Three days to go. Three fucking days. I can barely believe it. And, what better way to commemorate this disbelief than with a series of posts expressing the mildly interesting musings from your typical obsessed fan. Due to the fact I’ve started these late (for life has intervened), I’ll cover one fight today, and then two slightly larger pieces to cover the remaining four tomorrow and Friday. Enjoy these responsibly, and mates, try to remember they are only opinions based on my non-expert knowledge! I have no power. And the MMA gods will ensure I look foolish come Saturday.

On the train to London this morning I found myself giddy with excitement, and within that excitement continued the tornado of elaborate imaginings my mind has been conjuring for the past few weeks; as it stands, we follow a pretty erratic and unpredictable sport, yet this event takes that into an even more monstrous world of uncertainty and precariousness. Whenever I’ve encountered people who seem dead certain in their perceived outcomes, I feel as though I’m talking to somebody who really hasn’t thought deeply about these fights; and given how much 200 has fucked with my mind, they are most likely better off than I.

Tate vs Nunes, for instance, holds so much confusion that it gives me a headache. With heavy layers of journalistic bias, I’m rooting for Miesha; firstly, as I’ve supported her for many years and find her to be one of the most interesting and gritty fighters in MMA, which is always a beautiful combination; secondly, I believe the title needs to have at least a couple of defences for it to hold some weight. Any championship reign we call upon when thinking of days gone by always share an attribute - multiple title defences. When a championship belt gets thrown around like a chew toy it becomes, well, a toy. It starts to embody elements of novelty.

Regarding the fight, the first argument to have is can Miesha withstand the seemingly inevitable high-pressure that Amanda will put on her in the opening round? I would argue yes, and I would argue that strongly. But it is also worth considering whether or not Amanda will come out with typical ferocity, fully knowing the intelligence and tactical craftsmanship her opponent possesses. Not only does Miesha have abilities of aversion, she’s also the queen of decisions and later rounds; does Amanda really want to risk entering those later rounds lacklustre and dried up, as we have seen before. I doubt it. And it will be interesting to see if she steps back and keeps her punching prowess on charge whilst maintaining her cardio more efficiently.

Of course, I could be wrong (as I often am), she could very well storm out and put Miesha away within the first five minutes, but I really hope we see a more tactical Amanda Nunes. She isn’t all power. She has technique enough to not just be a brawler, and whilst she is still required to be the aggressor, this fight calls for a much slicker and considerate pursuit. Yes, put Miesha on the back-foot, but don’t lay everything on the line in doing so. That could lead to another situation that few are considering: Nunes getting caught by a smart flurry of the new and improved, version 3.7 striking of Miesha Tate.

With regards to the ground and grappling, I fully acknowledge that Amanda has ranked judo and jiu-jitsu skills, but regardless of that, Miesha should have the sharper edge; she appears to be more comfortable and quick-witted in that department, which has stemmed from applying these skills within the intensity of a real fight on a more frequent basis than Amanda; also, I think the physical strength of Miesha is undervalued by many, and this will be evident in wrestling interactions. Saying that, it would be awesome to see Nunes give further evidence of her deep jiu-jitsu heritage, for if she becomes totally at ease utilizing them above her other strengths (and when it matters), her completeness will become terrifying.

For this fight, both my heart and rational scream Miesha ‘Cupcake’ Tate, but I say that with around 68% certainty. The 'Lioness' could very well eat up the 'Cupcake'. Opportunity is peeking through the curtain with amber eyes for Amanda Nunes, who is certainly one of the most affable female fighters to have graced the UFC thus far. On the other hand, the start of a firmly cemented legacy curls its finger towards Miesha Tate. Either way, I am very fucking excited for this fight, and it’s one for both the casual, and the deep MMA fan.

Enjoy the fight you fucks. Peace, love, and all that nonsense. Jamie.

Published by Jamie Hammond