Hey there, fight fans! UFC 203 is here with an action-packed card, including a dang heavyweight title fight. Prelims start at 7 p.m. ET on Fight Pass, while the main card is exclusively on pay per view at 10 p.m. ET. Let’s jump into those main card fight picks and see who’s going to win.
2016 Important Results:
Jessica: 145-121-4 (54 percent)
Burnsy: 107-106-3 (50 percent)
Ryan: 5-1 (83 percent)
Jason: 57-48-1 (54 percent)
Bill: 35-24 (59 percent)
Jared: 26-23 (53 percent)
Jackman: 7-5 (58 percent)
Enrique: 7-5 (58 percent)
Jamie: 16-13-1 (55 percent)
Justin: 13-4 (76 percent)
Marty: 20-12-1 (62 percent)
Parker: 3-4 (43 percent)
Team Davis: 75-58-3 (56 percent)
Dan: 4-1 (80 percent)
Note from Team Davis: Here are my sister-in-law’s picks for UFC 203. I showed her the pictures on UFC.com and she picked. She knew what “MMA” meant, but not what “UFC” meant. She’s never watched a second of an MMA fight, so this should be fun.
Strawweight – Joanne “Bad Mofo Jojo” Calderwood vs. Jessica “Bate Estaca” Andrade
Jessica: I was pretty impressed with Andrade’s strawweight debut. It’s good to see she won’t be the teensiest fighter in the division, which will help her chances here. However, Calderwood looked good her last time out, too. If Jojo has her head in the game, she’s a dangerous buzzsaw of limbs, and I can see Andrade getting chipped into a bloody pulp. Calderwood wins by second round TKO.
Ryan: Calderwood is good and only getting better, but in the knock down drag out slobberknocker I’m expecting out of this fight, I’m thinking Andrade takes it with superior firepower. She’s bigger and meaner than Jojo and seems to have put everything together in her last win over Jessica Penne. I’m flipping Jessica’s pick and going Andrade via second round KO.
Jason: I really like Andrade, but I feel like JoJo has all the momentum in the world after her last bounceback win. I’ll go with JoJo, and this is going to be a good fight.
Jared: JoJo’s tendency to start slow and let her opponents just tee off on her makes me nervous to ever place a lot of confidence in her, even if she did look outstanding against Valerie Letourneau in her last outing. You just never know where her head’s gonna be at, and I like Andrade to swarm her before she gets going and finish her via TKO.
Bill: Yeah, since we’re probably not going to get a CM Punk victory, all I want for UFC 203 Christmas is a Calderwood win. WAR BAD MOFO.
Team Davis: Pick: Jessica Andrade
Reason: Jessica looks like she’s there to fight and she knows she’s there to fight. The other one (Calderwood) looks like she got lost on the way to the library.
Bantamweight – Urijah “California Kid” Faber vs. Jimmie “El Terror” Rivera
Jessica: Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Rivera is 19-1, and is riding an 18-fight winning streak. On the other hand, the fact that I can’t remember a single thing about any of his fights has me slightly worried. I keep feeling that Faber’s eventually going to slip, but he’s still capable of beating pretty much anyone that isn’t a former, future or present champion. I’m going to say that Faber wins this one by decision.
Ryan: The bantamweight division has one hell of a gatekeeper in Urijah Faber. The dude’s always in peak physical condition and scraps out every fight like he’s still defending his WEC belt. There may be some 135 pounders coming up that will finally be able to get past him, but Rivera is not one of them. Faber via TKO.
Jason: This isn’t a title fight, so Faber wins. Probably via submission.
Jared: What Jason said. Faber may never be a UFC champ but he’s still solid enough to outclass young punks like Rivera (all due respect).
Bill: What is it about Faber that has rendered him unable to win title fights, but look like the most dominant bantamweight in the world in literally every other bout he has? Did he get cursed by that Thinner lady, but she whispered “Contenderrrrrrrrr?” That’s probably it. It makes the most sense.
Team Davis: Pick: Jimmie Rivera
Reason: Urijah has duck lips. I can’t pick a guy with duck lips. He looks like he has Pringles for a mouth.
Welterweight – Mickey Gall vs. Phil “CM Punk” Brooks
Jessica: Hahahaha, seriously? Punk has been showing some improvement in his sparring, you know, after nearly two years of training. However, his body is broken down, his brainbox probably isn’t much better, and he’s fighting a young guy, full of energy and a burning desire to win so he can buy an extra case of protein bars. Gall is going to trounce Phil across all areas, and the finish might depend more on how Brooks wants things to end, rather than Gall. If Phil wants to be a brave warrior, going out on his shield, he’ll probably get KO’d, but if he gets hit with some solid shots and wants to try his hand on the ground, Gall will tap him with ease. I’m going to say Gall wins by submission in the latter half of the very first round.
Ryan: This sport is not kind to dabblers, and unfortunately for Punk that’s exactly what he is. At least in comparison to Gall, who has been training to fight since puberty struck 10 years ago. I can only hope CM Punk’s first round submission defeat comes after a minute or two of valiant gunslinging.
Jason: There’s nothing I want more than for CM Punk to win, but I think he’ll lose via TKO (elbows) in the first round. It might be a bloodbath.
Jared: Punk by Showtime Kick, 0:45 of Round 1.
(LOL JK he’s going to be spitting out teeth like a Pez dispenser in less than two minutes.)
Bill: My heart wants a Punk win more than just about anything else in this world, but he’s going to get knocked out or tapped out in the first round. Of course, I said the same thing about Brock at UFC 200. Although … CM Punk is many things, but the main thing he isn’t is “Brock Lesnar.”
Team Davis: Pick: CM Punk
Reason: He’s the only person I’ve heard of. He has to be good, right?
Heavyweight – Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum vs. Travis “Hapa” Browne
Jessica: Unless Werdum’s chin is completely deteriorated, which I don’t think it is, Browne’s ability to win this fight is hovering around 2 percent. Werdum schooled Browne so badly in their first match he got bored kicking his ass and had to troll Travis, too, including a kip up and some fake ’em out moves. This is only three rounds, so Fabricio won’t have to worry about conserving his energy as much and really unload. Werdum submits Browne in the second round.
Ryan: Werdum defeated Browne so thoroughly in their original fight it was like watching Neo pimp slap b*tches in The Matrix. While I expect Travis to show up with some new tools and strategies, it’s not going to do him a world of good. I give this to Werdum via decision.
Jason: I don’t see why this wouldn’t go down exactly like it did last time. Werdum got caught, it happens in the heavyweight division. Of course Browne could catch him, but I don’t think he will. Werdum via second round TKO.
Jared: Unless Werdum plans on reenacting his drunken, James Thompson-esque bull rush that cost him the title at UFC 198, he should manage to score another win over Rubber Legs Browne with relative ease here. I wholeheartedly second Jessica’s prediction here.
Bill: Travis Browne takes a lot of fights on short notice, and that is to be commended. However, he’s on a career path to becoming the heavyweight division’s Chris Leben, only without the fan following. That’s cool. Every generation needs a Paul Varelans. Werdum is gonna win this one by KO.
Team Davis: Pick: Fabricio Werdum
Reason: Suzanne said I had to pick Werdum because the other guy is not a good guy. (This is true.) Travis Browne looks like Gollum with better posture.
Heavyweight Title – Stipe Miocic vs. Alistair “Demolition Man” Overeem
Jessica: Overeem is always one punch from a knockout. Note I didn’t say a win, because he’s just as likely to take a solid shot to the chin and collapse like a side of beef. Miocic gave hope to Cleveland with his title win, which in turn allowed LeBron to come back from a 1-3 deficit against the winningest team in NBA history, the previous year’s champs and the back-to-back MVP. If Miocic defends his title IN Cleveland, there’s a good chance both the Indians and the Browns win, too. That might tear the universe asunder, but I’ve been on Team CHAOS from the jump, so let’s do this. Miocic catches Alistair with some solid shots and sends him off to Dreem Land in the second.
Ryan: Alistair Overeem isn’t exactly the most consistent fighter, especially when stringent drug testing is in effect. Miocic on the other hand has spent the last two years showing up and going above and beyond expectations. Something has just clicked for the current heavyweight champ. It will take the best Overeem there is to pry the belt off him. Will that Overeem show up? I certainly wouldn’t bet on it. Miocic via KO in round three.
Jason: Oh man, I really like Stipe but Overeem winning the UFC belt would be historic. It would make him the first Dream/Strikeforce/UFC/K-1 champion, I believe (someone check the books). If Overeem stay patient, he should be able to win. But if he goes full horsemeat reem, I could see a Bigfoot Silva or Travis Browne-type finish to this. Screw it, I’m picking Overeem.
Jared: Alistair Overeem 3.0 (Newbereem?) has looked like a man possessed in recent appearances and as much as I’d love to see him win here (I generally find him to be one of the more intriguing figures in the sport), I’m not going to act like he hasn’t been KO’d approximately 10 bajillion times in his career. Stipe keeps the title in Cleveland via late TKO (or maybe even decision) and continues to be just an absolute delight of a human being outside the cage and a terror within it.
Bill: Just like with Punk, I would LOVE to see Overeem take this one. (And the chances of an Overeem victory are … uh … a LITTLE better than a Punk victory.) But I think “Michael” Stipe is gonna send Overeem on an Alistairway to heaven, via knockout.
Team Davis: Pick: Stipe Miocic
Reason: His name is “Stipe” and that just seems so cute. It’s fun to say!
Performance of the Night
Jessica: Gall, Werdum
Ryan: Andrade, Miocic
Jason: Werdum, Faber
Jared: Miocic, Werdum
Bill: Faber, Calderwood
Fight of the Night
Jessica: McCall vs. Borg (hahaha, nope, just kidding) I really meant to say Faber vs. Rivera
Ryan: Miocic vs. Overeem
Jared: Miocic vs. Overeem
Bill: Miocic vs. Overeem