UFC 217 Predictions
The UFC will be returning to the Madison Square Garden on Saturday, Nov. 4 for what hopes to be one of the better pay-per-view events of the year. It has been a roller coaster year for the promotion, as there have been many ups and downs following the sale of the company to William Morris Endeavor-International Management Group, including the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor boxing match, and the Jon Jones drama. The card will be headlined with three title fights.
Middleweight Championship: 185 pounds, 5 rounds
Champion Michael Bisping (31-7) vs. Georges St-Pierre (25-2)
Following a near four-year hiatus from the sport, longtime Welterweight Champion "Rush" St-Pierre returns to move up to the Middleweight division to fight the very tough Bisping. Bisping is a veteran with more wins than anybody else in UFC history. He will look to stand for most of the fight and utilize his great boxing and kickboxing skills. St-Pierre has a very unique style, combing an expertise of many different disciplines. He's been working extensively with world-class boxing trainer, Frederick “Freddie” Roach, ahead of the fight. He will most likely go back to his wrestling roots in the fight, which helped him stay atop the Welterweight division for over 5 years.
Bantamweight Championship: 135 Pounds, 5 rounds
Champion Cody Garbrandt (11-0) vs. #2 Tyler Jeffrey “T.J.” Dillashaw (15-3)
This is a fight that was supposed to take place back on July 29 at UFC 213. Garbrandt and Dillashaw filmed the twenty-fifth season of the Ultimate Fighter together. The two fighters have a long history of bad blood between them. Once former training partners at Sacramento-based Alpha Male Gym, the two grew a hatred for one another following Dillashaw's departure from the gym, and his continued alliance with former Alpha Male coach, Duane Ludwig.
On paper, this is a great fight between the two best at 135. The only question is how Garbrandt will respond following two back surgeries after his UFC 207 bout with Dominick Cruz.
Women’s Strawweight Championship: 115 pounds, 5 rounds
- Joanna Jędrzejczyk (14-0) vs. #4 Rose Namajunas
Jędrzejczyk looks to defend her belt for a ninth consecutive time. She has looked great in all of her fights in the UFC, and this fight should be no different. Her world class Muay Thai background, along with her elite takedown defense, should secure a victory over Namajunas. Namajunas recently defeated Michelle Waterson but this fight against Jędrzejczyk is a much more difficult fight.
Welterweight Bout: 170 pounds, 3 rounds
#2 Stephen Thompson (13-1-1) vs. Jorge Masvidal (32-12-0)
With three title fights on the card, some of the other fights have gone unnoticed. Thompson returns after back-to-back five-round battles with Welterweight champ Tyron Woodley. He will be facing the dangerous Masvidal who recently lost to Demian Maia.
These two will most likely stay on their feet for most of the fight. Thompson's Taekwondo background along with his substantial height and reach advantage will make it very tough for Masvidal to close the distance and work his boxing on Thompson.
Middleweight Bout, 185 pounds, 3 rounds
Johny Hendricks (18-7) vs. Paulo Borrachinha (10-0)
"Bigg Rigg" Hendricks looks to rebound after being defeated by Tim Boetsch at UFC Fight Night 112. Hendricks is on the down slope of his career, losing four of his last five fights. A major concern for him has been making weight. He has been working with infamous MMA coach, Greg Jackson, in Albuquerque, New Mexico to change up his regimen in hope of a much-needed victory. Borrachinha will be attempting to make a name for himself in his third UFC fight with a win over Hendricks.