POLL:

Who will win between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes in their rematch?

Aldo. He's the pound-for-pound best and his first win over Mendes was no fluke. - 25%
Mendes. He would've won that first fight if he didn't get knocked out so early! - 75%
Neither. This fight will be a draw because both guys are equally skilled. - 0%

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UFC 178 poster

UFC flyweight champion Demetrius Johnson proved once again that he has become the closest thing to an unbeatable fighter on Saturday night. It took him a bit longer than some expected against challenger Chris Cariaso, but the result was all the same: another victory.

 

Johnson took his time with the huge underdog, but eventually had the Fight and Fitness representative tapping out to a textbook kimura after a straight arm lock missed. “Mighty Mouse” nearly finished his opponent at the end of the first after he staggered Cariaso with an overhand right, followed by a knee to the face. But Cariaso, badly wobbled and nearly removed from consciousness, was saved by the bell and lived to see another round.

 

Cariaso was able to clear his head going into the second, but it was just a matter of time before the champion was wrenching his arm, forcing a tap. Cariaso grimaced in pain as he escaped the arm lock, but Johnson quickly scooted across the San Francisco-based fighter’s chest and secured the kimura. Cariaso tried in vain to wiggle out, but the agony in his face painted the picture of truth: there was no way out of this fight unless he either tapped out or had his shoulder devastated by the submission. Just seconds after the kimura was locked in, the tussel officially ended at the 2:29 mark of the second frame.

 

 

The win marked the seventh in a row and fifth straight title defense for the AMC Pankration standout, who appears to have no equal at flyweight.

 

 

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Judging by the amount of hype surrounding Irishman Conor McGregor leading up to UFC 178, one would think that the polarizing featherweight was in the main event. McGregor is as confident as any other fighter in recent history and talks as much trash as the best of ‘em. Dustin Poirier never bought into the hype and vowed to knock McGregor off his perch and “teach him a lesson.”

 

That lesson never came.

 

McGregor used a variety of kicks to keep Poirier guessing and then cracked him with a left hook across the top of the head and behind the ear. The punch instantly dropped the Louisiana fighter onto all fours. Once he tried getting back to his feet and defend himself, McGregor was all over him with follow-up punches until referee Herb Dean stopped it. The official time of the stoppage came just 1:46 into the fight, giving “Notorious” the biggest win of his career and 12th straight overall.

 

 

After the fight, McGregor called out the rest of the featherweights, specifically champion Jose Aldo and #1 contender Chad Mendes, stating that he’ll pick them both apart rather easily.

 

 

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Popular lightweight brawler Donald Cerrone spoiled former Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez’ UFC debut by toppling him via unanimous decision. “Cowboy” was rocked badly in the first from a series of uppercuts in the opening frame, but once he regrouped, he systematically broke down Alvarez with a plethora of nasty leg kicks and counters upstairs.

 

Alvarez tried his damnedest to come from behind to win, but once the umpteenth vicious kick exploded on his thigh, Alvarez crumbled in a heap in agony. Cerrone couldn’t put him away and had to settle for the decision, which he won via tallies of 29-28 on all three judges’ scorecards.

 

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Cat Zingano scored without question the most emotional win of her career; a third round TKO of the tough Amanda Nunes with a series of strikes from the mount. Zingano, who endured a torn ACL last year and the tragic suicide of her husband in January, was able to remain unbeaten after surviving a first round scare.

 

Zingano poured on her attacks in the third, opened a nasty gash on Nunes’ face and pounded away until the mauling was stopped 1:21 into the third. The win placed her next in line for champion Ronda Rousey’s belt, who will likely battle it out in early 2015.

 

 

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Yoel Romero scored a thrilling third round TKO over Tim Kennedy in their middleweight encounter, but it wasn’t without controversy. Kennedy had rocked the Cuban badly with seconds remaining in the seconds round, but Romero’s corner kept him on his stool – the error of both the cornermen and referee John McCarthy – for a whopping 28 additional seconds. By the time the final round began, Romero’s head was clear and he caught Kennedy coming in and finished him with a series of strikes just 58 seconds into the frame.

 

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After nearly three years out of action, former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz finally made his Octagon return and it was sensational. Cruz needed a mere 61 seconds to dismantle the always durable Takeya Mizugaki with punches, signaling a triumph beginning to the second phase of Cruz’ UFC career.

 

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Also on the card:

Jorge Masvidal scored a unanimous decision over James Krause; Stephen Thompson unanimously toppled veteran Patrick Cote; Brian Ebersole was just pinch better than John Howard in his split-decision victory; Kevin Lee won every round against Jon Tuck; and Manny Gamburyan submitted Cody Gibson via guillotine choke at the 4:56 mark of the second.

McGregor and Poirier face off JEFF SHERWOOD

The hype-versus-substance cloud surrounding Conor McGregor will soon be lifted, one way or another.

McGregor will collide with American Top Team’s Dustin Poirier at UFC 178 “Johnson vs. Cariaso” on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The winner figures to move closer to title contention within the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s featherweight division.

 

Sherdog.com touched base with a number of professional fighters and trainers to gauge their opinions on the pending UFC 178 clash between two of the sport’s best at 145 pounds:

 

John Gunderson: I’m going with McGregor. I think his hype train will keep rolling. Even though this will be his toughest test, I believe he has the athletic ability to get the job done.

 

Eric Prindle: McGregor via third round TKO by ground-and-pound stoppage for the win.

 

Nam Phan: I like McGregor (to win). He’s fun to watch.

 

Robert Drysdale: Poirier wins.

 

Colton Smith: With all the hype surrounding McGregor, anyone who understands the MMA game should realize someone as skilled as Poirier can and will pose a serious threat to the Irishman. Look to Poirier to exploit holes on McGregor’s game en route to a unanimous decision victory.

 

Mark Bocek: McGregor by KO in round two.

 

Ray Elbe: Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier is going to be fight of the night. McGregor keeps climbing the ladder and I predict a hard-fought submission win here.

 

Jeff Hougland: Damn I like to watch both these guys scrap. I'm gonna say the Diamond beats McGregor by split decision and they will both get fight of the night.

 

Chris Clements: I'm picking Conor McGregor to win this one.  I think he will be able to keep the fight standing and his striking power and accuracy will be too much for Dustin.

 

JJ AMbrose: I personally like Poirier because of his experience versus top opponents. McGregor is riding the hype train. If McGregor beats Poirier, I’ll hop on that train, too. This has recipe for fight of the night no doubt. To the death!

 

Mitch Clarke: I'm picking Poirer by decision, mostly because he's more of a proven commodity. I think McGregor is good but I think the Diamond has it.

 

Tony Martin: I've had the opportunity to train with Poirier. I truly believe he will be featherweight champion of the world. He is mean and very talented. He is in the gym all the time and works very hard. We are going to find out very fast if the hype is for real or not surrounding McGregor. I have Poirier winning via third round TKO in a fight of the year candidate.

 

Neil Seery: Going with Conor by Irish beat down in the third round.

 

Cody Gibson: Fight: Connor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier. Winner: The fans…but really, Connor McGregor. Reason: Listen, when Connor McGregor broke onto the UFC scene last year I was right there with the rest of the naysayers. Another European loudmouth who is getting hype based more on where he comes from than what he’s done. As time has passed, however, and with each phenomenal performance, that noise is beginning to die down, and I think for good reason. McGregor hasn’t lost a fight in nearly four years, and he’s put everyone he’s fought away within the distance in that time with the exception of Max Holloway, in which he injured his knee in the fight and cruised to an easy decision. 

On the opposite end of the cage is Dustin Poirier, who has proven to be a beast in his own right. Both fighters have proven to have knockout power and both seem to throw caution to the wind and are game to exchange. On the feet, I think this will be a back and forth battle and either man is capable of cashing in on a knockout of the night -excuse me- “performance of the night” - bonus. 

With that said, the big advantage I give to McGregor is his ability to mix up his striking with his wrestling.  While Irish and British fighters have traditionally looked like junior varsity squad wrestlers, McGregor has shown to be an exception in this department. While I do see this fight ending with one man looking up at the bright lights and wondering where in the hell they are, I give McGregor the slight edge based on his ability to mix up his attacks and keep Poirier guessing. I have the privilege of opening up the show at UFC 178, so either way, you can expect to see me somewhere in the crowd shouting obscenities and enjoying an ice cold beer during this must-see fight.

 

Jim Alers: (laughs) Man I think everyone knows I want Conor to lose. Poirier will win by sub in the second round. Conor is a great fighter with outstanding standup but he is only great when he is the bully. He is used to pushing the pace on people without them pushing back. Poirier is the most experienced fighter he has fought and will fight smart. He will meet Conor in the middle and not be intimated. Conor does not do well when he gets hit back. I see Poirier getting the takedowns and then taking the win in the second by rear naked choke.

 

Patrick Holohan: Conor is winning that fight KO.

 

Eddie Gordon: Tough fight to pick. I think this the toughest test for McGregor. Poirier is a stud but I gotta go with Conor. I'm an honorary Irishman after my trip to Dublin so I am going with the dub the “Notorious One” plus his walkout song is sick.

 

Wilson Reis: I got McGregor finishing Dustin in round two with a TKO. I believe it will be a good first round but he’s gonna win and finish in the second.

 

James Vick: I'm going with Conor McGregor. He's such a great salesman of himself (and) I'm really starting to believe his hype!

 

Beneil Dariush: I think Dustin will win a decision. I think his experience in the UFC will be the deciding factor. Exciting fight.

 

Tom DeBlass: Gonna go with Dustin by decision.

 

Anthony Lapsley: Gotta go with Poirier. #ATTNATION enough said...

 

Seth Baczynski: Conor McGegor vs Dustin Poirier is a great matchup. I feel like Conor has a real slick style and a great judge of range with unreadable combos. I like Conor in this fight. Dustin is a great fighter but, tough matchup for him. I think a wrestler will be harder for match up for Conor.

 

Alan Joubin: This is a fighter’s fight and a fan’s fight as well! Both very equally matched in all areas except self-promotion, Conor is hands down a leader over most in that category. I'm a fan of both fighters for their exciting in-your-face style. But I have to give the slight advantage to my fellow hometown boy from LafayetteLA, Dustin Poirier. I think he has a slightly more aggressive submission game than Conor and will look to use it if he gets this fight to the ground. Along with that and haven been more proven in the Octagon I give "the Diamond" the nod in this epic in your face bout!

 

Keith Berry: I really enjoy watching Poirier Fight but I believe he will have his hands full and lose a hard fought decision to McGregor

 

Mike Ciesnolevicz: I'm going to take Poirier in this fight. I think he is more well-rounded and has higher quality training partners.  I’m not sold on the McGregor hype. I have not seen anything from McGregor yet that makes me think he is as good as he says he is.

 

Jason Dent: Honestly I have not seen to much of either of these guys. I have no pick in this one.

 

Joe Duarte: Both guys come to scrap but personally I prefer the guy who talks less. So I’ll be going with Poirier on this one. Country boy can survive...

 

Ricardo Liborio: Dustin is mad and composed at the same time. This is will be a hell of a fight! Better not blink! Poirier-McGregor will be a highlight war! Poirier will win

 

Gabe Ruediger: I think McGregor is vastly overrated.  That being said, IF he beats Poirier, I will admit to being wrong (yeah, see what a  big person I am). That being said, I think Poirier takes this by submission.

 

Zach Makovsky: It should be a great fight while it lasts but I think Poirier gets to keep his head clean on and gets a submission late in the second.

 

Mike Richman: I like Conor and his style, but Poirier is a beast, too, and a finisher who is dangerous everywhere. I'm going with Dustin.

 

Daniel Downes: Those waiting to crown Conor McGregor the next featherweight champ are going to have to wait. Those waiting to crown him "all hype" will have to wait, too. This will be a tough, back and forth fight, but Poirier ultimately pulls it out. McGregor's angles and flash kicks aren't going to be effective, Poirier will close the distance, limit the Irishman's leg strikes and bring the fight to the ground. The "Diamond" uses top control and power advantage to take the unanimous decision.

 

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THE FINAL TALLY

Pros Picking McGregor: 14

Pros picking Poirier: 18

Pros without a pick: 1

 

 

This feature was originally published on and is courtesy of Sherdog.com/Photo courtesy of Jeff Sherwood

 

 

 

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