With a champ vs. champ super-fight in the headlining slot, UFC 226 was set to touch down in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Cageside Press staff members have their picks ready: here’s who we think gets their hands raised on the main card!
UFC 226 capped off International Fight Week in Las Vegas. Boasting a pair of heavyweight battles atop the card, it promised to bring plenty of violent finishes. In the main event, light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier was moving back to his old heavyweight stomping grounds to challenge for gold against Stipe Miocic. Miocic, now in sole possession of the UFC heavyweight title defense record, was ready to establish himself as one of the best heavyweights ever — if he could stave off Cormier. The same could be said for D.C. — who won the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix in an era when the Scott Coker promotion arguably featured the best heavyweights on its roster.
Co-main event action saw Francis Ngannou facing Derrick Lewis in a fight that could signal the next contender, while Paul Felder faced Mike Perry in a welterweight bout further down the card.
So who did we pick? Let’s take a look!
|Staff Writers||Saki vs. Rountree||Chiesa vs. Pettis||Felder vs. Perry||Ngannou vs. Lewis||Miocic vs. Cormier|
|Heath Harshman (68-33)|
|Josh Evanoff (24-12)|
|Paarth Pande (68-39)|
|Dan Doherty (67-40)|
|Eddie Law (59-37)|
|Mike Straus (65-42)|
|Gabriel Gonzalez (61-41)|
|Jesse Gillette (58-39)|
|Jay Anderson (59-48)|
|Mike McClory (52-46)|
The main event proved a little lopsided in terms of our picks — all but three writers responding chose Stipe Miocic to retain his heavyweight crown. Yet that wasn’t the biggest surprise, not by a long shot. Every single one of our staff members chose Paul Felder to get past ‘Platinum’ Mike Perry at UFC 226. That despite Felder moving up in weight for the fight, from lightweight to welterweight.
The bulk of our staff took Gokhan Saki over Khalil Rountree Jr. as well, while the clashes between Anthony Pettis and Michael Chiesa, and Francis Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis were a little more even.