A heavyweight bout between Shane del Rosario and Guto Inocente was supposed to take place on this card, however both men pulled out with injuries and we all know by now that del Rosario later suffered two sudden cardiac attacks and passed away on December 9th. In the co-main event of the evening, heated rivals Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate square off for a second time. However, Cat Zingano was originally supposed to get this title shot. Back at the TUF 17 finale in April, Zingano defeated Tate by TKO in the third round to win the coaching spot on TUF 18 and the future title shot. Unfortunately, Zingano blew out her knee in July and Tate was given the shot(and the coaching gig).
CHRIS WEIDMAN VS ANDERSON SILVA
This fight comes as a rematch of the vicious knockout that Silva suffered back in July at the hands of Weidman. The two men took the first round finding each other’s range, and then, in typical Silva fashion, Anderson began taunting Chris and pretending like he was hurt. Weidman made him pay for it with a nasty left hook that instantly dropped Anderson, and Chris pounced on him, landed a few good hammer fists, and the fight was over.
Following the fight, Anderson announced that he would not be seeking a rematch, that he was tired of the responsibilities that holding the belt brings and would instead be seeking other bouts. Something changed, however, and on July 13th Anderson put out a video announcing his bout with Weidman, claiming “I back. Trust me, I back.”
This fight is nearly impossible to predict because there’s so many x-factors. Will Anderson clown around again? Can Weidman go a full five rounds? Will Anderson have the drive that he had before? How has Anderson’s ground game improved? In the end, I think Weidman will do in this fight what a lot of us thought he would do in the first. He’ll shoot for takedowns, hit Anderson with ground and pound, and I think it’ll end in submission.
PREDICTION: Weidman via round 4 submission
RONDA ROUSEY VS MIESHA TATE
This fight is fairly easy to predict for me, unlike the main event. Ronda has massive advantages on the mat, and can hold her own on the feet. I don’t see any way that Miesha can win this fight, especially after getting brutally knocked out by Cat Zingano in their fight back in April.
PREDICTION: Ronda Rousey via round 1 submission
TRAVIS BROWNE VS JOSH BARNETT
This is a great fight that is flying way under the radar. Browne is coming off a huge knockout win over Alistair Overeem, and Barnett just knocked out former champion Frank Mir back in August. Browne is a great striker and I think this will be the fight where Barnett finally shows his age. Browne has needed only a little over five minutes to get two knockout wins and $100,000 in bonus money. I think Browne gets it done here on December 28th and gets a #1 contenders fight against Fabricio Werdum.
PREDICTION: Browne via round 2 KO
JIM MILLER VS FABRICIO CAMOES
Does it seem to anyone else like they’re giving Miller an easy fight? Cause it does to me. Camoes is a great athlete and a powerful striker, but Jim Miller is on a whole other level. He’s a great grappler who needs to get back on the winning track.
PREDICTION: Miller via decision
DUSTIN POIRIER VS DIEGO BRANDAO
This is a great opportunity for Diego Brandao. Coming off three wins over Joey Gambino, Pablo Garza, and Daniel Pineda, the former Ultimate Fighter winner could crack the top ten with a win here. Only problem? Dustin Poirier is standing in front of him. Poirier, an elite wrestler, has showed off an entirely different side to him with great striking in his fights against Eric Koch and Cub Swanson. Poirier is quick, elusive, and has a ton of weapons in his arsenal. I think he gets it done in fairly convincing fashion.
PREDICTION: Poirier via decision
Uriah Hall def. Chris Leben via decision
Glieson Tibau def. Michael Johnson via round 3 TKO
Dennis Siver def. Manny Gamburyan via decision
John Howard def. Siyar Bahadurzada via round 2 TKO
Bobby Voelker def. William Macario via decision
Estevan Payan def. Robbie Peralta via round 2 submission