UFC 215 main card preview and predictions

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Demetrious Johnson vs Ray Borg 

Odds: Johnson -649 (1/8), Borg +400 (7/1)

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Demetrious Johnson is on the verge of making history, currently tied with Anderson Silva for 10 UFC title defences a win this Saturday will take Johnson clear into a bracket of his own setting a new record.

Johnson’s last defeat came against then Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz. Shortly after the fight, a new smaller weight class was added which provided a much better option for a fighter of Johnson’s stature.

Since the move down to flyweight Johnson has looked unstoppable (barring a draw against Ian Mcall which was avenged). He is currently on a 12 fight win streak, only Jon Jones has a greater active win streak of all the fighters on the UFC roster.

The only criticism thus far has been the lack of top quality opposition which is reflected in the pre-fight odds for Johnson vs Borg, coming in as the +400 underdog something unexpected would have to happen in order for Borg to have any legitimate chance of winning.

Regardless of the question marks surrounding the previous contenders to his title Johnson’s job is to beat the guy in front of him and he’s done that with flying colours so far.

Ray Borg has the opportunity of a lifetime, there’s no pressure on him as the talk leading up to this has been about the title defence record so it’s Johnson who will be under pressure to deliver a memorable performance.

This title shot has come from Johnson having a shortage of contenders rather than Borg doing anything outstanding to earn the fight, Borg hasn’t faced any of the flyweights currently ranked in the top five which makes it hard for anyone to have confidence in him beating a man who many believe is the best fighter on the planet.

TJ Dillashaw offered to take on DJ at flyweight once his planned bout with Cody Garbrandt was scrapped, that fight would have given Johnson the chance to put a credible name on his resume and break the record in style.

Dillishaw brings qualities that on paper should make a potential fight with Demetrious Johnson competitive & that’s what makes a fight entertaining, the competitive aspect. 

This fight has been cancelled due to Borg suffering complications making weight, Nunes vs Shechenko will now headline this event. 

Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko

Odds: Nunes -146 (1/1), Shevchenko +124 (4/5)

After a successful first title defence against the most recognised name in women’s MMA which came in shocking fashion, Nunes now takes on Valentina Shevchenko who is also coming off of impressive performances against Holly Holm and Juliana Pena.

These two met no less than 17 months ago at UFC 196, Nunes winning a decision despite facing some trouble towards the tail end of the fight. The late drama begged the question of whether Shevchenko would stand a better chance of winning in a five round fight and now she’s in a position to find out.

The animosity between these ladies has been increasing ever since the fight was announced, tensions came to a boiling point at the summer kick-off press conference in which Nunes initiated some contact during the face-offs.

Nunes vs Shevchenko face off

This fight was originally scheduled for UFC 213, Nunes, pulled out less than 24 hours from the fight with chronic sinusitis.

We have here a contest between two of the best strikers in the division, which should produce a memorable title fight unlike Nunes’s last few which have been one-sided affairs with early finishes.

Predictions 

Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko (Nunes)

Neil Magny vs Rafael dos Anjos (dos Anjos)

Ilir Latifi vs Tyson Pedro (Pedro)

Jeremy Stephens vs Gilbert Melendez (Melendez)

Henry Cejudo vs Wilson Reis (Cejudo)  

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