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John Kavanagh Weighs-In With His Predictions For UFC 219 Co-Main & Main Events

The SBG Ireland head coach gave his predictions for tonight’s eagerly anticipated pair of main event contests featuring Cris Cyborg versus Holly Holm and Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Edson Barboza.

The anticipation for UFC 219 really does seem to be taking off as we count down the final few hours before it gets underway.

In the main event, a fight that could well be the biggest in the history of women’s MMA takes place as the former bantamweight champ Holly Holm moves up 10lbs to take on the seemingly unstoppable Cristiane Justino.

Before that in the co-main, we’re set for an equally enticing matchup as the unbeaten Khabib Nurmagomedov looks to move to an even 25-0 by defeating the lethal finisher, Edson Barboza.

SBG Ireland’s head coach John Kavanagh chimed in on both fights – giving his opinion on Twitter. He will no doubt have an added level of interest in the lightweight clash between Khabib and Barboza given his star pupil Conor McGregor’s status as the champion of that division.

Justino, known better to the world as ‘Cyborg’, has gone undefeated for over a decade and with some of the most vicious power in the sport at her disposal, she has been seen by many as the favourite coming into this one. The ‘X-factor’ with Holly Holm, however, comes in her elite striking pedigree, something that people have pointed to as compensation for her size disadvantage.

Holm, as an out-and-out kickboxer, is miles ahead of anyone that Cyborg has faced to date in terms of technique and skill, so despite her deficit in physical prowess, it will be very interesting to see how the smaller fighter will deal with the undeniable power that her adversary will bring to the table when the octagon doors close.

Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Edson Barboza is a fight that could well have major implications in the title race. Sure, the interim-champion Tony Ferguson is clearly next in line, but despite the absence of the undisputed champ, do not be surprised to see the winner of this matchup take on ‘El Cucuy’ in their next outing.

It doesn’t appear likely that the UFC will strip McGregor of his belt anytime soon, and with some pointing to next summer as a possible time for his return – a fight between the winner of this contest and Tony Ferguson for a big pay-day and a shot at the undisputed title could well be on the cards.

It really is hard to know these days.

Kavanagh, whose connections to this fight are clear, was pretty sure about his prediction – even if he didn’t realise the exact length that the fight has been scheduled for.

After being told that the fight was, in fact, only scheduled for three-rounds, Kavanagh adjusted his prediction slightly.

Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena

Author: Cillian Cunningham

Lead mixed martial arts writer who can be contacted at

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