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UFC 200 Picks

UFC 200 Predictions to Win
When: Saturday, July 9, 2016
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
TV: PPV
by Scott of Predictem.com

Fight Analysis:

UFC 200 is a true extravaganza of action, with a slew of fights on the card, any which of them could be main events on their own under different circumstances. Even though the card lost its headliner with Conor McGregor's rematch with Nate Diaz scuttled from the event, it's still the biggest card in years. The main event features the rematch of light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and interim champ Jon Jones. There are two more title fights on the card. Miesha Tate defends her bantamweight title against dangerous contender Amanda Nunes. And the vacant UFC Featherweight title will be contested between ex-champs Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar. Also on the card, heavyweights Cain Velasquez and Travis Browne will duke it out. Let's see what we can come up betting-wise with for the historic UFC 200 card!

Daniel Cormier, 17-1 (6 KOs, 5 Submissions), (+230) vs. Jon Jones, 22-1 (9 KOs, 6 Submissions), (-270)
Daniel Cormier looks to avenge his only loss and become the real champion, as he takes on Jon Jones. Outside problems made it so Jones had to relinquish the belt, with Cormier earning the title as Jones sat out. Right before running into problems, Jones beat Cormier with a unanimous decision win in January 2015. In his first fight back, Jones won a 5-round decision over Ovince Saint Preux and is now ready to try to regain the belt he never lost in the octagon.

Cormier is hoping that maybe he's a little better than he was in that first bout and there is some credence to that with Cormier coming off a nice run of wins over Anthony Johnson and Alexander Gustafsson. With the lifestyle concerns and rust on Jones, maybe a different result is in the cards. And maybe Jones is fortunate that Cormier was injured prior to UFC 197, as the version of Jones who beat Saint Preux may have been hard-pressed to beat Cormier.

That's one way of looking at it. Another is that Jones was able to clearly defeat Cormier in a close fight the first time around, despite testing positive for cocaine metabolites. In other words, he may not have been that well-prepared and still came out ahead. With a newly-focused Jones having shaken off some rust with the 5-rounder against Saint Preux, he could conceivably be better than he was the first time around. Or maybe Jones is at a point in his career where we can start expecting diminished returns. He may be the greatest MMA fighter of all time. He may also be a shooting star who burned out quicker than forecasted. And it can't be getting any easier to pare his massive physique down to 205 pounds.

I think Cormier is the perfect barometer to gauge where Jones is at this point in his career. This bout will determine whether he is ready to resume his ways as a true-blue UFC superstar or if the Jones down-cycle has begun. I look for something in the middle—a good, but not great performance from Jones. I see this bout as a toss-up where you can argue Jones has a slight edge. But at +230 odds, the value here is with Cormier, whom I will select to score the upset.

My Pick to Win: I'm betting on Daniel Cormier to win at +230 odds. Bet your Cormier/Jones pick at an online sportsbook where credit cards work for depositing and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign up bonus up to $250 in FREE cash! --> Bovada Sportsbook.

Jose Aldo, 25-2 (14 KOs, 2 Submissions), (-115) vs. Frankie Edgar, 20-4 (6 KOs, 4 Submissions), (-105)
Featherweights Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar will do battle in a rematch for the featherweight crown. Aldo is coming off a 13-second KO loss to Conor McGregor in December, his first loss in over a decade. At 29, he needs to prove he isn't yesterday's news. He draws a very worthy opponent in former lightweight champion Edgar, 34. The two fought for Aldo's title in 2013, with the Brazilian winning a unanimous decision.

There was a suspicion that Aldo was ready to be plucked in the McGregor fight. And the way that fight went down only confirms the notion that Aldo's best days are in the rearview. And getting his lights turned out like that doesn't help. Meanwhile, Edgar has kept himself relevant with a nice 5-fight win streak that included some dominating performances over good 145-pounders like Cub Swanson and Chad Mendes.

Writing off Aldo could be very premature. Injuries and a lot of wars may have added up and the McGregor result is hard for bettors to shake off mentally. We're still talking about a pretty dominant champion who tasted defeat once in a decade. That's hardly just cause to relegate him to the scrap heap. But for those who feel that Edgar has held up better to the rigors of a demanding high-level UFC career, those thoughts aren't completely unjustified. I think Edgar secures his elusive second title. I'm taking "The Answer."

My Pick to Win: I'm betting on Frankie Edgar at -105.

Miesha Tate, 18-5 (3 KOs, 7 Submissions), (-265) vs. Amanda Nunes, 12-4 (9 KOs, 3 Submissions), (+225)
Miesha Tate defends her UFC Women's Bantamweight title against dangerous contender Amanda Nunes. Tate is coming off her best win, as she snatched the crown off the head of unbeaten Holly Holm with a come-from-behind last round submission win. But rather than being ushered into rematches with Ronda Rousey or Holm, she draws a very dangerous, though unheralded opponent in Nunes.

Nunes is pretty anonymous to all but hardcore followers of the sport, but don't let that fool you. Despite a 12-4 mark, Nunes has been awfully-impressive since being TKO'd by Cat Zingano in 2014. In her three subsequent wins, Nunes has been dominant, looking vastly improved. Just based on naked-eye observation, she looks to be a handful for any female bantam in the world. She's a big 135-pounder and she has ended most of her fights. "Dangerous" would be a suitable word to describe Nunes.

The journey of Tate to get to this spot was long and arduous. Tate is by no means unbeatable and she was somewhat fortunate to get out of the Holm fight with a win. She has lost twice to Rousey and Zingano also TKO'd her. But I would assume Tate is very reluctant to part with what took her so much work and time to get. I think her added dimensions as a fighter will put her in good stead to beat Nunes. I'm taking Tate.

My Pick to Win: I'm betting on Miesha Tate at -265. Bet this fight for free by taking advantage of a GIANT 100% bonus at GTBets!

Cain Velasquez, 13-2 (11 KOs), (-340) vs. Travis Browne, 18-3-1 (14 KOs, 2 Submissions), (+280)
Heavyweights will also be on the huge UFC 200 card, with former champ Cain Velasquez taking on dangerous Travis Browne in a 3-rounder. Both men have been through some ups and downs lately. Browne has dropped a few fights, while the former champion Velasquez has seen his career threatened by a string of injuries. It's gotten to the point where you can't even have a reasonable expectation that Velasquez will turn up for a scheduled fight.

Velasquez is a marvel—a supremely agile and explosive big man. But it appears his physique is unable to withstand the demands his talent puts on it. It's gotten to the point where it's only fair to wonder about his viability moving ahead. His only fight since 2013 was a title-fight loss to Fabricio Werdum. It's been nearly three years since Cain tasted victory.

The 6'7" Browne is one of the best strikers in the division. A loss to Werdum and a KO loss to Andrei Arlovski left him short of a title challenge. And against Matt Mitrione in his last fight, his most effective weapon was eye-pokes that short-circuited Mitrione. So while we note the issues with Velasquez, we can't neglect to notice that Browne hasn't really been in top form in his last few fights. Still, his striking acumen was enough to beat guys like Stefan Struve, Gabriel Gonzaga, and Alistair Overeem. He is very nimble for a man his size, able to find the right positioning to launch his formidable punches and kicks.

One should assume if Velasquez makes it to the octagon on July 9, he will at least be a reasonable facsimile of his prior self. And if that's the case, he is entirely too physical and versatile for Browne. The path to victory for Browne would be a narrower one, as he would need to catch Velasquez coming in, while somehow repelling the great wrestling of the former champ. And while Browne's takedown defense can be superb, he has never fought anyone like Cain. I'm going with Velasquez.

My Pick to Win: I'm betting on Cain Velasquez at -340. Bet on MMA fights at REDUCED/DISCOUNTED ODDS at 5Dimes! This will save you TONS of cash and trumps ANY signup bonus that you could ever get!

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