Outside of the main event, what else are you anticipating on the UFC 202 card next Saturday night?
MIKE HISCOE, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I think everyone is anticipating Anthony Johnson vs. Glover Teixeira as it is a massive fight for the light heavyweight division with the winner likely getting the next shot at champion Daniel Cormier, but the fight I have my eye on is Randa Markos vs. Cortney Casey. Despite losing in the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter strawweight tournament to Rose Namajunas, Markos came in to the UFC with some momentum. She surprised everyone in utilising her wrestling in upsetting Tecia Torres in the opening round, then went on to defeat Felice Herrig rather easily in the quarter-finals. It was after this fight that she told Herrig’s best friend in the house Carla Esparza “Don’t worry, you’re next.” The fight has never materialized due to losses from Markos and a lengthy layoff for Esparza, but a win here for Markos could finally line up this fight.
ROBERT STAAF, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Anthony Johnson vs. Glover Teixeira was the right fight to make at light heavyweight. Once the keystone division of the UFC, the light heavyweight division is now quite shallow, with few future prospects waiting in the wings. As such, despite each losing in title fights within the past two years, ‘Rumble’ and Teixeira remain the top two contenders to Daniel Cormier and this fight will provide the winner their second chance at the title. I’m anticipating seeing Johnson attempt to show some improvement in his wrestling defense (as he will need it if he hopes to have success in a rematch against Cormier) against Teixeira here and it will be interesting to see who is able to dictate how this fight plays out. Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone vs. Rick Story is a great piece of matchmaking. This fight should be a lot of fun and the winner will move towards the top of the crowded Welterweight division. The FS1 and Fight Pass prelims gain is the pay-per-view’s loss, as Cody Garbrandt vs. Takeya Mizugaki and Neil Magny vs. Lorenz Larkin are two intriguing bouts with some implications in their respective divisions.
CHRIS HUNT, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
UFC 202 is pretty damn stacked. The co-main is excellent as two of the top light heavyweights collide and I almost guarantee one of them gets knocked out before the end of round two. Cerrone is always fun to watch, but Rick Story has a habit of grinding out wins, I believe he gets the win, but can’t wait to see it.
In the prelims Cody Garbrant could either climb into new heights or be put back a few steps by Mizugaki. I think he wins, just less impressively than most people expect. But I am most intrigued by a Fight Pass bout. Yup, a Fight Pass bout!
Neil Magny squares off against Lorenz Larkin and I find myself fascinated to see how he copes. I feel that Magny is average everywhere but the man keeps getting results and that is damn impressive. Larkin is no walk in the park and I think it will be a war of attrition. Larkin by a split decision. But it could go anyway to be honest.
DYLAN WEBSTER, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Outside of the main event the card is pretty thin when it comes to big fights or well known names, of course Anthony “Rumble” Johnson vs Glover Teixiera should be a great fight to decide the next contender for Daniel Cormier’s Light-Heavyweight Belt, I’m also a big fan of Women’s MMA so I’m looking forward to seeing both Pennington vs Phillips and Casey vs Markos, women’s fights always have the potential to be a show stealer on any card in my opinion.
ADAM TINDAL, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Anthony Johnson and Glover Teixiera is no doubt the second most anticipated fight on this card and one that I cannot wait to see. Also, after watching what Cody Garbrandt did to Thomas Almeida he is one of my favorite young up and comers to watch so I will definitely be keeping an eye out for that fight…. The debut of Mike Perry as well, which will go over the heads of most folks, but he’s an Orlando native that I have been privileged enough to train with in the past and he’s very talented and very powerful. I expect him to put on a fantastic show to open the main card.
STEVEN CONSENTINO, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
The clear answer here has to be Rumble Johnson taking on Glover Teixeira. With Daniel Cormier’s last outing being salvaged by Anderson Silva stepping in, a clear contender must be established. Alexander Gustafson’s last loss came at the hands of Cormier, and his next challenger is Jan Błachowicz who has lost two of his last three fights. Rumble and Glover know what’s at stake here, and must pull out a win with authority.
RYAN LEGARSKY, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Absolutely cannot wait for Rick Story-Donald Cerrone. That fight can easily be a show stealer and I’m expecting a lot. I’m also a huge Cerrone fan, so I might be a tad biased. Also, Johnson-Teixeira will be a blast to watch and I can’t wait to see the winner fight DC.
FRANK GONZALES, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I can’t wait for the Battle of the Bullies, Cerrone vs. Story. Both dudes are notorious front-runners, and if you allow either to impose their will you’re in for an ass-kicking. The best way to beat either is bringing the fight to them, which is why this should be fun. I think size matters a lot here, picking Story for a mild upset.
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