Daniel Cormier is one of the best wrestlers to have ever stepped foot in the octagon. He’s also developed an effective striking game built around pace and aggressive pressure. Anthony Johnson is the most feared power puncher in MMA. He’s a great athlete and a good defensive wrestler, but he has a reputation as a guy who wilts under pressure and he’s already succumbed to Cormier once before. Father Time is undefeated, and Cormier is a little older and a little slower.
Chris Weidman is an All-American wrestler, and like Cormier, has adapted an aggressive, pressuring striking game to compliment his wrestling. He’s a very sound boxer but he’s not the most athletic competitor and he’s not particularly quick. Gegard Mousasi is extremely well-rounded, being one of the best defensive strikers in MMA and an elite grappler as well. However, he has shown weakness in his defensive wrestling and he lacks urgency. Mousasi's jab will be the story of this fight.
Cynthia Calvillo is a technical striker with an aggressive submission game as well. She doesn’t have a ton of professional experience though, having only left the amateur scene less than a year ago. Pearl Gonzalez will be making her UFC debut, riding a six-fight winning streak since losing her professional debut. She is a willing boxer, but does her best work with aggressive submission hunting on the floor. Gonzalez has good submission defense, but her aggressiveness puts her in bad positions too often and Calvillo will catch her in the transitions.
Patrick Cote is a durable, well-rounded welterweight who is primarily a striker with knockout power in his hands and an underrated wrestling game. He’s prone to inactivity though, and he is getting up there in years. Thiago Alves is a sharp, technical striker with brutal low kicks and strong defensive wrestling, but he’s coming off a disastrous attempt to cut to 155 pounds and he has looked uninspired lately. Both men are past their primes, but Alves is the more technical striker and his low kicks should be very effective here.
Will Brooks is a well-rounded, talented fighter who excels in the clinch. He can operate at all ranges, but in tie-ups, he has vicious knees and elbows. As great of an all-around fighter as he is though, Brooks is neither dynamic nor a finisher. Charles Oliveira has powerful punches and kicks and he’s one of the most lethal scramblers in MMA. However, he’s also not extremely durable, and his aggression gets him into trouble, as does his cardio. Brooks doesn’t have the finishing skills to take advantage of Oliveira’s over-aggression, but his competency everywhere means he should be able to outlast him.