The main and co-main event of UFC 219 are some of the best fights all year, with the match-ups that we’ve had in 2017, that’s high praise. Cris Cyborg defending her women’s UFC featherweight title against Holly Holm is arguably the biggest female fight of all-time. Meanwhile, Khabib Nurmagomedov makes his triumphant return to fight against top contender and dangerous striker Edson Barboza in a war for title contention. It’s interesting to see Conor McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh’s outlook on the match-ups — especially the co-main event — seeing as how he could still be a future opponent for McGregor, especially if he does end up ever fighting in Russia.
“Khabib [Nurmagomedov] by stoppage in the championship rounds. He will be hit in the first but wrestling, in particular his body lock, will break [ Edson] Barboza as fight progresses. Ground-and-pound stoppage in fourth or fifth round. [Holly] Holm by stoppage within three rounds. The lack of size advantage [for Cris Cybog] plus Holm’s technical ability in striking will decide this. Cyborg relies on strength and intimidation a lot, she wont have that here.” – John Kavanagh via his Twitter.
Only one more day.
— UFC (@ufc) December 29, 2017
Coach John Kavanagh picks the Russian smashing machine Khabib Nurmagomedov for a late stoppage of the elite striker in Edson Barboza. He thinks his suffocating grappling will eventually take over once Barboza’s whirling dervish of attacks slow down. Kavanagh also is picking underdog Holly Holm to once again shock the world, not only upsetting, but stopping the dominant Cris Cyborg. If she manages to stop both Ronda Rousey and Cyborg, then she is definitely in contention as one of — if not the — best female fighter on the planet.
Do you agree with coach John Kavanagh’s expert insight? Whether you are ready to run to the betting sites or think his picks are off, it’s going to be awesome to see it all unfold tonight at UFC 219.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/30/2017.