The Ultimate Fighting Championship will crown a new light-heavyweight champion when Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson square off at UFC 187. The event will also feature a middleweight title clash as Chris Weidman defends his strap against the ever dangerous Vitor Belfort.
Here are my UFC 187 predictions:
Anthony Johnson vs. Daniel Cormier
Johnson (19-4-0, 13 KOs) was originally scheduled to face former light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones, but Bones’ second brush with the law forced the Ultimate Fighting Championship to strip him and set this matchup up.
Now, Cormier (15-1-0, 6 KOs) will get a second chance to claim the light-heavyweight title.
While some MMA fans are undoubtedly bummed they’ll no longer get to see the intriguing Jones vs. Johnson matchup, this has the potential to be much more entertaining.
Johnson and Cormier have a lot in common, like solid striking skills and takedown defense, making this a very even contest. Cormier is the more accomplished wrestler, but I highly doubt he’ll be able to ragdoll Johnson or even take him down consistently.
The striking exchanges should be just as even, but Johnson throws his strikes with a lot more power. That should be the difference maker here.
Prediction: Anthony Johnson wins via TKO.
Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort
Belfort (24-10-0, 17 KOs) has been rather scary inside the Octagon lately, viciously knocking out his last three opponents. He’s added many new kicking techniques to his arsenal, and those seem to be his most dangerous weapons right now.
Weidman (12-0-0, 5 KOs) couldn’t have looked better during his last outing against Lyoto Machida. He proved he had the potential to be one of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s dominant champions, showing amazing striking technique as he picked Machida’s usually impregnable defense apart.
It’s hard to go against Weidman after that performance.
Then, there’s the fact Vitor won’t have a TRT exemption heading into this one.
Of course, there’s always a chance Belfort catches Weidman with something big, but the more likely outcomes is Weidman keeping his undefeated record intact.
Prediction: Weidman wins by TKO.
Remaining UFC 187 predictions:
Donald Cerrone defeats John Makdessi
Travis Browne defeats Andrei Arlovski
Joseph Benavidez defeats John Moraga
John Dodson defeats Zach Makovsky
Dong Hyun Kim defeats Josh Burkman
Uriah Hall defeats Rafael Natal
Rose Namajunas defeats Nina Ansaroff
Colby Covington defeats Mike Pyle
Islam Makhachev defeats Leo Kuntz
Justin Scoggins defeats Josh Sampo
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 187 FightPicks shortly before the prelims start.