The UFC continues with the Fight Island festival this weekend as the Flyweight title will finally be won as Deiveson Figueiredo takes on Joseph Benavidez once again.
The two met in the main event back in February for the vacant title, but Figueiredo missed weight and then knocked Benavidez out – meaning the title remained without an owner.
Before that though, there will be 11 other fights that I will break down and see if I can predict accurately. The midweek card saw me correctly predict 6/11 winners correctly, with 4 of the 6 perfect (winner, round, method). Lets see if I can improve that tally this time around.
Carlos Felipe (8-0) vs Serghei Spivac (10-2) – (Heavyweight/220-265lbs)
Two young bucks face off in the opening fight of the night as the Brazilian knockout artist clashes with a Moldovan grappler. Spivac is currently 1-2 in the UFC after yo-yoing results with a win against Tai Tuivasa sandwiched in between losses to Walt Harris and Marcin Tybura. Felipe makes his UFC debut off the back of three first round wins in his last four fights, although the last of those came in 2017. Unless Felipe has gone to the well to develop new techniques in his three year absence, he is a straight up brawler. He throws powerful hooks and kicks and hopes for the knockout. Spivac has genuine grappling skills and should be able to secure a takedown earlier and get the submission win.
PICK – Serghei Spivac via Submission, Round 1
David Ramos (10-3) vs Arman Tsarukyan (14-2) – (Lightweight/155lbs)
Both fighter’s most recent losses came against Islam Makachev but that’s where the similarities end between these two fighters. Ramos is a strong wrestler who uses his striking to try to secure takedowns, while Tsarukyan is a striker who swings with power in the knowledge that he is more than comfortable on the ground. Between them, they have 12 submission wins and neither will be keen to take it to the ground. With Tsarukyan the more well polished striker of the two, I think the Armenian wins by way of decision after out-landing the Brazilian.
PICK – Arman Tsarukyan via Unanimous Decision
Malcolm Gordon (12-3) vs Amir Albazi (12-1) – (Flyweight/125lbs)
A fight that involves two fighters not originally scheduled for this card should be a fun encounter between two good, technical strikers. Gordon is a good puncher, but has often had trouble against strong wrestlers who can throw good strikes. That perfectly describes Amir Albazi. The Swede throws good combinations and has excellent takedowns and while Gordon is good off his back you’d be crazy to bet on anyone winning from their back if their name isn’t Tony Ferguson. Albazi doesn’t have great head movement which will give Gordon openings to attack but if Albazi can get the takedowns, which I expect he will, he should be able to grind out a win.
PICK – Amir Albazi via Unanimous Decision
Brett Johns (16-2) vs Montel Jackson (9-1) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)
After winning his first three UFC fights, Brett Johns fell to the Bantamweight elites in Aljamain Sterling and Pedro Munhoz in back-to-back losses. He bounced back most recently with another win over Tony Graveley but this fight looks tough for him. Jackson stands three inches taller with a four inch reach advantage, while possessing powerful strikes and excellent wrestling. Johns is a tough cookie and will try his best to get on the inside to exchange, but Jackson is likely to be too much for him. In Jackson’s last two scraps he’s tired in the third round, especially when he punched himself out looking for the finish against Felipe Colares. If Johns is still in the fight at that point he may need a finish, but I expect Jackson will have done enough to secure a decision win by that point.
PICK – Montel Jackson via Unanimous Decision
Joe Duffy (16-4) vs Joel Alvarez (16-2) – (Lightweight/155lbs)
Widely known as the man who last beat Conor McGregor before his incredible UFC run, Joe Duffy comes into this fight on a two-fight losing run having been beaten by James Vick and Mark Diakese most recently. He takes on Joel Alvarez who is 1-1 in the UFC and is a fighter who leans heavily on his grappling skills. The issue with that though, is his wrestling is awful. Without any ability to get this fight to the ground without Duffy taking it there first, the Irishman should completely outbox Alvarez to end his losing run and get back to winning ways.
PICK – Joe Duffy via Unanimous Decision
Grant Dawson (15-1) vs Nad Narimani (12-3) – (Catchweight/150lbs)
“KGD” looks to make it 7 wins in a row when he takes on the UK’s Nad Narimani this weekend. Narimani is most known for his win over Cage Warriors star Paddy Pimblett to win the featherweight title but this fight will be tough for him to win. Dawson is an excellent wrestler and does what he’s good at constantly. He will strike to enter the clinch, then get the takedown and go for the submission. Narimani is a good striker himself but is a bit of a jack of all trades, but master of none type fighter. Dawson is the naturally bigger man and will have the advantage in most places. He’s said in the build-up to this fight that he will win the fight by submission in the second round, and I’m inclined to believe him.
PICK – Grant Dawson via Submission, Round 2
Roman Dolidze (6-0) vs Khadis Ibragimov (8-2) – (Light Heavyweight/205lbs)
Dolidze makes his UFC debut on Fight Island up against Ibragimov who is currently 0-2 in the UFC. Dolidze is a decent boxer but a previous grappling champion on the regional scene. He hasn’t fought since 2018 due to several injuries and a USADA suspension for taking banned substances but his last two fights ended with knockout victories. Ibragimov on the other hand is a very strange one. He is a world class judo fighter but has spent his entire UFC career brawling and punching himself out in the first round. The fact he repeated that strategy after it failed him miserably in his first fight makes me think it will happen again and Dolidze will be ready to pounce. He has the power to knock him out but if Ibragimov decides to do what he’s good at, the Georgian is good enough on the ground to hold his own.
PICK – Roman Dolidze via Submission, Round 1