UFC 250 Preview

UFC 250 is happening this Saturday night, June 6 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas Nevada.

At a numerical milestone like UFC’s 250 it seems fitting to have Amanda Nunes at the top of the bill. Nunes is one of, if not the greatest female fighter ever to step inside of the octagon. The bantamweight and featherweight champion has built up quite the resume over the past couple of years. With wins over Germaine de Randamie (x2), Valentina Shevchenko (x2), Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm. She really cemented her status at the top when she absolutely dismantled Cris ‘Cyborg’ Santos in the first round of their featherweight title bout. Cyborg seemed untouchable over many many years. The way that Nunes came in and fought and beat her at her own game was sensational.

The Brazilian double champ this weekend tests her skills against Canada’s own Felicia Spencer (8-0-1). Spencer you could say is relatively early on in her MMA career for a title shot but opponents are running thin in what is a lacklustre 145 pounds division in the UFC. Spencer who fights out of Orlando, Florida will look to her strong BJJ base in order to obtain the featherweight title. If that were to happen it would be the second time she would experience being a champion having already taken the Invicta FC featherweight crown.

Nunes is no slouch on the ground herself as she has a BJJ black belt. She spent most of her last bout on the mat while defending her title against de Randamie. I can not see that being the case this time around. Nunes is head and shoulders above Spencer when it comes to striking. You would expect Nunes to keep this on the feet and try to get Spencer out of there pretty quickly. I will be interested to see if Spencer can weather that storm and come up with a gameplan to shut down ‘The Lioness’. No matter how it goes Nunes always brings the heat and I’m sure this will be an exciting fight.

The co-main event see’s former champion Cody Garbrandt step in to face off against Brazilian Raphael Assunção. This is a huge fight for both fighters. Garbrandt is on a three fight skid. His last win came against Dominick Cruz when he first won the bantamweight title. A couple of defeats to TJ Dillashaw and a loss to Pedro Munhoz last time out leaves no room for errors for the Team Alpha Male competitor.

After getting knocked out in his last three bouts Garbrandt will welcome a fight with Assunção who is not known for his KO power. It’s best not let that snippet of information fool you as the Ascension Mixed Martial Arts fighter has been prominent in the top 10 rankings in the bantamweight division for many years. The Brazilian has wins over Tj Dillashaw, Pedro Munhoz, Aljamain Sterling and Marlon Moraes. Both fighters will be using this fight to propel themselves back into title contention. Garbrandt has been working with Mark Henry for this bout. It will be interesting to see if it has had any positive effect on his unique style.

Aljamain Sterling and Cody Sandhagen is a bout that realistically, should be the co-main event. This being a three round fight I fell will be more of a benefit to Sterling who is on a four fight win streak. After losing to Marlon Moraes he picked up wins vs. Brett Johns, Cody Stamann, Jimmie Rivera and Pedro Munhoz. He has been steadily improving in each of those fights. Training under the Serra/Longo banner ‘Funk Master’ mainly utilised his grappling skills but he did choose to stand and bang with Munhoz. He outstruck the Brazilian in a pretty one sided decision.

Cory Sandhagen will have the height and reach advantage if Aljo does decide to stand and bang again. He has crisp striking, throws a lot of faints and always looks to move forward. This style has seen him go 5-0 since coming into the UFC. We have seen him hold his own on the mat and he is a BJJ brown belt which makes him pretty well rounded. Notable wins over Ilui Alcantara, John Lineker and Raphael Assunção in his last bout.

Sandhagen has a ferocious fast paced style. He gets in your face. Has a wide range and has a variety of strikes in his arsenal. He will look to push forward and put Sterling on the back foot. Sterling will have to counter by mixing up his striking and grappling. This has fight of the night written all over it. I’m expecting it to be a super technical collision between two guys that are right on the cusp of a title shot. This fight is the one I look forward to most on the card.

It wasn’t looking good for UFC 250 a few weeks ago but this card has come together quite well. From top to bottom it’s pretty stacked. ‘Suga’ Sean O’Malley goes up against veteren Eddie Wineland. Last but not least on the main card is Neil Magny vs. Anthony Rocco Martin. Magny came back from a long layoff and looked real good in his last fight.

Headlining the preliminary card is 20 year old BJJ whiz Chase Hooper who takes on ‘Bruce Leroy” Alex Caceres. A mouth watering clash between flyweights Jussier Formiga and Alex Perez is also on the early prelims section on the card. Brian ‘Boom’ Kelleher who is apparently fighting what seems to be every other week. He steps in once more for a stern test against Cody Stamann. Both are natural bantamweights but this scrap is at featherweight. Herbert Burns, brother of Gilbert Burns, opens up the card when he squares off again UFC veteran Evan Dunham.

Here is the full card from top to bottom:

Main Card

  • Amanda Nunes (19-4-0) vs. Felicia Spencer (8-10)
  • Raphael Assunção (27-7-0) vs. Cody Garbrandt (11-3-0)
  • Aljamain Sterling (18-3-0) vs. Cory Sandhagen (12-1-0)
  • Neil Magny (22-7-0) vs. Anthony Rocco Martin (17-5-0)
  • Sean O’Malley (11-0-0) vs. Eddie Wineland (24-13-1)

Prelims

  • Alex Caceres (15-12-0) vs. Chase Hooper (9-0-1)
  • Ian Heinisch (13-3-0) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (31-12-0)
  • Cody Stamann (18-2-1) vs. Brian Kelleher (22-10-0)
  • Charles Byrd (10-6-0) vs. Maki Pitolo (12-5-0)

Early Prelims (On UFC Fight Pass)

  • Jussier Formiga (23-7-0) vs. Alex Perez (23-5-0)
  • Alonzo Menifield (9-0-0) vs. Devin Clark (11-4-0)
  • Evan Dunham (18-8-1) vs. Herbert Burns (10-2-0)
Ian O'Neill is a Kilkenny man living in Canada. You can catch him on Twitter most of the time talking all things MMA. Follow me on Twitter and on Instagram @ioneillmma.