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UFC 203: Miocic vs Overeem predictions

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The heavyweight title picture gets settled tonight at UFC 203, as hometown champion Stipe Miocic defends against the Netherland’s Alistair Overeem in the main event.

Former heavyweight champ Fabricio Werdum takes on Travis Browne in the co-main event.

The question of CM Punk gets answered too, much to the chagrin of some fans who question the former WWE star’s exceptional octagon opportunity.

Welcome back to The Crossfire.

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Cassie Wiseman checks in to share her thoughts on the card.

UFC 203

UFC FIGHT PASS EARLY PRELIMS (7PM ET/4PM PT)

DREW DOBER (16-7-0, 1NC) VS JASON GONZALEZ (10-2-0)

UFC 203

Wiseman: The biggest problem for Gonzalez here is that he is a late replacement for Erik Koch. Dober is durable and never quits. He could be rocked, but will somehow still move forward. Dober isn’t strong in one particular area, but can use his patience to outlast trouble, and move into a better situation for himself.

Wiseman Prediction: Drew Dober via unanimous decision

YANCY MEDEIROS (12-4-0, 1NC) VS SEAN SPENCER (12-5-0)

UFC 203

Wiseman: When it comes to level of competition and heart, Medeiros has this in the bag. Spencer has great head movement, moves laterally, solid striking when moving backwards. All positives for Spencer, but Medeiros is a tough challenge for anyone. Plus the fact that Medeiros is going to welterweight now, he has more energy to do more damage.

Wiseman Prediction: Yancy Medeiros via TKO

TSN 2 PRELIMS (8PM WT/5PM PT)

CB DOLLOWAY (16-9-0) VS FRANCIMAR BARROSO (18-5-0)

UFC 203

Wiseman: Barroso tends to do well when he isn’t pressured and he doesn’t like people closing the distance. Well, that doesn’t mean this is a good matchup for him. Dollaway is the superior striker and mix in the wrestling with ground-and-pound, this is the perfect setup for an explosive finish.

Wiseman Prediction: CB Dollaway via TKO

NIK LENTZ (28-7-2, 1NC) VS MICHAEL MCBRIDE (8-1-0) 

UFC 203

Wiseman: Here comes McBride, making his UFC debut on short notice, replacing Taisumov. Lentz has it all and has faced the top 10 in the division. Just nothing good for McBride, except merely the experience to see the level of competition. Lentz will use his wrestling to close the distance in a hurry, then slip in a submission.

Wiseman Prediction: Nik Lentz via submission.

BRAD TAVARES (13-4-0) VS CAIO MAGALHAES (9-2-0)

UFC 203

Wiseman:  Magalhaes has knockout power and is dangerous on the mat, but when it comes to the technical side of things, he just isn’t up to the level of Tavares. He overextends when throwing his bombs, which leaves him wide open for counters. Tavares mixes up takedowns, kicks, and is the more well-rounded fighter.

Wiseman Prediction: Brad Tavares via TKO.

#10) JESSICA EYE (11-5-0, 1NC) VS #11 BETHE CORREIA (9-2-0)

UFC 203

Wiseman: These ladies are in a spot where they need a win, badly. Eye is coming off a stream of losses, three to be exact. Correira is coming off two back-to-back losses, to Rousey and Pennington. I see this fight staying on the feet since both ladies like to throw punches. Correira tends to come forward more like a hurricane, and Eye tends to try to counter. They each have something to prove here, but it’s going to be done so in 15 minutes. because this is going to go the distance. Eye has the weaker chin and tends to take more damage. She does move laterally enough when being pressured, so with Correira moving forward with flurries, I see her being able to put on a show.

Wiseman Prediction: Bethe Correia via unanimous decision.

MAIN CARD (10PM ET/7PM PT)

#6 JESSICA ANDRADE (14-5-0) VS #7 JOANNE CALDERWOOD (11-1-0)

UFC 203

Wiseman: Calderwood’s striking and knees can wear opponents down in the clinch. That’s her go-to-style, but she can do damage from a distance. Meanwhile, we have Andrade, a fighter who has been trying to battle it out in the wrong weight class for a long time now. She was a savage with girls 20 pounds above, so she has taken damage from bigger women. Given her experience and force at that weight class, she will be a force. With the durability of both ladies, this is going to be a storm. I see Calderwood getting better the longer the fight goes, as Andrade tends to be very aggressive. Especially with this being her first time at strawweight, the pace is something she will need to learn. Do to the cardio and the division change, I’m giving it to Calderwood.

Wiseman Prediction: Joanne Calderwood by unanimous decision.

#2 URIJAH FABER (33-9-0) VS #12 JIMMIE RIVERA (19-1-0)

UFC 203

Wiseman: This fight is hard for me. As a fight fan, I want to see Faber explode like he used to. However, there is a sad truth about Faber, he just can’t seem to crack the top. Look at his fight against Frankie Saenz. He was expected to blast through that guy, but instead struggled and it went to a decision. Faber is aging and is not producing the performances he was before. Now, put Rivera in there with the Faber of today and the odds are in his favor. Rivera has fought in other MMA organizations and put on a show against Alcantara. He is not known enough yet, and is therefore underrated. He has youth, hunger, and a potential chance at one day getting a crack at the belt. Faber doesn’t have these things anymore.

Wiseman Prediction: Jimmie Rivera via unanimous decision

CM PUNK (0-0-0) VS MICKEY GALL (2-0-0)

UFC 203

Wiseman:  I can’t believe this is even happening. Gall was discovered on “Looking For A Fight.” He was impressive then, as he was with his first UFC fight. A hungry young fighter who has a firm foundation from years of MMA training. He is going against a former WWE wrestler? I know Punk is saying he is taking this serious, but give me a break. Punk has never been in a formal combat sports bout.

Realistically, neither have a load of professional experience, but at least Gall has been training and fighting to some capacity. We don’t know anything about Punk’s fighting style, so let’s just go on what we know. I see Gall coming in there, fighting long like he does, but aggressive. Using his jab and hard right to rock Punk, only to be able to transition in a submission. I could be wrong and Punk may be the next big thing, but if that’s the case, he is about to make history for the fastest learning comprehension of MMA.

Wiseman Prediction: Mickey Gall via submission

#1 FABRICIO WERDUM (20-6-1) VS #6 TRAVIS BROWNE (18-4-1) 

UFC 203

Wiseman: Once upon a time, 2013 to be exact, Browne was a nasty heavyweight. He was knocking everyone out. I honestly thought that he was going to be the champ. Then he met Werdum. Werdum just made him look like someone making their UFC debut. This is Browne’s chance to fix that mistake, but looking at how these fighters have been performing it’s Werdum who has grown continuously. Browne hasn’t been the same for a long time now. He doesn’t move with that same confidence he once had. Werdum got caught by a punch as he was rushing in, Browne has just been stuck it seems. Therefore, I don’t see this fight going any different then it did the first time around.

Wiseman Prediction: Fabricio Werdum via submission

MAIN EVENT

STIPE MIOCIC (15-2-0) VS #3 ALISTAIR OVEREEM (41-14-0, 1NC)

UFC 203

Wiseman: Miocic’s win over Werdum was shocking, especially in the way he won. A wild KO finish. However, Overeem presents a very interesting contrast in fighting styles. Miocic is a powerful striker, durable, with heavy hands as we have seen time and time again. His opponent though, Overeem, is coming in on the back of a four-fight winning streak. Under the guidance of a new coaching team, Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn, Overeem has been given a new lease of life and makes a very dangerous opponent. This fight could go either way. Miocic needs to push the pace to not allow Overeem a load of time to set things up and move laterally to stay away from the knees. Overeem will need to use his long stance and kicking combinations to take the legs from Miocic. Taking his legs out will prevent him from being able to move and load up on power shots. If this happens, Miocic will use his wrestling, both guys have great takedown defence, but even if it goes to the mat, Overeem is a beast off his back. Like I said, the fight can really go either way, especially with the power of heavyweights, but I’m going to go with the kickboxing and submission game of Overeem being too much of a mix for Miocic.

Wiseman Prediction: Alistair Overeem via TKO

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@CasMMA365

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