This Saturday night, Women’s MMA will be in the spotlight, as for the first time in history a UFC pay-per-view will feature an all-female main event and co-main event.
The undefeated face of Women’s MMA, Rnoda Rousey, will defend her UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship against undefeated number one contender Cat Zingano in the headline attraction at the UFC 184 pay-per-view. The event will be co-supported by a Women’s Bantamweight contender bout, as former female boxing champion Holly Holm makes her Octagon debut against Ultimate Fighter veteran Raquel Pennington in the co-main event of the evening.
One night prior to UFC 184, Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino will look to help set the stage for a potential UFC mega-fight with Rousey, as she defends her Invicta FC Featherweight Championship against Charmaine Tweet just 24-hours before the Rousey-Zingano bout in the same city.
With that being said, let’s take a closer look at the pay-per-view portion of Saturday’s UFC fight card.
Tony Ferguson (17-3) vs. Gleison Tibau (33-10)
Boone’s Breakdown: Opening up Saturday’s UFC pay-per-view card will be a battle of longtime veterans of the sport. Tibau in particular has been around for what seems like forever. He has been fighting exclusively for the UFC since 2007, compiling a 15-7 record inside the Octagon, with an overall MMA record of 33-10. Tibau has been able to stay relevant for years now, and he does so by staying durable. On Saturday night, his durability will no doubt be tested, as he faces a total stud in Tony Ferguson. Ferguson exploded on the UFC scene after a solid outing on The Ultimate Fighter, and is one of those fighters who seems to get better and more well-rounded with each trip to the cage. I expect nothing different on Saturday night, as I’ve got to put my money on “El Cucuy.”
Boone’s Prediction: Tony Ferguson
Alan Jouban (10-3) vs. Richard Walsh (8-2)
Boone’s Breakdown: A battle of un-ranked Welterweight prospects, both of whom sport a 1-1 record in the UFC with a loss in their last outing, is the one die-hard fight fan bout on the card, in the sense that if you’re not a die-hard fan, you probably have no idea who these two are. If you are, in fact, unaware of Jouban and Walsh, you could be in for a treat in terms of the way their styles match up. Other half of each fighters’ victories throughout their MMA careers have come by way of knockout or technical knockout. On Saturday night, one of these two will likely add another victim to that list. If you go with the experts on this one, Jouban will be the one to move forward, while Walsh takes another step backward. I tend to agree.
Boone’s Prediction: Alan Jouban
Jake Ellenberger (29-9) vs. Josh Koscheck (17-8)
Boone’s Breakdown: This fight seems to be incredibly overlooked. Personally speaking, I’m very excited for the Ellenberger vs. Koscheck showdown on Saturday night. Sure, both guys are past their prime and likely won’t be competing for a title ever again, but they’re both still relevant and both are still legitimate fighters. Ellenberger still manages to remain in the top 15 ranked fighters in the division, coming in at number 11 at 170-pounds following a tough loss to up-and-comer Kelvin Gastelum in his last Octagon appearance. Meanwhile, Koscheck, a two-time title contender, has fallen out of the top 15 and for the first time in his career, will look to return from an 0-3 run inside the cage. Is Ellenberger the proper opponent to get “Kos” back to the winners column? The Vegas odds would say no, but I’ve got to disagree. I feel Ellenberger is outmatched by Koscheck in most areas, and when all is said and done, I see The Ultimate Fighter season one getting his hand raised.
Boone’s Prediction: Josh Koscheck
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