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UFC 187 Preview – Johnson Vs Cormier

UFC 187 preview

There’s a big UFC card this weekend.

When the UFC re-configured their PPV cards because of injuries, people circled their calendars on May 23rd. With two huge title fights on the show, from a big match perspective, this show is their best card since January.

However, with Jon Jones out of the light heavyweight title fight because of his most recent car accident and being suspended from the company and stripped of his title, the show doesn’t seem as big.

That being said, it’s still a pretty tremendous card. Two title fights plus an exciting undercard – you could do far worse on your Saturday night.

In addition to the FGB crew, included in our picks are John LaRocca, president of Premier Wrestling, the hardest working woman in MMA, Heidi Fang, and my own personal bodyguard, Alex Goff.

Here’s how we’re doing so far:

Alan: 26-11
John: 25-12
Duan: 24-13
Jim: 23-14
Heidi: 22-15
GG: 21-16
Alex: 18-19

Here’s our UFC 187 preview:

Joseph Benavidez Vs John Moraga

Duan: Joseph Benavidez
Alan: Joseph Benavidez
John: Joseph Benavidez
Heidi: Joseph Benavidez
Alex: Joseph Benavidez
Jim: Joseph Benavidez
GG: Joseph Benavidez

Travis Browne Vs Andrei Arlovski

Duan: Travis Browne
Alan: Travis Browne
John: Travis Browne
Heidi: Travis Browne
Alex: Travis Browne
Jim: Travis Browne
GG: Travis Browne

Donald Cerrone Vs John Makdessi

Duan: Donald Cerrone
Alan: Donald Cerrone
John: Donald Cerrone
Heidi: Donald Cerrone
Alex: Donald Cerrone
Jim: Donald Cerrone
GG: Donald Cerrone

Chris Weidman Vs Vitor Belfort

Alex: Chris Weidman by 1st round TKO
In an effort not to jinx the light heavyweight title fight, I will not discuss it. Not to anyone! So, the middleweight title will also be defended as the champion Chris Weidman fights Vitor Belfort. I feel like Vitor should have a special distinction as a fighter who has been with the organization since UFC 12. Vitor has been defined by his potential. It looked to be unlimited, but for most of his career, he looked to be a guy who would never reach it. Then Vitor hit the TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) era of his career where he looked like a world beater. Now, in the post-trt era of the sport, he looks to take on one of the best fighters in the company. This could end quickly.

Heidi: Chris Weidman by 4th round TKO
Weidman has proven time and time again that he’s capable of executing the right game plan. Despite the injuries that he’s had, I think he’s likely to come into this fight more prepared and focused than ever. With Belfort having been out of action for the past 18 months and sans TRT, it’s unlikely that we see that same fighter who was able to finish the likes of Rockhold, Bisping and Henderson.

Duan: Chris Weidman
Alan: Chris Weidman
John: Chris Weidman
Jim: Chris Weidman
GG: Chris Weidman

Anthony Johnson Vs Daniel Cormier

Duan: Daniel Cormier by 3rd round TKO
It’s now or never for Cormier as far as UFC titles go. At 36 and with this being his second shot in a row at the belt, it’s going to be really hard for DC to battle his way back into contention should he slip up here. I do believe Daniel is the next best light heavyweight in UFC outside of Jon Jones, and with Jones out of the picture at-least temporarily, he now has his chance to prove it.

It’s all been so far, so good for Anthony Johnson since he stepped up in weight, but I have a feeling some of the cracks he showed during his earlier career run will once again surface once the pressure is on. I don’t believe he’s ever really had to contend with somebody who was capable of dragging him down into the trenches and make it a war of attrition the way Cormier can. The five round duration is in Daniel’s favour. If Johnson can’t spark him out early, I see DC grinding him down gradually and finishing him off inside the distance.

Alan: Anthony Johnson by 2nd round TKO
I was really impressed with Daniel Cormier in the fight with Jon Jones. He gave such a great accounting of himself. He was the absolute best Daniel Cormier he could be on that night… but it wasn’t enough. As the fight went on, you could feel the wind go out of his sails. As the realization set in that he could not beat the champion, Cormier lost something. He didn’t stop fighting but he never appeared to be a threat from that point on. If Daniel Cormier is able to put that behind him and move on with the same fire and determination he had going into that fight, then he’s got incredible strength of mind. I have my doubts though.

Those doubts aren’t strong enough to come into the equation against most fighters, but Antony Johnson is not most fighters. In 2015, Johnson is one of the scariest Mixed Martial Artists going and he’s got the striking power to take advantage of any vulnerability an opponent may have, mentally or physically. I think Johnson will have good enough takedown defense to get the opportunities he needs standing, and one of those opportunities will result in a serious test of Cormier’s jaw and heart. It will be absolutely no shame if Cormier falls at the stone hands of Johnson, but I’m thinking it will happen.

GG: Anthony Johnson by 3rd round TKO
The fight quite possibly comes down to which guy’s strength comes out on top. What are you betting on? Are you betting on Cormier to be able to use his wrestling to tire out Johnson and eventually make him quit? Or are you betting on Johnson being able to keep it on the feet, which could mean bad news for Cormier?

I’m betting on the latter rather than the former, but it’s not too confident of a bet. Out of the all the fights on the UFC 187 card, this one seems to be the one that’s most like a tossup. I can’t wait.

John: Daniel Cormier
Heidi: Daniel Cormier
Alex: Daniel Cormier
Jim: Anthony Johnson

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