UFC 207 Preview – Nunes Vs Rousey

Photo via Sherdog

Photo via Sherdog

Check out our UFC 207 preview.

A great year for the UFC may end in a bang if all things go right. But it possibly may not. Ronda Rousey, the UFC’s second biggest draw, has decided to not do much promotion for the fight. It’s also on a Friday, which will definitely hurt the PPV buys.

The return of Ronda Rousey looked to be a sure-fire way to close out the year strongly. While the show will do a good buyrate, it’s more so about how many buys they will lose because of the two factors above. I know that some folks aren’t as hot on the fight as others, but man, Ronda Rousey is fighting. It should be must see.

Rousey did show up for staredown at the weigh-ins. She’s jacked. But the champ, Amanda Nunes, looks decidedly bigger.

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:

GG: 57-25-1
Jim: 51-31-1
Duan: 50-32-1
Alan: 49-33-1
John: 49-33-1
Heidi: 49-33-1
Alex: 46-36-1

Here’s our UFC 207 preview:

Louis Smolka Vs Ray Borg

Duan: Louis Smolka
Alan: Louis Smolka
John: Louis Smolka
Heidi: Louis Smolka
Alex: Louis Smolka
GG: Louis Smolka

Dong Hyun Kim Vs Tarec Saffiedine

Duan: Tarec Saffiedine
Alan: Dong Hyun Kim
John: Dong Hyun Kim
Heidi: Dong Hyun Kim
Alex: Dong Hyun Kim
GG: Tarec Saffiedine

T.J. Dillashaw Vs John Lineker

Duan: T.J. Dillashaw
Alan: T.J. Dillashaw
John: T.J. Dillashaw
Heidi: T.J. Dillashaw
Alex: T.J. Dillashaw
GG: T.J. Dillashaw

Dominick Cruz Vs Cody Garbrandt

Alan: Dominick Cruz by decision
While I don’t think it’s possible to destroy someone like Dominick Cruz has destroyed poor Cody Garbrandt in the pre fighter hype sessions, I do think the fight itself will end up getting pretty close to that. Cruz is clearly deep inside his young opponent’s head and I think he has this won before even entering the cage. A comfortable decision victory for the champ is the likely result.

Alex: Dominick Cruz by 3rd round TKO
Dominick Cruz shouldn’t be where he is today. When fighters start to break down, it is a trend that goes in one direction. It looked as if Cruz wasn’t going to have much of a professional fighting career any longer due to the fact he couldn’t stay healthy. Specifically, his knees appeared to have structural problems. Yet, once again he is a dominant champion. This Friday night, he will have the ability to showcase what he does best. Garbrandt throws heat with every punch, but doesn’t use a lot of angles during his approach. I believe that Garbrandt’s style will provide for a special opportunity for Cruz to display what he is good at, which is angles and attacks.

Duan: Dominick Cruz
John: Dominick Cruz
Heidi: Cody Garbrandt
GG: Dominick Cruz

Amanda Nunes Vs Ronda Rousey

Duan: Ronda Rousey by 1st round submission
For me, there are only two ways this one can really go. Either it’s gone for Rousey and she gets found out fast OR she is the same fighter she’s always been and she takes Nunes to school. There’s no reason Ronda shouldn’t still be at her peak physically so it’s a question of whether or not the motivation is still there. I think the time away will have served her well. She’ll come in hungry to get her title back and put on a show.

Heidi: Amanda Nunes by TKO
Nunes has the power in the standup, Rousey has the ground game on lockdown. Without being able to talk to Rousey this week, I do feel at a disadvantage not knowing her mental state or what her training camp was like. Sometimes when I’ve spoken with fighters, I’ve been able to gauge where their confidence level is at. In this case, there will be none of that, which is why I think if Rousey gets struck by Nunes early, it may bring back some memories from her fight with Holm. Perhaps that will shake her. Maybe it won’t. Maybe Ronda will duck under a punch and get a takedown and armbar Nunes. If she gets passed the first two rounds, I think she can. But with being out as long as she has, and the way we last saw her in the cage, if she stands with Nunes for too long, it’s trouble.

GG: Ronda Rousey by 2nd round submission
I should know better than to pick against Heidi in fights concerning the women’s division as she’s been on point lately with her picks. My head is telling me that the smart pick is Nunes and if I had money on the fight, I think I’d lean there. But my heart is saying to go with Ronda.

We’ve seen this before. We’ve seen whirlwinds come into combat sports, get bullied, and often, they’re never the same. I hope that doesn’t happen here. Strategically, if Ronda makes it her fight, she has a clear path to victory. But if Nunes takes a page out of Holly Holm’s book and neutralizes all of Rousey’s strengths, what’s Rousey’s plan B? She didn’t have one last time. Will she this time?

I think Rousey weather’s the storm and catches a tired Nunes in the second round. But in no way do I think this fight will be easy.

Alan: Ronda Rousey
John: Ronda Rousey
Alex: Amanda Nunes

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