weather icon Drizzle

Here’s a preview and picks for UFC 225 in Chicago

Updated June 8, 2018 - 7:48 pm

A breakdown of the fights on the main card of UFC 225 on Saturday at the United Center in Chicago, with picks from the Review-Journal’s Adam Hill and Heidi Fang:

Robert Whittaker (20-4) vs. Yoel Romero (13-2)

Class: Middleweights

Line: Whittaker -240

Storyline: This was supposed to be a rematch for Whittaker’s middleweight belt, but Romero failed to make weight Friday so the title is no longer on the line. Whittaker won a close fight in the first meeting in July despite Romero injuring Whittaker’s knee early with a kick. The champion has not fought since that night, as he healed from the injury and then endured a case of staph infection. Romero is incredibly strong and a high-level athlete. He tends to get a bit less dangerous as the fight wears on, though he has recorded a few late stoppages. A big question could be how much the weight cut affected Romero.

Hill’s pick: Romero by second-round knockout

Fang’s pick: Whittaker by decision

Rafael dos Anjos (28-9) vs. Colby Covington (13-1)

Class: For interim welterweight title

Line: Covington -130

Storyline: Covington has quickly become one of the UFC’s most hated fighters. He is the real-life personification of an anonymous Twitter troll. Dos Anjos repeatedly has said that he looks forward to shutting up Covington. Dos Anjos has had issues with wrestlers, but he has looked comfortable and confident since moving up to 170 pounds from 155, where he was the champion. His experience in the spotlight could be a big edge against Covington, who is making a big step up. Look for dos Anjos to try to use leg kicks to wear Covington down early.

Hill’s pick: Dos Anjos by decision

Fang’s pick: Dos Anjos by third-round knockout

Holly Holm (11-4) vs. Megan Anderson (8-2)

Class: Women’s featherweights

Line: Holm -220

Storyline: Anderson will make her long-awaited UFC debut, but not against champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino as expected. Instead, the former Invicta champion will fight a former world boxing champion and former UFC women’s bantamweight champ. Holm has struggled with inconsistency since her knockout of Ronda Rousey in 2015. Anderson hasn’t fought since January 2017.

Hill’s pick: Holm by decision

Fang’s pick: Holm by second-round knockout

Andrei Arlovski (27-15, 1 No Contest) vs. Tai Tuivasa (7-0)

Class: Heavyweights

Line: Tuivasa -230

Storyline: Arlovski was the heavyweight champion in 2006. His career looked to be over, as he lost five straight fights, but he has won the past two to get a bout against an undefeated rising star. Tuivasa has knocked out all seven opponents in the first round, including two in the UFC. The former rugby player is big and quick for his size. He has all the makings of a future champion.

Hill’s pick: Tuivasa by first-round knockout

Fang’s pick: Tuivasa by third-round knockout

Phil “CM Punk” Brooks (0-1) vs. Mike Jackson (0-1)

Class: Welterweights

Line: Jackson -225

Storyline: Brooks, who fought in the WWE under the name “CM Punk,” is getting a second chance in the UFC. He made his debut in 2016, when he was smothered by newcomer Mickey Gall, who has proven to be far better than expected. Brooks will get another chance against Jackson, a part-time fighter who also lost his only pro fight to Gall. It’s difficult to judge either fighter by their performance against Gall, who easily handled both. Brooks also just went through an exhausting trial that he won this week when a jury ruled in his favor in a defamation case filed by a WWE doctor. He might be worn down or rejuvenated by the legal victory.

Hill’s pick: Brooks by decision

Fang’s pick: Jackson by second-round knockout

More MMA: Follow all of our MMA and UFC coverage online at CoveringTheCage.com and @CoveringTheCage on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Covering The Cage Videos
Greg Hardy, former NFL star, on MMA knockout
The former NFL star needed just 17 seconds to score a knockout on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series (Adam Hill/Review-Journal)
Marlon Moraes says Henry Cejudo will regret stepping up to bantamweight - VIDEO
UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo is coming up to the bantamweight division to battle Marlon Moraes for the vacant belt on June 8 at UFC 238. Moraes said Cejudo will regret going after a second title in a new division and added that he thinks his path will cross with former champion TJ Dillashaw in the future.
Paige VanZant details her arm injury, when she can return - VIDEO
UFC strawweight Paige VanZant was briefly linked to fight at UFC 236, but had to withdraw from the bout due to a broken arm. As a guest on the RJ Ringside Podcast, she detailed the injury and also spoke about joining the M-1 Global booth as a color commentator.
UFC 236 Press Conference Highlights
UFC 236 will feature a pair of interim title fights. In the main event, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway will face lightweight contender Dustin Poirier and middleweights Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum will collide in the co-main event. UFC 236 will take place in Atlanta, Ga., on Apr. 13.
Jon Jones retains light heavyweight belt at UFC 235 - VIDEO
Jon Jones retained the UFC light heavyweight belt when he earned a decision over Anthony Smith in the main event of UFC 235.
Kamaru Usman crowned new champ at UFC 235 — VIDEO
Kamaru Usman became the first African-born fighter to claim a UFC belt when he defeated Tyron Woodley to become the promotion's new welterweight champion.
UFC 235 Official Weigh-in Results - VIDEO
All 24 fighters competing at UFC 235 at the T-Mobile Arena on March 2 stepped on the scale prior for the official fight card weigh-ins. All four fighters competing in the title bouts slated for the event made weight.
UFC's Jones says he has no shame after recent drug test results are released - VIDEO
Though recent drug test results still show trace amounts of Turinabol in his system, UFC light heayvweight champion Jon Jones says he has no shame and is hiding nothing as he prepares for his UFC 235 title bout against Anthony Smith.
Anthony Smith stays level-headed prior to UFC 235 title fight - VIDEO
Despite UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones being in the spotlight for drug test discrepancies and other outside the cage struggles, Anthony Smith says he is tuning out the noise and remaining focused on the challenge of beating the reigning champion in the cage.
UFC 235 Media Day Highlights
Highlights and staredowns from the top three fights on the UFC 235 fight card taking place at the T-Mobile Arena on March 2.
Sports Betting Spotlight Videos
Dustin Poirier beats up Max Holloway at UFC 236

Dustin Poirier bloodied Max Holloway and won a unanimous decision for the UFC interim lightweight title on Saturday night, denying Holloway his chance to become only the fourth fighter to hold two belts at the same time.

Poirier bloodies Holloway, wins UFC interim lightweight belt

Dustin Poirier bloodied Max Holloway and won a unanimous decision for the UFC interim lightweight title on Saturday night, denying Holloway his chance to become only the fourth fighter to hold two belts at the same time.