Two UFC 245 Fight Preview & Predictions
UFC 245 is just around the corner so we’ll get a handful of MMA Christmas presents early this year. On December 14th, Dana White plays Santa, gifting us a fight card with Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington, Max Holloway, Alexander Volkanovski, Amanda Nunes, Germaine de Ranamie, Jose Aldo, Urijah Faber, and more.
For now, let’s just stick to the featherweight title fight between Holloway and Volkanovski, and the bantamweight title bout between Nunes and Randamie.
The Lioness vs. The Iron Lady
According to the latest UFC odds, Amanda Nunes is between -280 and -300 favorite at most betting sites. The lopsided odds are mostly because these two have fought before and Randamie took a decisive loss. Although de Randamie has won five straight, since Nunes’ last lost to Cat Zingano, no one has found an answer to the Lioness’ adjustments and she’s beaten the best of the best: Meisha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko, Raquel Pennington, and Cris ‘Cyborg’.
De Randamie’s most recent victory was against Aspen Ladd on UFC Fight Night on July 13. She took Aspen out (TKO) with a hard punch. But the two share a bit of the same most recent resume. “The Iron Lady” also recently beat Raquel Pennington and before that at UFC 208, Holly Holm by unanimous decision.
Both of these fighters are powerful strikers but I believe that de Randamie has better boxing/striking defense. Although Nunes is a decent grappler, this is a fight that is going to come down to shots landed – most likely. As much as I’d like to see a shake-up in this division, Nunes has beaten de Randamie once before and I don’t think that the latter has developed anything new that the “Lioness” hasn’t seen before. Look for Nunes reign of dominance to continue. She’s just too powerful and her striking precision is far more advanced than de Randamie.
I don’t think this fight will make it out of two rounds before a full-fledged knockout happens or Amanda Nunes is battering her opponent so badly that they have to stop the fight.
Blessed vs. the Great
Max Holloway has consistently fought the biggest names in the game and for the most part, won. Holloway hasn’t racked up 21 wins and 4 losses by fighting scrubs. “Blessed” has fought Poireir twice and McGregor. He’s beaten Cub Swanson, Anthony Pettis, Jose Aldo, Ricardo Lamas, Brian Ortega, and most recently, Frankie Edgar. In April, Holloway lost to Dustin Poirier, but that was at lightweight and didn’t impact his five featherweight title defenses. If he defends twice more, he’ll hit the UFC division record.
Volkanovski is No. 1 in the featherweight rankings. He’s won 17 straight fights and 7 straight since joining the UFC. Most recently he beat Jose Aldo by unanimous decision to bring his professional record to 20-1.
Will he be able to handle the champion though? Holloway is large for a featherweight, at 5’10. But he has short arms for his height and is actually outreached by the much shorter fighter. Volkanovski stands at just 5’6 but has a 181.6 cm reach. Holloway’s reach is just 175.3 cm. But this is nothing new to the champ who is coming in as a moderate -180 favorite.
The Australian fighter has a Roman-Greco wrestling and kickboxing background, so he likes to start things off with powerful leg kicks from the outside. Holloway, of course, is known for having one of the best gas tanks in the game and using his size, boxing skills, and volume to wear his opponents down.
As much as Max Holloway fans probably want to see a knockout, this one could go the distance. I believe that Holloway’s in-fight work ethic will be enough to get the job done, and he’ll win by decision, most likely unanimous. Although Volanovski is tough and skilled, Halloway has seen the best of the best many times and is no stranger to going five full rounds.
Take Holloway to get the win at UFC 245 in the co-main event.