UFC 185 takes place this Saturday in Dallas, TX. UFC 185 appears to be another stacked pay-per-view card, one that’s definitely worth a purchase. There are two title fights Saturday night. Anthony Pettis will look to defend his lightweight belt for the second time and Carla Esparza will be going for her first defense of the new women’s strawweight title. Let’s take a look a closer look at those title fights.
The women’s strawweight division is still very new to the UFC. It was only December of last year when Carla Esparza won The Ultimate Fighter 20 and became the inaugural women’s strawweight champion. However, Esparza winning TUF 20 and taking the title didn’t come to the surprise of many MMA fans; Esparza was the Invicta champion before crossing over to the UFC.
While Esparza was fighting her way through the TUF tournament Joanna Jedrzejczyk (good luck pronouncing that name Bruce Buffer) was picking up wins in the UFC. Joanna has two UFC wins to her credit, both against ranked competitors. She originally took out Juliana Lima and then secured her #1 contender status against Claudia Gadelha.
Joanna’s last fight against Gadelha may be the best indicator of how this fight will turn out. Gadelha and Esparza are both primarily grapplers. Esparza is very likely to have a gameplan for Joanna that is similar to Gadelha’s. She’s most likely going to look to take Joanna, the much superior striker, to the ground. Getting Joanna to the ground and keeping her there will be the key for Esparza to win this fight. However, Joanna showed an excellent ability in her last fight with Gadelha to both defend takedown attempts and get up quickly when she was taken down.
I think this fight will be a close contest and will very likely go all 5 rounds. I look for Joanna to take advantage between grappling exchanges using her striking to squeak out a close decision win much like she did against Gadelha.
Pick Joanna Jedrzejczyk +145 @5Dimes
Anthony Pettis is the sniper of the mixed martial arts world. His spectacular finishes seem to come out of nowhere. He’s dangerous and looking to finish from any position. His striking is spectacular and he’s shown more recently that his jiu-jitsu is also great. Look no further than his recent win against top lightweight Benson Henderson (an excellent grappler). Henderson was in top control and was looking to land some of his signature ground and pound when Pettis caught him in an armbar out of nowhere (I highly recommend watching the Gracie Breakdown of the technique to fully appreciate how great it was).
RDA is a highly respected veteran of the sport and did look very impressive in his last two wins against Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz, but I really don’t believe he wins this fight. I really only see this fight as biding time for the true #1 contender Khabib Nurmagomedov to recover from his knee injury. That’s the real fight fans want to see for Pettis. I see Pettis winning this fight and getting a finish, most likely another submission.
Pick Anthony Pettis wins inside the distance -155 @5Dimes