Tomorrow night marks the UFC’s “biggest card of the year” (even though the end of the month’s card is much bigger), UFC 213! UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes will headline the International Fight Week card for the second year in a row, now taking on Valentina Shevchenko, the #1 Ranked Women’s Bantamweight in the world, in a rematch from last March. Under them, the card has Yoel Romero vs Robert Whittaker (the #1 and #3 Middleweights in the company) for the UFC Interim Middleweight Championship, Daniel Omielanczuk vs Curtis Blades, Fabricio Werdum vs Alistair Overeem, Anthony Pettis vs Jim Miller, and a boat load of prelims.
UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship: Amanda “Lioness” Nunes (+100) vs Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko (-100)
Our main event here is a classic brawler champion vs technician challenger battle. It’s a really, REALLY good fight, and while it happened fairly recently, I think Valentina (who came out on the losing end of the March encounter) has become a changed fighter. She’s got an incredibly dominant win over Holly Holm, and a quick submission win over Julianna Pena since that loss, and has the confidence of a young Bob. Amanda Nunes however has killed both Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey since, and this is actually the first Women’s Bantamweight Championship fight to not feature either of those women since 2011 in Strikeforce. Time will be the story here, because if Shevchenko can endure Nunes’ output in the opening rounds, she should win. Nunes gasses badly, and has never been into championship rounds in her life. She hasn’t been to the second round in over a year. I personally don’t think Valentina will survive those opening rounds, though, because Nunes has found her reach, found her game, and became a fucking POWERHOUSE of a hitter. Even if a knockout doesn’t happen, as Valentina hasn’t been KO’d/TKO’d in seven years, she could get dropped and the ground game favors the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt.
Winner: Amanda “Lioness” Nunes
UFC Interim Middleweight Championship: Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero (+110) vs Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker (-110)
This is pretty clearly the best matchup on the card. Yoel Romero’s gone on record saying he believes God sent him down to Earth to become the UFC Middleweight Champion, and uh, he definitely looks like a guy crafted by the big man himself.
This is also the only fight I’ve got action on, because while I feel the matchup is great, and these are two of the best middleweights in the world, Yoel Romero should NOT be at even odds. His knockout of Chris Weidman at UFC 205 is one of the scarier things I’ve ever seen, and I lost money on that one, so lets hope I make it back here.
Winner: Yoel Romero
Heavyweight Division: Daniel Omielanczuk (+590) vs Curtis “Razor” Blaydes (-665)
It’s a fight like this, while fun, that makes me cringe when the UFC calls this the biggest card of the year. They can’t say that with a straight face while THIS card is already booked.
Razor Blaydes gon’ knock this boy the fuck out.
Winner: Curtis “Razor” Blaydes
Heavyweight Division: Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum (+115) vs Alistair “The Reem” Overeem (-120)
Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem will complete their trilogy tomorrow night, in what could be a fight for a title shot, although that may go to Francis Ngannou if he defeats Junior Dos Santos. The Heavyweight Division isn’t great right now, and Stipe’s gonna wind up cycling through the same 3 or 4 guys he already beat if more prospects don’t step up. In their first fight, Reem bested Werdum in almost everything until getting caught with a submission. In their second, Reem won. In this one, I think he’s gonna get redemption for that first fight he should’ve won, and I think Werdum’s gonna get knocked out.
Winner: Alistair “The Reem” Overeem
Lightweight Division: Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (-230) vs Jim Miller (+210)
Jim Miller just seems to finagle his way onto every International Fight Week card, huh? These two are both way past their prime and shells of their former selves, so I honestly couldn’t give less of a shit. Maybe Pettis will win. Maybe not. Probably though.
Winner: Anthony “Showtime” Pettis
As for tonight’s Ultimate Fighter card, I think the debuting Justin Gaethje will beat Michael Johnson (who’s a little shithead I hate). I don’t have a ton of predictions other than that, though, it’s full of pretty close fights.