411’s MMA Roundtable Preview – UFC 216: Ferguson Vs. Lee

Robert Winfree!

THE PRELIMINARY CARD:

First three prelims on UFC Fight Pass, rest on Fox Sports 1.

Middleweight Bout: Thales Leites vs. Brad Tavares

Robert Winfree: Brad Tavares, Decision

Flyweight Bout: John Moraga vs. Magomed Bibulatov

Robert Winfree: Magomed Bibulatov, Decision

Heavyweight Bout: Walt Harris vs. Mark Godbeer

Robert Winfree: Walt Harris, TKO, Round 1

Strawweight Bout: Pearl Gonzalez vs. Poliana Botelho

Robert Winfree: Pearl Gonzalez, Decision

Lightweight Bout: Bobby Green vs. Lando Vannata

Robert Winfree: Lando Vannata, TKO, Round 2

Flyweight Bout: Matt Schnell vs. Marco Beltran

Robert Winfree: Matt Schnell, Decision

Bantamweight Bout: Tom Duquesnoy vs. Cody Stamann

Robert Winfree: Tom Duquesnoy, TKO, Round 2


THE MAIN CARD:

Lightweight Bout: Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham

Jeffrey Harris: I like this fight a lot for the lightweight division. Evan Dunham after a fast start in his UFC career sort of had a rough go of it for a while. Now he’s on a four-fight winning streak and fighting a very tough Beneil Dariush, who is ranked No. 12. I think these two match-up well, but I don’t see Dunham being able to overcome Dariush’s well-rounded skillset. Beneil Dariush is coming off a knockout loss to Edson Barboza, but he typically recovers from his losses very strong. He’s 8-3 in the UFC lightweight division, which is pretty impressive. I see Dariush winning this by submission.

Winner: Beneil Dariush, Submission, Round 2

Robert Winfree: This is a really solid lightweight fight. Both guys are really good but they also need a few of the same things. Both men are better going forward and both are good grapplers but need top position or a control position to really be effective on the mat. On the feet Dunham is more of a puncher while Dariush favors the kicking game, though that isn’t to say either is out of their depth whichever weapon they choose to employ. I’m leaning towards Dariush, because while Dunham has looked good recently Dariush has had a higher level of opposition to contend with.

Winner: Beneil Dariush, Decision


Flyweight Bout: Mara Romero Borella vs. Kalindra Faria

Jeffrey Harris: We have a women’s flyweight division clash here between two seasoned pros: the 18-5 Kalindra Faria; and the 11-4 Mara Romero Borella from Italy. Both women are making their UFC debuts here and both are on three-fight winning streaks. This is going to be a bit of a roll of the dice here, but I’m leaning toward Faria. She’s coming off a strong win over the talented Carina Damm in Titan FC, and I think she will edge this one out.

Winner: Kalindra Faria, Decision

Robert Winfree: This was supposed to feature the UFC debut of Andrea Lee, unfortunately they UFC didn’t have her in the USADA testing pool long enough to make her eligible for this bout. I don’t know much about either woman apart from their records, so I’ll lean with Faria.

Winner: Kalindra Faria


Heavyweight Bout: Fabricio Werdum vs. Derrick Lewis

Jeffrey Harris: Derrick Lewis is definitely talented. However, he’s definitely got issues with his cardio, stamina, and perhaps even his motivation. Lewis can actually do some creative stuff in his fights. He’s also incredibly resilient and can do a good job of getting out of trouble the longer the fight goes. However, in his last fight he seemed he was borderline ready to retire after losing to Mark Hunt, which he promptly went back on. So it’s tough to see where his head is at. It’s also tough to see how seriously he takes his fight career and training camps. Fabricio Werdum is coming off an ugly loss to Alistair Overeem, but those two just don’t match up well at all. Werdum is getting older, but I see him taking this one. Lewis is powerful hitter with some nasty knockout power, but I think Werdum will be able to deal with that and utilize his top-notch grappling to get ahead.

Winner: Fabricio Werdum, Decision

Robert Winfree: I’ve got a hard time really picking Derrick Lewis here. Lewis has tons of heart and will stay in a fight until you force it to be over, he hits extremely hard and has a nearly uncanny ability to regain his feet after being taken down. Despite all of that, he’s at a serious disadvantage here. Werdum is the more technical striker of the two, though he packs less power, and is the more diverse striker as well. On the mat the way Lewis can power to his feet works well against lesser grapplers, but against someone the caliber of Werdum he’s exposing either his neck or back to be taken. If Werdum avoids getting reckless this is his fight to lose.

Winner: Fabricio Werdum, Submission, Round 2


UFC Flyweight Championship Bout: Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg

Jeffrey Harris: I wasn’t really happy this fight got booked at all the first time around. The UFC really should’ve waited to book Demetrious Johnson against the winner of Sergio Pettis vs. Brandon Moreno, and that would’ve been the best bet. Ray Borg’s a decent and talented fighter, but he’s constantly messing up outside the cage. I know he and his camp claimed he had a viral illness causing him to withdraw at UFC 215. But should it really be believed it had nothing to do with his weight cut? Not to mention, he’s missed weight twice in the UFC and has a habit of pulling out of fights at the last minute. The story here is Demetrious Johnson potentially breaking the UFC title defense record that he’s tied with Anderson Silva. If he wins, will make that 11 and carve his place in the MMA history books. I see no reason to bet against Johnson. He’s supremely good at completely neutralizing his opponent’s offense. I think Borg might have a good round or two, but eventually Johnson will find his rhythm and pick Ray Borg apart.

Winner: Demetrious Johnson, TKO, Round 1

Robert Winfree: Ray Borg isn’t someone you should sleep on, but he’s also good in a very particular way. Borg excels at scrambles and is good at forcing them, but his striking isn’t anything special and while his scrambles are awesome to watch they don’t lead to prolonged domination so much as out hustling or being slightly more technical and keeping them on the back foot. Against Demetrious Johnson I don’t think that will be enough, Johnson is an exceptional wrestler and scrambler in his own right and is much better in the clinch and at distance than Borg is. For Borg to pull off the upset here he’d have to show something that we’ve never seen from him, and I don’t think he’s been successfully hiding that kind of ability.

Winner: Demetrious Johnson, TKO, Round 4


Interim UFC Lightweight Championship Bout: Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee

Jeffrey Harris: Regardless of what anyone says, this is a great lightweight contest. Tony Ferguson is one of the best lightweight fighters on the planet. He’s built up the longest lightweight winstreak out of anyone in UFC history. He’s facing a game Kevin Lee, who is a very strong grappler, submission specialist and wrestler. I’ve got to give the edge to Ferguson here. He’s steadily improved over the years and also closed up some of his holes in his boxing and striking game. Not to mention, I’d argue he is a stronger wrestler and grappler than Lee, but they are both exceptional in those particular areas. Lightweight is so competitive, an upset by Lee wouldn’t surprise me, but I’m expecting Ferguson to take this one home. Conor McGregor should be fighting the winner of this battle no matter what.

Winner: Tony Ferguson, Decision

Robert Winfree: This is another excellent fight. Kevin Lee is a really great grappler, his double leg is powerful and if he gets you to the fence his body lock work from that position is second only to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s. Lee excels at taking the back and once he gets there he’s a nightmare. Tony Ferguson has a habit of relying on unorthodox techniques such as standing granby rolls, Imanari rolls, or going inverted from the guard for a leg, that work well enough against less technical wrestlers but against Lee he has to avoid them. Ferguson’s big advantage here is in the striking, he switches stances well, chops at your legs and throws long combinations to the body and head with his fists. Ferguson also has no problems fighting for five rounds at a high pace, something we’ve never seen Lee have to do. I won’t be too shocked if Lee catches Ferguson as Ferguson gets too wild, but all in all I’m leaning towards Ferguson to keep his momentum going.

Winner: Tony Ferguson, TKO, Round 5


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Source : https://411mania.com/mma/411s-mma-roundtable-preview-ufc-216-ferguson-vs-lee/

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