UFC Fight Island 5: Moraes vs Sandhagen – Prelims Predictions

The UFC returns to Fight Island for part three of their five part series this time around and it’s a bantamweight clash that headlines this one.

Marlon Moraes looks to get back into title contention following his win over controversial win over Jose Aldo last year when he takes on Cory Sandhagen who tries to bounce back from his defeat to Aljamain Sterling back in June.

It’s a full card this weekend with 13 fights scheduled so we’re going to split it into three once again and look to break down each fight and predict how they all go. I’ve already predicted the early prelims of the card here.

Last weekend we secured 7/11 correct picks with four perfect picks (winner, method, round) so we’ll look to carry on the good run with this card.

PRELIMS

Ali AlQaisi (8-4) vs Tony Kelley (6-2) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

After a five-fight win streak to enter the UFC, Ali AlQaisi dropped a decision in his UFC debut back in August against Irwin Rivera. Kelley made his UFC debut in August also, following a win after a three year layoff. He took on Kai Kamaka III and was also beaten via decision, but that bout came at featherweight. With a cut down to bantamweight, the big question mark for this fight is whether or not his gas tank holds up. Other than that, Kelley outclasses AlQaisi in every aspect of the fight so if the weight cut goes well I expect a comfortable victory for the Team AlphaMale fighter.
PICK – Tony Kelley via Unanimous Decision

Impa Kasangnay (8-0) vs Joaquin Buckley (10-3) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

Two Contender Series products coming off quick turnarounds of differing fortunes from their UFC debuts. Kasanganay fought Maki Pitolo just two weeks after his win on the Contender Series and outclassed his opponent to a decision win on his debut. Buckley didn’t have such luck, taking on Kevin Holland just a week after his Contender Series win but suffering a knockout loss in the third round. It’s an interesting bout because of these guys have explosive power and good movement, but Kasanganay just has a bit more to his game. He’s got the length advantage and a great jab and he’s a naturally bigger guy too with Buckley fighting a lot of his career at 170lbs. Overall it will be a fun watch but I’m backing Kasanganay to take the decision.
PICK – Impa Kasanganay via Unanimous Decision

Rodrigo Nascimento (8-0) vs Chris Daukaus (9-3) – (Heavyweight/220-265lbs)

Right, fireworks time. The big boys face off in this bout as Chris Daukaus returns to the octagon following his knockout win back at UFC 252 against Parker Porter, while Rodrigo Nascimento also looks for back-to-back wins following his submission win against Don’Tale Mayes in May. Daukaus is a mobile boxer, despite his physique, and has tremendous hand speed to go with his power. Nascimento though, is a stud grappler who can throw hands and has a chin too. If the fight stays on the feet, Daukaus has the advantage but the likelihood is that it won’t stay there for long enough for that to matter. Nascimento will use his striking to get close enough for a takedown and eventually get the submission win to move to 9-0.
PICK – Rodrigo Nascimento via Submission, Round 2

Tom Breese (11-2) vs K.B Bhullar (8-0) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

A fight that was supposed to take place last weekend but due to short notice got moved, prospect Tom Breese takes on would-be Contender Series fighter K.B Bhullar who jumped the queue and got a contract without having to appear on the show. Breese was 7-0 when he joined the UFC and won his first three in a row, before a decision loss to Sean Strickland. He bounced back from that with a knockout win over Daniel Kelly but then fell again, this time to Brendan Allen with a first round knockout. Bhullar is an unorthodox striker who is well-rounded enough to be considered a viable threat wherever the fight goes. His issue is that he hasn’t fought anyone of the level of Tom Breese. On the feet I think Breese has the advantage and on the ground they’re likely to be pretty equal. I’ll be honest and say I’ve not seen nearly enough of Bullar to put him up against Breese and for that reason the Brit gets the nod for me.
PICK – Tom Breese via Unanimous Decision

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