: Ronaldo Souza
Alex: Ronaldo Souza
Cactus Jim: Ronaldo Souza
GG: Ronaldo Souza

Fabrício Werdum Vs Stipe Miocic

Duan: Fabrício Werdum by decision
Werdum is a guy who up until winning the title his improvements were consistently undervalued. I feel the same can be said about Miocic right now. He has made some big, big strides over the past 18 months and he really is a deserving challenger. He’s got a shot against anybody in a stand up battle and he likely even has an edge over the champion in that department. I usually favour the guy with more ways to win and that’s Werdum. He’s proved himself at the higher level, but at nearly 39, how many championship fights does he have left?

Alex: Fabrício Werdum by 3rd round TKO
Stipe Miocic is a good heavy weight fighter. This Saturday, he will step in with a great heavyweight fighter. It is amazing that Werdum is now having the best part of his career. Coming from jiu jitsu, he was seen as a prospect in Pride Fighting Championships where drug testing was outlawed. We will never know looking back who was on what during that era. Then he bounced between UFC and Strikeforce where it seemed fairly easy for these fighters to cheat while being tested. Those days are gone as it seems much harder to cheat today. Werdum, under enhanced testing, is having the best part of his career. Mixing his jiu jitsu, which is elite, good striking, and all-around toughness is proving a tough combination. Werdum does things in his grappling that you are told won’t work in a fight, which is a sign of how talented he is. Stipe will need to rise to occasion to take down Werdum, but his combination of power and speed may give the champion issues. I believe the champion will retain, but it will be a good fight.

Alan: Stipe Miocic
John: Fabrício Werdum
Heidi: Fabrício Werdum
Cactus Jim: Fabrício Werdum
GG: Stipe Miocic

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