The most monumental fight card of the year is finally upon us. UFC 232 has officially arrived folks, as we are one day away from fight time. I’ve written quite a few of these predictions throughout the year for all the various UFC cards and each time I’d sit down to write I’d think to myself, man I cannot wait to take on UFC 232.
The greatest talent we have ever seen in the octagon, Jon “Bones” Jones, is returning to face Alexander Gustafsson for the UFC light heavyweight championship in the main event. The co-main event bout features one of the most historical women’s fights of all time, as the UFC bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes, is stepping up a weight class to fight the greatest women’s fighter to ever live, Cris Cyborg.
I know we had Conor vs. Khabib this year, but I’d be lying if I said I was more excited for that card than I am for this one. Without much further ado, let’s get into these predictions.
#5 Chad Mendes vs. #10 Alexander Volkanovski: Chad Mendes via unanimous decision
Both of these guys are wrestlers, although I’d have to favor Mendes in the grappling department. Both of these guys bring it and push the pace. Volkanovski called out Mendes after defeating Darren Elkins. He’s a young and hungry stud who is trying to make a name for himself. Calling out Mendes and defeating him would definitely put his name on the map, I just don’t know if he’s asking for more than he can handle here.
#5 Ilir Latifi vs. #10 Corey Anderson: Ilir Latifi via 2nd Rd. TKO
I like Latifi a lot in this fight. Anderson comes from a wrestling background and holds a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I like Anderson’s instincts to play to his strengths, however he is very susceptible on the feet. He moves a little recklessly which is a little too worrisome for my liking. Latifi is just another level of athlete and wrestler than Anderson is. His frame and power will prove too much for Anderson in this one.
Carlos Condit vs. #9 Michael Chiesa: Carlos Condit via 3rd Rd. TKO
Two veterans of the game, both coming off losses, and both trying to revitalize their careers. Condit however, is coming off four straight losses. His UFC career could be in jeopardy with a loss here. I’ve been watching Condit fight for a long time. I can remember him almost shocking the world and beating Georges St. Pierre in the third round with that head kick. Chiesa, on the other hand, is as mediocre as mediocre gets. If there ever was a fight for a fighter turn his career around in, it would be against Michael Chiesa. Don’t get me wrong, he’s had a memorable career. I just like Condit a little more in this one. “The Natural Born Killer” will prove to have just enough juice left in the tank to make it past Chiesa.
[C] Cris Cyborg vs. [C] Amanda Nuñes: Cris Cyborg via 2nd Rd. KO
In arguably the biggest women’s fight of all time, Amanda Nuñes has the opportunity to become the first woman to hold two belts in two different weight classes in the UFC. The problem is she’s facing the greatest women’s fighter of all time. Nuñes is a lot smaller than Cyborg. Not to mention, I don’t believe Nuñes has skill set to match Cyborg’s. Cyborg has her game tightened up in pretty much every aspect. Nuñes will not be able to be as aggressive as she likes without opening herself up. This is just a very dangerous fighter for her, plus I won’t ever pick against Cyborg. That’s a promise. Give me Cyborg in a very violent fight.
#1 Jon Jones vs. #2 Alexander Gustafsson: Jones via 4th Rd. Rear-Naked Choke
Alright, I’m just going to come right out and say it. I 100 percent am picking Jon Jones to win this fight. I believe he is the greatest talent to ever grace the octagon. He wants to cement his legacy as the greatest fighter ever and there is no way he can do that by losing to Gustafsson. Their first fight was extremely close and is considered to be one of the greatest title fights of all time. Some even say Gustafsson won. It was no doubt the toughest fight of Jones’ career. Jones came out and said he did not take the boxing of Gustafsson that seriously in the first fight. He has prepared way more for his boxing and seems overly focused on the task at hand. Rust could be a factor heading into this fight. Not to mention Gustafsson is the only fighter Jones has ever fought that shares his frame. The alluring steroid allegations have been clouding this fight but something inside of me is telling me to have faith in Jones. I’m going to take Jonny in this one as he beats Gustafsson and goes legend mode for the rest of his career. People can love him or hate him. They can say whatever they want about him, but one thing they cannot do is deny the man his greatness. He is much too talented for that.