UFC 206 tips: 3 best bets as Holloway and Pettis meet in striking showdown
The interim featherweight title will have a new owner after a knockout night in the Octagon...
Max Holloway v Anthony Pettis
This promises to be one of the most exciting UFC fights for a long time between two quality strikers.
Both Holloway and Pettis are expert kickboxers who will have no interest in taking this one to the ground.
But while Holloway is looking for his tenth consecutive win – with his last defeat coming against Conor McGregor in August 2013 – Pettis is only one fight removed from a three-bout losing streak.
Holloway is more active and accurate, connecting on 28.05 significant strikes per round to Pettis’ 12.7, and his tricky footwork will also give him an advantage.
He is the likely winner, particularly considering Pettis had a tough time cutting enough weight to meet the featherweight limit. In fact, he came in three lbs too heavy at the official weigh-in.
Don’t expect a knockout finish, though. Pettis has never been stopped in his 24 professional fights.
Holloway to win by decision -
Donald Cerrone v Matt Brown
Cerrone has been in fine form since his move up to welterweight, winning all three of his fights at the 170lb limit.
The 33-year-old knocked out Patrick Cote and Rick Story – earning performance of the night for both bouts – after submitting Alex Oliveria in his first fight at the new weight.
In Brown, he faces an experienced brawler who will look to clinch and make this fight as uncomfortable as possible.
The 35-year-old is a dangerous striker, but with four defeats in his last five fights it is difficult to see him coming through this test with a victory.
Brown will put pressure on and look for an early knockout, but Cerrone should easily be able to pick him apart for three rounds to earn an easy decision victory.
Cerrone to win by decision -
Doo Ho Choi v Cub Swanson
Another fighter on a long winning streak, Choi has been hugely impressive since he signed with the UFC in November 2014.
The Korean featherweight has won all three of his bouts with the company by first-round knockout, taking his run of consecutive victories to 13.
His opponent at UFC 206, meanwhile, has won two in a row since suffering back-to-back defeats to Frankie Edgar and Max Holloway.
Swanson is an experienced, savvy fighter, and while his last three wins have all come by decision, he does have the power to knock Choi out.
But the 25-year-old from Busan has looked just too fast and too powerful in his trio of UFC fights, and another knockout win looks likely here.
Choi to win by KO, TKO or DQ -