UFC 225: Whittaker vs Romero II Preview

 

Kyler Kuehler

UFC 225: Whittaker vs. Romero II will air on June 9, 2018, in Chicago, Illinois.

Preliminary Card (Fight Pass)

MIKE “LITTLE BULLY” SANTIAGO (21-11-0) vs DAN “DYNAMITE” IGE (8-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the featherweight division. Santiago brings boxing and jiu-jitsu. Ige brings striking, judo and jiu-jitsu. Santiago looks to take this fight with ease from his boxing techniques. However, his jiu-jitsu and grappling show flaws where Ige holds strengths. Ige looks to pressure Santiago and brings him to the ground where he looks to wear him down. Santiago must remain to stand, but Ige’s takedowns may make it impossible to perform. My prediction: Ige wins via submission in Round 2.

CLAY “THE CARPENTER” GUIDA (34-17-0) vs CHARLES “DO BRONX” OLIVEIRA (22-8-0, 1 NC)
This is a three-round fight in the lightweight division. Guida brings boxing, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Oliveira brings boxing and jiu-jitsu. Two tough fighters going head-to-head is always a must see. From who is tougher and more aggressive Oliveira looks to be that man. His boxing is fast and accurate while mixing it with his jiu-jitsu. Guida has aggressive boxing and wrestling as well, but Oliveira’s is more well-paced and planned out. My prediction: Oliveira wins via split decision.

#1 JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ (25-4-0) vs #5 SERGIO PETTIS (16-3-0)
This is a three-round fight in the flyweight division. Benavidez brings boxing, kickboxing, and wrestling. Pettis brings kickboxing, taekwondo, and jiu-jitsu. Both are trying to fight for the title, but only one can prevail. From striking and grappling, Benavidez’s boxing and wrestling appear all he needs to do so. Pettis, on the other hand, has fantastic taekwondo and jiu-jitsu to pressure Benavidez. However, Pettis is not that skilled of a grappler where Benavidez is and will be where he takes advantage. My prediction: Benavidez wins via split decision.

RASHAD “SUGA” EVANS (19-7-1) vs ANTHONY “LIONHEART” SMITH (28-13-0)
This is a three-round fight in the light heavyweight division. Evans brings Gaidojutsu, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. He is a former light heavyweight champion. Smith brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Evans should be the favorite, but from recent fights, he has exposed his old self is gone. He cannot take strikes like before. In that case, Smith’s striking will get the best of him. Smith will pressure Evans right away until finding his opening and going in for the kill. My prediction: Smith wins via TKO in Round 2.

Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1)

RASHAD “DAYWALKER” COULTER (8-3-0) vs CHRIS DE LA ROCHA (4-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the heavyweight division. Coulter brings boxing and Muay Thai. La Rocha brings striking, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Both have striking power, but Coulter is more accurate. La Rocha’s jiu-jitsu and wrestling could be of great use. However, with no aggression, he doesn’t look to get far in this fight. If La Rocha can take it to the ground he will win. Though, that will probably not be possible as Coulter is a tough fighter and will prove it. My prediction: Coulter wins via knockout in Round 1.

#7 RICARDO THE BULLY” LAMAS (18-6-0) vs #11 MIRSAD BEKTIC (12-1-0)
This is a three-round fight in the featherweight division. Lamas brings boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, Capoeira, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Bektic brings boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Lamas looks to dominate this fight, but Bektic’s boxing and wrestling are dangerous weapons. Lamas has boxing and wrestling of his own; not as well-rounded as Bektic’s. Even Bektic’s aggression and speed will prove a great difficulty for Lamas. My prediction: Bektic wins via unanimous decision.

#3 CLAUDIA “CLAUDINHA” GADELHA (15-3-0) vs #6 CARLA “COOKIE MONSTER” ESPARZA (13-4-0)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s strawweight division. Gadelha brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Esparza brings boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. She is a former strawweight champion. Both are heavily equipped, but Esparza seems to have soon better improvement. Gadelha is a tough and aggressive fighter, but she hasn’t improved much. Esparza’s boxing and wrestling have reached a new level to possibly give Gadelha another run for her money. Gadelha must try to overpower Esparza in order to stand a chance or it’s lights out. My prediction: Esparza wins via submission in Round 2.

#2 ALISTAIR “REEM” OVEREEM (43-16-0, 1 NC) vs #4 CURTIS “RAZOR” BLAYDES (9-1-0, 1 NC)
This is a three-round fight in the heavyweight division. Overeem brings kickboxing, Muay Thai, judo, and jiu-jitsu. He is a former Strikeforce heavyweight champion. Blaydes brings striking and wrestling. Overeem will be laying the pressure on Blaydes with his Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. However, Blaydes has fantastic wrestling and great chin to counter Overeem’s attacks. Overeem could do the same, but his chin has never been the best. Unless Overeem can put up great ground-and-pound he looks to be falling back down the leader board. My prediction: Blaydes wins via knockout in Round 2.

Main Card (Pay-Per-View)

CM PUNK (0-1-0) vs MIKE “THE TRUTH” JACKSON (0-1-0)
This is a three-round fight in the welterweight division. Punk brings Kempo Karate and jiu-jitsu. Jackson brings boxing, kickboxing, and jiu-jitsu. Both are trying to get their first career win and based on experience Jackson looks to do so. Yes, Punk is a former WWE wrestler, this is real competition─proven in his first fight against Mickey Gall. With Jackson coming for a boxing background Punk looks to be facing another embarrassing beating once again. My prediction: Jackson wins via knockout in Round 1.

#9 ANDREI “THE PIT BULL” ARLOVSKI (27-15-0, 1 NC) vs #12 TAI “BAM BAM” TUIVASA (7-0-0)
This is a three-round fight in the heavyweight division. Arlovski brings boxing, kickboxing, sambo, judo, and jiu-jitsu. He is also a former heavyweight champion. Tuivasa brings boxing. Two heavy hitters going at it will be interesting. For who is better Tuivasa looks to prove that point. Yes, Arlovski has great power in his hands, but he has shown a great decline in his game plan. Tuivasa is improving and has proven he is a future contender waiting to put a former champion to sleep. My prediction: Tuivasa wins via knockout in Round 1.

#1 (WBW) HOLLY “THE PREACHER”S DAUGHTER” HOLM (11-4-0) vs MEGAN ANDERSON (8-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s featherweight division. Holm brings boxing, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. She is a former bantamweight champion. Anderson brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Two tough female athletes finally facing off inside the octagon should be exciting. Holm comes in as the heavy favorite from her boxing and kickboxing─makes sense. Don’t forget the Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu Anderson possesses which will be a dangerous combination Holm must get around. Holm could out strike Anderson greatly, but Anderson will be using her jiu-jitsu to cause damage as well. In order for Holm to succeed she must play her game or end up with another shameless loss. My prediction: Anderson wins via unanimous decision.

#1 RAFAEL DOS ANJOS (28-9-0) vs #4 COLBY “CHAOS” COVINGTON (13-1-0)
This is a five-round co-main event for the Interim UFC Welterweight Championship. Dos Anjos brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. He is a former lightweight champion. Covington brings Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Both have been on a role and are just inches away for fighting for gold. With Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu dos Anjos will be giving Covington the biggest challenge yet. Covington looks to do the same, but he has never faced an animal like dos Anjos before. Dos Anjos’ aggression and power look to be too much for Covington to handle. Covington must the distance between dos Anjos and himself or end up in a bloody mess. My prediction: dos Anjos wins via unanimous decision.

(C) ROBERT “THE REAPER” WHITTAKER (19-4-0) vs #1 YOEL “SOLDIER OF GOD” ROMERO (13-2-0)
This is a five-round main event for the interim middleweight championship. Whittaker brings boxing, hapkido, karate, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Romero brings Muay Thai and wrestling. Romero appears to be much better paced and efficient with his takedowns from their first faceoff. Though, Whittaker proved he is a better grappler than Romero and better paced. But in order to do so, he must find a way to overcome Romero’s power, which will prove to be a big challenge. At the same time, Romero must try to pace himself while staying toe-to-toe with Whittaker. My prediction: Whittaker wins via knockout in Round 3.