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UFC 199 predictions, preview, and analysis

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UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is going to fight perennial contender Michael Bisping -- again -- because Chris Weidman had neck problems ahead of the UFC 199 pay-per-view (PPV) event, locked and loaded for tomorrow night (Sat., June 4, 2016) inside The Forum in Los Angeles, California.

Are you not entertained?!?

In the UFC 199 co-main event, Dominick Cruz looks to rid himself of longtime nemesis Urijah Faber while holding on to his 135-pound belt across five rounds of bantamweight action. Elsewhere on the card, power-punching middleweight Hector Lombard trades bombs with aging slugger Dan Henderson.

All the latest odds and betting lines for those UFC 199 fights and more can be found right here.

A complete breakdown of all the UFC 199 preliminary card action -- set for FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass -- are located here and here. Now then, with that out of the way, let's take a closer look at the five fight PPV main card from "The City of Angels."

Drum roll please...

185 lbs.: Luke Rockhold (15-2) vs. Michael "The Count" Bisping (28-7)

Nostradumbass predicts: I'm not particularly jazzed about this rematch, since we already know how this story ends, but it's kind of hard to fault UFC for this middleweight do-over. Chris Weidman got injured for the 348th time, Jacare Souza turned it down in favor of knee surgery, and Yoel Romero is still changing back to Banner after Hulk-smashing his last drug test.

That leaves us with Michael Bisping, who is nothing if not reliable.

"The Count" is the same fighter he's always been: Durable, well conditioned, and fundamentally sound in the stand up. Unfortunately, his paint-by-numbers offense isn't terribly difficult to figure out, but his improved takedown defense and ability to outlast aging fighters -- a la Anderson Silva -- keeps him in the mix.

Rockhold is six years younger, has a five-inch reach advantage, and is far more dynamic in his attack.

That's a fancy way of saying the middleweight champion is in his prime while the challenger is ... well, a commercial until Weidman gets back. I didn't see anything in "Rockhold vs. Bisping 1" -- or anything since then -- that would indicate a reason to pick the upset.

Bisping is tough, but as we've already established, not championship material.

Final prediction: Rockhold def. Bisping via unanimous decision

135 lbs.: Dominick "The Dominator" Cruz (21-1) vs. Urijah "The California Kid" Faber (33-8)

Nostradumbass predicts: This championship co-main event mirrors the headlining act in that Dominick Cruz already defeated Urijah Faber a few years back and has not looked any worse since that second encounter. In fact, he's looked much improved, even with the two-year layoff.

During that span, Faber dropped a pair of fights to Renan Barao and got whipped by Frankie Edgar.

That's not to discount the wins he's racked up along the way, but eye poking Francisco Rivera and knocking around Frankie Saenz are not the kind of performances that suggest "The Dominator" is in danger of losing for just the second time in 22 professional fights.

Cruz is younger, faster, and more accurate with his punches.

"The California Kid" is a strong wrestler with great submissions, but he had 25 minutes to use those weapons at UFC 148 and failed. I don't know what he expects to do differently against the division's premiere striker, but I doubt it's going to matter when all is said and done.

If you're a Faber fan and all you've got is "Yeah but remember in WEC..." then you sir (or madam) are in for a long night.

Final prediction: Cruz def. Faber via unanimous decision

145 lbs.: Max "Blessed" Holloway (15-3) vs. Ricardo "The Bully" Lamas (16-4)

Nostradumbass predicts: 10 years separates Max Holloway and Ricardo Lamas, but only two professional MMA fights. The Hawaiian has been on an absolute tear in recent years, disposing of eight straight opponents and racking up six finishes in the process.

He can strike, grapple, and go three rounds without breaking a sweat.

It will be interesting to see how well he holds up against a battle-tested fighter like Lamas, who has a slight edge in experience and quality of opposition. "The Bully" went five rounds with Jose Aldo at UFC 169 and got put down by Chad Mendes at UFC Fight Night 63.

I don't think "Blessed" can offer him anything he hasn't already seen.

That said, I'm not sure Lamas is going to have the wherewithal to deal with a younger, hungrier opponent. Holloway -- who has an iron chin (just ask Conor McGregor) -- isn't going to play punching bag like Diego Sanchez, nor will he silver platter a submission like Dennis Bermudez.

Lamas' best chance is to call on his collegiate wrestling background for three rounds of mug-and-slug; otherwise, he gets picked apart and goes down on points.

Final prediction: Holloway def. Lamas via unanimous decision

185 lbs.: Dan "Hendo" Henderson (31-14) vs. Hector "Showeather" Lombard (34-5-1, 2 NC)

Nostradumbass predicts: Dan Henderson turns 46 this summer, which may explain why he's a paltry 2-6 over his last eight fights, as well as why "Hendo" has been finished in four straight losses, three of which have come by way of knockout.

Nostalgia and a big right hand are flimsy excuses to keep this dinosaur competing.

UFC matchmaker Joe Silva didn't do him any favors here, either, as Hector Lombard -- who is 38 and still seven years younger than his opponent -- is equally powerful with his punches. More importantly, he's faster, which is the difference maker in a fight that is likely to be decided by one punch.

My money is on "Showeather."

Henderson used to have an iron jaw and heck, used to be a great wrestler, too. But his decline has been tough to watch and this is Lombard's fight to lose. Assuming the former Bellator wrecking ball doesn't lay an egg like he did against Tim Boetsch or Yushin Okami, I expect him to land first.

They both have awful stamina these days (it cost Lombard the Neil Magny fight) but it doesn't matter, there's no way we outlast the first frame.

Final prediction: Lombard def. Henderson via knockout

155 lbs.: "King" Bobby Green (23-6) vs. Dustin "The Diamond" Poirier (19-4)

Nostradumbass predicts: I like this fight because it's finally going to tell us if Dustin Poirier is the real deal at 155 pounds, or whether he's just had a good run (3-0) since moving up from the featherweight division following a high-profile loss to Conor McGregor.

It would also get him into the top 10 of the division (he's currently ranked No. 11).

The same can probably be said for Bobby Green (No. 13), who is coming off a close decision loss to Edson Barboza in late 2014. My concern is that "King" has not competed since, thanks to a devastating knee injury that sent him to the bench last summer.

The big question mark here is Poirier's chin.

I've seen him rocked on countless occasions at 145 pounds, but "The Diamond" claims it was a result of his dramatic weight cut. To his credit, he's ripped through his first three opponents after returning to lightweight, but none of them were ranked in the top 15.

If Poirier can survive the first round, I believe he wins this fight. The well-rounded Green is good, but not great, and what he lacks in raw talent, he makes up for in grit and experience. I just think he runs out of steam after the extended absence.

Should be a close fight.

Final prediction: Poirier def. Green via split decision

That's a wrap. will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 199 fight card on Saturday night (click here), starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, and then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

You've heard from me, now let's hear from you. Who gets the job done this weekend in Los Angeles?

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