We’ve got a title fight, punch friends! UFC 177 is coming live from Sacramento, tomorrow night starting at 8 PM ET on Fox Sports 1 (7:30 PM ET if you’re watching the prelim on Fight Pass). Ten fights on this card, so let’s dive into the predictions from our wonderful panel of expert prognosticators!
UPDATE: Bake a batch of frownies, fight friends, because this card just went to crap. Renan Barao reportedly felt ill while trying to make weight, so he has pulled out of the main event. TJ Dillashaw will instead fight Joe Soto, who was set to fight Anthony Birchak, so this whole thing’s a mess right now.
Important Standings of Note:
Lightweight – Chris Wade vs Cain Carrizosa
Jessica: I don’t know who either of these jamokes are, so I’m picking based on location. Wade fights out of STRONG ISLAND, and while he’s not a Serra/Longo guy, that general area has been kicking ass, so I’ll take Wade to win by decision.
Burnsy: Cain “The Insane” Carrizosa is such a great all-around fighter name. I have to pick him based on that.
Bantamweight – Joe “One Bad Mofo” Soto vs Anthony “El Toro” Birchak – UPDATE: Soto has been promoted to the main event against Dillashaw.
Jessica: I remember Soto from his days in Bellator, and I’m stupid enough to base my judgement off that fact. Soto wins by decision.
Sydnie: I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to this fight. Both guys have lots of submissions and both are debuting. Hopefully that means exciting.
Burnsy: I really need to make up for these last two weeks of terrible picks, and not knowing who the hell these fighters are is killing me. I’ll take One Bad Mofo just so I can relieve him of his nickname if he loses.
Heavyweight – Ruan “Fangzz” Potts vs Anthony “Freight Train” Hamilton
Jessica: This event is taking place at the SLEEP TRAIN ARENA, so how could you not pick the Freight Train? Plus, if I ever stand to benefit by someone called “Fangzz” doing well, I’ve truly hit rock bottom. Hamilton wins by first round knockout.
Sydnie: I’m taking the Freight Train, primarily because it’s so big and freighty.
Burnsy: Hamilton’s debut in June was a complete dud, as what Potts’s own first UFC fight in May. I’m calling this a coin flip and will give it to Hamilton, too.
Flyweight – Scott “Young Guns” Jorgensen vs Henry “The Messenger” Cejudo
Jessica: I feel terrible about this, but I have to pick against Scotty Jorgz. He’s a cool dude, but Cejudo’s a ding-dang Olympic gold medalist. Cejudo takes a decision win, though I will bump it up to a stoppage if he wears a singlet.
Burnsy: If you asked me each Friday (or occasional Wednesday) when Jorgensen last fought, I’d say last week. I feel like this dude fights ALL THE TIME, and that is actually helping me build some respect for him, despite his name reminding me of the guy in accounting whose fly is always down. More than anything, Jorgy is one of only two ranked fighters at UFC 177 (not including the main event) and since we’re light on notoriety, I’ll take Young Guns to win.
Middleweight – Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin vs Derek Brunson
Jessica: Brunson better not go all in, since Larkin will make him pay with his striking. Brunson might catch a bad beat and end up face down in the river. Wait, Derek Brunson, not Doyle Brunson. GOD DAMN IT. Larkin wins by decision due to having ancient runes shaved into his hair.
Burnsy: It’s worth noting that Larkin, who might be facing a pink slip with a loss, is a little more than two years removed from having defeated Robbie Lawler in Strikeforce. That means nothing today, obviously, but the dude has always had potential. I’m still taking Brunson.
SpilledBagOfIce: I took a time machine all the way to 2025, and visited The UG forums to check out a thread that looked back at some of the greatest UFC PPV’s of all time. At the top of the list was (of course) UFC 177 the UberEvent. Derek Brunson punched Lorenz Larkin all the way back to the Facebook prelims. After a vicious beating by Yoel Romero, the Brun One decided that fights were best won when you fought all three rounds and put himself back on the winning track.
Lightweight – Yancy “The Kid” Medeiros vs Damon “The Leech” Jackson
Jessica: Jackson is a pretty good grapple-man, but he’s moving up from featherweight. Normally, this shouldn’t be a huge issue, except Medeiros is kind of a huge dude. He used to fight at 205, and he’s kept a lot of that power. Medeiros wins by first round KO.
Danny: Jackson is one of the few fighters that lives up to his nickname. “Cassius” Clay Collard may not have lived up to the billing, but “The Leech” likes to smother opponents and wear them out. Despite his strong grappling skills, Jackson still lacks a lot of polish on his feet. Medeiros may give up an early takedown, but he’ll eventually find the mark and take the 2nd round TKO.
Sydnie: I choose The Leech. Because his nickname is The Leech and he’s always choking people out, which is my preferred way to submit someone. I support more choking.
Burnsy: Medeiros hasn’t had the most inspiring run in the UFC thus far, as he’s 0-2-1 since his debut at UFC 159. Of course, if he could have left the bong alone, he’d be 1-2. Regardless, I think a n00b is just what he needs to right the ship.
Lightweight – “Stripper” Ramsey Nijem vs Carlos Diego Ferreira
Jessica: I’m nearly entirely sure it’s because he’s called “Stripper Ramsey”, but I’m a moderate fan of Nijem. If I’ve ever seen Ferreira before, he certainly never made an impression on me. Recognizing a dude fighter is a big thing for me, so I’ll give Nijem the nod because I know who he is. Ramsey takes this by second round KO.
Danny: How much do MMA fans love guys with three initials? GSP, OSP, RDA, OPP, BIG, STD, the list is practically endless. CDF made an impressive UFC debut by submitting Colton Smith in only 38 seconds back in June. Notoriously a slow starter, he’s been finished in all four of his career losses (three of them in the first round). He’ll avoid the initial blitz this time, though, and his superior cardio and grinding style lead him to a unanimous decision win.
Burnsy: Ferreira had that quick and awesome submission win against Colton Smith at the awesome Fight Night event that featured wins from Kelvin Gastelum and Cub Swanson. That event started out like Finishpalooza before shifting into Decisionfest ’14. I’m picking him because I want his deal to be that he just comes out and finishes every fight in 30 seconds.
SpilledBagOfIce: Ramsey Nijem rebounded from a tough weight cut to submit Carlos Diego Ferreira three times, once in all three rounds. Taking a page out of his TUF coach, Brock Lesnar’s book, the Palestinian wrestling standout viciously taunted his adversary and drew out the fight into a lengthy, crowd-baiting affair. He would release each finishing submission: a British bulldog choke (1st round), armbar (2nd round) and Peruvian Necktie (3rd round) a split second before his opponent could tap, infuriating ref Yves Lavigne. Each time he released a submission, “Stripper” Ramsey would bait the crowd by holding his hand to his ear Hulkamania style, and threaten to remove his fight shorts, under which he wore a tribute to Dennis Hallman.
Judges gave Nijem the first ever unanimous 30-21 decision, and he was awarded a POTN bonus.
Bantamweight – Bethe “Pitbull” Correira vs Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler
Jessica: Part of me wants Belch Korea to win to build her up as the Horsewoman Hunter and make her Rousey’s next opponent. However, more of me says screw that, Baszler’s got catch wrestling and Josh Barnett on her side, so she wins a decision (Though I’ll be hoping for “BASZLER, CRUSH!” being yelled from the corner and then Shayna just throws Bethe in the Accolade).
Danny: I’m really digging this whole Bethe Correia takes on each one of the Four Horsewomen en route to a title shot. It has a Pokemon Elite Four ring to it that I think Ronda Rousey would really appreciate. it. Baszler is one of the veterans of WMMA, but that’s just a polite way of saying that she’s been around awhile. Correia hasn’t shown a lot finishing power, but her striking and clinch game has frustrated opponents in her previous two appearances. She’ll uses those same skill to take the decision victory.
Sydnie: I hate to say it, because of this and this but I think Baszler’s experience with jiu jitsu and wrestling will surpass Correia’s striking ability. I don’t know. It’s been so long since we’ve seen Baszler, it’s tough to decide. But she’s my pick. If she wins, I’m right. If she loses, then we get to watch her lose. Win-win.
Burnsy: I always pick Pitbull.
SpilledBagOfIce: Bethe Correia and Shayna Baszler put on a show stopping Fight of the Night performance, trading blows like tiny Diego Sanchezes, devoid of head movement and without regard for their cerebral cortexes. While the crowd spent the duration of the fight on their feet in anticipation of a knockout blow, sadly they were denied both a finish and a proper decision. Baszler was disqualified when Josh Barnett scaled the octagon fence and hit Correia with Joe Silva.
Lightweight – Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson vs Danny “Last Call” Castillo
Jessica: Both dudes are grappley dudes what hit pretty hard, except T-Fergs kind of does both of those things better than Castillo. Ferguson is going to hurt Danny’s face parts a bunch and then finish him in the second with a knockout.
Danny: I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart Danny Castillo. I met him at WEC 53 and bumped into him after my fight. He had competed earlier, and was already a couple drinks in when he told me, “Hey man, your Twitter is pretty funny.” Sure, that doesn’t sound like much, but the man wears a headband! Those type of guys don’t just hand out compliments. He’s probably dropping negs like that Mystery dude from the pick up artist.
Why do I tell this not so interesting anecdote? I don’t know, you can only talk about takedown conversion rates for so long. Castillo’s counter striking has steadily improved, and is no longer a one dimensional wrestler. I think his power advantage and aggression will stymie Ferguson’s momentum and give him the 3rd round TKO.
Sydnie: I love Castillo, in part because I laughed at this for twenty minutes. Despite my personal affinity, I think Ferguson takes it.
Burnsy: I expect this one to be a bad, bad fight in a good, good way. Ultimately, I think that Fergy will hammer Castillo and take the TKO in the second round. TEAM DEATH CLUTCH!
SpilledBagOfIce: Ferguson knocked out Danny Castillo and proceeded to call out the entire Team Alpha Male gym. The move was a risky one, as Castillo was the only member of TAM in Ferguson’s weight class. This issue was solved shortly after as Ferguson fought Joseph Benavidez sitting on Paige Van Zandt’s shoulders. Without the use of her arms, PVZ was ripe for the takedown and Ferguson took the decision as co-main in UFC 188.
El Cucuy, who won TUF 13 by knocking out Ramsey Nijem after becoming the first man in history to ever endear himself to Brock Lesnar, continued his ascent to the top of the 155 pound division when he now sits as the Minnesota & South Dakota Interim Champion. We are eagerly awaiting his rematch with Vitor Belfort at Fight Night: Antarctica
Bantamweight – TJ Dillashaw vs Renan Barao UPDATE: Barao is out and is being replaced by Soto.
Jessica: I was the only picker to back Dillashaw last time (Speaking of, check out my pal Phil‘s epic telling of that initial bout right here), so I can’t leave him in the lurch now. I do think it’s kind of funny that I saw some people on Barao’s side complaining that he had too short of a turn around between beating Faber and fighting Dillashaw (112 days), yet the rematch is even quicker (98 days). Anyway, this fight is more of the same, the handsome man defeats the hobgoblin, as Dillashaw wins by third round TKO.
Danny: Dillashaw shocked the world a few months ago. Now he’s gone from being a huge underdog to a slight favorite. People seem to have forgotten why Barao won over 30 fights in a row. Having said that, TJ Dillashaw is just a bad matchup for the “Baron.” If you look at Barao’s past title defenses, he’s excelled against opponents with more static footwork. They were certainly athletic, but they gave the Brazilian a static target. Dillashaw won because he never let Barao get comfortable. He’ll utilize the same gameplan, and while it may not be surprising, it will still be effective. He retains his title by decision. Then the real battle begins — surviving the Team Alpha Male after party.
Sydnie: In the interest of not having to see the Brazilian Baron dance, I’m choosing Dillashaw. Also because Barao had nothing for Teej last time. And because Killashaw doesn’t yet have a stupid nickname.
Normally, I like seeing the new champ defend his title for the sake of confirming that he deserved to win. In this case, though, I think Barao learned from his mistakes and comes out with a new fight plan and really takes it to Dillashaw. I like TJ a lot, but I’m picking Barao here so we can lock down a third fight in the near future. UPDATED PICK: Dillashaw defends against Soto.
SpilledBagOfIce: In the main event, the P4P GOAT, Joe “Bellator” Soto made his now legendary UFC debut by snapping TJ Dillashaw’s left arm in an Americana. The victory came at just 1:27 of the first round. Soto’s now infamous reign of terror over the men’s Bantamweight division would eventually catch the eye of WWE Intercontinental (unisex) champion Rowdy Ronda Rousey, who was a member of the UFC at that time. The two would go on to form MMA’s first power couple and produce their three wildly successful sons: Combat, Mordor and Rodan. Each of their children would win titles in Olympic Boxing, Krav Maga tournaments, and the Kumite. The boys have declined to enter the UFC due to the fact that Soto still reigns supreme.