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UFC 212

UFC 212 Preview and Picks to Win
When: June 3, 2017
Where: Jeunesse Arena, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
TV: PPV
by Scott of Predictem.com

Fight Analysis:

The UFC returns to Brazil for UFC 212 on June 3. The main event features one of Brazilís most-illustrious fighters in featherweight champion Jose Aldo. He defends his belt against one of the hottest fighters in the sport in Max Holloway, winner of ten straight UFC fights. Some think Holloway is the heir-apparent at 145 pounds. But Aldo has shown that he still has some fight left in him as he approaches his tenth UFC championship bout. Who comes out ahead in Rio on June 3?

Jose Aldo, 26-2 (14 KOs, 2 Submissions), (-135) vs. Max Holloway, 17-3 (7 KOs, 2 Submissions), (+115)
Jose Aldo defends his UFC Featherweight Champion against interim titleholder Max Holloway in the main event of UFC 212 in Rio on June 3. This is a bout for supremacy at 145 pounds between a man who has dominated the division in the UFC since its inception with one loss to Conor McGregor spoiling a perfect run and the best young 145-pounder in the business. Holloway, a UFC fighter since the tender age of 20, has won 10 straight fights and many fancy his chances against the longtime champion.

Aldo is only 30, but has been through a lot. The UFCís first featherweight champion, Aldo still reigns. After getting starched in 13 seconds by McGregor, he showed he still belongs in this realm with a 5-round unanimous decision over Frankie Edgar in July of last year. Still, the memory of him getting stretched so quickly against McGregor is an image that lasts in peopleís minds.

On one hand, itís not fair to take Aldo to task for losing to McGregor considering all of the Brazilianís triumphs. He has won a lot of big fights and getting stopped when he was running in against a unique talent like McGregor doesnít overshadow all the good he has done. It was his first loss in ten years for goodness sake. At the same time, he is getting older and has a lot of mileage on his odometer. Getting the lights turned off the way it happened against McGregor puts his durability to strikes under question. He survived Edgar in what wasnít a great fight, but he still looked good. The more-pointed striking of Holloway will test his chin to be sure.

For the better part of a decade, Aldo ruled over 145 pounds and fought a slew of tough fights. There were a lot of struggles along the way. He looks a little different, as if heís starting to pay a price for all the wars. This is a young sport, a constantly-evolving one. What worked five years ago doesnít always work now. The notion that Aldo might be yesterdayís news is something to consider.

Still, losing in the first round can sometimes be misleading. While getting stopped in mere seconds is the most-conclusive result you can get, it can also be of a fluky nature. Fighters arenít acclimated to the conditions of battle yet and can be caught cold. A lot of combat sports figures who are in the Hall of Fame have seen this happen to them. Perhaps that loss is being over-considered by most. Aldo is still a feared striker and a man whose only loss since 2005 was to man who is the sportís biggest superstar, a man who would never again make 145 pounds. His takedown defense is above reproach and he can control a fight with leg-kicks. Those thinking heís not still a handful could be on the wrong track. And fighting in Rio doesnít hurt, either.

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Holloway has also tasted defeat at the hands of McGregor. That was back in 2013 and it was the last time the Hawaiian standout tasted defeat. Ten straight wins now have him at the top of the 145-pound class. Among the victims left in his path are guys like Cole Miller, Cub Swanson, Charles Oliveira, Jeremy Stephens, Ricardo Lamas, and Anthony Pettis. His last fight, a 3rd round body-kick TKO over former lightweight champion Pettis for the interim title in December, put him in line for this fight. Itís long overdue for a fighter who has been on a big winning roll of late.

The 25-year old Holloway is a real fighter with a certain level of innateness. Heís a natural fighter and a tough young athlete. He came up short three times when he was young against top 145-pounders. But added experience saw him thriving against the best in short order. He was just a kid when he joined the organization and is now a man, ready to take over the division. He can grind out wins. He has submitted top talent like Cub Swanson and Andre Fili, while stopping contenders like Pettis on strikes. The four-time bonus winner is exciting and fights with a lot of passion. While he has thrived in this position before, like when he stopped Akira Corassani in Sweden, fighting a Hall of Fame-caliber fighter like Aldo in his home-country is a daunting task. One shouldnít expect, however, for Holloway to be over his head in this spot.

Aldo looked good enough against Edgar to make the assumption that heís still near the top of his game. Look for him to utilize leg kicks against the long and slender Holloway. Holloway might struggle early against the striking of Aldo. But he comes on increasingly as the rounds pass. Despite Aldo having fought so many more 5-round fights, Hollowayís youth and stamina would seem to make him a threat in round 2 and beyond. Holloway is a master of spacing and with a length advantage, he will be looking to control distance and dictate terms. I picture him getting through some stormy passages to win a close decision. Iím taking Holloway.

My Pick to Win: Iím betting on Max Holloway at +115. Beyond his youth and the fact that he has less miles on his odometer, he has length on Aldo and the skills to make it stick. Although just 25, he has been around a long time and came up the hard way and we suspect that this is his time. Bet your UFC 212 picks using your credit card at an online betting site where it WILL work for deposits and where you'll receive a hefty 50% bonus on your first deposit up to $250 in FREE bonus cash! --> Bovada Sportsbook.

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