The biggest mixed martial arts event to date is set for Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. UFC 200 marks the culmination of a weekend that features several big fights, including two championship fights and one interim title fight that are included on Saturday’s main card.
Four of the sport’s top 10 pound-for-pound fighters will fight at UFC 200, including the best of them all, Jon Jones. The interim light heavyweight champ looks to win back his title that he was stripped of in April 2015. He’ll go up against champion Daniel Cormier in a rematch of their fight from UFC 182 on Jan. 3 of last year.
Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey, UFC’s two biggest names, won’t fight at UFC 200, but the results of the main card will likely determine their future opponents. After McGregor faces Nate Diaz in a welterweight fight at UFC 202, he’s expected to put his featherweight title on the line against Frankie Edgar or Jose Aldo, who’ll meet in an interim championship fight on Saturday. Miesha Tate defends her women’s bantamweight belt against Amanda Nunes, and Rousey is expected to challenge for the title when she decides to return to the octagon.
With such a stacked card and so much promotion behind the event, UFC 200 could set pay-per-view records. It has a good chance to surpass the record 1.6 million buys generated by UFC 100 on July 11, 2009. Lesnar headlined the event, and Jones fought on the preliminary card.
Below are predictions for the the main card of UFC 200, as well as and betting odds for every fight, courtesy of Bovada.lv.
Light Heavyweight Title Fight: Daniel Cormier (+235) vs. Jon Jones (-305)
Maybe if this fight occurred in April like it was originally scheduled to, Cormier would’ve retained the belt. But Jones likely shook off any ring rust he had in his fight against Ovince Saint Preux, and he has the edge going into the main event. Jones is the best fighter in the world, and he should take care of Cormier, just like he did a year and a half ago.
Prediction: Jones by unanimous decision
Heavyweight Fight: Brock Lesnar (+140) vs. Mark Hunt (-170)
No matter how this fight ends, it should be over within the first few minutes. If Hunt gets a clean shot on Lesnar, the former champion’s return from WWE could be a short one. But Lesnar can end this one early by getting his opponent on the ground, where Lesnar has a major advantage.
Prediction: Lesnar by knockout
Women's Bantamweight Title Fight: Miesha Tate (-250) vs. Amanda Nunes (+195)
There’s likely to be at least one upset on the main card of UFC 200, and this fight might be it. The women’s bantamweight division has been unpredictable, with Rousey losing to Holly Holm, who promptly dropped the title to Tate in March. Tate has said she doesn’t think Nunes has what it takes to defeat her, and it’s that kind of thinking that could put the champ on the wrong side of the night’s biggest upset.
Prediction: Nunes by knockout
Interim Featherweight Title Fight: José Aldo (-105) vs. Frankie Edgar (-125)
Aldo was given the decision over Edgar when they fought back in 2013, and rightfully so, but it was a close fight that could have a different outcome on Saturday. Despite Aldo’s assertions, Edgar has gotten even better over the past three years, defeating some of the best competition the 145-pound division has to offer. Aldo has what it takes to outlast Edgar in another five-round fight, but Edgar might not give his opponent the opportunity to make it past the first few rounds.
Prediction: Edgar by knockout
Heavyweight Fight: Cain Velasquez (-305) vs. Travis Browne (+235)
Velasquez hasn’t fought since he lost his title over a year ago, but UFC 200 could be his first step towards regaining his championship. He will pressure Browne, and his superior wrestling should put him over the top.
Prediction: Velasquez by knockout