Michael Bisping vs. Cung Le:
Mike Drahota: This is an interesting enough match-up for the UFC Macau main event. Bisping is coming off an ugly loss to Tim Kennedy in a fight he said he rushed back for. We’ll see if he’s back. I expect Bisping to push the pace with his kickboxing, while Le looks to use his flashy kicks and power to disrupt “The Count’s” flow. Having been out of the Octagon since the very first UFC Macau in 2012, Le is a huge question mark, but judging from his recent workout photos, he’s also a huge man. Still, he’s 42 years old, and I think Bisping is the only one here who actually maintains some relevancy in the stacked UFC middleweight division. Bisping by unanimous decision.
Rory Kernaghan: Michael Bisping and Cung Le left me in a bit of a pickle when trying to choose a winner; they are essentially even in talent, in my opinion, and with similar mind sets. They both love to push the pace, break their opponents will and then implement as much punishment as possible. “The Count” prefers to do his work from the clinch, or in boxing range, whereas Le has a kick-heavy gameplan with excellent TDD. For me, this is all about who imposes their will better. Age and cage experience considered, it was a real toss up for me, but I’m picking Bisping by decision.
Buster Evans: I personally think this fight all comes down to Michael Bisping’s gameplan. We all know Cung Le is a devastating striker who holds the ability to knock his opponent out at any given time. But, we also know his weakness lies in his grappling and that’s where Bisping has the big advantage. If “The Count” tries to beat Le on the feet I can see him being on the receiving end of another highlight reel knockout. But I don’t see that happening, I think Bisping is going to play it safe using his grappling advantage to wear Le out before finishing him late on. Bisping via TKO round three.
Mike Henken: I think age and ring rust will both be big factors playing against Le and to Bisping’s advantage. He also possesses a 5.5-inch reach advantage over Le. Le has devastating knockout power, which Bisping will have to look out for early on in the fight. If Le can clip Bisping early, it could end right there. However, I don’t see this happening. I think Bisping will use his cardio to his advantage and push a relentless pace on Le. Le has looked rather slow in his last few fights despite picking up two consecutive wins. If “The Count” can use precise footwork, accurate combinations, and a deadly pace to wear Le down as the fight goes on, I see this one going to the Brit. I predict Michael Bisping defeats Cung Le by fourth round TKO.
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Tyron Woodley:
Mike Drahota: This pivotal bout is undoubtedly a proving ground for both combatants. Kim has won four straight in the ultra-tough UFC welterweight division, but he’s never beaten anyone close to the No. 4-ranked Woodley. That’s not to say he can’t, however. Woodley put on a beyond disappointing performance in his UFC 174 co-main event bout against Rory MacDonald, failing to mount anything close to significant offense after calling out for a title shot for months. “The Chosen One” is going to come in looking to knock Kim’s head off, but I don’t think that’s going to work. Fighting in front of the Asian crowd, I think Kim will use his judo and better conditioning to wear out the massively muscled Woodley. My pick is ‘Stun Gun’ by decision.
Rory Kernaghan: Dong Hyun Kim has regained the form that saw him go seven years and 16 fights unbeaten as a pro, and he faces a rebounding Tyron Woodley in China. “T-Wood” got clowned for three rounds at UFC 174 by Rory MacDonald, and will hope his power and cardio are on point against “Stun Gun”. The South Korean Kim is riding a four-fight spree, and has looked phenomenal in his KO wins over John Hathaway and Erick Silva. I don’t think Woodley will handle the pace, and the result will be a third round TKO for “Stun Gun”
Buster Evans: Woodley has talked a big game but hasn’t really delivered. His loss to MacDonald has many wondering if his UFC 171 stoppage of Carlos Condit was a fluke, something that many had already suspected. Regardless, he’s in another big fight against Kim, no easy task against which to put his inconsistency to bed. Kim will also have the full support of the Macau fans behind him, and he’s appeared more than motivated and sharp in recent efforts. With his confidence at an all-time high and Woodley reeling, I expect Kim to use his grappling to stifle Woodley’s power and make this fight his. Kim via TKO round two.
Mike Henken: Woodley has another big test in front of him in No. 10-ranked Dong Hyun Kim. Kim is a very good grappler, with his highly decorated Judo background that should be able to match-up against Woodley’s collegiate wrestling background. He has also shown knockout power as well; securing knockout finishes in his last two fights. I think this fight will be mainly played out on the feet. Woodley is coming in with a lot to prove and has a lot of pressure on him. I think he will come out fast and aggressive and simply use his strength to overpower Kim. Woodley has shown he can be taken down, and if Kim can get him down, it could go his way. However, I see Woodley landing a big shot and putting Kim away early. I predict Woodley defeats Kim by first round TKO.