UFC 221: Romero vs. Rockhold predictions
Romero missed weight, coming in 187. 7 pounds, 2.7 pounds over the 185 limit. He is no longer eligible to win the belt if he wins, but Rockhold, who came in at 185, still is.
Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts.
UFC FIGHT PASS EARLY PRELIMS (6:30 PM ET/3:30 PM PT)
LUKE JUMEAU (12-4-0) VS. DAICHI ABE (6-0-0)
Andrews: Jumeau is a little bit more seasoned than Abe. He will also have the home crowd cheering him on. He should get the narrow decision.
Andrews Prediction: Luke Jumeau via UD
TERUTO ISHIHARA (11-4-2) VS. JOSE QUINONEZ (7-2-0)
Andrews: Ishihara trains at Team Alpha Male and has more UFC experience. It’s close, but I’m going with “Yashabo.”
Andrews Prediction: Teruto Ishihara via UD
ROSS PEARSON (21-12-0, 1NC) VS. MIZUTO HIROTA (19-8-2)
Andrews: Pearson is fighting for his job, having lost four straight. I am going with him to come through and overcome the Japanese vet.
Andrews Prediction: Ross Pearson via UD
TSN 2 PRELIMS
#4 JUSSIER FORMAGA (20-5-0) VS. BEN NGUYEN (17-6-0)
Andrews: I like Nguyen a lot. He can take the fight anywhere and has a good chin too. I think he can overcome the ground game of Formaga and get the win.
Andrews Prediction: Ben Nguyen via submission
ALEXANDER VOLKANOVSKI (16-1-0) VS. JEREMY KENNEDY (11-0-0)
Andrews: Kennedy is a young Canadian scrapper but Alex The Great should get the win with the help of the hometown crowd.
Andrews Prediction: Alexander Volkanovski via UD
ROB WILKINSON (11-1-0) VS. ISRAEL ADESANYA (11-0-0)
Andrews: Adesanya is making his octagon debut and has an impressive 100% finish rate. Wilkinson has a single UFC fight but it could give him an edge nonetheless. Plus, he has the hometown crowd.
Andrews Prediction: Rob Wilkinson via UD
DAMIEN BROWN (17-11-0) VS. DONG HYUN KIM (15-8-3)
Andrews: Brown has the hometown crowd but the Stun Gun gets him with a nice finish.
Andrews Prediction: Dong Hyun Kim via TKO
MAIN CARD (10 PM ET/7PM PT)
TYSON PEDRO (6-1-0) VS. SAPARBEK SAFAROV (8-1-0)
Andrews: Safarov can grind out Pedro with some wrestling but I think Pedro catches him first with something.
Andrews Prediction: Tyson Pedro via TKO
JAKE MATTHEWS (12-3-0) VS. LI JINGLIANG (14-4-0)
Andrews: I don’t think Matthews can hurt Jingliang. He can win with technical striking but Jingliang on the other hand can hurt Matthews if he can get to him. “The Leech” will disappoint the hometown crowd.
Andrews Prediction: Li Jingliang via UD
TAI TUIVASA (8-0-0) VS. CYRIL ASKER (9-3-0)
Andrews: Going with Tai here. That flying knee in his last fight was nice.
Andrews Prediction: Tai Tuivasa via TKO
#5 MARK HUNT (13-11-1, 1NC) VS. #9 CURTIS BLAYDES (8-1-0, 1NC)
Andrews: Curtis should be scared. Fighting Hunt with his hometown crowd.
Andrews Prediction: Mark Hunt via TKO
#1 YOEL ROMERO (12-2-0) VS. #2 LUKE ROCKHOLD (16-3-0)
Andrews: Romero missed weight. Rockhold is the more versatile fighter and should have learned from Yoel’s fight with Weidman.
Andrews Prediction: Luke Rockhold via UD