The UFC has done a great job with the fight card for UFC 211. It has been a while (maybe UFC 205) since a card has been this stacked. Of the scheduled fights, there are at least five or six fights that I’m excited for. It’s been a while since UFC 210, but here I go again trying to pick winners at an extraordinarily mediocre rate.

 

Overall Record (15-12)

 

Krzysztof Jotko vs. Dave Branch

This will be a great fight. Jotko has a 19-1 overall record and has been rolling of late. He’s not a knock out artist or submission specialist, but he has skill in all aspects of MMA. He has won five straight now, and will be making his first appearance on a UFC pay-per-view.

Meanwhile, Branch will be making his UFC debut, but don’t think for a second that this guy isn’t going to be ready. He was the defending two division champion at Middleweight and Light Heavyweight in the World Series of Fighting promotion before he decided to begin his UFC career. Branch is well polished as a fighter and could make a quick rise in the rankings. I like Branch to step in to the UFC and get things started on the right foot.

Branch by Submission

 

Frankie Edgar vs. Yair Rodriguez

Frankie is Frankie, so we know what to expect from him. He’s going to be gritty and tough and he’ll be in Rodriguez’s face the whole fight. The question that I’m interested in seeing answered is how will Rodriguez handle it?

To this point in his career, Rodriguez has been impressive. He made quick work of the aging legend, BJ Penn, in his last fight, and will look to continue the momentum going into this one. He has a big-time size advantage on Frankie (Rodriguez 5’11 vs. Frankie 5’6) and he has a lot more power.

For Frankie to pull this one out he will need to make this a scrappy fight. I expect to see take down attempts and leg kicks from Frankie to keep Rodriguez off balance. I’m a huge Frankie fan, considering I’m from New Jersey, so it pains me to say it, but I think Rodriguez will be too much for him in this three-round fight.

Rodriguez by Decision

 

Demian Maia vs. Jorge Masvidal

This is the most interesting fight of the night for me. Masvidal is one of my favorite fighters and his nickname “Gamebred” couldn’t be more accurate. This guy always competes at a high level and always puts on a show.

Then there’s Maia. The most dangerous boring fighter in the UFC. Well, he’s only boring if you want to see guys throw hands. If you want to see a roll around on the ground BJJ type fight, then he’s your guy.

They say styles make fights and there is no fight that can attest to this more than Masvidal vs. Maia. I’m extremely excited for this one.

Masvidal by Decision

 

Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Jessica Andrade

Joanna champion is back! After her not so impressive victory over Karolina Kowalkiewicz, she will look to beat a quickly emerging star in the Strawweight division. Andrade is coming off a win in a fight of the night performance versus Angela Hill, which now makes her 3-0 at Strawweight.

Andrade is much shorter than Joanna (5’2 Andrade vs. 5’6 Joanna) and will need to take this fight to the ground if she wants any hopes of winning. The first two rounds of Joanna’s fight versus Claudia Gadelha could be the blueprint for Andrade. Gadelha was in control of the fight by taking Joanna down, but ultimately gassed and was subsequently dominated on the feet for the final three rounds.

If Andrade can do what Gadelha did in the first two rounds and doesn’t gas, then maybe she can pull this one out. I don’t think she will.

Joanna by Decision

 

Stipe Miocic vs. Junior dos Santos

I love this fight. Two sluggers going at it on the feet for five rounds! Just kidding, this won’t last that long. If I had to bet on one thing on this entire fight card, it would be that this fight doesn’t go to decision. These two have too much power and eventually one will connect.

Miocic has been the better fighter of late, but dos Santos has won their first fight back in 2014. However, I think Miocic is a different fighter now than he was then.

Since that loss, Miocic has won four straight over some of the top guys in the Heavyweight division. Dos Santos, on the other hand, has fought only twice and was knocked out by Alistair Overeem in one of those.

Dos Santos will look to out dual Miocic in this one, but Miocic will be too much for him. He’s the faster fighter with what I believe to be equal, if not greater, power.

Miocic by KO

 

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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