MadLab’s UFC 245 Breakdown and Predictions!!! Here is what Twitter is saying…
UFC 245 MAIN CARD
Covington $7300 vs Usman $8900
This fight has been a benchmark fight for quite some time. It was just a matter of time before these two would cross paths and their worlds would collide. The similarity in styles between the two at first glance made things a bit non appealing. A fight where two wrestles would have a jock measuring contest in wrestling seems to be what was on the menu. It seemed a bit more stale and boring than the names on paper portrayed to be. However, it is clear that both men have found new weapons that they are starting to feel more comfortable with using in their approach. There is clearly no love loss between the two men and animosity is chipping the paint off the ceiling. I was never a Colby supporter. His mouth has always seemed faster than his game and the clear act that he puts on comes across extremely fake. However, the boy can fight and has a gas tank for days. The game plan in a normal setting for Colby is quite simple. Engage you with strikes until he can suck in your hips and latch on from there making you carrying his weight at a pace that is not slowing down anywhere in the fight. Strikers would have a clear issue here. Take away range along with space and you are dead to rights against someone like Colby. However, with someone like Usman. who can match his wrestling, Colby will need to reach deeper to figure this one out. Usman presents a bathroom mirror for Colby in a sense he is fighting what has made him so successful thus far. Not many people can figure out his riddle or keep up with the pace of it. The question is, does he have the antidote to extinguish that flame himself? Usman brings pressure, power, cardio and wrestling chops that are even better than advertised. Usman will stalk with zero fear of being taken down and that can force Colby to have no choice but to engage in standing for at least more than he would like to. Even though Colby looked extremely sharp on his feet in his last outing, I think it’s fair to say that Usman just has a little more to give in that department. To be honest I think he has a little more to give in the wrestling department as well. Strength is nullified in many areas of fighting, but when you are as closely matched up like the way they in fact are, the strength and power advantage can come into play in many shapes. Usman just seems to have a few more advantages by a hair that can ultimately play in his favor. Both men should be ready for a long 5 round fight, but if there is a finish anywhere, I think Usman will be the one getting it. Both men are extremely comfortable going to the horn and have done so in more than 50 percent of their wins. Colby has only 2 KOs to his merit and 5 submissions. Submitting Usman is something I feel is very doubtful. Usman on the other side of that coin has 8 KOs to his merit and only 1 submission. So the power is there and we have seen Colby rocked before. It’s going to be mighty interesting to see how this all shakes out, but the clear path for both men is a little more foggy for Colby here. I have to go with Usman in a much more entertaining fight then it seems to be coming from two high pedigree wrestlers.
The Pick: Usman
Holloway $8700 vs Volkanovski $7500
When you talk about generational fighters you really need to talk about max Holloway in the conversation for a few reasons. It’s not like Max burst onto the scene in a blaze of glory. The youngster had to earn his stripes with some highs and lows. However, the way he has grown into himself and his fighting style, it’s been nothing short of incredible. With pin point accurate striking and an under estimated ground game that he rarely needs to use, Holloway has found the holes needed to expose his fellow man. Not only does Max have power. but he throws with such volume that it can and will overwhelm you when he pops his clutch into the other gear. With 10 KOs in 21 wins, Max has made it clear that if you want to throw leather with him, there is a good chance he’s coming out on top in that one. He will be taking on an extremely tough and gritty Alexander Volkanovski. With a record of 21-1 and 11 KOs, Volk has made it clear he’s willing to stand in the fire with max. However, he does have an extremely grinding wrestling game that can give anyone problems. With that said, Max isn’t just anybody. He is a very special breed of fighter. He will read you, lead you, lay a bead on you and then bleed you out. It’s an instinctual trait that he has behind the talent. You can teach a fighter what is supposed to be done, but teaching and learning are two different things. The autonomy of the brain either makes those reads or doesn’t. Fighting is not how technical skilled you are as much as it is the understanding of predictable tendencies and an overall feel for your opposition. Max has all of that. Volk is not going quietly into the night and don’t be surprised if he has his moments, but the overall silky smooth movement of the Blessed One will be a little too much to keep up with as he starts to stepping on the gas in the later rounds.
The Pick: Holloway
Nunes $9200 vs GDR $7000
Back in the day it was women like Debbie Purcell who I knew personally that really put Women’s MMA on the map. However, at this time it was frowned upon, looked down upon, and not accepted as much as it should have been. Even Dana White at one point in time said that he would never swim in the waters of women’s MMA. Then Gina Carano came along to the scene and changed the platform of it all. An attractive, shy, woman with a devastating clinch game and a smile to match it, showcased that there actually can be “Beauty in Violence”. The public eye seemed to be gaining much more interest as she was aligned to take on a what was scene as the more stereotypical force in Cyborg. After her loss in that fight Gina left the seen and once again the field was low on fiber. No true faces, no true stars, and not a marketable face insight until Rhonda came along being the first marketable fighter that the UFC could get behind. Feeding her anyone and everyone, she ran through the weak competition as expected. However, as she catapulted the sport into the mainstream, women internationally knew that there was something they can finally get behind and make money doing it. So the ladies got to work. With that comes a stiffening in completion and after awhile you just can’t hide anymore. On the night where she faced Holly Holm, there was an even bigger shift with the understanding that the division was officially being blown wide open and Amanda Nunes was waiting in the darkness for her shot. The most dominating force in Women’s MMA would finally get her chance to step in and claim what I knew would be rightfully hers the night she faced Rhonda. Now with 4 title defenses and holding 2 belts in 2 different divisions, Nunes looks to capitalize even more against long, rangy, and extremely high pedigree striker GDR in a 5 round scrap for bantamweight gold. GDR left the scene for awhile after turning down a fight with Cyborg where the masses truly believed she was dodging her during her time as champion. Given the opportunity to defend or vacate, GDR chose the later. Shes’s now back and hungry for the strap again. She has looked extremely sharp in the minutes she has put into the cage. Very good range management, understands how to fight long, changes angles and moves very well. She ties her strikes together very well and nothing seems to be wasted or thrown out there for visuals. With a 46-0 kickboxing record and 30 of those coming by way of KO it is quite clear what she has brought into the MMA playground. However, with extremely high pedigree assets, there are times you will lack in other areas due to the security of what you know. In desperation mode, the brain’s mechanism to respond will always go back to what it knows. For example, a lifelong wrestler, will take a panic shot on the hips if he feels like he’s getting ready to go or just getting out worked. It’s instinctual after a certain point. GDR will not have much to resort to if Nunes starts putting a bead on her standing. However, Nunes holding a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has that card in her back pocket if things start going sideways for her. Nunes doesn’t resort to that too often. but to know it’s there brings value and security. I also urge you to understand that the reach will seem more pronounced than it actually is. GDR fights very long to begin with, so the illusion of a major reach advantage can play with the eyes. Nunes will be willing to fight fire with fire in this one. She has proven time and time again when she steps into the pocket, she usually comes out with a few bullets left in the chamber while her opposition is shooting blanks. Nunes will eventually have a fall from grace somewhere, but it won’t be Saturday night. Nunes runs away with this late.
The Pick: Nunes
Moraes $9000 vs Aldo $7200
You all know that Jose Aldo is someone that is near and dear to my heart. This is a guy that has been through the absolute highs in his career and the absolute lows. While the media machine moves on to a more entertainment end of things, Jose Aldo sits back and watches the all the fake masks of people portraying fake facades of themselves and continues to search for true answers to better himself in his craft. Unfortunately the only thing we can’t stop is Father Time But win or lose, Aldo is true to himself and has never and will never live the lie that so many people live. Here he is again at a crossroads. A loss here can surely just wrap things up for the great one. Aldo for as true as he is to himself doesn’t take away the fact that he is extremely up and down from fight to fight. Some fights he looks like the Aldo of old and some fights he just looks completely shot. A part of his game that made him so great was his explosive leg game and he just seems to have moved on from it. He will need to regain that element against heavy striker Marlon Moraes. Marlon came over with a lot of steam and his entrance wasn’t all what was expected. However. Since then, Moraes has been on a year disposing of some very big names. Extremely compacted frame which is wrapped well, Moraes is the guy that you really don’t want to absorb too much from. The kid can bang and the fear for me here is that Aldo will be elusive enough at first but as the fight wears on he may start getting sloppy and get caught. Aldo is known for his relentless volume and pace, but I’m not sure that’s the case anymore. He will come out firing on ¾ cylinders with a certain element of caution in his mind and if he clips you then he will open up. As the fight goes on it will all be predicated on how successful he is which will decide how and where the fight will pan out. He isn’t the most confident fighter anymore and he does have clear scars from his loss to Conor but this fight really scares me for Moraes to be honest. I feel like this can be a passing of the guard fight, but if vintage Aldo shows up. Then this can be an upset that many didn’t really see coming. I am actually going to take moraes here. I’m taking Aldo here. I am going to pick him on the premise that vintage Aldo shows up and shows us what made him great. The biggest question mark here is Aldo going in at 135 for the first time in his career. This can be a blessing or a curse. With that said he looked calm as a cucumber during weigh-ins. The cut seemed to go as plan. This is going to be interesting for sure.
The Pick: Aldo
Yan $9400 vs Faber $6800
This fight I don’t understand. I don’t feel comfortable picking it because Faber is still Faber, but I just don’t see a reason for it nor do I see any sort of benefit to Yan if he wins it. Faber is 40 years old. He isn’t making a run anymore and Yan is on his way to climbing the division ladder. So where does this fight really make any sense. The facts are 6 years ago I would have taken Faber here, but at 40 years old against a guy that is younger, sharper and stronger, Yan is just going to beat him to the spots eventually. They may be created equal in the opening minutes, but eventually Yan will find his patterns and get to work, while Faber is a few steps behind. I just can’t pick Faber here.
The Pick: Yan
Neal $9100 vs Perry $7100
Talk about trading leather. If this fight doesn’t end with someone’s chin in the front row, I would honestly be very surprised. Perry came onto the scene with a tremendous surge after KOing people at will. Since then it’s come to the mindset that he isn’t very good. However, his respect still rises due to the willingness to fight anyone and the display of toughness he has shown in winning and losing. There is no doubt that Mike Perry comes in with a mindset to kill or be killed, but sometimes his skill just doesn’t equate to his mindset and that is where he can fall short. He takes on a very similar man in Neal, except Neal has more athletic ability, hits a little harder, and has more upside. Both men are looking to do one thing here. Decapitate the other. With 18 KOs between the both of them, the path is there for someone to ignite the others hot spot. This can be a fight of luck more than it is skill. When you throw with that much heat, it’s really right time and right place. However, Neal does have more upside and he hasn’t taken nearly the damage that an already treaded Mike Perry has taken. Tough one to call but I’m going Neal here.
The Pick: Neal
Aldana $7400 vs Vierra $8800
Interesting clash in styles here. 10-0 Vierra comes in with a very talented skill set on the ground. The black belt in BJJ has put numerous fighters in bad spots with her ability to control things when they hit the floor. With 4 submissions under her belt, she has been in many more positive spots for submissions even though she is only at a 40 percent submission finishing rate. Her last fight against Cat Zingano, which could have really gone either way, was a perfect example of what you can expect to see from her. She’s never going to wow you with flashy dynamics, but she does have a regular work rate and a steady state about her that keeps her game flowing through out. She will be taking on one that I have had my eye on for quite some time, Irene Aldana. There is something about Aldana that draws me in. She is long, rangy, proven to engage in wars, and good pace. However, I feel like there are a few adjustments that her and her camp are just glossing over. Either that or they aren’t seeing it. If Aldana can shave down the fat on her game, then you are looking at a really solid contender. She’s not a KO specialist and she isn’t a submission specialist. She beats you with straight volume and control. Her biggest attribute is how she utilized her range to keep other fighters at bay. Her jab is crisp, her combos are tied together well and she understands when to pressure and when to back off. Aldana has the body,t ools and the volume to beat most on the feet. That’s exactly where I’m expecting the majority of this fight to take place. Things can get hairy if Vienna works her way to the ground. If she doesn’t then Aldana should hand her the very first L of her career.
The Pick: Aldana
Heinish $8400 vs Akhmedov $7800
Interesting fight here. It’s one that I honestly keep flipping back and forth on. Heinish is a very blue collar workhorse that seems to take things at a pace that is usually dictated to him unless he is taking full control of the dance. Good durability and good grinding wrestling. Heinish is just a real nose to the grindstone kind of a fighter, but he is fighting a guy that comes out of the gate very quick and can put on a pace that will overwhelm him before he starts to break a sweat. Not a bad thing because Akhmedov can’t sustain that pace for 15, but still not a comforting spot knowing that Heinisch allows you to really dictate things in there. So if you are dancing a slow dance then that is fine, but if you are lead into a roaring rapids, then you will need that output to keep up with or you can find yourself behind the 8 ball in a sense. I like Heinischs’ ability to sustain an even pace, but an even pace won’t always win you the race. He is really going to have to clinch up early and make Akamadov carry his weight. Slow him down a bit and make him carry his weight. In turn he can start slowly opening up when Akhmadov calms down and slows up a bit. Such a hard fight to call but I am going to go Heinisch here. I think after his last fight he has something to prove. I think he uses his ability to make this a close and boring close battle in which he ends up squeeking out the W by decision.
The pick: Heinisch
Saunders $6900 vs Brown $9300
If there was one fighter that I would say fits my personality quite well it would be “The Immortal” Matt Brown. There is nothing about his persona or his fighting style that is fake. He is what he is and he can really care less what you, me or anyone else has to say about it. Brown isn’t going to wow you with super technical approaches but when he hits his switch, the wow factor comes from the violence in numbers that he throws. There is no clear pattern to his madness, it’s just completely anger driven and when you have a fighter that is driven by anger. Then you have a very big problem on your hands if your standing on the other side. Saunders has a long game with good rangy striking and a clear unorthodox style of BJJ which is serviced by 10th Planet BJJ and Eddie Bravo. However, Saunders biggest issue is that his chin is absolute dust at this point and it seems all his fights are ending with a finish. Usually him being on the wrong end of it. Matt Brown brings a certain violence that Saunders just may not be able to withstand.
The Pick: “The Immortal” Brown
Hooper $8300 vs Teymur $7900
This is not the good Teymur brother, but he does still have a thirst to throw hands. Don’t get it twisted. He isn’t terrible and he does have the striking ability and pedigree behind him to make good things happen. However. His gas tank is extremely limited but his experience far exceeds what this youngster brings to the table. Hooper is a teenager. Not even 20 yet. The kid has talent and was brought up in the developmental program, but he gets his crack in the big show and Teymur is actually a good suit for him. It’s quite simple what Hooper wants. Get this off the feet where Teymur isn’t very well versed. Bring him into murky waters and see if he can swim. Teymur is going to do the same thing except run the gamut from his feet and utilize his experience. He’s going to try and make this kid grow up in the cage on the fly and under the bright lights of the big show on one of the biggest cards of the year, that can be a daunting task for a young teenager like hooper. However, if he can pass this test at such a young age, we may have something here. I still think he is too wet behind the ears and even though Teymur isn’t very good. He’s been there before. He’s felt the heat of the lights, the roar of the crowd, and the cameras in his face. It’s a new world now and Teymur has some real estate here already. Give me Teymur here.
The Pick: Teymur
Moreno $7700 vs KKF $8500
Good fight with a very interesting matchup. Moreno took my eye in the beginning with his Ray Borg style scrambling ability. He needed much improvement with his striking, but he still did impress with his slippery ground attacks. He was soon absent from the UFC until he came back in Mexico City. A return that he seemed very ready for, but not the result he came up with – a split draw in which he thought he won. With 10 submissions under his belt he is going to try and test the chops of KKF but he will need to get in close enough to do so. KKF has only been submitted 2 times in 28 fights and getting in on his volume is not easy. I have noticed that Moreno can be baited into a good ole fashioned gun fight and KKF is probably not the guy you want to engage upon that with. However, Moreno is in desperation mode where KKF is not. All the pressure is on Moreno here. He got the re-call and earned a draw. He really needs a win here to keep the UFC from pointing the finger at him. I just don’t think he gets it here. I can see him doing some nice things and making KKF work but I just feel the work rate will be too much for him in the end and KKF will end up piling up the points.
The Pick: KKF
Eye $7600 vs Arujo $8600
A fight that I can’t really get behind. Eye has def shown improvements and she is starting to realize that her wrestling is her rite of passage. After dropping 4 in a row, Eye went back and reworked things a bit. She then went on a 3 fight win streak until her last fight where she was violently KO’d by Valentina. The issue with her is she isn’t that good, but she’s a total decision rider and she is not a comforting pick ever. Aruja is a high paced fighter that will bring the fight to Eye. Eye has too much pride to stick to what she needs to do. She can be baited into a pride fight. I think this fight is a coin flip but I can’t get behind eye. I just can’t but she can without a doubt win this fight. This fight scares me quite a bit because she missed weight by 5 pounds and usually when you miss weight the percentage shows you win by the numbers. Be very very careful here. I am sticking with Aruja but I will not be going near this one.
The Pick: Aruja
Soriano $8200 vs Piechota $8000
This is a really tough fight to call and it’s one that I am particularly afraid of on both sides. Soriano is a Hawaiian native with an extremely high wrestling pedigree. The once All American wrestler comes in with an unblemished record and is looking to make good on his UFC debut. He has extremely clean hip entries and explosive takedowns. He looks to secure position very quick so he can engage into a game of ground and pound. He is raw, but the wrestling game is not and anyone with a tight wrestling game like his can be an instant asset to anyone that exposes the hips to him. He will be taking on a tough task in Piechota a black belt under Robert Dresdale. A good striker and a very capable grappler, Piechota hasn’t had the greatest start in the UFC but he will look to change that, but trying to spoil the undefeated new comers welcoming party. Soriano will really need to watch his limbs and his neck when her decides to tango on the ground, but there is a difference with being a wrestler and being an All American wrestler. You really understand weight distribution and you’re immaculately clean with your entries. This should be a fun scrap, but I think I’m giving Soriano the slight nod here.
The Pick: Soriano
There is clear value here. You can’t fade him even if you hate him. 5 rounds. Don’t be stupid. Even though I picked him to lose, there will not be a fade here.
The value is OK. He will surely cover with a win, but the value isn’t as appealing as Colby. However, I am picking him to win and he is sub 9k so he is SURELY in play for me.
Anytime Max is sub 9k he just seems like a lock and load. This makes things no different even though it is a dangerous fight.
I know that there are paths here, but I really don’t think he wins. I won’t hate you for jumping on the value, but I won’t be going against Max until he gives me a reason to.
This is a much more dangerous fight than people think. I like Nunes to win, but I don’t know how comfortable I am putting the normal faith in her in this spot like I usually would. This fight makes me raise an eye brow a bit. I am not saying don’t play, but I would play smart.
At 7k she is worth a small punt. Her striking is crisp enough to stand and trade with anyone. She fights long and is a seasoned striker. If this stays on the feet, Nunes will not walk all over her. Small taste is worth it..
I want to fade Moraes in this spot so bad, but I can see it back firing on me if I do. I feel like Aldo even if he loses can do enough to keep moving and not give Moraes open targets. I think many people will be jumping on Moraes here and it may be a fight that I sit back and see what happens from Moraes’ end. He without a doubt in my mind can finish Aldo, but if vintage Aldo decides to reemerge in this new weight class then we can see an interesting fight. If you play Moraes, I urge you to hedge.
Something about this fight keeps drawing me in on Aldos value. How do you pass him up at 7200? You just can’t. I can’t at least. I will have some plays on him in a fight that I have a funny feeling about.
Yan should control this fight from top to bottom against the 40 year old faber and will he. What I fear is that Faber gets his wrestling going and stalls the output of Yan. $9400 is a big tag to pay. It is a tag that I am not sure I am willing to spend either. At the end of the day its still Faber. I’m off this fight totally.
Price tag is insane for this fight. Perry doesn’t go quietly into the night for anyone. I think the masses will be all over Perry at his value and because of that, I will take a few small stabs here for that reason only.
The value is there for Perry. I wouldn’t sit on my hands and not pull the trigger at 7100. Hedge it if you take Neal in a your lineups. Perry may not be a great fighter but he is dangerous.
There is a lot of people shitting on Aldana in this spot and I am not sure why. She fights long, she fights hard, and she isn’t affraid to scrap. Sure she isn’t the most athletic fighter out there nor is she super explosive, but she is game and she if can stay standing, then Vierra can have her hands full. I’ll take some small value on Aldana where I project her to be lower owned. She is strictly a GPP play if you decide to do so.
I am fading her in this spot.
Heinish $8400/Akhmedov $7800
Both men have paths to win here. I will have tastes on both sides but I will have a heavier lean on Heinisch
I mean anything is possible and he has the skills, but the chin concerns me. However, Brown on the layoff, he can absolutely win this fight. So take a small stab on those attributes BUT DO NOT expect that to happen. I will be very surprised if it does.
Give me the Immortal One. Yeah he is on a layoff, but the dude has a hell on earth reckless style that can send saunders into yet another KO finish. I’ll have Brown, but I am well aware that I will most likely have a lot of company in the process.
He is very talented but super young. The kid isn’t even 20 years old yet, but the bright lights, the debut in the big show and against a fighter that may not be good but has experience at least making the walk which scares me. Tread lightly here.
He is a very seasoned striker, but he is not a good fighter like his brother. Don’t get it twisted. This is not David Teymur. This is Daniel Teymur. I think he wins though, so in large field GPP I may have a few swings if he can keep this on the feet and his gas tank holds up.
He is live here. I am picking KKF to win, but Moreno is Live.
I am very up in the air with this price, but I can get behind him lightly here.
Eye $7600/Aruja $8600
Fade for me here. Too much uncertainty especially with Eye missing weight.
Soriano $8200 / Piechota $8000
Hedging this both ways with a heavier lean with Soriano.
3.4u to win 2u
Matt Brown by KO/TKO -140
1.4u to win 1u
Nunes/GDR fight starts Round 3 +100
1u to win 1u
Geoff Neal -230
2.3u to win 1u
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