With the UFC set to make its New York City debut, Newsday’s Mark La Monica took questions from followers on Twitter to set the stage for Saturday.
Here are answers to some of UFC 205’s biggest questions:
@xcetera92: Who are your picks for Conor v Eddie, Woodley v Wonderboy, JJ v KK, Weidman v Romero?
La Monica: Hmm, picks always feel like a sketchy thing for a journalist to throw out there, but if everyone can pick NFL games, perhaps it’s OK here. Keep in mind, these come with my standard caveat that I’m usually right about my fight picks only about 46 percent of the time. But, since you asked, here goes: Eddie, Wonderboy, JJ. Here’s why: Alvarez seems like he hasn’t let McGregor get into his head. That’s a big part of McGregor’s game. He’s a very talented fighter as well, and when everyone goes in one direction, I tend to go the other way. For Wonderboy, he’s one heck of a fighter. One career loss in however many years of MMA and kickboxing, that has to mean something. Usually, it means he’s really good. I think he presents far more challenges than most fighters given his karate background. Having seen Wonderboy train, he’s got the goods. As Dana White told me a few weeks back, “Woodley-Wonderboy, I don’t know how that’s not good.” Joanna Champion is pretty gangster. Have you seen the hand speed on those clips in social media from her training at ATT? Wow. As for the fourth fight you mentioned, I purposely skipped it. Why? Chris Weidman is our local fighter, and picking a winner in that fight is a no-no for me. If I pick Weidman, I’m a homer. If I pick against him, I get to deal with that after the fight and beyond.
@chirocatz: what is your pick for fon @ufc205?
La Monica: Interesting question, John. Or should I say, hmm, how should I interpret this? Should I go for trying to be correct in which fight will be awarded the fight of the night bonus, or do I aim for trying to be correct in which fight should be awarded to bonus money? They’re not always the same. But, here’s my call in answering your question as opposed to my question: Frankie Edgar vs. Jeremy Stephens. Both can bang. Both can take some hits, too. Here’s to an exciting three-round fight in the featherweight division (with limited injury incurred by the combatants, of course). Maybe one day in 2017 we’ll see a title defense in that division again.
@ChaosMarine825: Any upcoming Fighter appearances in NYC this week?
La Monica: Indeed there are quite a few, so I put this UFC 205 events in NYC list together for you. I’ll update it more as other event information develops.