UFC 222: Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya predictions
The UFC is in Las Vegas as featherweight champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino defends her belt tonight against Russian challenger and Invicta FC bantamweight titleholder Yana Kunitskaya.
Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.
UFC FIGHT PASS EARLY PRELIMS (6:30 ET/3:30 PT)
JORDAN JOHNSON (8-0-0) VS. ADAM MILSTEAD (8-1-0)
Andrews: Johnson has nice spotless record, but I like Milstead. Adam goes for the finish or goes out on the shield.
Andrews Prediction: Adam Milstead via TKO
#7 BRIAN CARAWAY (21-8-0) VS. CODY STAMANN (16-1-0)
Andrews: Stamann has done well in the UFC, but he has a test here in the veteran Caraway. Someone is going to try and grind the other out hoping for a submission and I think it’s Caraway.
Andrews Prediction: Brian Caraway via UD
MIKE PYLE (27-13-1) VS. ZAK OTTOW (15-5-0)
Andrews: Mike Pyle is on the bubble losing four of his last five fights, but he has a winnable fight here. Keep the fight standing and don’t let Ottow use his ground game or submissions. Easier said than done, but I think Pyle will come through.
Andrews Prediction: Mike Pyle via UD
TSN 5 PRELIMS (8PM ET/5PM PT)
CB DOLLOWAY (17-8-0) VS. HECTOR LOMBARD (34-8-1, 2NC)
Andrews: A good fight. Hector can end the fight with one shot, but Dolloway can control the fight with his wrestling. Have to go with the Doberman.
Andrews Prediction: CB Dolloway via UD
#8 JOHN DODSON (20-9-0) VS. #10 PEDRO MUNHOZ (15-2-0, 1NC)
Andrews: Dodson’s speed is still there, and outside of Demetrious Johnson, no one has really been able to deal with him in the UFC. Munhoz was a a whisker away from handing Rivera a L, but have to go with The Magician.
Andrews Prediction: John Dodson via TKO
#12 BENEIL DARIUSH (14-3-1) VS. ALEX HERNANDEZ (8-1-0)
Andrews: I expect Dariush to return to the form. Hernandez is a good kid but he’s facing a UFC tested vet here.
Andrews Prediction: Beneil Dariush via UD
ASHLEY YODER (5-3-0) VS. MACKENZIE DERN (5-0-0)
Andrews: Dern still has trouble making strawweight but this is her chance to make that Ronda Rousey statement.
Andrews Prediction: Mackenzie Dern via submission
#6 CAT ZINGANO (9-2-0) VS. #5 KETLEN VIEIRA (9-0-0)
Andrews: Zingano returns to the octagon after almost two years away. She will be rusty and is taking on an undefeated blue chipper and ground specialist in Vieira, who put away Sara McMann impressively. Going with the upset.
Andrews Prediction: Ketlen Vieira via submission
#10 STEFAN STRUVE (32-9-0) VS. #12 ANDREI ARLOVSKI (26-15-0, 1NC)
Andrews: Struve’s striking or chin isn’t the best, but I think, but if Arlovski can’t connect on a big shot, he should get the win on the ground.
Andrews Prediction: Stefan Struve via submission
SEAN O’MALLEY VS. ANDRE SOUKHATHATH (12-5-0)
Andrews: O’Malley has been entertaining on the Embedded and he has the confidence and striking to hurt Andre after the first round.
Andrews Prediction: Sean O’Malley via TKO
#2 FRANKIE EDGAR (21-5-1) VS. BRIAN ORTEGA (13-0-0, 1NC)
Andrews: I don’t see Edgar giving Ortega chances to use his patented ground and submissions to get the upset.
Andrews Prediction: Frankie Edgar via UD.
CRIS CYBORG (19-1-0, 1NC) VS. YANA KUNITSKAYA (10-3-0, 1NC)
Andrews: Are Kinutskaya’s kicks and submissions enough for the upset? No. Cyborg showed in the Holly Holm fight that she can adjust her game and get inside length. Yana will have to land some good shots early while Cyborg is initially hesitant and gauging her timing.
Andrews Prediction: Cris Cyborg via TKO