This is probably a good time to talk UFC 237, might throw something on Anchor to preview it in listening format too. 237 has some really interesting fights and the Brazilian crowd is always GREAT for energy. It's a home/away type environment but with a hyper passionate fanbase and some all time great talents virtually any time they throw up a PPV.
So the Main Card has two hyper interesting fights.
The main event is Rose Namajunas vs Jessica Andrade
and I'm here for all of it. Andrade has dominated every opponent at 115 besides Joanna, who used great footwork and managed to spring right two her feet the few times Andrade did get things to the ground. Andrade's style is predictable; she's a bit plodding but packs a ton of power and I'm not sure I've seen her hurt by anyone in the division yet. Andrade can wrestle too, so when your back hits the cage you have to get out of there QUICKLY and she will throw body punches like Lineker to slow you down when you circle out. All of that said; Andrade has had her biggest difficulties with Joanna and Angela Hill. Hill didn't win, but was elusive and precise with her techniques. Rose has a ton of height and bouncy footwork that helps her manage distance. She's also very gifted on the ground, but that could be a gift and a curse. Where JJ was instantly in stand up mode when her back hit the mat; Rose may try to get to guard and work her way up from there...but Andrade overpowers everyone. I'm leaning toward Rose, but Andrade is one good round away from either stopping Rose or taking a ton of gas out of her tank. I think this could be a GREAT match-up.
Rose's last tough practice for this camp was with Justin Gaethje as a sparring partner and Brett Okamoto said they sparred virtually non-stop for 40 minutes straight. That's great experience against an overpowering cardio guy.
Then you got Volkanovski vs Aldo
. It should be the co-main but Anderson Silva has a GOAT legacy that got him the co-main instead. Anyway Volkanovski is like a modern Chad Mendes (and he KO'ed Mendes to lock that spot up). A stocky, powerful wrestler with really sharp striking behind it. He's one of those guys who is really sharp and when you start to focus on addressing that striking, he can get hands on someone for grappling. Aldo though, has mostly victimized shorter fighters with that piston jab from the lead hand and his ability to punish fighters to the body and legs when they try to push inside. Max is 5'11; Conor is 5'9; Volkanovski is 5'6...same as Frankie and Mendes, who are a combined 0-4 vs Aldo.
Now here's the thing...Mendes vs Aldo 2 is a classic, super tight fight and one of my all time favorites (top 10 seems right without thinking too hard on it). Mendes was able to take Aldo to a war in that fight but Aldo edged him. A superior version of Mendes against an aging Aldo could be a difference maker. It's just hard to see because Aldo has become Goro to Holloway's Shang Tsung. Bonus Note:
Aldo was in the hospital with a bacterial infection in his knee in late March. That seems like it'd interrupt camp but I didn't get deep in the details on it. I probably will if the betting lines look good enough to explore. Aldo was an underdog vs Moicano and I cashed beautifully on that.
Less hype for me but still must see is Anderson Silva vs Jarred Cannonier
. I'm a HUGE Silva fan and he put on an entertaining effort against Israel Adesanya, but he is very far from his prime now. He's 1-5 in his last 6 with a ND against Nick Diaz due to popping for PED's. He simply hasn't been the same since Weidman and even his one win over Brunson was controversial and close. Cannonier is a good comparable to Brunson; bombs in his hands and solid all around game behind those. He looked average at 205, but always showed promise with his boxing. His one fight at 185 is a starching of top 10 MW David Branch. Anderson in his bag gets this fight done, but at this point it's possible Cannonier becomes the closer for a GOAT's career. So my bias toward Silva is why I'm not looking forward to this one.Bonus Note:
If Anderson wins, expect a Conor McGregor callout
I really hate when fighters look past opponents, it backfires really often.
Then there's some undercard names worth looking out for:Little Nog is fighting Ryan Spann
. Nog has rarely fought recently, but he's still been beating journeymen comfortably while losing to anyone worth ranking. Spann's last win I can remember is over the guy who looked so bad against Greg Hardy that people thought he threw the fight. So if Nog loses, it's more likely to father time.Bethe Correia is fighting Irene Aldana
. Correia has always been overrated to me while Aldana is no pushover but no world beater either. Aldana has given tough fights to women like Chookagian and beaten most of the lower tier opposition. That said, unless the betting line is pretty; I'd avoid this one. Middling fighters in Brazil can struggle even if they're even with competition and Correia has fought legitimate elite women.Bj Penn is fighting Clay Guida
too, Idc about that one...will skip. Penn is cooked and has some awful allegations, Guida is also pretty cooked but should retire if he loses to Penn. Who is 1-8-1 since 2010
Also the early Prelims has one fight I really like. Sergio Moraes vs Warrley Alves
. Alves once beat Alan Jouban, Nordine Taleb and Colby Covington in three straight fights. He does have losses to Barbarena and Krause, but I think both guys are underrated (especially Krause). I used to really hype Alves, so I hope he can get it back. Moraes has been around forever and always been a tough out (except against Usman). This could be a legitimate sleeper fam and it's hilariously stuck on Fight Pass which is neglected unless you like the third party orgs.