09/12/2018

UFC 225 predictions -- Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero fight card, main event, odds, picks

Hace 6 meses

UFC 225 predictions -- Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero fight card, main event, odds, picks

See who the staff at CBS Sports is taking for the loaded card in Chicago

See who the staff at CBS Sports is taking for the loaded card in Chicago

UFC 225 is finally set to be one of the top cards the company has put together all year. From top to bottom, this event from the United Center in Chicago on June 9 has the potential for excitement from each of its 13 scheduled bouts. Obviously, things can change the closer we get to the card as we've seen all year long, but this fight card has all of us excited.

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The main event will draw a lot of the attention in a strong rematch for the middleweight title between champion Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero. But just about every fight taking place on this card is bringing a set of stakes for each fighter. Let's take a look at the full fight card with the latest odds from Bovada.

UFC 225 fight card, odds

Favorite Underdog Weghtclass

Robert Whittaker (c) -220

Yoel Romero +190

Middleweight title

Rafael dos Anjos -130 Colby Covington +100

Interim welterweight title

Holly Holm -235 Megan Anderson +185

Women's featherweight

Tai Tuivasa -235

Andrei Arlovski +185

Heavyweight

Mike Jackson -220 CM Punk +170

Welterweight

Curtis Blaydes -170

Alistair Overeem +140

Heavyweight

Claudia Gadelha -600 Carla Esparza +400

Women's strawweight

Mirsad Bektic -250 Ricardo Lamas +195

Featherweight

Rashad Coulter -185 Chris de la Rocha +150

Heavyweight

Anthony Smith -310

Rashad Evans +240

Light heavyweight

Joseph Benavidez -260 Sergio Pettis +200

Flyweight

Charles Oliveira -155 Clay Guida +125

Lightweight

Dan Ige -135 Mike Santiago +105 Featherweight

With a big card on tap, our experts took a crack at picking each of the main card fights. Here are your pick makers: Brian Campbell (combat sports writer), Matthew Coca (producer), Michael Mormile (producer), Jack Jorgensen (editor) and Brandon Wise (editor). 

UFC 225 predictions        

Fight Campbell Mormile Coca Jorgensen Wise

Whittaker vs. Romero

Whittaker

Whittaker

Romero

Romero

Whittaker

dos Anjos vs. Covington dos Anjos

dos Anjos

Covington

dos Anjos

dos Anjos

Holm vs. Anderson

Holm

Holm

Holm Holm

Anderson

Tuivasa vs. Arlovski Tuivasa Arlovski Tuivasa Tuivasa Tuivasa
Punk vs. Jackson Punk Jackson Jackson Jackson Jackson
Overall (2018) 11-14-0 14-11-0 13-12-0 14-11-0 16-9-0

Campbell on why Whittaker will win: Whittaker overcame a serious leg injury and the constant danger of Romero's explosive offense to claim a hard-fought decision last July. Aside from Romero's vicious stoppage of Luke Rockhold in February, the only thing that has changed for the "Soldier of God" is that he's a year older at 41. If Whittaker, who exposed Romero's lack of five-round stamina in the first fight, really is all he has teased us to believe, a victory even easier (via late-round knockout) could be in the cards for the rematch.

Jorgensen on why Romero will win: This was honestly a tough one for me. In the end, Romero has all the momentum coming into this one. He's riding the high of finishing Luke Rockhold with ease, and while the champion may be healthy, I can't discount the fact that he's coming back from dealing with some pretty serious medical issues. This time around, the "Soldier of God" gets the best of Whittaker via KO, setting up what will likely be a fun rubber match down the road. 

Coca on why Covington will win: He talks the talk, but now it's time to walk the walk. Covington has pushed all the buttons, right or wrong, of dos Anjos and now he has his chance to back up all his smack talk. How's he going to do it? Well, it's going to be ugly. Covington needs to get the fight to the ground. He's a star wrestler, so he's going to have to apply constant pressure to get this fight to the mat. We've yet to see anything truly spectacular lately with Covington, but the man finds ways to get fighters to fight his fight. Covington by decision shouldn't surprise anyone.

Jorgensen on why dos Anjos will win: I respect the run that Covington has been on, despite what I think of him as a character within the UFC, but I'm gonna take the experience of RDA in this one. I don't really see this one having a jaw-dropping finish or anything, but I see dos Anjos earning just enough points on the cards to get the unanimous decision win -- which, of course, will likely send Covington into an unforgettable tirade on the microphone. 

Wise on why Anderson will win: She may be making her UFC debut, but that doesn't mean Anderson is a game fighter. The woman who claimed Cris Cyborg's Invicta FC crown after it was vacated has done plenty in the way to bolster her resume. The 28-year-old Aussie brings plenty of power to the ring with her last four fights all coming by knockout. While Holm carries a strong chin and a more veteran presence, it's nearly impossible for me to pick a fighter who is just 1-4 in her last five fights. Expect a technical boxing match with the newcomer scoring the victory.

Mormile on why Arlovski will win: I am taking Arlovski solely on experience. I'm always hesitant on young undefeated fighters who have yet to step up in competition. Tuivasa's last three opponents have a combined record of 3-9 in their past three fights. It seems like UFC is seeing if they can give 'Bam Bam' a big push seeing as he is 7-0 with 7 KOs, but I think Arlovski will drag him into deep waters and win a decision.

Campbell on why Punk will win: The good news for Punk is that he can't look much worse the second time around than he did in his UFC 203 debut in 2016, when an ill-timed takedown attempt led to two minutes of ground-and-pound hell and a submission loss to Mickey Gall. UFC has outright done him a favor by matching him with Jackson -- a former kickboxer turned MMA journalist whose only other pro fight also came against Gall and ended just as poorly. Expect this one to be heavy on grappling, poor or stamina and just sloppy enough for Punk to score a hometown decision.

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