On the eighth episode of the “Rocco & Ryan MMA Show’, the guys recap the massive UFC Fight Night that was headlined by Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker and previews another stacked UFC 251 card going down this Saturday on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
Anthony Rocco Martin recently had knee surgery earlier this week and he elaborated on that situation. “I am feeling good I just had to get the meniscus done,” he shared, “I have a couple other things wrong with the knee but mostly they think I can just get away having the meniscus scoped out and hopefully in a couple of weeks I can get back to training and get back in fight shape and figure out what’s next.”
Martin still wants to fight Niko Price next, but the matter at hand is getting a new UFC contract inked. Martin explained, “No talks yet. I know they are busy with Abu Dhabi right now, and hopefully, a month from now is when we can start pushing and figuring what we are doing and who we are fighting.”
Poirier and Hooker went toe to toe for five hard-fought rounds in what turned out to be an instant classic and one of the best fights we have seen in years. Martin was extremely impressed with the performance of both men, but more so the winner, Poirier.
“There is something weird where Dustin has this crazy cardio,” he said, “Where he looks gassed even after that second round he looked gassed he was even leaning over but he only needs a minute and he was back to 100 percent. It is amazing with the power they were throwing, he kept a pace on like I’ve never seen with that type of power, and the shots these guys took, fight of the year. I gotta go back and watch the Joanna [Jedrzejczyk] fight because hands down those two are the fights of the year.”
UFC 251 has three title fights that will headline this massive event. The first title fight of the evening is for the vacant bantamweight title as Petr Yan faces Jose Aldo. The guys discussed Aldo’s transition from featherweight to bantamweight and how it may affect him in a five-round fight.
“I think Aldo is even bigger than Marlon Moraes,” Martin expressed, “Aldo is big, he looked like. A skeleton at weigh-ins and then he went in and looked phenomenal. So if he does the same thing that he did in the Moraes fight then I lean towards him but it takes one little slip up in a weight cut and you look like a whole different fighter when you are cutting that much weight.”
The featherweight title is on the line in the co-main event in a rematch between two of the best in the world. Martin gave his take on this huge rematch. “I went back and rewatched the fight and [Alexander] Volkansovski whipped his butt, he landed so many kicks, that was the difference. There is a few things that Max [Holloway] can change, if he changes his right uppercut to a right hook then that could really land over and over on him. Another thing if Max should come out southpaw to negate those calf kicks.”
The main event of the evening features Kamaru Usman against Jorge Masvidal for the welterweight title. Both guys feel this will be a tough fight for Masvidal and this fight may play out differently if Masvidal had a full camp. Ryan Jarrell gave his take, “This was the fight to make, there is history there, they don’t like one another. Kamara Usman is a beast and Masvidal is a great fighter don’t get me wrong. I just think that if Usman is struggling on the feet he will revert to his wrestling. I have a hard time going against Usman here, I think he is going to win rather convincingly.”
The guys are coming off a stellar weekend going (5-0) and (4-1) respectively. “Rocco & Ryan” both have prediction records of (11-4) heading into Saturday’s event with three monster titles on the line. The guys’ UFC 251 main card picks are as follows:
Rocco: Kamaru Usman, Alexander Volkanovski, Jose Aldo, Rose Namajunas, Amanda Ribas
Ryan: Kamaru Usman, Max Holloway, Jose Aldo, Rose Namajunas, Amanda Ribas