At UFC Fight Night 59, Conor McGregor will have an opportunity to secure what might turn out to be one of the biggest fights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s history, a title fight against Jose Aldo held at a soccer stadium in Ireland.
The event is set for Jan. 18, at the TD Garden in Boston, Mass.
Here are my UFC Fight Night 59 Predictions:
Conor McGregor vs. Dennis Siver
McGregor (16-2-0, 14 KOs) has been one of the most hyped fighters in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s history, but he certainly deserves the tremendous push he gets from the UFC’s brass. Four fights into his Octagon debut, and Conor has already established himself as one of the apex predators in the featherweight division, primarily due to his unorthodox, but sharp and powerful, striking.
He’s also a very entertaining fellow in an out of the cage.
McGregor doesn’t just win fights, he finishes opponents with his vicious striking skills. So far, Max Holloway is the only UFC opponent that has managed to avoid being on the receiving end of one of the Irishman’s finishes. He likely won’t have accomplished that feat if McGregor didn’t injure his knee during that fight.
Marcus Brimage, Diego Brandao, and Dustin Poirier weren’t so fortunate.
Dennis Siver (22-9-0, 9 submissions) is a battle tested journeyman. His striking is above average, and even though he typically uses his equally above wrestling skills in reverse, he’s more than capable of scoring points with a few takedowns here and there.
At this point in his MMA career, Siver has been pretty much relegated to gatekeeper status, but a win against McGregor would restore him as a legit contender in the division. It’s a big opportunity for Siver, meaning he’ll likely bring his A-game come fight time.
That likely won’t be enough to get him past McGregor though.
Even though it is possible Siver enjoys some success with his grappling, as he did during his fight against Cub Swanson, he’ll eventually be forced to trade with McGregor at some point in the fight.
There’s only one way that’s going to end.
Prediction: Conor McGregor wins via TKO.
Donald Cerrone vs. Benson Henderson
Henderson (21-4-0, 9 submissions) will be looking to rebound from his first knockout loss when he squares off against Cerrone (26-6-0, 15 submissions) at UFC Fight Night 59.
Cerrone put a serious whooping on Myles Jury during his last outing at UFC 182, and he’s now stepping up as a late replacement for Eddie Alvarez, who was originally scheduled to face Henderson on Jan. 18, meaning Cerrone has a turnaround time of exactly 14 days.
Henderson, who defeated Cerrone twice in the WEC, on the other hand is coming off a full camp, so the timing of this fight certainly benefits him.
Cerrone is on a roll right now, so I expect this fight to be as competitive as the first one between these two. However, all fighters have their kryptonite, and Henderson has already proven that he has Cerrone’s number. Benson should be able to use his superior wrestling skills to control the action once again.
The fact Cerrone only gets 14 days to recoup from his last fight and prepare for Henderson only makes things easier for “Smooth.”
Prediction: Benson Henderson wins via decision.
Remaining UFC Fight Night 59 predictions:
Uriah Hall defeats Ron Stallings
Norman Parke defeats Gleison Tibau
Cathal Pendred defeats Sean Spencer
John Howard defeats Lorenz Larkin
Chris Wade defeats Zhang Lipeng
Patrick Holohan defeats Shane Howell
Johnny Case defeats Frankie Perez
Charles Rosa defeats Sean Soriano
Sean O’Connell defeats Matt Van Buren
Joby Sanchez defeats Tateki Matsuda
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 Fight Night 59 Predictions FightPicks shortly before the prelims start. Up +17.94 units so far this year.