It’s been a year since Ronda Rousey’s crushing defeat by Holly Holm in November of 2015. She’ll be attempting to take the belt back from current champion Amanda Nunes in the main event at UFC 207. The event will take place Friday, December 30th, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and the main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass. Bet on UFC 207 on Sports Interaction.
UPDATE: Cain Velasquez is officially out of his scheduled UFC 207 rematch against Fabrcio Werdum. The UFC was notified by the Nevada State Athletic Commission that he didn’t get the approval to compete.
Amanda Nunes vs. Ronda Rousey
Records: Nunes 13-4-0 Rousey 12-1-0 Division: Bantamweight UFC Odds: Nunes +105 Rousey -135 Prediction: Rousey by submission
Some say that getting knocked out by a powerful kick to the head was the end of Rousey’s career, as she slipped out of the spotlight afterwards for over a year. But Rousey has returned, looking to be in the best shape of her life, to try and retake the title. The reigning women’s bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes has been looking forward to fighting Rousey for her entire career, and this will be her first title defense since she defeated Miesha Tate in July. Nunes is ranked No. 1 in the MMA women’s bantamweight rankings, and Rousey is ranked 2nd.
If the Ronda Rousey who beat Alexis Davis, Cat Zingano and Bethe Correia all in under a minute is still in there somewhere, she should be able to win this fight against Nunes, who is known to tire early.
Cody Garbrandt v Dominick Cruz
Records: Cruz 22-1-0 Garbrandt 10-0-0 Division: Bantamweight UFC Odds: Garbrandt +175 Cruz -235 Prediction: Cruz by Decision
This will be a title fight and is the event’s co-headline. Bantamweight champ and No. 1-ranked Dominick Cruz will be here for his second straight title defense when he faces 7th ranked Cody Garbrandt in the Octagon. Cruz is an agile fighter with a powerful strike, and has already won two fights this year. Cruz may also have the stamina advantage here, and can win if the fight goes to the mat. Garbrandt can win if he does it quickly with his significant boxing and speed skill.
T.J. Dillashaw vs. John Lineker
Records: Dillashaw 14-3-0 Lineker 29-7-0 Division: Bantamweight UFC Odds: Lineker +205 Dillashaw -280 Prediction: Dillashaw by Decision
Lineker is a great brawler with decent boxing skills but the odds are against him here because he’s outmatched by Dillashaw in almost every other way. His chance to win comes only if he does it fast and dirty, since T.J. has been known to be slower at the start of fights. That said, Dillashaw is considered one of the best fighters in his class in the world, and Lineker likely won’t be able to match him strike for strike.
Ray Borg v Louis Smolka
Records: Smilka 11-2-0 Borg 9-2-0 Division: Flyweight UFC Odds: Borg -120 Smolka -110 Prediction: Smilka by decision
This fight was promoted to the main card after Jessica Andrade was not able to find a replacement fight. Andrade was supposed to fight Maryna Moroz but an inury forced Moroz out. Borg is the slight favorite here and can win if he can get the fight down to the mat for a submission. He’s not as talented a striker as Smilka however, and Borg has had problems with consistency.