UFC 225 tips: Best bets for Whittaker v Romero 2
Make the most of Saturday night in Chicago with our tips, which cover the middleweight title rematch and the rest of a stacked main card.
Robert Whittaker v Yoel Romero
Saturday night’s main event is a rematch of the middleweight title fight at UFC 213 last July, which Whittaker won by a close decision after dominating the final three rounds.
The Australian’s knee was injured by a Romero kick in the first round, but he showed real determination to come back and wear down the former Olympian, who fatigued dramatically at the halfway point.
Rematches tend to go the same way as the first fight, and that should be the case here.
Romero is still a fearsome competitor at the age of 41, who can land a bomb at any time, but Whittaker’s fight IQ is high enough to avoid those strikes, particularly as the Cuban tires.
Providing his knee holds up, the champion should extend his 10-fight winning streak and keep his belt with another victory by decision.
Rafael dos Anjos v Colby Covington
Covington has talked his way into this interim welterweight title shot, and the majority of UFC fans will be hoping that the American has his mouth shut by former lightweight champion dos Anjos this weekend.
The Brazilian is unbeaten in three fights as a welterweight, and beat former champion Robbie Lawler in a thrilling fight back in December.
Dos Anjos is a great pressure fighter, and also has the takedown defence to neutralise Covington’s wrestling, which is the 30-year-old’s only truly elite skill.
Covington’s poor striking was exposed in his decision win over Demian Maia, who is one of the weaker boxers at the top of the division, but managed to have the better of the exchanges on the night.
Dos Anjos has a massive advantage in terms of striking between these two, and he shouldn’t have much trouble keeping this fight off the mat and putting Covington away inside the distance.
Holly Holm v Megan Anderson
Holm has lost her way a bit since beating Ronda Rousey to win the women’s bantamweight title in November 2015, losing four of her last five fights.
The American was challenging for the featherweight belt in two of those bouts, however, and was impressive against the seemingly unstoppable Cris Cyborg last time out in December.
Expect her to return to form against Anderson, who has huge potential but is yet to fight in the UFC at the age of 28.
Anderson’s an aggressive fighter with huge power, but she’s never been in the Octagon with anyone as experienced as Holm.
Holm is at her best when her opponents come to her, so Anderson’s style should play right into her hands in what should be a close decision win for ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’.
Tai Tuivasa v Andrei Arlovski
This meeting of an emerging knock-out artist and reinvigorated former champion should make for a great fight.
Arlovski has won back-to-back bouts since a five-fight losing streak threatened his UFC career, and is one of the most experienced fighters in the heavyweight division.
He’s showed great resolve to get back on track, but will struggle on Saturday night against Australian prospect Tuivasa.
The 25-year-old is unbeaten in his seven MMA fights, knocking out both Cyril Asker and Rashad Coulter in the UFC.
He’s a really dangerous striker, and should stop Arlovski, who has been knocked out in three of his last five defeats.
CM Punk v Mike Jackson
This is going to be awful.
Both of these men were beaten inside a round by Mickey Gall in their UFC debuts, both by rear naked choke.
Jackson is a poor, inexperienced fighter, but he does have a kickboxing background and is six years younger than CM Punk.
Neither of these fighters belong anywhere near the UFC, and they probably won’t after this fight, which Jackson should win.