DANIEL CORMIER vs ANTHONY JOHNSON
This is it - the big one for all the marbles at 205 pounds. Usually, rematches following a decisive result in the first bout don’t hold much intrigue, but this is the exception to that rule. Anthony Johnson has been wrecking people since he was submitted by Cormier in 2015, and many feel he will continue that streak as soon as he touches the champ. But “DC” survived that first blast from “Rumble” last time, and as someone who spent many years getting hit by heavyweights, his chin is made of steel. So the question remains, if DC survives Johnson’s power, does AJ have other ways to win in a five-round fight? We’ll find out Saturday.
CHRIS WEIDMAN vs GEGARD MOUSASI
Gergard Mousasi is the man with the momentum coming into Saturday’s co-main event against former middleweight champion Chris Weidman, while the New Yorker enters the bout having lost the first two bouts of his career. Advantage Mousasi. But Weidman is mentally and physically on point for the bout, and while he lost his last two to Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero, it is important to point out that those fights could have gone in his direction if not for a couple mental mistakes that he insists he’s cleaned up. Don’t forget that Weidman was the best of the best at 185 pounds not too long ago, so don’t expect Mousasi to walk through “The All-American.”
CYNTHIA CALVILLO vs PEARL GONZALEZ
If you notice a theme throughout this card, it’s that UFC matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard are being fearless in terms of matching up hot prospects against each other. I’ve said it a million times, but these are the fights that boxing just doesn’t do anymore. But I digress. Cynthia Calvillo blasted out of the gate in her UFC debut last month, submitting Amanda Cooper in less than a round. Now she’s back to face debuting regional standout Pearl Gonzalez. This is a great showcase for both ladies and the women’s strawweight division, and odds are that you’ll be talking about both of them come Monday morning.
On UFC Unfiltered: Cynthia on being offered her UFC debut fight
THIAGO ALVES vs PATRICK COTE
From hot prospects to seasoned vets, this welterweight bout between Thiago Alves and Patrick Cote may not have an impact on the title picture at 170 pounds, but it is going to be fun to watch. Both fighters are sluggers who go for it when the Octagon door closes, and you can expect to see some high-level back and forth action from start to finish.
WILL BROOKS vs CHARLES OLIVEIRA
This is an interesting showdown between two fighters at a pivotal point in their careers. Brooks was one of the top fighters competing outside the UFC before signing with the promotion last year. And while a win over Ross Pearson was impressive, an injury-aided loss to Alex Oliveira slowed his momentum considerably. Now “Ill Will” is in with another Oliveira in Charles (no relation to Alex), a dynamic competitor whose battles with the scale have led him back to the lightweight division. Talk about a perfect opener for the UFC 210 main card.
MYLES JURY vs MIKE DE LA TORRE
Myles Jury was on the fast track to stardom before losses to Donald Cerrone and Charles Oliveira in 2015 marred his perfect record. Add in a nearly 16-month layoff, and it will be interesting to see where the 28-year-old is when he faces Mike De La Torre this weekend. De La Torre is an aggressive competitor who will push Jury from the start, so we will know immediately if Jury is back to the form he showed in the first two years of his Octagon run.
KAMARU USMAN vs SEAN STRICKLAND
Kamaru Usman and Sean Strickland may be the top two prospects at 170 pounds, and after Saturday night, one of them will have graduated to fighting top 10 opponents from here on out. Usman, who hasn’t lost in his UFC career, is the favorite here, simply because his swarming wrestling attack and ability to make opponents fight his fight hasn’t been questioned yet. But Strickland can sneak up anyone, and that makes him dangerous in every fight.
Get ready for UFC 210: Check out the full fight card | Reasons to watch | Cheat Sheet | Ouch! Feel Rumble's power | DC-Rumble, Weidman-Mousasi ready to fight | Listen: Cynthia Calvillo joins UFC Unfiltered, Katlyn Chookagian | Watch: UFC 210 Countdown | Snoop Dogg breaks down DC ... and Rumble | How to order the PPV
SHANE BURGOS vs CHARLES ROSA
Shane Burgos was impressive in his UFC debut win over Tiago Trator, and he gets another New York home game against Charles Rosa. Rosa has been on the sidelines since January of 2016, so a fast start will be key to get the rust off and keep Burgos from gaining an early lead, and if that happens, this may the most furious opening five minutes of action we will see on Saturday.
PATRICK CUMMINS vs JAN BLACHOWICZ
Veteran light heavyweights Patrick Cummins and Jan Blachowicz are coming off losses heading into their bout, but in a wide open 205-pound division, a win here could put them right back in the mix and they know it. So expect that neither fighter will play it safe on a card headlined by a bout for the title they both want to get in the coming years.
JOSH EMMETT vs DESMOND GREEN
Upstate New York native Desmond Green has paid his dues on the way to the Octagon, and he’s not about to let this opportunity to fight and win in his home state get away from him. Of course, Josh Emmett has no intention of sitting idly by, and if anything has been shown by the Team Alpha Male product, it’s that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get his hand raised at the end of the night.
GREGOR GILLESPIE vs ANDREW HOLBROOK
Gregor Gillespie was one of those urban legends of the New York MMA scene, with fans in the area wondering when he was going to get the call to the UFC. He got it last year, won his debut, and here he is, fighting close to his hometown against Andrew Holbrook. Holbrook is not easy mark though, and he’s proved in his last win over Jake Matthews that he has no problem with spoiling homecomings.
KATLYN CHOOKAGIAN vs IRENE ALDANA
I’ve said it since the bout was announced, and I’m not backing down from my assertion that Katlyn Chookagian and Irene Aldana have the potential to steal Fight of the Night honors. They’re both strikers who are busy and willing to exchange, and they have their sights on that bonus, so expect them to chase it hard.
On UFC UNFILTERED: Chookagian talks Aldana
JENEL LAUSA vs MAGOMED BIBULATOV
Many people believe Magomed Bibulatov can defeat Jenel Lausa on Saturday night and immediately throw his name in the hat for a shot at flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. That’s high praise for the talented newcomer, but the hard-hitting Lausa has lights out power and he’s got his own championship ambitions to achieve, and those start with an upset of Bibulatov.