UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.
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Two of the best strikers in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Anthony Pettis and Rafael dos Anjos, will collide at UFC 185 when the premier MMA organization in the world heads to the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas.

Here are my UFC 185 Predictions:

Anthony Pettis vs. Rafael dos Anjos (lightweight title bout)
Dos Anjos (23-7-0, 8 submissions) has been on a tear lately, handing Benson Henderson his first knockout loss, then handing Nate Diaz a vicious beating like we’d never seen before during his last outing. The many low kicks he landed during his tilt against Diaz likely gave the Stockton native nightmares for days.

Dos Anjos’ last two performances have certainly made it clear the Brazilian is a championship caliber fighter, but he’ll be going up against an especially talented opponent at UFC 185.

Pettis (18-2-0, 8 submissions) is arguably the best striker in the Ultimate Fighting Championship right now, and his arsenal of kicks is even more diverse than dos Anjos’. Pettis is also the better grappler, and he’s a lot more dangerous with his submissions.

All these should lead to a very entertaining fight, but Pettis should emerge victorious when it’s all said and done.

Prediction: Anthony Pettis wins via KO.

Carla Esparza vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk (flyweight title bout)

Esparza (10-2-0, 4 submission) will defend the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s flyweight title for the first time when she takes on Jedrzejczyk (8-0-0, 2 KOs) at UFC 185. Joanna is one of the best strikers in the flyweight division, and that was apparent during her last outing against Claudia Gadelha. Joanna dominated the striking exchanges against the Brazilian who is also a competent striker, knocking her down a couple of times during the encounter.

Joanna will clearly have the advantage standing up against Esparza.

That doesn’t mean this is going to be an easy fight for her. While Esparza isn’t the savviest striker around, she is a solid wrestler with excellent top control. She’s was able to ground everyone she faced on TUF, and her relentless takedowns broke Rose Namajunas’ will when the two collided at the Finale.

Joanna certainly knows a thing or two about sprawling, stopping 73 percent of the takedowns that have come her way. But it’s worth nothing that Gadelha was able to take her down seven times during their fight. Joanna made Gadelha work for every single one of those, and she also did a decent job of getting back to her feet when grounded.

Esparza’s takedowns are just as good as Gadelha’s and she tends to chain takedowns together until she eventually puts her opponent on their backs. Esparza will certainly have some rough moments during striking exchanges, but if she’s able to survive Joanne’s initial onslaught, she has all the tools needed to emerge victorious is she follows a smart game plan.

Prediction: Carla Esparza wins via decision.

Remaining UFC 185 predictions:

Johny Hendricks defeats Matt Brown

Roy Nelson defeats Alistair Overeem

Henry Cejudo defeats Chris Cariaso

Ross Pearson defeats Sam Stout

Elias Theodorou defeats Roger Narvaez

Daron Cruickshank defeats Beneil Dariush

Jared Rosholt defeats Josh Copeland

Sergio Pettis defeats Ryan Benoit

Joseph Duffy defeats Jake Lindsey

Germaine de Randamie defeats Larissa Pacheco

David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.

Don’t forget to check out my UFC 185 Predictions FightPicks. Up +18.15 units so far this year.

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Author

David King
davidkingwriter@yahoo.com
passionately follows mixed martial arts and boxing. He's currently a Yahoo Sports MMA contributor.

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