When UFC 222 was announced a few months back, we were told we would be getting a lightweight championship fight, and we are, just not the one we expected. The main event this weekend was supposed to be champion Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar, but when Holloway was sidelined with a leg injury and unable to continue his training camp, the UFC stepped in and replaced that championship fight with a women's lightweight championship bout, sliding Cris Cyborg in to defend her belt for the first time against Yana Kunitskaya.

With Edgar healthy, and ready to fight, he will have to fend off undefeated Brian Ortega to keep his hopes for a title fight in the future against Holloway alive.

The UFC could have easily scratched this card after the injury to Holloway, but I like what they did here. With the loss of Holloway, I would have personally preferred this to be a free fight on Fox or FS1 as I feel many fans may be less inclined to purchase the pay-per-view but I feel the card this weekend will be very entertaining nontheless.

This is how I see it all shaking out:

Ketlen Viera (-160) vs. Cat Zingano

This fight is one of the most interesting on the entire card in my eyes. Viera is 3-0 in her first 3 UFC fights since breaking into the scene in October of 2016, her last being an impressive 2nd Round submission of Sara McMann in September at UFC 215. Zingano on the other hand has not fought in the UFC in almost 2 years, taking a break from the octagon after consecutive losses in 2016 to Ronda Rousey and Juliana Pena.

With the UFC forming the new women's lightweight division, it has given her new motivation to fight. Zingano has voiced that she is looking for an opportunity to fight Cris Cyborg, and this is her opportunity to get in the conversation.

She comes in as the underdog in a tough fight, Viera is bigger and has the advantage if the fight goes to the ground, but I feel Zingano's striking will outclass Viera and get her one step closer to the matchup with the champ she covets.

Give me the underdog in a brawl!

Prediction: Zingano, 2nd Rd TKO

Stefan Struve (-185) vs. Andrei Arlovski

Stefan Struve has been in the UFC for almost 9 years, and still every time I see him fight I am astonished. The guy is legitimately 7 feet tall! After a year off, Struve stepped his very big frame back into the octagon in September and lost via TKO to Alexander Volkov in a back and forth battle.

Arlovski broke his 5 fight losing streak in November when he defeated Junior Albini via unanimous decision. I know what you are thinking, 5 fight losing streak? How is this guy on a main card? How is he even still in the UFC?

But when you see his opponents in that stretch, Stipe Miocic, Alistair Overeem, Josh Barnett, Francis Ngannou, Marcin Tybura, you start to see how someone could lose 5 fights in a row and still be fighting at a high level.

Both of these guys are fighting to stay relevant in the heavyweight division, and they have both had struggles recently. Win or lose, these guys need to put on a show. I hate predicting a 1st Rd knockout, because that will almost guarantee that I will be wrong and the fight will be boring, but I am rooting for these guys, so I am going to go out on a limb, both guys are big, hit very hard and don't have the best chins in the division, this fight will be over quickly.

In this very shallow heavyweight division, a big night from one of them can put them right back in contention.

Prediction: Arlovski 1st Rd KO

Sean O'Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath (-145)

This fight has "Fight of the Night" written all over it! These guys were getting chippy when they squared off at media day, and I expect the same tonight at the ceremonial weigh-ins. Both are up-and-coming fighters, trying to make a name for themselves in an absolutely stacked bantamweight division. O'Malley is a fan favorite after a spectacular knockout victory on "Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series," and Soukhamthath made his UFC debut last March and somehow still fought 3 times before the end of 2017.

There is a lot of unknowns with these two newcomers in their first big fight on a pay-per-view main card but you can just look on YouTube to see how electric both of these fighters are in the ring. I expect a high pace, back and forth fight, with both of these guys showcasing their talent under the bright lights. I like O'Malley from what I have seen of him, and can't pick against a fellow Irishman, so it looks like I will continue my string of underdog picks thus far.

O'Malley 2nd Rd TKO

Frankie Edgar (-175) vs. Brian Ortega

Sometimes people don't realize how difficult it can be to take a fight on short notice, or to have your opponent changed midway through your training camp.

Your gameplan goes out the window, and you do your best with what you have in front of you. Both of these men will try to do that this Saturday.

It has to be challenging for Edgar to lose his opportunity to fight for the title, and then have to regroup and devise a whole new strategy for your fight. Max Holloway is an elite level striker, but Brian Ortega might be the best submission artist in the division, as evidenced by his last two outings where he won by submission against Renato Moicano and Cub Swanson.

Edgar will have his hands full, but this seems to be the exact situation that Edgar thrives in.

In May, he took on young phenom Yair Rodriguez and completely outclassed him until the UFC doctors stepped in to end the fight. Edgar is 36, and has over 30 professional fights under his belt, eventually the wear and tear will take effect, though, as father time is the toughest opponent of them all.

Even if Frankie Edgar had dedicated a full training camp to fighting Brian Ortega, it would have been a tough task. If he is able to win this weekend on short notice I will be thoroughly impressed, I just see Ortega's size and ground game being too much to overcome.

Prediction: Ortega TKO RD 3

Cris Cyborg (-1600) vs. Yana Kunitskaya

I promise that this is not a typo, Cris Cyborg is a -1600 favorite in her women's lightweight championship fight this weekend vs. Yana Kunitskaya. You can just watch Cybrog's most recent fight against Holly Holm and you can see why she is such a heavy favorite. Not only is Cris Cyborg destroying her opposition, women don't even want to fight her. Fighters have literally changed divisions or had sudden "injuries" to avoid having to stare across from her, locked inside the octagon. And for good reason, Cyborg is 13-1 in her professional fighting career, her lone loss came in her first fight where she was submitted in the first minute.

What is even more impressive, is of Cyborg's 13 wins, 11 of them have been knockouts, so we understand why anyone would find an excuse to not have to fight her, she is a terrifying human being.

Over the past two years, many fans have considered anyone that steps in the cage with Cris Cyborg as the "sacrificial lamb," but Kunitskaya doesn't plan on being the lamb, she asked for this fight. The Russian is the Women's Invicta FC Bantamweight Champion and she plans on making a name for herself this weekend and shocking the world.

If the UFC has taught us anything, its that those who seem to be invincible, never are.

We saw it with Anderson Silva losing to Weidman, and we saw Rousey lose to Holly Holm. If Cyborg does not show up ready to rock and roll, she may end up on this list the next time we think someone is invincible in the octagon.

While Kunitskaya shocking the world would be an amazing story, do I see it happening? I do not

Prediction: Cyborg 1st Rd TKO

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