What you need to know.
The Ultimate Fighting Championships are back in full force with their second massive card coming up this weekend with UFC 250. Still, there will be no fans in attendance, but if you are an experienced fan of the UFC, this is a pivotal card to keep your eyes on – especially in the Men’s Bantamweight division.
When: Saturday, June 6
Time: Prelims begin – 8:00 p.m.
Main Card – 10:00 p.m.
Venue: UFC Apex in Las Vegas – yep, were back in the heart of fight land
TV: catch the prelims on ESPN (US) or TSN (Canada)
Main Card – Pay-per-view via ESPN+ (US) or Pay-per-view (Canada)
Let’s do this.
Raphael Assuncao (+125) vs. Cody Garbrandt (-150) – Bantamweight bout
Cody “No Love” Garbrandt is looking to bounce back from three consecutive TKO/KO losses. He probably hears the same thing over and over “how’s his chin going to stand up”, “is he washed”, “was he rushed to stardom” … etc. Garbrandt is no short of a pure talent who got to the highest point of his career way too early. The problem here is the #9 ranked fighter who had whispers of moving down to the Flyweight division to – quote, unquote – “save the division”, has his next bout against Assuncao #5 who has happened to beat both fighters that had knocked out Cody. An interesting an insane mental mountain to climb – the matchmakers clearly want to challenge Cody in his return with over a 15-month layoff. Both fighters want to end their losing streak, albeit against the toughest in the now wide-open Bantamweight division, after Champ Champ Champ surprised us with a nice retirement after defending the belt at UFC 249.
The Corner’s Pick: Assuncao (TKO – sorry Cody)
All skill aside, as we have seen throughout the “no fans” contests, the mental aspect has almost taken over any advantage with the body. Both are crippled, but look for the more experienced Assuncao (27-7-0) to take advantage of this golden opportunity to solidify himself as a top contender in the 135-pound division. At 37 years old and a laundry list of top talent W’s, night night “No Love”.
Aljamain Sterling (-125) vs. Corey Sandhagen (+105) – Bantamweight bout
This bout screams next title shot. There are no questions surrounding that. The bantamweight division is a toss up with so many rising names within the division – including these two 135-pound monsters. Sandhagen, is 7-0 over his last seven bouts and is looking to continue this streak when he faces the #2 ranked Aljamain Sterling. Sandhagen has that no expectations swagger and a plethora of finishing power in which he displayed in the beginning of his UFC career. BUT there’s no denying the “Funk Master” himself, Alajamain Sterling, will be out for a taste at the bantamweight title. Look for a back and forth bout, with Sterling coming out on top. Check out one of the most creative submissions we have ever witnessed in the UFC by Sterling.
The Corner’s Pick: Sterling (Decision – unanimous)
Both fighters are going to put up a lion’s effort, but the trajectory of Sandhagen’s rise is just too good to be true. He has not faced such a specialized opponent as he will when he stands across the octagon from his next combatant.
Eddie Wineland (+340) vs Sean O’Malley (-440) – Bantamweight bout
Enough with the bantamweight bouts… okay just one more. The first fight on this main card will see the undefeated up and comer, Sean O’Malley square off against the household name in Eddie Wineland. In O’Malley’s latest fight, he absolutely dominated from start to finish – almost making his opponent seem like he did not belong in his realm of his competition. This matchup is a bit puzzling and seems like “Sugar Sean” (11-0) is wisely choosing his opponents on his way to the top. The 35-year old, Wineland, does not really have a place in the rankings and is looking to cash out on a paycheck. Although Wineland has some impressive wins over the likes of no one, he has always hung around the bottom of the bantamweight rankings. This would be a monumental upset if Eddie pulls this off. In the weird times we are, I still do not see O’Malley doing anything less than finishing this guy in the first round. Get use to this guy’s name.
The Corner’s Pick: Sean O’Malley (TKO)
UFC 250 aka the “Bantamweight Mixer” is only days away, get your picks in today!