The show must go on.
By now most fans are aware of the stunning developments of original challenger – and former champion – Renan Barao falling ill and hitting his head while trying to cut weight for UFC 177.
Dana responded with inserting competent but relatively unknown Joe Soto (15-2-0), who may as well by named Rocky Balboa for many UFC fans.
Cancelling the show was not on his mind, UFC president Dana White told the media at the pre-UFC 177 scrum. But Barao will not be getting the title shot after this event without first taking a fight, added White.
But even Balboa had more time to prepare against Apollo Creed.
What remains to be seen is if fans will buy the pay-per-view. We think it’s a safe bet there will be revenue loss, even if Soto upsets Dillashaw.
The fighters as you saw in the embedded video will be motivated to show that the show must go on.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
YANCY MEDEIROS (9-2-0, 1 NC) VS “THE LEETCH” DAMON JACKSON (9-0-0)
Andrews: Jackson is making his UFC debut, coming in on short notice. He’s finished all of his nine fights, with seven submissions. Medeiros, needs to keep things standing and utilize his experience and striking. This could be the first shock of many that we see tonight, but I have to go with the experience of Medeiros.
Andrews Prediction: Yancy Medeiros via TKO.
RAMSEY NIJEM (10-4-0) VS DIEGO FERREIRA (10-0-0)
Andrews: Another fight where former TUF finalist Nijem needs to keep the fight on the feet and out of the strength of BJJ specialist Ferreira. Can he do it? Ferriera submitted TUF winner Colton Smith in a tidy 38 seconds in his UFC debut.
Nijem will put up a fight, but I think Ferreira will control this fight and grind it out in a less-than-spectacular affair.
Andrews Prediction: Diego Ferreira via unanimous decision.
#10 “PITBULL” BETH CORREIA (8-0-0) VS “THE QUEEN OF SPADES” SHAYNA BASZIER (15-8-0)
Andrews: This solid matchup boils down to the aggressiveness and striking of Correia. She has proven in the past that she can bully bigger opponents by keeping busy, but the taller Baszier is her most formidable opponent yet with solid BJJ and grappling.
This bout could go either way, but I think Correira has it in her to overcome Baszier and keep things on the feet to earn another split-decision win.
Andrews Prediction: Beth Correira via split-decision.
“EL CUCUY” TONY FERGUSON (16-3-0) VS “LAST CALL” DANNY CASTILLO (17-6-0)
Andrews: Team Alpha Male is on a roll as of late and this will be the best Danny Castillo we will see in the octagon tonight. He showed in his last fight against Charlie Brenneman that he has KO power, but wrestling is still his bread-and-butter. Ferguson and his striking looked impressive at UFC 173. But, can Ferguson stop the The Last Call takedown? I don’t think he can, which leads to Castillo grinding out a unanimous-decision win.
Andrews Prediction: “Last Call” Danny Castillo via unanimous decision.
TJ DILLASHAW (11-2-0) VS “ONE BAD MOFO” JOE SOTO (15-2-0)
Andrews: Obviously, Soto comes in as an off-the-charts underdog. He’s making his UFC debut, and fighting the best in the world, all in one night. If he can make TJ work and make him earn a decision, that would be a significant accomplishment. TJ simply has to not get lazy or overconfident and utilize his footworklike in the first Barao fight to earn the win. But do not coast and let Soto gain any kind of confidence in there. Let him ride the UFC jitters and don’t present an opportunity to land the puncher’s chance or submission opportunity.
The longer Soto stays in there, the more confidence he will have. Try to slow TJ down by cutting him off, leg kicks to set up the takedown. Use the grappling, clinches, dirty boxing, make it a nasty fight to take the starch out of Dillashaw.
Andrews Prediction: TJ Dillashaw via TKO.