UFC 230 Predictions: Cormier vs. Lewis

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UFC 230

It’s almost time for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to put on another pay-per-view event. The promotion returns to the world famous Madison Square Garden in New York City tomorrow night (Nov. 3). In the main event, two-division champion Daniel Cormier will defend his heavyweight gold against Derrick Lewis.

MMA News has been keeping readers up to speed on the latest UFC 230 news and tidbits. We will continue to do so tomorrow night for live results, highlights, and post-fight goodness. For now, we’ve got a few staff members to provide predictions for the main card. Myself, Andrew Ravens, and Ed Carbajal are here to give our picks for UFC 230.

Despite a bevy of twists and turns, UFC 230 has shaped up to be a solid card. Barring any last-minute mishaps, things certainly could’ve gone worse for the UFC. Despite the fact that Luke Rockhold was forced to pull out due to multiple injuries, UFC 230 still has a strong co-main event in Chris Weidman vs. Jacare Souza. Here’s how the rest of the main card stacks up:

  • Heavyweight: Daniel Cormier (c) vs. Derrick Lewis
  • Middleweight: Chris Weidman vs. Jacare Souza
  • Middleweight: David Branch vs. Jared Cannonier
  • Middleweight: Jack Marshman vs. Karl Roberson
  • Middleweight: Israel Adesanya vs. Derek Brunson

Israel Adesanya vs. Derek Brunson

Fernando Quiles Jr.: There’s a lot of hype surrounding Israel Adesanya. Obviously his credentials as a kickboxer have him ahead of the curve when it comes to the stand-up game in the middleweight division. Still, we’ve seen Khalil Rountree overcome those accolades with one punch against another accomplished kickboxer in Gokhan Saki. Still, I believe Adesanya continues to improve and his fight IQ is a notch above Brunson’s. I think Adesanya can avoid the big shot to take this fight. (Prediction: Israel Adesanya)

Ed Carbajal: Given the streak Adesanya has been on it is hard to pick against him. Still, Brunson carries a hefty set of KO/TKO wins in his record to hand anyone their first loss. It may be wise for Brunson to turn this into a grappling match where he holds a slight advantage with his purple belt Brazilian jiu-jitsu rank versus Adesanya’s blue belt. If it remains standing and they try to go toe-to-toe it’s Adesanya’s fight to win. (Prediction: Israel Adesanya)

Andrew Ravens: This is easily the toughest challenge that Adesanya has faced thus far in his pro-MMA career. For the last few years, Brunson has served as a guy who will fight top stars as well as the rising prospects in order to see if they can get to the next level and this fight is no different. This fight could end early as eight out of Brunson’s last nine fights have ended in the first round by KO or TKO. Although Brunson always has a puncher’s chance, I have the rising prospect getting it done by unanimous decision. (Prediction: Israel Adesanya)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Israel Adesanya

Jack Marshman vs. Karl Roberson

Fernando Quiles Jr.: Jack Marshman isn’t exactly setting the world on fire against elite competition, but his massive experience edge over Karl Roberson can’t be ignored. Marshman has 29 professional MMA fights, while Roberson has seven. To put that in prospective, Marshman has as many losses as Roberson does fights. A lack of experience failed Roberson in his last outing against Cezar Ferreira and I think lightning strikes twice. (Prediction: Jack Marshman)

Ed Carbajal: Marshman’s wins and experience may be too much for Roberson, who is coming off of a loss at UFC 224. It should be noted as well that Marshman’s wins are triple the amount of Roberson’s total number fights and both men are 28-years old. Even though they’re the same age, in cage years Marshman is the senior man and the one likely to win. (Prediction: Jack Marshman)

Andrew Ravens: An odd fight with two guys who need wins right now. Roberson has dropped his last two fights while Marshman is 2-2 in his last four bouts. This is a pick em’ fight at the end of the day. Marshman has more experience and has looked better in his previous fights than Roberson. Marshman dominates with a unanimous decision victory. (Prediction: Jack Marshman)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Jack Marshman

David Branch vs. Jared Cannonier

Fernando Quiles Jr.: It’s hard to see Jared Cannonier being able to avoid being on his back against David Branch. While Branch didn’t have his way with Luke Rockhold, he tends to do well against fighters who are considered to be middle of the road. I can see Branch getting the finish here via ground-and-pound. (Prediction: David Branch)

Ed Carbajal: Branch was Souza’s original opponent and had put some effort into lobbying for the fight with him before getting Cannonier. That match-up is a bit of a risk to his ranking but Branch has been ready for UFC 230 for a while and Cannonier is only coming in as a late replacement. While half of Cannonier’s wins come by way of KO/TKO it will be hard to land on the super prepared Branch. (Prediction: David Branch)

Andrew Ravens: This is the perfect fight for Branch right now in his career as he continues to rebuild after losing to Luke Rockhold. Obviously, you can’t take Cannonier as a non-challenge if you’re Branch but he is more than willing to accept it and go out and have a great performance against someone that he should beat with ease considering that he’s lost his last two fights. Branch gets it done by second-round rear-naked choke. (Prediction: David Branch)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, David Branch

Chris Weidman vs. Jacare Souza

Fernando Quiles Jr.: These two will be meeting each other on short notice and have been preparing for different opponents. Still, these are two high-level athletes who won’t allow that to trip them up. Weidman’s jiu-jitsu is solid enough to avoid danger on the ground against top-tier submission experts such as Souza. Of course, Souza is a threat to anyone on the ground, but I think Weidman’s reach will give Souza issues standing and I believe he’ll avoid being on his back en route to a decision victory. (Prediction: Chris Weidman)

Ed Carbajal: Souza was shuffled away from his original opponent to face Weidman when Luke Rockhold was pulled due to injury. Still, both men were preparing for a top-ranked middleweight fight at UFC 230 and this still makes for a competitive match-up. Weidman was able to beat the man Souza recently lost to in Kelvin Gastelum, but Souza is in desperate need of a win since his return to action after surgery. The ground game is Souza’s territory, which may make Weidman hesitant to wrestle but he can try to outwork Souza. Hard to call but I’m going with the younger former middleweight champion and New Yorker in Weidman. (Prediction: Chris Weidman)

Andrew Ravens: This is probably the most intriguing fight on the card and amazing that these two fighters haven’t competed against each other under the UFC banner despite their statuses as elite fighters in the middleweight division. After having a slump that consisted of a three-fight losing streak, Weidman looked great in his latest outing against Kelvin Gastelum. The only problem with that is the fact of him being out of action for over a year now. Yes, Souza did lose to Gastelum in his latest fight, but you can never count him out. Thus, I have Souza winning by split decision in a close back-and-forth fight. (Prediction: Ronaldo Souza)

CONSENSUS: 2-1, Chris Weidman

Daniel Cormier (c) vs. Derrick Lewis

Fernando Quiles Jr.: The Derrick Lewis story has won over the hearts of MMA fans. His exciting fighting style and his humorous personality is what has sealed the deal. Unfortunately for “The Black Beast,” I think playtime is over. Daniel Cormier is a highly decorated wrestler, who has developed solid striking skills under American Kickboxing Academy. I think Cormier keeps Lewis grounded throughout this fight to eventually score the TKO victory or even secure a choke. (Prediction: Daniel Cormier)

Ed Carbajal: This main event was booked on the fly and with Lewis having fought as recently as October 3rd, this is a very quick turnaround for him. It would not be an issue if he did not take so much damage in his fight against Alexander Volkov at UFC 229 but he did before he got the KO win in the final round. That being said, he still has a puncher’s chance against the current champ but that’s a very slim chance for someone who admitted his was not ready for a title fight. (Prediction: Daniel Cormier)

Andrew Ravens: And for the main event of the evening, I think most people would agree that this is an easy pick unless Lewis can land one of those heavy-hitting strikes that can put out any man on the plant including Cormier. There are too many factors that Lewis must overcome in order to win this fight and the reason Cormier will win this fight with ease. Lewis has to deal with cardio issues, fighting as recently as UFC 229 and dealing with the wrestling challenges that come along with fighting Cormier. “DC” will not attempt to strike with Lewis and out wrestle him until he gets tired then lets the ground-and-pound game begin. Cormier picks up the third-round TKO win to retain. (Prediction: Daniel Cormier)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Daniel Cormier

Do you agree with the UFC 230 main card predictions of the MMA News staffers? Who do you think will win the PPV fights? Let your voice be heard in the comments below. Be sure to stick with MMANews.com for coverage of UFC 230 all weekend.