UFC 226 Breakdowns & Predictions

From here on out, representatives from The Athletes Hub will break down each UFC pay-per-view event, and who we ultimately believe will win. The industry has a few solid cards on the horizon, but let’s see what everyone thinks will occur:
Stipe Miocic (18-2) vs Daniel Cormier (20-1)
Devon’s Take: Regardless of the outcome, both Miocic and Cormier will go down as some of the best fighters the UFC has been able to offer its fans. With that being said, both men don’t necessarily have the stamina to put on a full bout at full strength. I expect for fatigue to take over in the later rounds, as Miocic uses his size as an advantage over Cormier.
Prediction: Stipe Miocic via Unanimous Decision
Rami’s Take: Stipe Miocic defending his Heavyweight Championship against Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier is worth the hype. Both fighters have respectively defended and retained their titles to earn this opportunity to prove who is the best heavyweight in UFC history. While there is no bad blood involved, the competitive nature in Miocic and Cormier is sure to come out.
Prediction: Daniel Cormier via Unanimous Decision
Max Holloway (19-3) vs Brian Ortega (14-0)
Devon’s Take: Although Brian Ortega remains undefeated, Max Holloway is the more well-rounded fighter. His striking rate is nearly double Ortega’s, and his accuracy standing up is 11.73% higher as well. Holloway has three straight successful title defenses, and all of his defenses ended in a third-round finish.
Prediction: Max Holloway via KO
Rami’s Take: This is going to be a huge step for both fighters. Max Holloway is one of the best strikers the Featherweight division has ever seen, while Brian Ortega has the best grappling and submission finishes in the industry. Both men are the same age and at this point, the fight could go either way. Regardless of the outcome, this will be a must-watch event.
Prediction: Max Holloway via KO
Francis Ngannou (11-2) vs Derrick Lewis (19-5) 
Devon’s Take: Neither fighter wants this match to go to the ground, so expect a lot of heavy hits until someone falls. The fact of the matter is that Francis Ngannou has yet to let one of his wins go to the judge’s table, and this time around shouldn’t be different. I expect for Ngannou to knock out Derrick Lewis, who has been knocked out in three of his five career fights.
Prediction: Francis Ngannou via KO
Rami’s Take: This fight will not make it to the ground unless either fighter lands a clean strike and knocks their opponent out. If this bout makes it to judge’s table, it won’t necessarily place Francis Ngannou or Derrick Lewis in line for a title shot. On the other hand, but if either fighter keeps the night short, it could very well guarantee themselves a Heavyweight Championship fight.
Prediction: Francis Ngannou via Unanimous Decision
Michael Chiesa (14-3) vs Anthony Pettis (20-7)
Devon’s Take: Both fighters have a similar striking rate, but Anthony Pettis is more accurate in his attempts in striking and takedowns. If Chiesa can remain patient and wait for a gap, it would be his first victory since April of 2016. I believe this one will be close, but Chiesa has a lot more to lose.
Prediction: Michael Chiesa via Unanimous Decision 
Rami’s Take: Both Michael Chiesa and Anthony Pettis are seeking a title match, and this bout could be a statement for either fighter. Chiesa and Pettis are able to finish matches standing or on the ground. Chiesa will attempt to use the ground game, while Pettis is ore comfortable on his feet.
Prediction: Michael Chiesa via Split Decision 
Gokhan Saki (1-1) vs Khalil Rountree Jr (7-3) 
Devon’s Take: While many won’t recognize Gokhan Saki, others will remember Khalil Rountree Jr from his time on The Ultimater Fighter (season 23). Rountree Jr finished as the runner-up, losing in unanimous decision to Andrew Sanchez. It seems as though Rountree Jr specializes in striking, but has an incapability to defend the ground game. I expect for this bout to remain standing, as Rountree Jr catches a lucky break.
Prediction: Khalil Rountree Jr via KO
Rami’s Take: This will only be Gokhan Saki’s third professional MMA bout, as he previously came off a loss from a few years back and won. With his kickboxing efficiency, Saki is a nightmare matchup for Khalil Rountree Jr, who has potential, but a lack in technical skills.
Prediction: Gokhan Saki via KO

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