UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden. The UFC is finally in New York, MMA is finally in New York. To celebrate it the UFC has compiled the greatest card of all time. Seriously, this card is stacked from beginning to end. We have not one, not two, but three title fights. Headlining the card is the Notorious Conor McGregor is fighting for the lightweight title, if he wins, he will be the first simultaneous two weight champ in the history of the organization. This card is set to make history regardless of the outcomes, but here are the staff picks for the main card and the prelims, which are all can’t miss match ups.


Main Card

eddie-alvarez_498601_fighterprofile_30Eddie Alvarez (c) vs. Conor McGregorconor-mcgregor_302601_fighterprofile_30

Michael:  McGregor

I think Alvarez is being goaded into a fist fight, and McGregor will find his timing and distance and quickly pick the lightweight champ apart. Alvarez is a good grappler, and has strong wrestling but I think McGregor isn’t going to let him use it, and again I think Alvarez wants to make this a boxing match. McGregor is too fast and will sleep Alvarez early, with that dangerous left cross.

Orlando: Alvarez

Every time i pick against McGregor he proves me wrong. Saturday night won’t be any different as Alvarez present a whole new challenge for McGregor compared to anyone’s he’s ever stepped foot in the octagon with. Alvarez is well rounded, and the better boxer. The Irish man won’t back down from a fight though with McGregor being the better striker, but McGregor might find himself defending himself from the grappler if he try’s and keep this on their feet. Alvarez by decision.


Thomas: Alvarez

Here it is the main event of UFC 205 Champion vs Champion. For the amount of time I have formed my opinion on this fight I see it ending the exact same way. At the end of the fight Eddie Alvarez will get his hand raised. Eddie will make this a gritty fight clinching Conor against the cage and landing multiple takedowns while doing damage on the ground. Eventually Conor will submit. This is a make it or break fight for Conor with a win he is “immortalized”, with a loss he is a fighter with no natural weight class. Alvarez over McGregor 4th round submission



tyron-woodley_241944_fighterprofile_30Tyron Woodley (c) vs. Stephen Thompsonstephen-thompson_236888_fighterprofile_30

Michael: Woodley

I think people are selling Woodley short, even after his one punch KO of Robbie Lawler. Thompson has phenomenal striking but Woodley is extremely fast and will cut the distance as soon as possible to mitigate Thompson’s kicks. Woodley will approach this fight the same way he did Condit, and will win using his wrestling and ground and pound.

Orlando: Thompson

Hopefully Woodley has took some lessons from Matt Brown as he was the only fighter to defeat Thompson, and that was by taking him down five time as he was able to wear him out and win the fight. Woodley has no issues standing up with Thompson, but that may not be the best game plan coming into the fight as Thompson controls the cage and pace of the fight. Look for Woodley to attempt to try and take this to the ground early, if not this fight will be over early. Thompson 4th rd KO.

Thomas: Woodley

This is the classic power vs speed matchup with Woodley having the clear advantage in one shot knockout power and Thompson with the in and out precision with his punches and kicks. One dimension of this fight is lost in the shuffle. Wrestling. While Thompson has grown leaps and bounds in the wrestling game, Tyron Woodley has the clear advantage. I am going with Woodley but Wonderboy has a fan in me. Woodley over Thompson 2nd round knockout.


joanna-jedrzejczyk_490667_fighterprofile_30Joanna Jędrzejczyk (c) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewiczkarolina-kowalkiewicz_565257_fighterprofile_30

Michael: Jedrzejczyk

These two have already fought before in a kickboxing bout a few years ago with Joanna taking the victory, I see this going the same way. Karolina is a fine fighter but she took a lot of damage against Rose Namajunas in her last fight which spells doom against Joanna. The champ will keep her title, she has gotten too good and only seems to increase her pace in the later rounds.

Orlando: Jedrzejczyk

This fight is intriguing as the two undefeated polish fighters square up Saturday night. Kowalkiewicz hasn’t been in the UFC long, but has been dominant in her 3 fights. Jedrzejczyk however has been dominating he opponents and has made a name for herself with her striking and defense. Jedrzejczyk by 4th rd tko


Thomas:  Jedrzejczyk

This is the fight I am most excited for on the entire UFC 205 card. Joanna is a buzzsaw with a cardio engine that never stops. Karolina really impressed me vs Rose Namajunas BUT Joanna is in her own league. As confident as ever and only on the cusp of her potential I can’t pick against Joanna. JJ over KK 2nd round knockout.


chris-weidman_118846_fighterprofile_30Chris Weidman vs. Yoel Romero yoel-romero_242524_fighterprofile_30                      

Michael: Weidman

Romero is on a mission and has looked terrifying, but he comes off as far too wild and seems to squeak by sometimes. Weidman is in desperate need of a victory and I see his wrestling and grappling faring favorably against Romero. So long as he doesn’t try a spinning wheel kick, Weidman should win the stand-up exchanges then ground and pound his victory.

Orlando: Weidman

Two of the top guys in the middleweight division will throw it down at 205. Things can get dangerous early on for Weidman if he try and rushes in Romero, as he presents true knockout power and great wrestling skills. Weidman hasn’t fought since losing his title to Rockhold, but holds the edge as Romero usually starts off hot, and burns out the longer the fight goes. Weidman by TKo in the 3rd.

Thomas: Weidman

Two fighters that have off for quite some time. Two fighters with alot to prove. One fighter is  under pressure. That honor belongs to Chris Weidman. With a win Weidman is next in line for a title shot vs MW Champion Michael Bisping, with a loss it is back to the line. Too much is at stake for Weidman to lose and Chris has been waiting for this moment to fight at MSG for a long time. I am going to pick the former champion in this one.


miesha-tate_241891_fighterprofile_30 Miesha Tate vs. Raquel Penningtonraquel-pennington_453512_fighterprofile_30

Michael: Tate

Miesha wants to get her title back and she is being given a good fight to get her name back in the win column. Pennington doesn’t offer anything new for Tate who should have a solid performance and unanimous decision.

Orlando: Tate

After an embarrassing loss to Nunes at UFC 200 Tate looks to get back in the win column. It won’t be easy though as Pennington does appear as a huge obstacle for Tate to hurdle. Pennington is the type of fighter to be relentless and push forward regardless of the circumstance.  Tate by decision.

Thomas: Tate

Miesha Tate is coming off a dismal performance vs Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 one in which she lost the belt that awaited her for quite some time. But Miesha is the most mentally tough women’s fighter in the UFC as the song goes I get knocked down but I get up again THAT is Miesha Tate. Tate wins by 3rd rd TKO


Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1)


frankie-edgar_833_fighterprofile_30Frankie Edgar vs. Jeremy Stephens jeremy-stephens_473_fighterprofile_30       

Michael: Stephens

The smarter choice here is Edgar, who seems to only loose title fights, but there something about Stephens and the streak he’s been on that makes me think he’ll take it. Stephens has crazy power and is willing to throw surprising strikes, and something tells me he’s going to catch Edgar. This is my upset of the night.

Orlando: Edgar

Frankie Edgar is just a straight up monster. He failed to extend his win streak to 6 after losing to Aldo at UFC 200, but still remains as a brick wall in the featherweight division. Stephens has had some memorable fights recently knocking out top contender Dennis Bermudez last year, and welcomed Renan Barao with a loss by unanimous decision in 145. Stephens carries the power pull off a knockout upset, but Frankie Edgar is a world class athlete for a reason. Edgar by 3rd rd TKO.

Thomas: Edgar

Frankie the Answer Edgar is one of the best fighters in UFC history. Take a look at his resume for yourself. Though this is another instance in which Edgar is coming off of a loss to Jose Aldo. But much like the first time Edgar came back with a vengence can he do it again? I think so. Edgar wins by UD


khabib-nurmagomedov_232925_fighterprofile_30Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Michael Johnsonmichael-johnson_94732_fighterprofile_30

Michael: Nurgagomedov

Khabib has the longest undefeated record in the UFC, but injuries have plagued him for the last couple of years. He should be a top contender in the division but he needs a big win to reposition himself after the long layoffs. Johnson is a well-rounded fighter but he hasn’t face a wrestler as strong as Khabib, who regularly tosses his opponents around the ring.  This is going to be a strong unanimous decision for the Russian.

Orlando: Johnson

Khabib has been very impressive and scary in his last bouts inside the octagon. Khabib has been waiting around for a title shot, but a win over Johnson would almost certainly put him next in line with a possible fight with McGregor or Alvarez. Johnson is coming off a outstanding performance as he made work of Dustin Porier back in September knocking him out in the first-round. Johnson wins by 3rd rd TKO.

Thomas: Nergagomedov

Let me make this as clear as possible Khabib Nurgamedov is the most underrated fighter in the UFC and it isn’t even close. What he can do in an octagon from bell to bell is nothing short of remarkable but Khabib has been bit by the injury bug. Now is his time. As dangerous as MJ is I feel Khabib is on another level. Khabib by way of TKO 2nd round

rafael-natal_13184_fighterprofile_30Rafael Natal vs. Tim Boetschtim-boetsch_1065_fighterprofile_30                             

Michael: Boetsch

These two guys have been around for a while and both have very exciting fighting styles. Boetsch is a bit slower but he always seems to find a way to put on some damage. I think this will be a slug fest with Tim walking away from it still standing.

Orlando: Natal

Two veterans look to possibly have a slug fest early on in the card. Natal was just outside the top 10 in the division, before his loss to Whittaker. Natal has improved his overall game coming in as the better well-rounded fighter. Boetsch will more than likely prefer this standing up, but wont be able to match the speed and string of Natal. Natal by decision.

Thomas: Boetsch

First off I have to ask you a question? Have you ever watched Yushin Okami vs Tim Boetsch? If you haven’t stop what you are doing go onto youtube and look it up. Tim Boetsch is a savage beast. Ready to pounce on his prey at any point, Tim is never out of a fight. Natal has his advantages but Tim has the will to win Boestch by 3rd round tko


vicente-luque_530256_fighterprofile_30Vicente Luque vs. Belal Muhammadbelal-muhammad_593993_fighterprofile_30      

Michael: Muhammad

Belal Muhammad fights in the same vein as Khabib, utilizing great wrestling to set up his strong and fundamentally sound boxing.  Luque is going to come into this fight distracted and overlooking his opponent, leading to an early stoppage for Belal Muhammad.

Orlando: Laque

Vicente Luque seems like he’s the real deal, and can make some noise in his division. Muhammad is the better wrestler, and has a tad bit better on his feet. Luque hasn’t had much prep time, but will prove that the other guys need to be on a look out for him in the welterweight division. Luque by 3rd rd TKO



Michael Gomez

Michael Gomez grew up on a healthy diet of sports and video games and has continued to enjoy both throughout his life. A student of California State University Channel Islands, Michael is majoring in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis. Naturally the combined interests in writing and sports lead to his involvement in sports media. When he's not meticulously following the NBA season, he's working on his fiction story, playing video games or enjoying a bite to eat. Follow him on twitter @MichaelGom3
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