The news that Jose Aldo could miss UFC 189 thanks to a ridiculously clumsy sparring partner has put a damper on what is still a pretty decent card. Aldo says he can go at this point, but the UFC has a back up plan in place should he need to pull out. Looking past this event to UFC 190 in Rio de Janeiro, we really hope that main card can avoid idiotic injuries as the feud between Ronda Rousey and Bethe Correia is starting to heat up!
Rousey has a history of finishing fights early and without remorse and her early line (-1400) reflects that. However, due to a few (somewhat offside) comments out of Correia, Rousey is looking to inflict maximum pain and has, thus, promised a more “drawn out” victory. While that’s somewhat sadistic, on the one hand, it should also make for a more interesting bout, which is just what fans will want out of this main card, especially if the McGregor vs. (fill in the blank) fight fails to impress.
Let us dive into the early outlook for the meatiest matches.
Bethe “Pitbull” Correia (+750) vs. Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey (-1400)
The question surrounding this fight isn’t “Will Rousey win?” It’s “How long will she make it last?” The undefeated champ has only been past the first round once in her career (against Miesha Tate at UFC 168).
Rousey’s threat to embarrass Correia is what makes this fight so intriguing; will she really bypass an early opening for a submission for the chance to inflict more pain? Or will the simple act of ending the fight quickly in Correia’s home country serve as enough? Betting which round the fight ends will be the real appeal of this match up.
No matter what happens, there is something satisfying going into an event knowing that the title fight won’t end in a decision.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Antonio Rogerio “Minotouro” Nogueira
Shogun and Little Nog will square off in a rematch of their epic 2005 PRIDE fight that saw Rua win by decision. The two were originally supposed to meet at UFC 161, but Nogueira had to pull out. Adding to the rivalry, the two have spent the year coaching against each other on TUF: Brazil 4.
Neither fighter enters the match particularly hot: Rua is coming off two straight KOs at the hands of Ovince Saint Preux and Dan Henderson, while Nogueira enters the night after getting knocked out by Anthony Johnson. The line for their 2013 scheduled fight had Rua as a slight favorite at -150; look for this one to open around the same.
While his bro is prepping for Shogun, Big Nog will be taking on one of the few fighters who dwarfs him in the cage: the seven-foot Stefan Struve. Both will be desperate for a win, with the last W for each coming back in 2012. Struve suffered a broken jaw after a brutal knockout by Mark Hunt in 2013; he then took some time off before returning in late 2014 with another loss to Alistair Overeem. But the big Dutchman believes he can use his reach and length to submit the Minotauro.
“I will take the fight wherever I want,” Struve told MMA news. “He will have the support of the crowd, so I think he will try to hunt me, but he won’t be successful. I will break him.”
Nogueira has only fought twice since beating Dave Herman at UFC 153 in October 2012. He was submitted (via armbar) by Fabrício Werdum in June 2013 and then got KOed by the mediocre Roy Nelson in April of last year. The competition has caught up to the now 39-year-old, who hasn’t posted back-to-back victories 2008.
With each of these fighters looking for a victory to get their careers back on track, don’t expect a decision here either.
Jessica “Jag” Aguilar vs. Claudia “Claudinha” Gadelha
Former World Series of Fighting champ Jessica Aguilar will make her UFC debut against Claudia Gadelha, the woman many thought should be the strawweight champion. Gadelha dropped a controversial split-decision to Joanna Jedrzejczyk last December before Jedrzejczyk went on to claim the title in UFC 185.
Now the Brazilian Gadelha will have the crowd on her side as she tries to get her title hopes back on track. Aguilar says the two faced off once in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament, with Gadelha winning when she was at a larger weight. However, with both at around 115 lbs this time around, the matchup should be fairly even between these two talented grapplers.
(Photo Credit: Zennie Abraham (Flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/].)
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