UFC 219 is the promotion’s end-of-year show that will go down December 30 in Las Vegas. There have been all sorts of changes as Dominick Cruz was pulled after breaking his arm and John Lineker had to withdraw due to a tooth infection. We’ll still get some great matches on the men’s side but it’s the ladies who take center stage at UFC 219.
Cris Cyborg vs Holly Holm – Women’s Featherweight
In the main event, champion Cyborg (18-1) will take on former champion Holm (11-3), who is one of the few fighters who can physically match up with Cyborg in this division. She might not have Cyborg’s pure striking power but she has the technique. Cyborg can’t just walk through her shots like with most of her other opponents. That being said, no one in women’s MMA has Cyborg’s one-shot power, so Holm has to be careful. Both are going to want to strike, so this should be an explosive main event. Cyborg is the biggest favorite on the UFC 219 card at -360.
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Edson Barboza - Lightweight
Nurmagomedov (24-0) failed to make weight in an interim title fight with current interim champion Tony Ferguson and as a result that bout was canceled. Now he’ll take on Barboza (19-4), who is quietly rolling along with three straight wins. Nurmagomedov’s strength is his wrestling and ground-and-pound, but Barboza has won 11 times via TKO/KO, so Nurmagomedov has to be careful that he doesn’t get caught. The winner likely gets a shot at either Ferguson or champion Conor McGregor, whenever he decides to come back. Nurmagomedov is favored at -300 while Barboza is listed at +230.
Cynthia Calvillo vs Carla Esparza – Women’s Strawweight
Calvillo (6-0) remains undefeated as she takes on Esparza (12-4), who was the first UFC women’s strawweight champion. Calvillo is a strong grappler who also has KO power, but Esparza is crafty and well-rounded. She will prove to be a strong test for Calvillo, who can probably move into the top five of the division with a comprehensive win. Calvillo is a sizable favorite in this spot at -260.
Carlos Condit vs Neil Magny – Welterweight
Condit (30-10) has lost three of his last four and almost retired after a controversial loss to then-champion Robbie Lawler. He’s back, though, and will be looking to get on track against Magny (19-6), who has been stopped in two of his last three fights. Both fighters need a win. If there is one thing that Condit is known to do, it is put on a show. He is going to come out swinging against Magny, who is well-rounded and never gives up in a fight. This has the potential to be the Fight of the Night, but hopefully Condit’s heart is still in the fight game after a couple of demoralizing losses. He’s a -165 favorite in this spot while Magny comes in at +135.
Dan Hooker vs Marc Diakiese – Lightweight
Hooker (14-7) and Diakiese (12-1) will open up the main card. Diakiese will look to bounce back from his first professional loss, which came via split decision against Drakkar Klose. Both men are well-rounded fighters, although Diakiese might have a slight edge in power. Neither fighter is rated high in the lightweight division, so they’ll both be looking for a stoppage win to get their name out there. Diakiese comes in as a -185 favorite while Hooker is posted as a +150 dog.