In all seriousness, there are no more injuries, no more substitutions, no more interim titles, no more trash talk and no more waiting. For Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo, it is all about who is the best featherweight fighter in the world.
So in the words of The Looney Tunes: On with the show, this is it...
Max "Blessed" Holloway (14-3-0) vs. Jeremy "Lil' Heathen" Stephens (24-11-0)
Speaking of featherweights, what a war this is going to be. Since the first time I saw Holloway compete in the Octagon, I just knew he was going to be someone to look out for. I believe they said at the time that he was the youngest fighter in the promotion at only 20 years old, but if you fast forward the clock by four years, he's just about one or two wins away from a title shot. However, the same can certainly be said of his opponent, Jeremy Stephens, who is coming off an impressive knockout victory over Dennis Bermudez, one of only three men to defeat Holloway. Could that play a factor? Who knows? But if that's the case, then it should also be noted that Holloway recently submitted Cub Swanson, who was one of the last two men to defeat Stephens. I'm sure the only win or loss that will matter to these two guys will be in this very fight, because the winner will undoubtedly be considered for a title opportunity, while the loser will have to scratch and claw his way back to the top of the mountain. I like both of these guys, and I think Stephens may be the favourite, since he has more experience and also previously competed at lightweight. But I'm still going with Holloway to get the submission victory via guillotine choke, which he's been known for in recent fights.
Demian Maia (21-6-0) vs. Gunnar "Gunni" Nelson (14-1-1)
This is going to be an interesting fight, because both of these guys are submission specialists, so I think it's safe to say that this one will end up on the ground at some point. I had high hopes for Maia when he first dropped down to welterweight in 2012, and he was doing quite well, until a couple of minor setbacks. But even after those losses to Jake Shields and Rory MacDonald, which are nothing to be ashamed of, he has been able to get back to his winning ways in recent fights. Nelson has a pretty impressive record himself, with his only loss coming by way of split decision. Not taking anything away from any of Nelson's past opponents though, I don't believe he's ever faced anyone the caliber of Demian Maia; I mean we're talking about a guy who went five rounds with Anderson Silva, which is no easy task. I think Nelson's luck is about to run out, and I'm picking Maia to get the Unanimous Decision.
Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza (22-3-0) vs. Yoel "Soldier of God" Romero (10-1-0)
I joked about it earlier, but this is actually a fight that I've been looking forward to for quite some time. And this fight will be no joke. Souza has looked unstoppable since coming to the UFC. He submitted Gegard Mousasi, submitted Chris Camozzi TWICE, and knocked out Yushin Okami. And then there's Romero, who's coming off two knockout victories of Lyoto Machida and Tim Kennedy. This fight is going to be explosive right from the opening buzzer, and I don't expect it to last very long. It's one of those fights where it's hard to pick a winner, but since I kind of have to, I'll go with Souza by armbar!
Chris "All-American" Weidman (13-0-0) vs. Luke Rockhold (14-2-0) for the UFC Middleweight Championship
It's amazing to think that this fight has almost been forgotten, because of all the hype surrounding the main event. But I think this one will be the more competitive fight, and I'm actually more looking forward to this than Aldo vs. McGregor. Following his only loss in the UFC to Vitor Belfort, Rockhold has been on a hot streak. That inverted triangle that he used to defeat Tim Boetsch will be forever etched in my mind as one of the greatest submission victories in MMA history. It's simply just amazing to see this guy in action; he is truly one of a kind. He even submitted Lyoto Machida in his last fight, which even Chris Weidman couldn't do. But then again, Weidman knocked out Vitor Belfort, which Rockhold has yet to accomplish. It's definitely going to be an interesting fight, but only one question remains: How do you go against a guy who knocked out Anderson Silva twice? You don't. I'm picking Weidman to retain by Unanimous Decision.
Jose "Scarface" Aldo (25-1-0) vs. Conor "Notorious" McGregor (18-2-0) for the UFC Featherweight Championship
So this is what it all comes down to. It's been nearly two years in the making, and all the trash talk has led us to this. I don't think there's a person on the face of the Earth that Jose Aldo despises more than McGregor, and I don't think anybody has gotten in Aldo's head like McGregor has, which could play into the outcome, since Aldo has never really dealt with an opponent like this. But then again, McGregor has probably never faced an opponent that kicks nearly as hard as Jose Aldo. I don't expect this one to last very long, and I honestly wasn't all that impressed with McGregor's performance in the fight with Chad Mendes. Yes Conor won, but prior to the actual knockout, Mendes was pretty much having his way with him. And I think this is where McGregor's luck runs out. I'm picking Aldo to win by TKO.
So there you have it.
Who are you picking?