The UFC is back and will be bringing the heat Saturday night for UFC 250. With the main card that consists of one of the UFC’s fastest rising stars, a fight that is considered a true clash of styles, two bantamweight fights that coil well to determine who will be crowned the new king of the 135-pound division, and arguably the greatest female fighter of all time looking to defend her title. Let’s take a deep dive into these main card matchups, as well as give predictions to who will walk out of the UFC Apex with a win.
Eddie Wineland vs. Sean O’Malley
Sean O’Malley is a young, future superstar of the UFC. He has the mindset and all the tools needed to be a champion of the UFC. However, he has never faced someone with the experience and track record like Eddie Wineland. Both of these competitors look to end their fights in a knockout, with 15 of Wineland’s 24 professional wins ending in a KO. While O’Malley makes it a point to try to end the fight early, he has the ability to take a fight deep and get a win by the judges’ scorecards. The key for both fighters is to stay patient and strike with purpose.
David’s prediction: O’Malley def. Wineland via TKO/KO
Cameron’s prediction: O’Malley def. Wineland via TKO
Neil Magny vs. Anthony Rocco Martin
Magny and Martin are very different fighters. Magny is a guy who likes to keep the fight on the feet and either takes his opponent out early or holds them off for a decision win. While Martin, on the other hand, loves to use his jiu jitsu skills and take the fight to the mat and score a submission. Magny has had four losses in his career come by submission, so his best chance for a win is to be smart and not force anything if the fight goes to the ground. If Martin sees an opening, he is going to take it and end the fight however he wants to.
David’s prediction: Magny def. Martin via decision
Cameron’s prediction: Magny def. Martin via decision
Aljamain Sterling vs. Cory Sandhagen
Sterling and Sandhagen sit at the top of the UFC bantamweight rankings, which means whoever wins this fight could very well punch their ticket to a championship fight. With champion Henry Cejudo announcing his retirement at UFC 249 and relinquishing his title, these two fighters are hungry for gold. Sterling is a veteran of the UFC, as he has been competing in the promotion since February of 2014. The “Funk Master” is a talented wrestler and a black belt in jiu jitsu, while the “Sand Man” is more of a stand up fighter, with experience in kickboxing before making the jump to MMA. Sandhagen’s takedown defense is going to have to hold up in this fight because if this fight goes to the ground, Sterling can easily take control.
David’s prediction: Sterling def. Sandhagen wins via decision
Cameron’s prediction: Sterling def. Sandhagen via submission
Raphael Assuncao vs. Cody Garbrandt
Cody Garbrandt has had a rough few years in the UFC. After going 9-0 to begin his career, he has three consecutive KO/TKO losses. Garbrandt is not the same fighter. He used to be a killer in the stand up game and could knock anybody out. However, all of that has turned into him appearing to have a weak chin. Luckily, Assuncao is by no means considered a knockout artist, this fight will most likely go to the ground, where Assuncao is at his best.
David’s prediction: Assuncao def. Garbrandt via submission
Cameron’s prediction: Assuncao def. Garbrandt via TKO
Main Event: Amanda Nunes vs. Felicia Spencer for the women’s featherweight title
Amanda Nunes is a monster, plain and simple. She dismantled Cris Cyborg in just under a minute to win the belt, has been the reigning UFC Bantamweight champion since 2016 and is the first ever women’s double champ in UFC history. She is undoubtedly the greatest women’s MMA fighter ever. While Felicia Spencer, on the other hand, has only had nine professional fights in her career, and could be considered an unproven prospect. However, Spencer could very well shock the world and find a way to win. These things have happened in the UFC before. Zhang Weili was vastly overlooked when she fought Jessica Andrade for the strawweight title, and ended up winning the fight by knockout in the first round. Will the same thing happen for Spencer? Probably not, but don’t count her out just yet. She is in the UFC and was given this chance for a reason.
David’s prediction: Nunes defeats Spencer via Knockout.
Cameron’s prediction: Nunes def. Spencer via TKO
Broadcast coverage for UFC 250 begins at 6:00 p.m. EST with the early prelims. They will be simulcasted on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass. The televised prelims will be simulcasted on ESPN and ESPN+ at 8:00 p.m., and the main card will be broadcasted on ESPN+ pay-per-view at 10:00 p.m.