UFC 250 Predictions
UFC 250 Main Card (PPV)
Amanda Nunes vs. Felicia Spencer
As dominant as she has been at bantamweight, double-champ Nunes has only ever fought once at featherweight, but given that proved to be a jaw-dropping 51 second KO victory over the previous divisional queen Cris ‘Cyborg’, she’s shown that she’s just as deadly there.
Now she moves back up to face a former 145lb Invicta FC champ in Spencer, who has picked up wins over Megan Anderson and Zarah Fairn dos Santos in the UFC to date, but also suffered a unanimous decision loss to the aforementioned ‘Cyborg’ along the way.
If this fight stays standing then Nunes should have a field day as she’s holding all the aces with superior technique, big knockout power, blistering combinations and the kind of speed that Spencer simply can’t keep up with.
In terms of height and reach these are two are roughly the same, but Spencer is the naturally bigger and potentially stronger of the two, which could aid her attempts to get this fight to the mat, stifle the champion and work for a submission.
Spencer is a BJJ black belt with a number of submission wins on her record, but Nunes has excellent jiu-jitsu and is quick and agile on the mat, so I suspect the challenger is going to have a hard time not only getting into range to execute takedowns without getting blasted by hard shots, but will also struggle to keep her down if she does bring her to the mat and may well find herself coming off second-best in the grappling exchanges.
Overall this feels like a fight that Nunes should be able to win handily and I think her speed and power will unsettle the normally durable Spencer and lead to a second round TKO stoppage.
Prediction: Amanda Nunes to win by TKO in Rd2 – BET NOW
Raphael Assuncao vs. Cody Garbrandt
Given his stellar title-winning performance against Dominick Cruz back in late 2016, it’s quite remarkable that Garbrandt has since slumped to three losses in a row, all by way of strikes, while injury issues have only added to his woes and he’s now having to try to get back to winning ways after a year-long layoff.
Assuncao’s body of work is impressive and underappreciated having until recently strung together an 11-1 run in the UFC, but at 37 the cracks have began to show, suffering back-to-back losses last year.
Garbrandt is an impressive striker with very fast hands, knockout power and great movement, but he has a tendency to be overzealous and overly emotional in his desire to find a finish and can be punished for defensive lapses, so that is surely something he must be looking to improve upon as he attempts to get back on track here.
Assuncao’s success over the years is more down to the fact that he’s just a very good all-rounder, but he’s not as naturally gifted as Garbrandt and on the feet in particular isn’t much of a finisher, though his submission game is a significant threat.
Garbrandt is a good wrestler though and should be able to leverage that to keep this one standing, and though his weakened chin is somewhat of a concern, I think his slick boxing and athletic gifts will help him stay a step ahead of Assuncao and earn a decision victory here.
Prediction: Cody Garbrandt to win by decision – BET NOW
Aljamain Sterling vs. Cory Sandhagen
This is an intriguingly balanced match-up between two of the bantamweight division’s leading contenders.
Sterling is a crafty grappler who brings a serious submission threat to the table, while he’s also improved upon his striking skills during his time in the UFC.
Sandhagen is unbeaten in his five UFC fights to date and has showcased assured striking ability and effective use of range and movement, while also proving to be no slouch in regards to his grappling too.
This should be a close fight between two talented fighters, but I’ve been impressed with Sandhagen so far in his UFC run and feel his striking prowess could help him to edge out a decision victory here.
Prediction: Cory Sandhagen to win by decision – BET NOW
Neil Magny vs Anthony Rocco Martin
Magny’s jack-of-all-trades skill-set has generally served him well in the UFC, though he’s perhaps lacked the potency in his striking as well as being vulnerable against big punchers, pressure fighters and ground wizards to really make a sustained run towards title contention.
Rocco Martin isn’t heavy-handed either, but has developed a solid counter-striking game, while he’s a good grappler with a string of submission victories to his name.
Magny has a 3” height and 6.5” reach advantage here and Martin’s style should enable him to make use of that, while he’ll also prove to have the edge technically as well as he fights his way to a decision victory.
Prediction: Neil Magny to win by decision – BET NOW
Eddie Wineland vs Sean O’Malley
A tough, gritty veteran, Wineland plays the role of gatekeeper here to a rising star in O’Malley.
Wineland is a talented, hard-headed striker, so he’s always willing to throw down, but he’s at the tail-end of his career and has only been fighting once a year for a while now.
O’Malley has also not been fighting regularly, but not by choice, instead having been held back by USADA issues, but when he has stepped into the Octagon he’s impressed and at just 25-years-of-age is still evolving with every fight.
Wineland is still a finishing threat on the feet and not someone O’Malley can underestimate, but I think ‘Sugar’ Sean at this stage in their respective careers will be fresher, faster and will land more frequently with his versatile arsenal of strikes on his way to a victory on the scorecards.
Prediction: Sean O’Malley to win by decision – BET NOW
UFC 250 Prelims
(Predicted winners in bold)
Alex Caceres vs Chase Hooper
Ian Heinisch vs Gerald Meerschaert
Cody Stamann vs Brian Kelleher
Charles Byrd vs Maki Pitolo
UFC 250 Early Prelims
Jussier Formiga vs Alex Perez
Alonzo Menifield vs Devin Clark
Herbert Burns vs. Evan Dunham
Ross Cole is one of the most prolific mixed martial arts writers in the world, having written more than 17,000 MMA news stories for MMA Insight, which he founded in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts, and reaching millions of die-hard MMA fans in the process. You can read more of Ross’s work at MMAInsight.com.