Here’s a preview of the UFC 215 main card fights

A breakdown of the fights on the main card of UFC 215 Saturday at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, with picks from the Review-Journal’s Adam Hill and Heidi Fang:

Amanda Nunes (14-4) vs. Valentina Shevchenko (14-2)

Class: For Nunes’s women’s bantamweight title

Line: Shevchenko minus-120

Storyline: The rematch of an intriguing 2016 bout will finally happen two months after it was scheduled to take place in Las Vegas. Nunes had to pull out of her scheduled title defense against Shevchenko just hours before the bout was set to take place at UFC 213 due to illness. Now Shevchenko finally gets the chance to avenge her loss last year and take the belt. Nunes controlled the first two rounds in the first meeting before fatiguing and nearly losing in the third. She got the decision and went on to win the belt. Nunes has gained a great deal of confidence since then by finishing Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey in the first round to win and defend the title. Shevchenko regrets pacing herself so much early in the first meeting and running out of time while suffering her only loss in the UFC. Not much should change this time. Nunes will come out and hunt for an early finish with Shevchenko likely looking to pace herself and wear down the champion. The challenger will have two extra rounds to work with a belt on the line this time.

Hill’s pick: Nunes by second-round knockout

Fang’s pick: Shevchenko by decision

Neil Magny (19-6) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (26-9)

Class: Welterweight

Line: Dos Anjos minus-125

Storyline: Magny is 11-2 over his last 13 fights in the UFC and gets a big opportunity against the former lightweight champion who will step in the cage at 170 pounds for the second time since losing the title and moving up in weight. Dos Anjos is a pressure fighter who likes to keep opponents on their heels by constantly coming forward. He will likely seek to negate the height and reach advantages of Magny by utilizing leg kicks and chopping down his taller opponent. Magny is incredibly resilient and should find a way to weather the storm. Dos Anjos moved up because he was having more and more trouble making weight at 155, but he might not be ready to deal with some of the bigger fighters at 170 pounds. Magny may force him to rethink the decision.

Hill’s pick: Magny by decision

Fang’s pick: Dos Anjos by decision

Henry Cejudo (10-2) vs. Wilson Reis (22-7)

Class: Flyweight

Line: Cejudo minus-340

Storyline: Two former challengers to Demetrious Johnson’s flyweight title face off with a possibility of the winner jumping right back into contention. This fight was promoted to the main card when Johnson’s opponent, Ray Borg, had to pull out of the main event on Thursday night. It’s a big opportunity for two of the top 125-pounders in the world. Cejudo, an Olympic gold medalist in wrestling, has lost two straight fights. The setbacks, however, have come against Johnson and longtime top contender Joseph Benavidez. Reis had his three-fight winning streak snapped by Johnson in April. The jiu-jitsu specialist has submitted 10 opponents in his career, but has never recorded a knockout victory. That’s not likely to change, but his ground skills present an intriguing stylistic matchup and could give Cejudo pause in shooting for takedowns. Cejudo has greatly improved his boxing and could look to win the fight on his feet.

Hill’s pick: Cejudo by second-round knockout

Fang’s pick: Cejudo by decision

Ilir Latifi (13-5, 1 No Contest) vs. Tyson Pedro (6-0)

Class: Light heavyweight

Line: Pedro minus-140

Storyline: This fight could very well come down to which rising prospect is able to control the distance. Latifi is incredibly strong, but absolutely needs to work inside. His wrestling and striking are both far more effective at close range. Pedro is taller and will have a noticeable reach advantage. If he can stay on the outside, this could be a blowout. Pedro has finished all six of his professional opponents inside the first round and would likely add to that total if Latifi can’t work his way inside. Latifi’s best chance may be to stretch out the fight and see how well Pedro can hold up if the fight does make it to the end of the first round. Pedro’s conditioning is really an unknown since he has never even had to go back to his corner in a professional bout.

Hill’s pick: Pedro by first-round knockout

Fang’s pick: Pedro by third-round knockout

Jeremy Stephens (25-13) vs. Gilbert Melendez (22-6)

Class: Featherweight

Line: Melendez minus-120

Storyline: Despite a long and solid career, Stephens may be forever best known for the guy who Conor McGregor dismissively mocked on for being a virtual unknown during a news conference last year when Stephens tried to interject during one of McGregor’s rants. Stephens has a chance to let McGregor and the rest of the MMA world know exactly who he is should he put on a good performance in welcoming Melendez to the featherweight division. Melendez, a former Strikeforce lightweight champion, hopes to rejuvenate his career with the drop in weight class. This should be a fun fight. Stephens is a brawler and Melendez has never been one to shy away from such a challenge. The big edge Melendez should have is with his wrestling. If he gets in too much trouble in an exchange or senses an opportunity at some point, he is more than capable to taking Stephens down. That could be the difference in what is a pretty evenly matched striking battle.

Hill’s pick: Melendez by decision

Fang’s pick: Melendez by decision

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

ad-high_impact_4
Covering The Cage Videos
Covering the Cage: Roy Nelson interview
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk about the world of MMA as well as interview heavyweight Roy Nelson.
Covering the Cage: Feb. 6 Facebook Live
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss UFC Fight Night 125 as well as preview UFC 221 and UFC 222.
Covering The Cage: Ronda Rousey joins WWE; UFC on Fox 27 recap
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss Ronda Rousey’s move to WWE and recap UFC on Fox 27.
Covering the Cage: Jordan Rinaldi, UFC on Fox 27 preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk to fighter Jordan Rinaldi about his upcoming fight and preview the rest of UFC on Fox 27.
Covering The Cage Live: UFC 220 and Bellator 192 Recap
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap UFC 220 and Bellator 192.
Covering the Cage: Recapping 2017
Heidi Fang and Adam Hill go over their favorite moments of 2017 and pick their favorite fight, knockout and submission of the year.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Recap
Covering The Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap tonights fights at UFC 219.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Picks
Covering The Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang give their picks for the main card fights at UFC 219.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Preview
Covering the Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang preview UFC 219 including Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm.
UFC 219 media day staredowns
Ahead of UFC 219's pay-per-view on Dec. 30, the stars of the main card faced off at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Cris "Cyborg" Justino will face Holly Holm in the main event for the women's featherweight belt.
Covering the Cage: UFC fighter Julian Marquez talks debut victory
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk with UFC fighter Julian Marquez. They discuss the beard competition between Marquez and Tyron Woodley, and the unexpected passing of longtime MMA coach and trainer Robert Follis.
Covering the Cage: Julian Marquez interview
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk about all things going on in the world of MMA and talk to Julian Marquez about his upcoming fight in Winnipeg.
Covering The Cage Live: UFC 218 Recap, TUF 26
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap The Ultimate Fighter 26 and UFC 218.
Covering The Cage: TUF 26 Recap, UFC 218 Preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap The Ultimate Fighter and preview UFC 218.
Covering the Cage: UFC 218, TUF 26 Finale preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang make their picks for the "The Ultimate Fighter" Season 26 Finale and UFC 218. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Covering the Cage: Kyra Batara interview
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk to Combate Americas Womens Atomweight Kyra Batara about her upcoming fight in San Antonio as well as Conor McGregor's potential incident at a bar and UFC 218.
Sports Betting Spotlight Videos
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Basketball Week 15
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Westgate Sports Book Director John Murray.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Basketball Week 14
Adam Hill and Kelly Stewart discuss betting strategies for college basketball.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Super Bowl prop futures
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Bernie Fratto and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview Super Bowl LII prop futures.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Super Bowl LII prop bets
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Bernie Fratto and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview Super Bowl LII prop bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Super Bowl LII picks
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Bernie Fratto and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview Super Bowl LII.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL conference championships
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview the NFL’s conference championship games.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL divisional playoffs
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview the NFL divisional playoffs.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football National Championship
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview Monday’s college football national championship.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Wild Card playoffs
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview the NFL’s Wild Card playoff weekend.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 17
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt go over their picks for week 17 of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Bowls Week Three
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt go over their picks for week three of the college bowl games.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Bowls Week 2
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Bernie Fratto and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview the college football bowls.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 16
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Bernie Fratto and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 16 of the NFL season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Bowl Edition
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Las Vegas Wynn Sports Book Director Johnny Avello go over their picks for the college bowl games.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 15
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Las Vegas Wynn Sports Book Director Johnny Avello go over their picks for week 15 of NFL football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 14
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and TI sports book director Tony Nevill preview NFL Week 14.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 13
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 13 of the NFL regular season. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College football Week 14
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 14 of the college football season. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 13
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt give their picks for week 13 of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt give their picks for week 12 of NFL football.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like