Tomorrow night at 10 PM ET on Pay-Per-View, live from Toronto, Canada, we will watch one of the most highly-anticipated fights of the year, as the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones will defend his title against the No. 1 contender, Alexander Gustafsson, at UFC 165. For Jones, it will be business as usual, as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC will look for his sixth successful defense of his belt since winning it at UFC 128 back in 2011.
For Gustafsson, the stakes are a lot higher, as he comes in as the new blood, a 26-year old hotshot with a 15-1 professional record and a 6-fight winning streak, with his most recent victory coming at UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz against Maurício Rua, the very same man that Jones defeated to get his belt. Will Gustafsson be able to take down Jones? He’ll certainly need a hell of a lot more help than a disgusting broken toe, that’s for sure.
As for the rest of the card, check out our good friend Lobster Mobster’s handy dandy fight primer here, and my predictions are after the jump. Vince isn’t available this week, as he’s watching movies in Texas. Either way, be sure to join us for the online preliminaries beginning at 6:15 PM ET. (Banner via Getty)
Prediction: In this battle of names that I won’t ever be able to pronounce, I’m taking the less frumpier of the two combatants in Nandor Guelmino.
Prediction: This will bite me in the ass, because Roland Delorme has the hot hand and the better record, but I will never ever pick against a guy whose nickname is Bruce Leeroy. Alex Caceres it is.
Prediction: This is a really tough one. I can’t lean on my nickname philosophy because this is The Body Snatcher vs. Tractor. So I’m simply going to pick against the guy with the goofy Superman logo tattoo and choose Michel Prazeres. Ronson is also making his UFC debut and I’ve learned my lesson in picking the new guys, like Prazeres at UFC on FX 8, for example.
Prediction: I’m taking John Makdessi. Not much rhyme or reason to this one, other than he’s 4-1 in Canada with the UFC. Of course, he’s only fought outside of Canada once, but you’re the one who has the flawed argument!
Prediction: He made me pay last time for not picking him because his nickname is Dustin, so this time I’ll take the undefeated fighter and go with Dustin Kimura.
Prediction: Chris Clements was screwed in his last fight, a no contest against Matthew Riddle, who failed his drug test. So I think that Clements is due.
Prediction: Wilson Reis is making his debut at UFC 165, so I’m taking Ivan Menjivar, even though my gut tells me this is a very bad idea.
Prediction: THE JURY IS IN! Miles Jury, that is. He’ll win.
Prediction: Khabib Nurmagomedov remains unbeaten. Time for him to get his sh*t together and make a run in the Lightweight division.
Prediction: Costa Philippou keeps his winning streak alive and moves ahead of Yushin Okami in the UFC Middleweight rankings. He should be higher, but hopefully his next fight will be against a contender so he can start setting himself up for a title shot.
Prediction: I’m picking Brendan Schaub because I’ve always liked him, dating back to The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights. I also don’t know crap about Matt Mitrione, other than he lost to Roy Nelson, too.
Prediction: God, I know this is stupid, but I’m picking Wineland because I think it’s fun to see the Bantamweight division mixed up. Regardless of who wins, just take away the “interim” away from the champion title and make either Barão or Wineland the actual champion when he wins. It’s been two years already. Make Dominick Cruz earn it back when he returns. If he returns.
Prediction: Jon Jones. I don’t think it will be easy and I have a ton of respect for Gustafsson, but the champ is the champ for a reason.