Sergey Kovalev dominates NadJib Mohammedi; Jean Pascal nets controversial decision

Kovalev - Mohammedi Weigh-in. Credit: David Spagnolo
Kovalev – Mohammedi Weigh-in. Credit: David Spagnolo

Coming into the bout Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, little was known about Sergey Kovalev’s opponent, Nadjib Mohammedi, and after they won’t know much else than he was another victim of “Krusher.”

Kovalev (28-0-1, 25 KOs) carried out what most thought would happen by stopping Mohammedi (37-4, 23 KOs) in the third round with a crushing right then a left to add insult to injury, which he didn’t not make the 10-count. It is believed that Mohammedi broke left orbital bone from the initial right hand, which displays how powerful Kovalev is.

Before the big stoppage, Kovalev, the WBA, WBO and IBF champion, had a solid first, not landing much of significance, but Mohammedi did little on the offensive realm, which had to get Kovalev’s KO radar going.

In the second Kovalev knocked Mohammedi down midway though the round, and despite hounding him the rest of the round, Mohammedi escaped for one last round of punishment.

After stopping Mohammedi, Kovalev was asked about the possibility of a rematch with Jean Pascal who won a controversial unanimous decision the bout before and Kovalev said if the fans wanted it he was game.

Kovalev admitted that he only caught a round or tow of Pascal’s bout in his dressing room, but from what he saw, he thought his opponent, Yuniesky Gonzalez won, as did  the majority of media.

Pascal (30-3-1, 17 KOs) and Gonzalez (16-1, 12 KOs) gave fight fans a great show, which included several exchanges laced with power shots, but in most instances, it appeared Gonzlaez got the best of Pascal in those exchanges.

Pascal was visibly wobbled multiple times in the fight, but never met the canvas, and displayed that even though his punches lacked the power they usually do, he could still take a shot with the best of them.

Pascal ended up winning with 96-94 scores from all three judges, (I had it 96-94 for Gonzalez), and is now in line for a rematch with Kovalev.

There were rumors that Kovalev could face Pascal next, but Mike Coppinger of USA Today tweeted out that Kovalev’s promoter, Kathy Duva, said that Kovlaev would be back Nov. 28 in Moscow and that they would offer the bout to Artur Beterbiev,  who is with Al Haymon. Duva has been very vocal about this week, so the chances that takes place are slim.

So if the location runs true, it looks like Pascal will have to travel to Kovalev’s home country as Kovlaev did in their first fight, when he went to Canada to take on Pascal, even though Kovalev was the champion.

So who knows who Kovalev will face next, but it probably doesn’t matter much, as the bout is destine to end early no matter who he fights next, unless it’s Andre Ward, but that bout is rumored to take place in 2016.

So in a night that had no surprise ending in the main event, Kovalev reigns supreme and added one more highlight reel KO to send shivers down the rest of the 175-pound division’s spines.


Sergey Kovalev vs. Nadjib Mohammedi: Full preview, prediction and scouting report for light heavyweight title showdown

Photo Credit: David Spagnolo/Main Events
Photo Credit: David Spagnolo/Main Events

As Sergey Kovalev prepares to defend his WBA, WBO and IBF titles Saturday night against Nadjib Mohammed, they two fighters are entering the contest on very different levels.

Kovalev is eager to defend his titles once again and move toward more lucrative bouts, with the likes of Andre Ward, Gennady Golovkin. A rumored rematch with Jean Pascal, who fights on the undercard in tonight’s HBO televised event, is most likely next for Kovalev (h/t The Sweet Science).

The “Krusher” is excited about defending his titles for the first time and is looking forward to a lucrative career.

“Thank you to WBO,” Kovalev said. “This was my first belt and mean a lot to me… I want to show this Saturday who I am. I would like to still be champion as long time as possible. I did not get all my goals in my career yet.”

Kovalev (27-0-1, 24 KOs) is not looking past Mohammedi (37-3, 23 KOs), and knows that if he doesn’t dispose of him Saturday night, then any future plans will be dashed.

“My amateur career I didn’t give me a lot of opportunities. I was hurt in amateur career and I had to try not to closed doors. Some of my dreams in the boxing and my goals not finished. For my dreams, my goals this Saturday is the next step in my career.”

Mohammedi is a big underdog in the bout and is a mystery to most fans and even the media that cover the sport. He is not letting that get in the way of his performance against Kovalev.

“For me it’s OK, it’s good for me,” Mohammedi said of being the underdog. “I don’t have a belt to lose. This guy (Kovalev) has three belts. For him he has a lot of pressure.

“Me, I don’t have pressure. For me, I just go for the fight, and I relax.”

If that is indeed how Mohammedi approaches this bout, it will increase his chances of pulling of what most consider a monumental upset.

Kovalev represents a big step up in competition for Mohammedi, as the combined record for his last five opponents is 64-27-1, with names no casual fan would recognize.

Although he hasn’t lost a bout in almost four years, but two of his three losses came via TKO, so it will be interesting to see how he handles a big shot form Kovalev when that time inevitably comes.


Kovalev will come out with a fury and with Mohammedi facing no one near the “Krusher’s” level, it is likely the bout doesn’t last more than half the scheduled 12 rounds.

Breaking Mohammedi down early, Kovalev should win the fight fairly easily.

Kovalev via Round 5 TKO.

Below is a scouting report provided by Main Events


Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev

Nadjib “The IronDjib” Mohammedi





27-0-1 (24 KOs)

37-3-0 (23 KOs)


Kovalev has knockout power in both hands; he has the ability to end a fight with any punch he throws. He also showed the world that he has a good chin after taking some big shots in his successful title defense against Jean Pascal in March.

Nadjib is an aggressive fighter with good hand speed and great endurance; he is always in tremendous shape and treats every fight like there is a title on the line.

He throws punches from all angles and can pose a threat to any top light heavyweight contender.


Sergey has been knocked down before but not hurt, he tends to leave openings in his guard which could pose a problem in this bout as Nadjib has finished his last 11 of 13 opponents.

Mohammedi has a tendency to get sloppy at times, in previous fights he had a tendency to throw wide looping punches that could potentially get him into big trouble considering the power that Kovalev brings to the table.


Kovalev has fewer pro fights than Nadjib, but the past two years he’s faced and defeated three former titleholders in Bernard Hopkins, Jean Pascal and Nathan Cleverly.

Nadjib has more pro fights under his belt than Kovalev. He has fought for world titles before.


Kovalev will have the clear advantage here as he is best known for his vicious knockout power in either hand. He throws nasty body shots.

Nadjib does not pack one-punch power in either hand. He is known more for the volume of punches he throws.


Kovalev has average speed that picks up once he sees he has his opponent on the ropes and he goes for the finish.

Mohammedi has quick hands and quick feet as well. He is a small light heavyweight; he moves around the ring well and is very agile.


Sergey has shown the ability to maintain a steady pace that allows him to conserve energy while still looking sharp in the later rounds. However, he has only fought 12 rounds once in his career when he defeated the former titleholder Bernard Hopkins.

Mohammedi may have a slight edge here, as he has been 12 rounds on three separate occasions, and 10 rounds three times as well.


Kovalev shows great accuracy with his one-punch knockouts; he also throws very accurate and powerful shots to the body that have ended fights in the past.

Nadjib’s accuracy is evident when his opponents stand and trade shots with him; he has an accurate jab plus an overhand right that tends to follow.


Sergey’s best defense may just be his offense. His power has become a complete game-changer in the past, forcing opponents to rethink their game plan.

Mohammedi is light on his feet and moves around the ring well, making it difficult for anyone to hit him. However, he enjoys standing and trading with his opponents which could ultimately get him into trouble against The Krusher.


In his last fight Kovalev showed that his chin is more than durable, he took some big shots against a heavy hitter in Jean Pascal and managed to stay on his feet and earn the stoppage win.

Nadjib’s chin may be in question here; he has been stopped twice in his career and has never been in the ring with a puncher as devastating as Kovalev.


Sergey is an offensive-minded fighter who likes to walk his opponents down then go for the finish.

Mohammedi is a boxer who shows signs of being a volume puncher while utilizing great counter-punching.

Crowd Support

Sergey’s popularity has greatly increased since major wins over Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal. He is now competing in the fight capital of the world, so Kovalev will likely have majority of the crowd support here.

Nadjib may be at a disadvantage here as he is not well known just yet. However, Nadjib is a gamer and treats every fight like it’s a title fight, which is a mentality and style that may win him some crowd support throughout this fight.


Kovalev’s previous two bouts were by far the toughest of his career. He defeated Bernard Hopkins in November of 2014, and just four months later he earned a stoppage win over former world champion Jean Pascal. Now, rather than take some extra time to recover and enjoy these wins, he returns to the ring after another quick four-month turnaround and takes on Mohammedi, who has not lost a fight in almost five years.

Nadjib has waited patiently for over a year to capitalize on his number one contender position. After earning his position in June of 2014, Nadjib decided to stay active and risk his number one ranking. He competed on Kovalev’s two previous undercards against durable opponents, against both of which he scored stoppage wins. Those risks have paid off and Nadjib will finally get his shot against the world’s best light heavyweight.



Sergey Kovalev vs. Nadjib Mohammedi: Full weigh-in video w/ stare down

Kovalev - Mohammedi Weigh-in. Credit: David Spagnolo
Kovalev – Mohammedi Weigh-in. Credit: David Spagnolo

The one man wrecking crew they call the “Krusher,” Sergey Kovalev, will defend his WBA, WBO and IBF light heavyweight titles Saturday against Nadjib Mohammedi at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

Kovalev (27-0-1, 24 KOs) came in at 174.5 pounds while the No. 1 contender, Mohammedi (38-3-0, 23 KOs) came in at 173 pounds for the 12-round affair.

Most are not giving Mohammedi much, if any, chance Saturday night, and he has been posted at as high as a 60-1 underdog, which are numbers reaching James “Buster” Douglas versus Mike Tyson level odds.

A big rematch with Jean Pascal, who fights on the undercard of the event, is said to be agreed upon shall both fighters win this weekend (h/t The Sweet Science), so Kovalev should have plenty of motivation to put forth his best in the bout.

Mohammedi is feeding off all the disrespect he is receiving from fans and media alike, and promises a good fight Saturday.

If he can even give Kovalev a run for his money, Mohammedi is positioned to make a name for himself, but if Kovalev is on his game, which he normally is, the bout should go less than the 12 scheduled rounds.

Weigh-in results:

Sergey Kovalev
Nadjib Mohammedi

Sergey Kovalev vs. Nadjib Mohammedi: ‘Krusher’ kicks off first Vegas fight week

Photo credit: Jim Laurie, Main Event Productions
Photo credit: Jim Laurie, Main Event Productions

With light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev set to make his Las Vegas fighting debut against Nadjib Mohammedi Saturday at the Mandalay Bay, he was welcome to Southern Nevada in style.

Met by Clark County Commissioner Mary Beth Scow at McCarran International Airport on Monday, the City of Las Vegas officially named July 18, 2015 Sergey Kovalev Day.

That’s an honor few boxers have had bestowed upon them, with the latest being hall of fame boxer Oscar De La Hoya last September.

On Tuesday Kovalev then made his way to meet some of the Russians that call Las Vegas home.

Receiving a warm welcome from the bunch mad Kovalav (27-0-1, 24 KOs) feel right at home, despite it being his first time in Vegas for his own fight week.

All these events lead up to the fight on Saturday, which pits the knockout making they call “Krusher” against the largely unknown Mohammedi (37-3, 23 KOs).

Despite being the No. 1 contender for, no one is giving Mohammedi much of a chance, with odds as high as 60-1.

Kovalev is coming into the fight fresh off his Round 8 TKO of Jean Pascal, and his dominating performance over the ageless wonder, Bernard Hopkins.

Kovalev is poised to defend his WBA, WBC and IBF light heavyweight titles, and could have a huge bout waiting in the distance with who most consider a Top 5 pound-for-pound fighter in Andre Ward.

First Kovalev will have to dispose of Mohammedi, which most think won’t take long, before setting his sights on a possible Ward bout.

The co-feature will include a ten-round light heavyweight match-up between Jean Pascal (29-3-1, 17 KOs) and Yunieski Gonzalez (16-0, 12 KOs).

Tickets are on sale now and start at $25. Tickets can be purchased through TicketMaster and all MGM Resorts Properties Ticket Offices. The HBO World Championship Boxing telecast begins at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.


Follow The Money; Who’ll Get Floyd Mayweather Next?

Floyd Mayweather CBS Andre berto

Following the world’s most lucrative, albeit not the most exciting, boxing bout with Manny Pacquiao earlier this year, Floyd Mayweather signalled his intention to fight one more time before finally hanging up his gloves. At 38, Mayweather stands at 48-0 in professional boxing following many years as an amateur. That’s a big toll on the body and brain so it’s hard to argue that ‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd wouldn’t be making the right call.

Detractors said that the Pacquiao bout came too late and lacked the relevance it once would have had. With one fight left on the table and a lot of money to be made, would Mayweather finally silence the critics that question how and when he picks his fights?

It seems unlikely. Mayweather has offered a few potential opponents, but nothing the fans are particularly salivating over. His own suggestions were Andre Berto and Karim Mayfield, with Amir Khan, Kell Brook and a Pacquiao rematch also being touted amongst others. Who has the best shot, and what’s realistic?

Gennady Golovkin
Golovkin is the wild card. It seems extremely unlikely that Mayweather would entertain a fight with a hard-hitting, bigger man. He’s spent years mostly bringing people up in weight to fight him and this would be very risky against the undefeated Kazakhstan fighter. This would be the fight fans want, but it won’t be a fight Mayweather wants.

Kell Brook
Fellow undefeated fighter Brook brings that unblemished asset to the table, as well as the IBF World Championship and a good following in Britain. This is likely second on the list of fights we’d want to see, but that seems to be inversely proportional to the fights Mayweather is likely to take. Brook is a threat, with speed and power.

Amir Khan
Another Brit who does bring some interest to the fight. Despite his good run of five wins, his three losses have really detracted from his star power. With a questionable ability to take a punch, he could be a perfect fit for Mayweather. He has credibility, a win streak and a fan base. However, it’s hard to see him beating Floyd and that will be key in setting up his final bout.

Andre Berto
At 27-0, Berto was one of the most touted prospects in boxing. He’s a hard hitter and exciting, but Ortiz, Guerrero and Karass derailed any hype he had. He was a WBC champion and currently has the interim WBA belt, but it’s a hard fight to build up given Berto’s recent run.

Karim Mayfield
You might be thinking why has his name even been thrown into the mix? Well, because Mayweather himself brought it into play. He has less experience than the rest, no notable titles and two defeats in his last three fights. Maybe it is an easy way to stay undefeated for Floyd, so to that end it could be possible. As fans, you wouldn’t like to think so, however.

With Mayweather now dismissing Pacquiao in a second fight, it appears we’ll be left with one of the above to varying degrees of likelihood. We’ll have to wait on the whim of Floyd himself to see who actually steps into the ring with him in September.

Adrien Broner vs. Shawn Porter: Full PBC on NBC Fight Results

broner proter PBC face off

In about that has a lot riding on it for both Adrien Broner and Shawn Porter, the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on NBC should not disappoint.

Both Broner (30-1, 22 KOs) and Porter (25-1-1, 16 KOs) had a ton of momentum in their careers before suffering losses at the hands of Marcos Maidana for Broner and Kell Brook for Porter, and a win tonight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas would set the victor on track for another title fight.

Broner and Porter’s camp have been jawing back and forth all week, so the bout should be chippy to say the least.

The seven-fight card is headlined by Broner vs. Porter, but also features up-and-comer Errol Spence Jr. facing last minute replacement Phil Lo Greco in the other NBC broadcast bout.


Kevin Newman (3-0-1, 1 KO) Def. Bobby Mcintyre (0-2) via Unanimous Decision (40-36 (x3))

Sanjarbek Rakhmanov (1-0, 1 KO) def. Brett Simmons (2-2-2, 1 KO) via Rd. 1 KO


Adrien Broner vs. Shawn Porter: Full Weigh-In for PBC on NBC bout

broner porter weigh in

Despite a long running relationship going through from amateur ranks into the professional realm together, Adrien Broner and Shawn Porter have been getting chippy in the lead up to their showdown at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and it continued at Friday’s weigh-in.

Broner  (30-1, 22 KOs) refused to shake Porter’s hand after weighing in, which didn’t appear to sit well with his mentor, Floyd Mayweather Jr., which added to the build up between the two camps.

At the final press conference earlier in the week, Broner and Porter’s father, Ken Porter (25-1-1, 16 KOs), went after each other in a verbal sparring session that was on the brink of a physical altercation.

Broner, who will make $1.35 million, came in at 1431/2 pounds with Porter, who will make $1 million, weighing  in at exactly 144 pounds for the fight being held at a catchweight of 144 pounds . There was also a 10-pound rehydration clause in the fight’s contract that stated neither Broner or Porter could weigh in at 154 pounds Saturday morning, but according to Dan Rafael of, that is off the contract for the bout.

Taking place Saturday and being aired live on NBC as part the of Premier Boxing Champions series, the fight has huge implications for both Broner and Porter.

Both fighters had a ton of buzz surrounding them, until both suffering losses, and now have the media and fight fans questioning their legitimacy.

Who ever wins the bout will be in line for a title bout in the junior welterweight or welterweight division depending on the victor.

We will see if Broner’s disrespectful antics will add extra motivation to Porter’s attack, as if he need any extra incentive to win this bout.

Errol Spence (16-0, 13 KOs) came in at 149 pounds, making weight for his co-main event bout with last second replacement Phil Lo Greco (26-1, 14 KOs) who weighed 152 pounds, which was the maximum weight. This was increased due to Lo Greco taking the bout on a few days notice with original opponent Roberto Garcia pulling out of the bout due to weigh issues.

You can catch all the action live on NBC beginning at 8:30 EDT/5:30 PDT Saturday night.

Amir Khan still in good shape for Mayweather clash despite lackluster showing

Courtesy: Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions
Courtesy: Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions

With welterweight Amir Khan campaigning for his shot at the Floyd Mayweather Jr. sweepstakes for more than a year now, it seems his best shot to impress the 48-0 champ and the public he deserves to fight on the sports’ grandest scale came and went without that “wow” factor.

Khan fought former junior welterweight titlist Chris Algieri Friday night, as part of the PBC on Spike fight series, and was figured to be an easy out by the majority of fans and media.

The former kick boxing world champ had other ideas and garnered much respect for his performance, albeit a losing one, against Khan.

Acting as the aggressor the majority of the fight, Algieri’s length bothered Khan in the first half of the bout, as the Huntington, New York resident timed out a few big overhand rights that stunned Khan, and his notoriously questionable jaw.

Khan was dazed at times, but was never knocked down in the bout, showing his perseverance to over come the quick start by Algieri.

Taking a page out of Mayweather’s book, Khan adjusted to Algieri’s fight plan and awkward style midway through the 12-round affair, and was able to defeat the New York native in front of the Brooklyn, New York crowd via split decision, with scores of 115-112, 117-111, and 117-111.

Despite losing the bout, Algieri seemed to get more positive attention afterward, as he looked like a totally different fighter than that was in the ring in Macau, China against Manny Pacquiao last year.

In that bout, Algieri was knocked down a total of six times, but managed to make it the full 12 rounds. He was more known for his former trainer, Tim Lane, saying they were going to “let Algieri” out of the cage as he got pummeled, than his performance.

His rejuvenated showing against Khan can be attributed to switching trainers, hiring John David Jackson, who also trains light heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev, who’s underrated work seemed to pay off in the bout.

Khan is a big name, with a healthy following overseas, so mix that in with the hype machine that is Mayweather, there is still a lucrative fight to made with the 28-year-old British fighter.

With Mayweather fresh off his unanimous decision victory over Pacquiao in the much anticipated bout, a Khan fight won’t go anywhere near the record breaking pay-per-view numbers that Mayweather-Pacquiao did. It should draw at least a million buys, which is deemed a successful event anytime “Money May” eclipses the seven-figure buy mark.

So, despite Khan providing the boxing world with an underwhelming performance this past weekend, he’s still in great shape to land in the ring opposite of Mayweather come September because he found a way to win. Like it or not.

Mick Akers is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and an International Boxing Hall of Fame elector. Follow him on Twitter at:



Does Daniel Cormier’s UFC 187 title win make him the legit champion in fans eyes?

Daniel Cormier UFC lightheavyweight champion
Daniel Cormier UFC light heavyweight champion

By Sammy Perez

For the first time in four years, the UFC has a light heavyweight champion not named Jon Jones. Daniel Cormier (16-1, 6 KO’s 5 subs), who just four months ago lost in his bid to wrestle (no pun intended) the title away from Jones, made good on an unexpected golden opportunity when he defeated number one contender Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson (19-5, 13 KO’s) on Saturday night.

With the now former champion Jones being stripped of his title after yet another legal matter, this time a hit and run traffic accident, Cormier (pictured above) was more than willing to step in on just three weeks notice and fight Johnson for the vacant championship. He did so in convincing fashion as he withstood an early first round knockdown to get up and inevitably begin a ground and pound barrage against the former top contender who came in to the fight riding a nine fight win streak. The punishment eventually led to Cormier sinking in a rear naked choke submission in the third round for the victory.

Congratulations and all respect due to the new champion, who I happen to like very much, and since my personal disdain for Jones is publicly known, all the more better. However I could not help but think to myself after Johnson strapped the belt around Cormier’s waist “Does Cormier truly relish winning the title this way?”

I ask that question in no way as a slight to ‘Rumble’ Johnson or his skills as I thought and publicly stated going in to the fight he would win. I ask it rather on Cormier knowing he did not beat Jones in their meeting four months ago and Jones technically never losing the title in the cage. I feel I got the answer to my question immediately after the belt was strapped on and Joe Rogan interviewed the new champ.

Rogan came in and asked Cormier the obligatory, “How does it feel” question after winning the title. Cormier’s response was to grab the microphone and tell Rogan he has only one thing to say; “Jon Jones, get your sh** together because I’m waiting for you.” With that Cormier walked out of the cage to celebrate his reign as the new light-heavyweight champion.

I have mixed emotions about Cormier’s statement. In one sense I say kudos to Cormier because it should be his only mission right now to truly establish himself as the champion considering he loss to Jones just four months ago. However, on another note I think to myself, he looks foolish saying it considering he loss to Jones just four moths ago. It appears Cormier now finds himself in a catch-22 situation.

He’s won the championship he’s coveted for so long and deservedly so, but do fans of the sport and even he himself look at him as such. I feel as though right now he’s like Apollo Creed in ‘Rocky II’; he won the fight against Rocky in the first film, but he was not satisfied because he did not win the adulation. Thus, the reason he wants to face Jones again and actually needs to. Until then he might be in a situation in which fans ponder to ask the question, “Is the champ here? Or is he?”

What UFC 187’s Winners Expect Next

ufc 187 cormier johnson weidman belfort
ufc 187 cormier johnson weidman belfort

This year, the UFC 187 was the highest profile, successful event organized by the organization and they surely did not disappoint; they delivered in a big way. Jon Jones lost the belt and we now have a new champion in Daniel Cormier, who filled the light-heavyweight void left in the division by Jones. The title did not come easy to Cormier, who was facing Anthony Johnson in a match that was the pay-per-view headliner. On the other side, there was a co-main event going down at MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, where Chris Weidman tore apart Victor Belfort in a first round TKO. This meant that Chris successfully, for the third time, defended his UFC middleweight title. It was a great platform for lovers of the event to cash in and place a bet or two. You can also learn more about the advantages of the betting odds so that you make informed decisions and put your money into good use

Apart from the Chris Weidman fight, there were three other matches which featured performances by Andrei Arlovski, Donald Cerrone and Joseph Benavidez. After these matches, every fan is now wondering who their respective opponents will be in the coming matches. Let us take a look at these three individuals, how they won their matches, who they will be facing next and why.

Joseph Benavidez:
Once again, Benavidez proved that he is no ordinary flyweight as he saw out the durable John Moraga. The unanimous decision, the verdict of the judges marked a victory for him that showed how Benavidez is on a totally different level than his opponents. Although he still remains as one of the top contenders in the flyweight division, losing twice to Demetrious Johnson places him in a tough position. This is something he admits and he even addressed the matter in the post fight press conference. Looking ahead, he should fight Kyoji Horiguchi and he has no option but to win and hope that Johnson loses at least one of his matches.

Andrei Arlovski:
The 36 year old came into his match against Travis Browne struggling to shake off a leg injury that had put him in a position that he had considered withdrawing from the fight. If a few years ago I had told you that Arlovski was to fight again for the UFC, then you would have probably laughed it off. However, there was nothing laughable about his first round knockout of Browne, that proved to be one of the biggest wins of his entire career. UFC received its fair share of criticism after bringing Arlovski back to the organization, but he repaid them back and we even expect him to fight the winner of Cain Velasquez vs. Fabricio Werdum in his next match.

Donald Cerrone:
A funny statistic perhaps? Cerrone is the only UFC fighter, who has had eight consecutive victories but has never received a shot at the title. After defeating John Makdessi, he became the most deserving fighter in the lightweight division to get a shot at the title, especially with Khabib Nurmagomedov sidelined with an injury. Since August 2013, Cerrone has defeated all his opponents and most people expect the winning streak to continue.