UFC 216: Ferguson vs. Lee – Fight Night Picks
The UFC comes home to Las Vegas on an emotional week for the city following the mass shootings just a few hundred yards from Saturday night’s venue, the T-Mobile Arena.
It was decided that the event would go ahead as planned, with UFC president Dana White announcing the organization was donating $1 million to the families of those affected by the shootings at the Mandalay Bay Resort last weekend.
And the UFC is putting on a blockbuster event, with a stacked card full of entertaining matchups, including two world title fights at the top of the bill.
Ferguson and Lee go for gold
[Photo credit: © Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports]
The main event will see Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee go head to head for the interim UFC lightweight title. Ferguson is riding a nine-fight win streak, while Lee has won five in a row. Both men are superbly skilled, with the bookies leaning toward Ferguson, whose resume features higher-caliber opposition.
But Lee has burst into contention off the back of some very impressive performances, and "The Motown Phenom" says he’s ready to halt Ferguson’s winning run and position himself to challenge undisputed champ Conor McGregor in 2018.
You can check out my full prediction for this fight via my Sports Action main event preview here. But in short, I believe Lee has evolved his game to the point where he has the patience and the skill to take advantage of Ferguson’s wild, at-times open, fighting style.
PICK: LEE BY SUBMISSION
‘Mighty Mouse’ goes for history
[Photo Credit: © Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports]
The co-main sees Demetrious Johnson bid for UFC history, as he takes on Ray Borg looking to make his 11th successful defense of the UFC flyweight title.
The pair was due to fight at UFC 215 last month, but illness ruled Borg out of the contest on weigh-in day. Thankfully, Borg made a full and speedy recovery, and the pair will do battle for the belt on Saturday night.
It’s impossible to go against Johnson in this bout, however, and the all-conquering champion is a clear odds-on favorite to prevail on Saturday night.
Borg is a tough competitor, but simply isn’t in Johnson’s class. "Mighty Mouse" is the pound-for-pound No. 1 fighter in the world today, and he should cement that status by writing his name into the record books with victory.
PICK: JOHNSON BY SUBMISSION
UFC 216: Ferguson vs Lee – Fight Card
Predicted winners highlighted in green
|Tony Ferguson||Kevin Lee||Interim UFC lightweight title|
|Demetrious Johnson||Ray Borg||UFC flyweight title|
|Fabricio Werdum||Derrick Lewis||Heavyweight bout|
|Mara Romero Borella||Kalindra Faria||Flyweight bout|
|Beneil Dariush||Evan Dunham||Lightweight bout|
|Tom Duquesnoy||Cody Stamann||Bantamweight bout|
|Will Brooks||Nik Lentz||Lightweight bout|
|Bobby Green||Lando Vannata||Lightweight bout|
|Pearl Gonzalez||Poliana Botelho||Strawweight bout|
UFC Fight Pass Prelims
|Walt Harris||Mark Godbeer||Heavyweight bout|
|John Moraga||Magomed Bibulatov||Flyweight bout|
|Thales Leites||Brad Tavares||Middleweight bout|
|Matt Schnell||Marco Beltran||Flyweight bout|