Thursday, July 25, 2024

UFC 245 preview and predictions

It’s that time of the month again. UFC 245 takes place at the T-Moblie Arena in Las Vegas tomorrow night, with three huge title fights on the card. We’ll see Amanda Nunes defend her bantamweight title against former featherweight champion Germaine De Randamie. We’re also set for one hell of a fight between Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski for the featherweight title, as well as the heated main event between Karamu Usman and Colby Covington for the welterweight strap.

If that isn’t enough to get you excited, we’ll also be seeing the bantamweight debut of Jose Aldo as he begins on a crusade to become a two division champion, taking on former contender Marlon Moraes who is looking to make his way back into the picture, after he failed to pry the title away from Henry Cejudo in his last fight.

Te California Kid, Urijah Faber, will step into the Octagon for the second time this year as he takes on number four ranked bantamweight Petr Yan, in what could be a very important fight for the division.

Strap yourself in as we run through the card, give you our predictions and preview the main card fights.

UFC 245 Main Card:

Welterweight: Kamaru Usman (C) (15-1-0) vs Colby Covington (15-1-0)

Colby Covington is finally getting his title shot, ironically taking on the man that took his place earlier this year. Kamaru Usman defeated dominant champion Tyron Woodley to claim the welterweight championship back in March, looking mightily impressive as he did. This weekend will see him host his very first title defence, and as the old adage goes, you’re not a true champion until you’ve defended the belt.

UFC 245
UFC 245 card

For Covington, this is the chance to prove what he has been saying for a long time, that he is the best fighter in the division. It is a campaign that he has been on for over two years, following his victory over Demian Maia back in 2017. However it doesn’t seem as though he will be going into this fight with a huge amount of support from the fans or his fellow fighters, with most hoping to see him on the receiving end of a whipping from the champion.

This one is a hard one to predict as both men are incredible fighters with deep rooted backgrounds in wrestling, both men competing at NCAA level at around the same time in 2010 and 2011. It should be interesting to see how long this fight stays on the feet, or if either man looks for the takedown and attempts to take control on the ground.

It would be no surprise to see this being an incredibly tight fight that goes all five rounds, ending in a decision. It’s likely that both men will be wary of the others wrestling ability, making them less likely to throw any risky kicks.

Prediction: Kamaru Usman

UFC 245 Featherweight: Max Holloway (C) (21-4-0) vs Alexander Volkanovski (20-1-0)

Alexander Volkanovski is facing the biggest challenge of his career as he challenges Max Holloway for his featherweight title. Volkanovski has shot up the rankings over the past 12 months, picking up huge victories over Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo. Rising from being the number 10 ranked contender this time last year, to the number one ranked contender and fighting for the title is a massive step up and it will be interesting to see if “The Great” is on the same level as Holloway.

Meanwhile Max will be looking to continue his reign atop the division, dubbed the Blessed Era, as well as gaining his first stoppage since his victory over Jose Aldo in 2017. Holloway has been head and shoulders above the division since he won the interim title back in 2016, perhaps even longer, with Holloway coming into the bout holding a 14 fight winning streak in the division.

The two men have a history for standing and trading, with some smart and tactical stand up, however both men also hold a handful of submission victories throughout their careers and will always pose a threat on the ground if the other gets sloppy. This could be another featherweight title bout that either goes the distance or close two it, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see an early knockout from Max.

Prediction: Max Holloway

UFC 245 Women’s Bantamweight: Amanda Nunes (C) (18-4-0) vs Germaine De Randamie (9-3-0)

Amanda Nunes and Germaine De Randamie will fight each other for the second time on Saturday night, with their careers taking slightly different trajectories following their first fight back in 2013. Nunes would win their first fight via KO in the first round, going on to have another 10 fights between that victory and facing off against De Randamie for a second time. In those fights, Nunes has faced some of the greatest fights in the history of women’s MMA, taking on and defeating; Shayna Bazler, Sara McMann, Valentina Shevchenko (twice), Meisha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm.

In the same period of time De Randamie has fought five times, two of those fights came against women who would leave the UFC just one bout after their loss to De Randamie. The subsequent three victories have been spread out across three years, a controversial win over Holly Holm, a decision win over a 9-6 Raquel Pennington and a very quick win against surging contender Aspen Ladd.

I can’t see this going any other way than Nunes absolutely mauling GDR, I’d expect an early stoppage, perhaps in the first or second round. De Randamie is a good fighter, there’s no doubt about that, but Nunes is on a different level to pretty much any other woman in the sport.

Prediction: Amanda Nunes

UFC 245 Bantamweight: Marlon Moraes (22-6-1) vs Jose Aldo (28-5-0)

Jose Aldo is set to make his Bantamweight debut, as we discussed in this recent article, taking on former title challenger Marlon Moraes. It certainly isn’t an easy welcome to the division for the two time featherweight champion.

Aldo wasn’t looking overly healthy at the weigh-ins ahead of the fight, however he has stated that he found the cut to be easier than he expected, so only time will tell how much the weight drop will have effected his ability inside the cage.

Prediction: Marlon Moraes

UFC 245 Bantamweight: Petr Yan (13-1-0) vs Urijah Faber (35-10-0)

Urijah Faber is looking to continue the resurrection of his career as he takes on number four ranked Petr Yan. This is a big fight for the division, as the UFC Hall of Famer will be looking to push his way into title contention with a victory, however you can’t help but feel that a victory for Yan would both cement his place within the top three as well as once again putting the end to the career of the California Kid.

Prediction: Petr Yan


Welterweight: Geoff Neal (12-2-0) vs Mike Perry (13-5-0)

Prediction: Mike Perry

Women’s Bantamweight: Ketlen Vieria (10-0-0) vs Irene Aldana (11-5-0)

Prediction: Ketlen Vieria

Middleweight: Ian Heinisch (13-2-0) vs Omari Akhmedov (19-4-1)

Prediction: Ian Heinisch

Welterweight: Matt Brown (21-16-0) vs Ben Saunders (22-12-2)

Prediction: Ben Saunders

Early Prelims

Featherweight: Chase Hooper (6-0-1) vs Daniel Teymur (7-3-0)

Prediction: Chase Hooper

Flyweight: Brandon Moreno (15-5-1) vs Kai Kara-France (20-7-0)

Prediction: Kai Kara-France

Women’s Flyweight: Jessica Eye (14-7-0) vs Viviane Araujo (8-1-0)

Prediction: Jessica Eye

Middleweight: Punahele Soriano (6-0-0) vs Oskar Piechota (11-2-1)

Prediction: Oskar Piechota

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