Two title fights and a stacked card filled with name fighters, UFC 185 is exactly the kind of pay-per-view card UFC fans have been clamoring for. After a bit of a rocky start to 2015 this is also the kind of the UFC needs to get back on track.

On Saturday, March 14, 2015, the American Airlines Center in Dallas will be electric as the UFC’s most exciting champion, Anthony Pettis, steps into the Octagon looking to defend his title for the second time. Standing across from him will be Rafael dos Anjos; a fighter who has evolved from journeyman to contender with hours upon hours of blood, sweat and tears.

Also in action in the co-main event of the evening newly crowned women’s strawweight champion Carla Esparza puts her title on the line for the first time against #1 contender Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

On paper, UFC 185 has the potential to be one of the best cards of the year.

Chris Cariaso vs. Henry Cejudo

Kicking off the main card is a flyweight bout between Cariaso and Cejudo. Cariaso is looking to rebound from a loss suffered at the hands of flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. Cejudo on the other hand is looking to establish himself as a legitimate flyweight title contender.

Even though Cariaso is the more experienced and seasoned fighter heading into this bout, all the pressure is on Cejudo. The Olympic gold medalist is one of the most highly touted prospects in the sport, but he’s has several issues making 125. If Cejudo can come in on weight, he should be able to get past Cariaso.

Pick: Cejudo via Unanimous Decision

Roy Nelson vs. Alistair Overeem

The UFC’s heavyweight division might not be the deepest division in the sport, but there is just something fun about watching two big guys go at. When you consider the striking physical differences between Nelson and Overeem this matchup just becomes that much more interesting.

When you factor in height, reach, and technical striking brilliance, Overeem should when this bout going away. But Overeem struggles against fighters he should beat because he lets his guard down. Nelson may not have all the diverse striking tools, but he does have incredible knockout power in his right hand.

Pick: Nelson via first round KO

Johny Hendricks vs. Matt Brown

Keep your eye on this welterweight matchup between former champion Hendricks and Brown because it has the potential to epic. Both men are coming off of losses to Robbie Lawler and they are desperate for another shot at the newly crowned champion.

While Brown is a fighter you can sleep on he isn’t on the same level as Hendricks. Brown is going to push the pace and test Hendricks’ fitness level, but he doesn’t have the weapons to take the former champ out.

Pick: Hendricks via Unanimous Decision

Carla Esparza vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

This is Esparza’s opportunity to shine as she will be looking to defend her title for the first time. Jedrzejczyk is a worthy challenger who has the tools to really test Esparza on the feet. But Jedrzejczyk has never faced an opponent like Esparza.

Look for Esparza to take this fight to the mat and impose her will on the challenger. Jedrzeczyk will put up a good fight, but Esparza will eventually force her to make a mistake.

Pick: Esparza via third round Submission

Anthony Pettis vs. Rafael dos Anjos

Pettis is just one of those fighters you have to watch. Every time he steps into the cage you just know you are going to see something spectacular. His diverse striking game is simply a joy to watch. But don’t sleep on dos Anjos here.

While Pettis deserves to be the clear favorite heading into Saturday, dos Anjos is a live underdog. Dos Anjos is just a bad matchup for Pettis because of his methodical approach to the fight game. Dos Anjos is going to come forward and he is going to pressure Pettis, but he isn’t going to overcommit and leave himself open.

The key to this fight will be dos Anjos’ ability to land leg kicks. If he can land consistent leg kicks we will slow Pettis down and level the playing field.

Pick: dos Anjos via Unanimous Decision

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.