Monday, May 30 from 11am AEST at Las Vegas, Nevada – watch on Foxtel from 8am
THE UFC returns to Sin City this weekend for Fight Night 88 on Fox Sports.
The main event pits two of the hottest young talents at the Bantamweight division against each other.
The duo have 90 per cent finish rate between them and are the two most ruthless strikers in the UFC today, so we are sure to see some fireworks on Foxtel this Monday.
UFC Fight Night 88 main event – Thomas Almeida vs. Cody Garbrandt
They might not be the biggest names in the UFC right now, but Thomas ‘Thominhas’ Almeida and Cody ‘No Love’ Garbrandt are two of the company’s fastest rising stars.
Both men are 24-years-old and are undefeated, standing at 5’7.
From 28 combined fights Almeida and Garbrandt have 23 knockouts between them – firmly establishing themselves as the principal finishers at the bantamweight division.
The Brazilian Almeida boldly predicted he would finish the man they call No Love in the second round, a declaration that his opponent saw as an admission of apprehension.
“He’s made a mistake by saying he will KO me in the second round.” Garbrandt said.
“I think that’s where he has f****d up. He just doesn’t believe in himself. I now believe I will be the one to give him his first loss.”
Despite the imposing 21-0 MMA record that Almeida boasts, Garbrandt believes he will be the man to give the Brazilian his first ever professional defeat.
“He’s being praised by everyone after getting 21 straight wins so you would think he would be saying he would finish me in the first,” he said.
“For him to say he’d knock me out in the second, feels like he has a little bit of doubt in himself you know? I want to make sure that bout won’t go beyond the first round.
“I now believe I will be the one to give him his first loss,
“I’m the better martial artist, there’s no doubt about it.”
Notwithstanding his supreme confidence, it will take a monumental effort for the American to upset the heavily favoured Brazilian.
He may be heavily favoured in most betting markets, but the man they call Thominhas will not be taking his opponent lightly on Monday.
“I believe this fight will take my career on to the next level. But I will not be underestimating Cody.” Almeida said.
“He has a boxing background. He has powerful hands and he likes the striking game, like me. It looks like it could be a war.”
The only sure thing is that it’s going to be a war
We are predicting an all-out offensive showcase.
Both men are have a penchant for the knockout and will look to end the fight at the first opportunity.
Almeida’s trainer Diego Lima believes there would have to be an extraordinary set of circumstances that would lead to the fight going the distance.
“I don’t see how this fight could be decided by points,” Lima told MMA site Sherdog.com.
“They are two aggressive strikers with heavy hands and high-level technique, so you don’t need to be a genius to predict it will end by knockout, and I don’t think it will get into the third round.”
Sportsbet are offering $1.14 for the fight not to go to the judge’s table.
Lima is confident his man has what it takes to silence No Love on Monday, and reiterated what his athlete said in the build-up.
“‘Thominhas’ is ready for anything Cody brings to the cage, but what he loves most is to trade blows, so he’ll do his best to keep the fight standing up. I’m really confident Thomas will knock him out.
“The only sure thing is that it’s going to be a war.”
While we are wary of the offensive threat that Garbrandt presents, we cannot look past the imposing record of Almeida, and we are predicting he wins by way of knockout.
Winner: Thomas Almeida – $1.58 @ Sportsbet.com.au
Method of victory: Thomas Almedia by knockout – $2.10 @ Sportsbet.com.au
Other fights on UFC Fight Night 88
Chris De La Roca ($2.94) vs. Adam Milstead ($1.40)
Aljamain Sterling ($1.21) vs. Bryan Caraway ($4.45)
Erik Koch ($2.52) vs. Shane Cambell ($1.52)
Jake Collier ($2.00) vs. Alberto Pereira Uda ($1.81)
Abel Trujillo ($1.30) vs. Jordan Rinaldi ($3.57)
Sara McMann ($1.63) vs. Jessica Eye ($2.28)
Joshua Burkman ($3.23) vs Paul Felder ($1.33)
Jorge Masvidal ($2.00) vs. Lorenz Larkin ($1.81)
Chris Camozzi ($2.86) vs. Vitor Miranda ($1.43)
Tarec Saffiedine ($1.85) vs. Rick Story ($1.95)
Renan Barao (1.52) vs. Jeremy Stephens ($2.52)
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