The last PPV card of the year is approaching fast. Nine days separate us from the return of Ronda Rousey and we are full of questions. Is she still the fighter that she was? Has she improved her technical abilities? Does she have what it takes to win the belt back?
A lot of people left like the UFC was focusing to heavily on Ronda instead of putting more emphasis on the current champion.
— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) December 18, 2016
Of course, she deserves the hype. But still, Amanda Nunes is no slouch and is a very dangerous opponent for Ronda. She has good boxing, better than Rousey, and she is a black belt in BJJ as well as a brown in Judo.
Well, we won’t have to wait long anymore. While the WMMA fight is the main attraction, the rest of the card is worth watching as well. Actually, “worth watching” is putting it lightly.
Besides the main event, we have another championship fight: Dominic Cruz defends his belt against Cody Garbrandt.
Cruz has been the king of the bantamweights for a long time – either officially or unofficially. With his unique elusive style he is extremely hard to hit. He knows when to take the fight to the ground and has some of the best takedown timing in the UFC.
(As a side note, the new rules that will be implemented next year don’t seem to favor his defensive style of fighting. It will be interesting to see if he makes any changes.)
Cody Garbrandt has heavy hands, but will that be enough to take out Cruz?
As the third fight from the top, we have a highly anticipated rematch between Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez. Back at UFC 188, Werdum caught Cain in a perfectly times guillotine choke as Cain shot for a takedown. The fight was otherwise close, but maybe Velasquez has a slight advantage in striking.
Next and first on the main card, TJ Dillashaw looks to get another shot at the title by beating John Lineker. But, so does Lineker.
While Cruz was off being injured, TJ took his style, added his own flavor and dominated the division. Once Dominic returned, he proved that the original was better than the copy and schooled TJ in distance management and defensive MMA. However, in this fight, that role will probably go to TJ. Lineker beat John Dodson and is on a 6 fight win streak. His nickname, “Hands of Stone” suits him well.
Come to think of it, TJ needs a nickname as well? What should it be? Comment below.
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