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14th Nov 2015

UFC 193: SportsJOE picks the winners so you don’t have to

The women top the bill


Poor Holly Holm.

Unless Ronda Rousey injures her back when throwing the former professional boxer to the mat, there is only one way that the main event of UFC 193 is going to pan out.

It’s the first ever UFC event to be headlined by two female championship bouts and we’re also a little bit worried about Valerie Letourneau as Joanna Jedrzejczyk has looked a tiny bit like a murderer of late.

We’ll also get the chance to see a rematch of one of the best heavyweight fights of all time, a middleweight encounter between unorthodox strikers and The Skyscraper taking on The Big Show.

Here is what our MMA writers’ records look like thus far.

Darragh The Quizmaster Murphy: 133-74

Bourbon Ben Kiely: 131-76

Ronda Rousey (12-0) v Holly Holm (9-0)

DM: Holly Holm is probably the most underwhelming opponent in Ronda Rousey’s six UFC fights.

This whole “former pro boxer could trouble Rousey” angle is bullshit and Rousey’s striking is probably better than Holm’s.

Ronda’s not stupid, though, and she will easily throw Holm to her back and take another arm home with her. Rousey via submission (round one)

BK: Don’t write off Holly Holm. The likelihood is that Rousey will win by submission but Holm has the tools to make this fight competitive.

Although she may not possess knockout power in her hands, she is light years ahead of Rousey in the striking department and if she can stick and move, and stay out of that close range where Rousey can engage the clinch, she could conceivably out-point the champion.

Holm will remain composed from the start and not play to Rousey’s strength’s by rushing like Cat Zingano. She trains with Jon Jones at the same camp that developed that brilliant gameplan that saw Carlos Condit nullify Nick Diaz’s aggression. It’s not out of the question that we could be in for an upset in the main event. Rousey via submission (round three)

Joanna Jędrzejczyk (10-0) v Valerie Letourneau (8-3)

DM: Joanna Jędrzejczyk is terrifying!

She’s less of a fighter and more of a fucker-upper.

The girl’s Muay Thai is up there with the best in the sport and her technique is only surpassed by her mercilessness.

To be fair to Letourneau, there’s a grit about her so it wouldn’t surprise me to see this go the distance but I can’t imagine Letourneau’s face looking the same way after 25 minutes in there with the Polish monster. Jędrzejczyk by decision

BK: People have been referring to Joanna Champion as the female Chuck Liddell. That’s because we haven’t seen much of her ground game or what she can do in a grappling match.

What we do know is that she has devastating stand up and elite-level takedown defence. Letourneau might be more well-rounded as a fighter, but she’s not exceptional in any one area like the champion. Jedrzejczyk via TKO (round four)

Mark Hunt (10-10-1) v Antonio Silva (19-7-1)

DM: Sorry to be Buzz Killington but there’s no way that this is going to match the instant classic we saw two years ago.

Both Hunt and Bigfoot are that little bit older and that little bit slower.

One element worth noting is that Mark Hunt has decided to slim down for this fight and while there’s no danger of him dropping to light heavyweight any time soon, he’s probably going to be the quicker on the night and better conditioned for the latter rounds.

With over 50,000 expected in Melbourne, New Zealand’s Mark Hunt ought to be well represented and that advantage could get him over the line. Hunt via TKO (round 3)

BK: Lightning doesn’t strike twice, this probably won’t be a repeat of these two warrior’s fight of the year candidate in 2013.

Mark Hunt’s recent diet change and new svelte-ish physique makes me think he’s going to be faster and more energetic than we’ve seen from him before.

This should be a fun fight with both of them willing to slug it out, but I think Hunt has deteroriated less as a fighter than Bigfoot. Hunt via KO (round two)

Robert Whittaker (14-4) v Uriah Hall (12-5)

DM: I’ll get this started the same way that I begin all my picks involving Uriah Hall – “Which Hall is going to show up?”

Will it be the creative striker that can finish any man at 185 lbs or will it be the timid little creature who’s afraid to engage?

I see this fight going the same way as Whittaker’s defeat to Stephen Thompson because Hall, at his best, is a similar kind of fighter to Wonderboy, only with more power.

Robert Whittaker has got unbelievable head movement but has a tendency to drop his hands and that will only end one way against a pinpoint striker like Prime Time. Hall via TKO (round 1)

BK: You have to flip a coin whenever Hall is fighting anyone decent.

Can Hall beat Whittaker? Yes, of course. Will he be in the right frame of mind to do so? God only knows. One can only hope that acquiring a huge scalp in Gegard Mousasi has boosted his confidence and we’ll see a more fluid, composed Hall from now on. Hall via KO (round two)

Stefan Struve (26-7) v Jared Rosholt (13-2)

DM: Jared Rosholt will not want to strike with Stefan Struve, simple as.

Struve is so long that he may struggle to get underhooks on any shot from the wrestler but I like his kickboxing too much to pick against him.

I think he’s just too awkward an opponent and Rosholt isn’t a problem-solving kind of fighter. I fancy The Skyscraper to fire a knee to the jaw of Rosholt when he changes levels and finish with ground-and-pound. Struve via TKO (round 2)

BK: I expect a wrestling masterclass from Rosholt that will bore the crowd but will get him the W. This looks like a bad match-up for Struve, who really doesn’t want to get taken down by the American. Rosholt by decision