Category Archives: Fight Predictions

Fight Predictions

UFC Vegas 68: Lewis vs Spivac – Main card predictions

The UFC returns to the Apex in Las Vegas this weekend as heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Serghei Spivac headline another card.

After their initial fight back in November fell out on fight night when “The Black Beast” suffered illness and was forced to pull out, they’re now going back to the well to finally settle their score in the Octagon.

This card will also see the finale of the Road to UFC tournament too, so there are plenty of new faces to take notice of during the card too.

Last time out at UFC 283 it was a great night of fights, where we managed to go 10/15 with our picks with three perfect picks, moving us to 823/1277 (64.45%) with 336 perfect picks (40.83%). You can see our full pick history here.

We’ll look to improve on that here and after starting with the early prelims on the card and then moving on to the rest of the prelims here, we finish up with the main card picks here.


Yusaku Kinoshita (6-1) vs Adam Fugitt (8-3) – (Welterweight/170lbs)

Main card bangers up next. Kinoshita makes his UFC debut on a two-fight win streak, including a KO on the Contender Series most recently back in August. He’ll face Fugitt, one of 3 Americans on this card, who lost his UFC debut at UFC 277 on nine days’ notice when he got KO’d in the 3rd round by Michael Morales.

Kinoshita is a super prospect being compared to Conor McGregor for his style, with fantastic counter-striking and great power and accuracy. Fugitt is a striker too with some excellent kicking and a nice left hand too. Fugitt is quite slow and stiff despite his striking pedigree, and the hand speed and activity of Kinoshita is likely to be a big advantage for him.

Fugitt has got wrestling in his back pocket too, but it’s unlikely that he goes for too many grappling attempts because it’s not his natural game plan. Kinoshita has power, speed and a great array of striking weapons, plus his age and energy should see him claim a big win on his UFC debut.
PICK – Yusaku Kinoshita via Knockout, Round 2

Dooho Choi (14-4) vs Kyle Nelson (13-5) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

Someone’s losing streak needs to end in this one. Choi has lost each of his last three fights in the UFC, dropping a decision to Cub Swanson in 2016 and then being KO’d by Jeremy Stephens and Charles Jourdain. This is his first fight since December 2019. Nelson on the other hand has lost his last two, getting stopped by Billy Quarantillo before dropping a decision to Jai Herbert most recently at UFC London in July 2022.

Choi is an excellent striker with great power and speed in his arsenal, while his grappling skills have been more than good enough to compete at the top level. Nelson is a wrestler who looks to get control of his opponents against the cage before putting them on the mat and landing damage. The problem with this fight is that Choi has been out injured for the last three years with a torn ACL, a broken arm and eye issues. He is not the fighter that he once was.

If Choi is capable of reaching even 80% of what he used to be able to, then he should win this fight. But after so long away with so many injuries, and the fact he was on the decline before that anyway, I expect Nelson should be able to grind him out and out-work Choi for a decision win.
PICK – Kyle Nelson via Decision

Marcin Tybura (23-7) vs Blagoy Ivanov (19-4) – (Heavyweight/220-265lbs)

Heavyweight banger up next. Tybura is on a run of six wins in his last seven fights, with a defeat to Alex Volkov the only blip. He bounced back with a majority decision win over Alexander Romanov most recently at UFC 278. Ivanov lost two in a row against Derrick Lewis and Augusto Sakai, but got back into the win column with a win over Marcos Rogerio de Lima at UFC 274.

Tybura is a very, very good heavyweight even if he is not the most exciting. He has got some really good leg kicks and grappling, while also having good power in his hands too. It’s the wrestling that has been the most impressive though, controlling opponents with ease. Ivanov is a decorated grappler, but he almost never uses it in the UFC and instead chooses to strike from distance hence his shaky record. He’s got good power, but lacks any urgency.

It would be a real shock to me if Ivanov wins this. Tybura is at his best when a fight is boring, meaning he is in total control of the cage and his opponent. The best way to break away from that is for Ivanov to try and grapple, but he’s never done that in the UFC and expecting him to start that at 36 years old is unlikely. Tybura will use leg kicks at distance and wrestle enough to earn a decision win in the longest 15 minutes of the night.
PICK – Marcin Tybura via Decision



Da-Un Jung (15-3-1) vs Devin Clark (13-7) – (Light Heavyweight/205lbs)

An interesting light heavyweight scrap up next. Jung was 14-0-1 in his last 15 fights before he came up against Dustin Jacoby back in July and got KO’d in the first round to snap that streak. Clark has lost three of his last four alternatively, with a win over William Knight coming between defeats to Anthony Smith, Ion Cutelaba and Azamat Murzakanov most recently.

Jung is a very good wrestler with lots of top pressure, great cardio and some excellent elbows – just ask Kennedy Nzechukwu. He’s also a powerful striker but technically he isn’t the greatest. Clark is a wrestler, pure and simple. He’s a strong grappler with decent ground and pound skills, but his striking on the feet is very poor considering how high he’s managed to climb in the rankings previously.

Clark will look to wrestle and control from top position, but Jung has got far more avenues to win here. He’s got the better boxing, has excellent takedown defence and is capable pushing the pace for the full 15 minutes too, so it would be somewhat of a surprise if he doesn’t begin to overwhelm Clark at some point in the latter rounds.
PICK – Da Un Jung via Decision

Derrick Lewis (26-10) vs Serghei Spivac (15-3) – (Heavyweight/220-265lbs)

Heavyweights step up in the main event of this one as they look to put together a run for a potential title run in 2023. Lewis has lost three of his last four, getting KO’d by Ciryl Gane (UFC 265), Tai Tuivasa (UFC 271) and Sergei Pavlovich (UFC 277), with a KO win of his own against Chris Daukaus coming in the middle of that. Spivac on the other hand has won his last two after defeat to Tom Aspinall, KO’ing Greg Hardy at UFC 272 before a KO win against Augusto Sakai most recently in August.

Lewis is the scariest puncher in UFC history, with the record for the most knockout wins in the organisation’s history. He has also got much improved takedown defence in recent years, although his chin isn’t great and his cardio still lets him down at times. Spivac is a grappler who looks to wrestle and use his size to wear on his opponents although his striking has been improving in recent bouts, but he will almost certainly reset to default here.

The blueprint to beat Lewis has been there for years – take him down or overwhelm him with volume. Spivac is capable of doing both of those things, but he’s never fought someone who can put his lights out with one punch like Lewis can. He will know that Spivac wants to take him down and much like when he fought Curtis Blaydes, he will be loading up that uppercut. He’s never fought a five-round bout before and while I wouldn’t be surprised to see Spivac just wrestle and grapple for 25 minutes, I think Lewis gets back in the win column with a nasty knockout early on.
PICK – Derrick Lewis via Knockout, Round 2

UFC Vegas 68: Lewis vs Spivac – Prelims predictions

The UFC returns to the Apex in Las Vegas this weekend as heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Serghei Spivac headline another card.

After their initial fight back in November fell out on fight night when “The Black Beast” suffered illness and was forced to pull out, they’re now going back to the well to finally settle their score in the Octagon.

This card will also see the finale of the Road to UFC tournament too, so there are plenty of new faces to take notice of during the card too.

Last time out at UFC 283 it was a great night of fights, where we managed to go 10/15 with our picks with three perfect picks, moving us to 823/1277 (64.45%) with 336 perfect picks (40.83%). You can see our full pick history here.

We’ll look to improve on that here and after starting with the early prelims on the card, we move on to the rest of the prelims here.


SeungGuk Choi (6-1) vs HyunSung Park (7-0) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

The first Road to UFC finale bout comes in the flyweight division. Choi is on a five-fight win streak with two KO’s and three decisions, including against Lun Qiu in the semi-final of this competition. Park on the other hand is undefeated with six of his seven victories coming via stoppage (3 KO, 3 submissions), including a first-round RNC in the semi-final bout.

Choi is a solid striker in the standing realm of a fight, but he impressed more with his wrestling last time out because he was struggling against the southpaw. Park on the other hand looked very comfortable when he was striking, and has previously shown some great grappling chops of his own both defensively and offensively.

There seems to be a pretty clear gap between these two based off what we have seen so far. Park is a powerful counter striker that should see him land cleanly regularly, and Choi won’t be able to lean on his wrestling to bail himself out of it again due to Park’s abilities there too. They’ll both be going all out, and that should lead to an exciting fight that Park edges out.
PICK – HyunSung Park via Decision

Toshiomi Kazama (10-2) vs Rinya Nakamura (6-0) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

Bantamweight finale up next. Kazama has won ten of his last 11 bouts, with the most recent coming via a dominant decision win in the semi-final bout. Nakamura on the other hand is an undefeated fighter with five finish wins from his six career bouts, including four knockouts.

Kazama is a very fun grappler with phenomenal wrestling and excellent submission skills, with 50% of his career wins coming via tap out. But he’ll be coming up against Nakamura who is an absolute powerhouse with tremendous striking and excellent wrestling to boot. If the two fighters engage in a grappling bout then it will be really interesting to see how they compare.

But on the feet it isn’t really close and Nakamura has the ability to march forwards and really hurt Kazama with his more complete boxing skill and powerful hands. He has the advantage everywhere this goes and he’ll be looking to make a statement, so Nakamura should win this at a canter.
PICK – Rinya Nakamura via Knockout, Round 1



JeongYeong Lee (9-1) vs Yi Zha (21-3) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

Moving on up to the featherweight finale now. Lee is on a six-fight win streak, with two knockouts and one submission in a combined 88 seconds across his last three fights. Zha on the other hand has won his last three fights too, with two submissions followed by a split decision in the semi-final bout most recently.

Lee is a powerhouse of a finisher as his quality wins recently have shown, with his massive counter right-hand a weapon of mass destruction. He’ll come up against Zha in this one, who is more of a grinder with his grappling and then starts to fish for submissions and work ground and pound too. If Zha wants to win this, he must be at his absolute best to grind Lee out and completely nullify the power.

The chances of doing that for 15 minutes seem highly unlikely, especially with how well Lee starts fights. Expect a relatively slow start as they size each other up, before Lee decides to gun him and puts his lights out with a big right hand.
PICK – JeongYeong Lee via Knockout, Round 1

Jeka Saragih (13-2) vs Anshul Jubli (6-0) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

Lightweight finale finally between two excellent prospects is the featured prelim of the card. Saragih is on a five-fight win streak with four finishes, including two knockouts in this tournament so far. Jubli on the other hand is an undefeated fighter in his career, with four dominant decisions and two first-round finishes (1 submission, 1 knockout).

Saragih is an aggressive fighter who looks to push forward and overwhelm his opponent with great volume and movement before really planting his feet with his strikes to put people away. Jubli on the other hand is a patient striker with great power, who tends to use his usual size advantage to his credit considering he stands at 6ft tall weighing in at 155-pounds. Saragih will look to push and cause Jubli problems by constantly attacking and not allowing him to settle.

Jubli tends to be quite stationary anyway, but when Saragih starts to land his excellent leg kicks that’s going to make it even more obvious that he doesn’t move much. Jubli is the heavier puncher of the two and if he lands clean then he could get the win, but Saragih is going to be there for the whole 15 minutes if that doesn’t happen. Jubli looks as though he struggles when the fight goes on, so the activity of Saragih could claim him a surprise win.
PICK – Jeka Saragih via Decision

UFC Vegas 68: Lewis vs Spivac – Early prelims predictions

The UFC returns to the Apex in Las Vegas this weekend as heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Serghei Spivac headline another card.

After their initial fight back in November fell out on fight night when “The Black Beast” suffered illness and was forced to pull out, they’re now going back to the well to finally settle their score in the Octagon.

This card will also see the finale of the Road to UFC tournament too, so there are plenty of new faces to take notice of during the card too.

Last time out at UFC 283 it was a great night of fights, where we managed to go 10/15 with our picks with three perfect picks, moving us to 823/1277 (64.45%) with 336 perfect picks (40.83%). You can see our full pick history here.

We’ll look to improve on that here, starting with the early prelims on the card.


Tatsuro Taira (12-0) vs Jesus Aguilar (8-1) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

A banger at flyweight opens up the card. Taira is an undefeated fighter and one of the biggest prospects on the roster, having gone 2-0 in the UFC so far with a win over Carlos Candelario and a submission over CJ Vergara most recently. Aguilar makes his UFC debut after earning a contract on the Contender Series via submission win against Erisson Ferreira da Silva.

Taira is a very well-rounded fighter, with excellent striking on the feet and some brilliant grappling and submission skills too. He doesn’t have the greatest power in the world, but his solid ability to fight at range makes him hard to beat. It’s a big problem for Aguilar, who is decent at everything but considerably behind Taira in every facet of the game.

If Aguilar wins he will land a hail Mary strike out of nowhere or catch Taira in a guillotine on the way down from a takedown. Outside of that, Taira is likely to completely dominate this fight wherever it goes and he should be able to work enough damage to snatch a neck on the mat and claim another win.
PICK – Tatsuro Taira via Submission, Round 1

Junyong Park (15-5) vs Denis Tiuliulin (11-6) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

Middleweight scrap up next. Park is on a two-fight win streak after a decision over Eryk Anders before a submission win against Joseph Holmes most recently back in October. Tiuliulin is 2-2 in his last four, with a TKO win over Jamie Pickett most recently back at UFC 279.

Park is a fighter who relies heavily on his excellent cardio and his relentless takedown skills, and that will come in very handy here. Tiuliulin is a powerful striker with good kicks, but his grappling is relatively poor and he struggles to keep fighters off him or get back to his feet if he does get taken down. This seems like a pretty straight up match up for Park to navigate.

Expect him to use that pressure to force Tiuliulin backwards where he can’t use that striking, and eventually take him to the mat where he will overwhelm him with ground and pound before sinking in a choke and claiming the win.
PICK – Jun Yong Park via Submission, Round 2



Ji Yeon Kim (9-6-2) vs Mandy Bohm (7-2) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

A women’s flyweight scrap up next between two women without a win in a long time. Kim has lost her last four in a row, dropping decisions to all of Alexa Grasso, Molly McCann, Priscila Cachoeira and Joselyne Edwards. Her last win came back in 2019. Bohm on the other hand has lost her last two against Ariane Lipski and Victoria Leonardo, with her last win coming in Bellator in 2020.

Kim is a high volume fighter, constantly being busy in the cage even if she isn’t actually doing much damage to her opponent. Bohm on the other hand has all the tools to do lots of damage, but rarely uses them as she fights with such a slow output and still struggles with her cardio. The early exchanges could be close, but the more the fight goes on the more likely it is that Kim takes over with her work rate.

Expect “Fire Fist” to push forward, attack the body and mix in her wrestling with her striking to really make Bohm think, and do enough down the stretch to claim a relatively comfortable decision.
PICK – Ji Yeon Kim via Decision

UFC 283: Teixeira vs Hill – Main card predictions

The UFC returns to Brazil for the first time since the first event without a crowd pre-Covid, for a double-title fight card at UFC 283.

In the main event is the short-notice light heavyweight title fight between Glover Teixeira and Jamahal Hill, after the UFC 282 main event between Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev ended in a draw.

The co-main event will see Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno compete in a fourth bout against each other for the flyweight title, having gone 1-1-1 in their previous trilogy.

Last time out at UFC Vegas 67 we had a great night, going 9/11 with two perfect picks moving us to 813/1262 (64.42%) with 333 perfect picks (40.96%). You can see our full pick history here.

We’ll look to improve on that here and after starting with the early prelims fights and then rounding up the prelims section of the card here, we move on to the main card now.


Paul Craig (16-5) vs Johnny Walker (19-7) – (Light Heavyweight/205lbs)

An absolutely crazy fight at 205-pounds opens up the main card here. Craig is a submission specialist who was on a four-fight winning streak of finishes, before Volkan Oezdemir managed to halt that with a decision win at UFC London in July. Walker is a crazy knockout artist who lost three in a row before stepping into the cage with Ion Cutelaba last time out, where he claimed a first-round submission win.

Craig is a powerhouse of a grappler and one of the best submissions artists in the entire UFC. He is an okay striker, but he’s one of the few fighters who is happy to pull guard and give up position to start working his active guard. Walker is a one-punch killer with his striking, but he also has good grappling skills as shown in his last outing.

This is going to be absolutely wild for as long as it lasts. If it hits the ground for an extended period of time then you can’t rule Craig out of getting the finish. Walker will fancy his chances on the feet and even on the ground if he stays alert. Craig has shown me up plenty of times in the past, but I just expect Walker to be able to stay safe to avoid grappling exchanges and land heavy enough shots to claim the win.
PICK – Johnny Walker via Decision

Lauren Murphy (16-5) vs Jessica Andrade (23-9) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

An interesting flyweight scrap at the top of the division. Murphy was dominated in her title fight against Valentina Shevchenko, but bounced back with a dominant win of her own against Miesha Tate last time out. Andrade has won her last two since her own title fight defeat to Shevchenko, KO’ing Cynthia Calvillo and then submitting Amanda Lemos with a standing arm-triangle choke.

Murphy is a solid wrestler who looks to chain her takedown attempts together and grind her opponents out against the cage, while Andrade is a powerhouse of a striker who is also a really good grappler. There is an argument that Andrade is the most complete women’s fighter after the three champions, and this looks like another fight where she should win more often than not.

Andrade is the better grappler, by far the better striker and her cardio has never let her down. There is a big size discrepancy again, which Murphy will almost certainly try to take advantage of, but it’ll be hard. If she gets the fight down she’ll struggle to keep it there, and on the feet she risks being KO’d. Back the Brazilian to get it done.
PICK – Jessica Andrade via Knockout, Round 2

Gilbert Burns (20-5) vs Neil Magny (27-10) – (Welterweight/170lbs)

A big welterweight scrap up next in the final bout before we get to the titles. Burns has lost two of his last three, losing in a title fight against Kamaru Usman before dropping a razor close decision to Khamzat Chimaev last time out. He beat Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson between those. Magny on the other hand has won three of his last four, bouncing back from defeat to Shavkat Rakhmonov to submit Daniel Rodriguez in his last outing.

Burns is a complete fighter. He has got scary knockout power on the feet and super heavy kicks, while he’s one of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners in the UFC and excellent wrestling too. Magny on the other hand is a wrestling specialist who looks to overwhelm his opponents, while also using his range to strike when necessary. This is a very intriguing bout, but one that Burns should be able to win without too much trouble.

“Durinho” is by far the better fighter on the feet, with a great finishing instinct and the cardio to be able to push hard for the full fight as shown against Chimaev. There is also an argument that he is a better and more effective wrestler, but even if he isn’t he’s still incredibly dangerous on the ground when on his back because of his active guard. Burns should control this wherever it goes, and I think he could work his ground game to get a choke after a dominant display.
PICK – Gilbert Burns via Submission, Round 2



Deiveson Figueiredo (21-2-1) vs Brandon Moreno (20-6-2) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

The greatest flyweight rivalry in MMA history, never mind UFC history. Figueiredo and Moreno have gone 1-1-1 in their trilogy, which makes up each of Figueiredo’s last three fights. Moreno claimed a KO win over Kai Kara France most recently to become interim champion and set up this quadrilogy bout.

Figueiredo is the scariest puncher in the 125-pound division, with otherworldly power to go along with his excellent jiu-jitsu skills that saw him submit Joseph Benavidez to win the belt initially. Moreno is also incredibly well-rounded with excellent striking to go with his own submission game as well as his fantastic scrambles to get up on his feet.

This fight is impossible to pick. I picked Figueiredo the first time when he won three of five rounds but had a point deducted for a low blow, and then picked incorrectly in the second and third fights, so bear that in mind. But I think it’s Moreno’s time. He got the finish in the second bout, and the third was extremely close, plus he’s fought more recently and doesn’t struggle with the weight cut nearly as much. Expect another 25 minute war, and the Mexican to claim victory on enemy territory.
PICK – Brandon Moreno via Decision

Glover Teixeira (33-8) vs Jamahal Hill (11-1) – (Light Heavyweight/205lbs)

A super strange light heavyweight title fight up next as the main event of this card. Teixeira won the title by submitting Jan Blachowicz, but then lost it in his first defence against Jiri Prochazka. He was supposed to fight Prochazka again at UFC 282, before the Czech figher got injured and withdrew. Hill has won his last three in a row, all by knockout, but was preparing for Anthony Smith in March until that night in December where he got the call.

Teixeira is a fantastic boxer with brilliant power and combinations, while he is also among the best grapplers in the division with his brilliant submission game. Hill is a knockout artist with incredible one-punch power, but he is also a jiu-jitsu black belt although he tends to very rarely use that. If this is on the feet, that is where Hill has his best chance to win. He’s so powerful that one punch can alter the fight, and Teixeira is now 43 yers old.

But the Brazilian took all of Prochazka’s best shots, and I believe Prochazka would dominate Hill. He also controlled Blachowicz with ease, and I believe Blachowicz is better than Hill too. So it would be a huge surprise if Teixeira didn’t step forward with pressure, land an early takedown and put a beating on Hill to become a two-time UFC champion in his home country.
PICK – Glover Teixeira via Submission, Round 2

UFC 283: Teixeira vs Hill – Prelims predictions

The UFC returns to Brazil for the first time since the first event without a crowd pre-Covid, for a double-title fight card at UFC 283.

In the main event is the short-notice light heavyweight title fight between Glover Teixeira and Jamahal Hill, after the UFC 282 main event between Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev ended in a draw.

The co-main event will see Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno compete in a fourth bout against each other for the flyweight title, having gone 1-1-1 in their previous trilogy.

Last time out at UFC Vegas 67 we had a great night, going 9/11 with two perfect picks moving us to 813/1262 (64.42%) with 333 perfect picks (40.96%). You can see our full pick history here.

We’ll look to improve on that here and after starting with the early prelims fights, we round up the prelims section of the card here.


Shamil Abdurakhimov (20-7) vs Jailton Almeida (17-2) – (Heavyweight/220-265lbs)

Big heavyweight scrap up next between a veteran and one of the hottest prospects in the division. Abdurakhimov has lost three in a row and is winless since 2019, being KO’d by Curtis Blaydes, Chris Daukaus and Sergei Pavlovich. Almeida is on a 12-fight win streak, finishing all three of his UFC bouts in the first round.

Abdurakhimov is a decent grappler with decent power in his hands too, but at 41-years-old he is into the twilight of his career. Almeida is one of the most devastating jiu-jitsu practitioners among the big men in the world, who also has good power in his hands. His wrestling is sensational and his cardio is very good too, meaning he can be relentless with his pressure for as long as the fight lasts.

A win for Almeida here gets him ranked, and it’s likely to be the most one-sided fight on the card. Almeida will shoot to take down Abdurakhimov almost immediately, wrap the legs up and force him to give up his back. From there he will either choke him or pound him until the referee steps in, so expect a quick finish in this one.
PICK – Jailton Almeida via Submission, Round 1

Gabriel Bonfim (13-0) vs Mounir Lazzez (11-2) – (Welterweight/170lbs)

A very interesting 170-pound bout up next. Bonfim is the younger brother on the card and comes into this fight as an undefeated fighter, with 10 submissions on his record professionally. Lazzez has won four of his last five, with his only loss coming to Warlley Alves in January 2021. He earned a decision win over Ange Loosa most recently in April 2022.

Bonfim is a terrific boxer, with fantastic power, speed and a lightning jab to go along with his excellent jiu-jitsu and submission skills. Lazzez is a really well-rounded fighter with good volume and cardio, although his power isn’t the best in the division. Bonfim is great offensively, but defensively he leaves a lot of holes that “Sniper” can take advantage of if given the opportunity.

Lazzez is probably a less rounded package than Bonfim, but he has got a great heart and resilience to keep pushing forward as the fight goes on. With that said, having the home crowd in his favour and having an edge in offensive striking and wrestling should be enough for Bonfim to get the win on the night.
PICK – Gabriel Bonfim via Decision

Thiago Moises (16-6) vs Melquizael Costa (19-5) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

A short-notice lightweight bout up next. Moises snapped a two-fight losing streak when he earned a first-round submission for Christos Giagos last time out, while Costa has won his last two in a row via knockout, with the most recent coming in November 2022 in the LFA.

Moises is an excellent wrestler and grappler, with fantastic jiu-jitsu skills allowing him the chance to secure seven submission wins in his career to date. Costa is a powerful striker with great speed and technique, and he has an excellent ability to get back to his feet in grappling exchanges. It’s clear as day though, that he has never faced a grappler the level of Moises.

This is a lucky break for Moises, because he likely would have lost the initial match-up against Guram Kutateladze. But in this one he has the skillset to be able to hold Costa down regularly and for long periods while doing damage, using his experience and quality to get the win in an all-Brazilian affair.
PICK – Thiago Moises via Submission, Round 2



Gregory Rodrigues (13-4) vs Brunno Ferreira (9-0) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

Robocop returns in this middleweight scrap against a UFC newcomer on short notice. Rodrigues has won his last two in a row, knocking out both Julian Marquez and Chidi Njokuani in his most recent bout. Ferreira earned a UFC contract with a 95-second KO over Leon Aliu on the Contender Series back in September.

Rodrigues is a really interesting fighter, who has a strange habit of fighting to the level of his opponent and just trying to cause as much damage as possible. Ferreira has a similar style who looks to cause chaos, but he’s never fought at this level before. Rodrigues’ jiu-jitsu pedigree is something that you’d expect him to lean on more often than not, but he just never does.

With Ferreira having an incredible ability to explode and put people out, that makes this a really interesting fight. He has the speed advantage and Rodrigues has been wobbled and hit clean on several occasions in the UFC. With that said, his chin has held up so far to this point and this seems like a big jump for Ferreira, especially on short-notice. Great fight, but Rodrigues gets it done in one.
PICK – Gregory Rodrigues via Knockout, Round 1

Mauricio Rua (21-13-1) vs Ihor Potieria (19-3) – (Light Heavyweight/205lbs)

Legendary Brazilian gets back into the cage at home in this one. “Shogun” has lost his last two, tapping to strikes against Paul Craig before a split decision loss to Ovince St-Preux last time out. Potieria suffered a KO defeat in his last out, his UFC debut, against Nicolae Negumereanu, and is looking for his first win in the company.

Rua is a great grappler, but he has been outside of his prime for the best part of five years now and has trouble getting the bout anywhere near where his strengths lie. Potieria isn’t the greatest fighter in the world, but 15 years younger than Rua and far stronger physically to go with his nasty knockout power and this looks like a nasty send off for “Shogun” in his final bout.

Potieria has got some nasty boxing combinations and is physically strong enough to keep Rua off him and avoid any extended grappling exchanges. Expect a fast start from the Ukrainian and a couple of big shots get this done early on.
PICK – Ihor Potieria via Knockout, Round 1

UFC 283: Teixeira vs Hill – Early prelims predictions

The UFC returns to Brazil for the first time since the first event without a crowd pre-Covid, for a double-title fight card at UFC 283.

In the main event is the short-notice light heavyweight title fight between Glover Teixeira and Jamahal Hill, after the UFC 282 main event between Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev ended in a draw.

The co-main event will see Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno compete in a fourth bout against each other for the flyweight title, having gone 1-1-1 in their previous trilogy.

Last time out at UFC Vegas 67 we had a great night, going 9/11 with two perfect picks moving us to 813/1262 (64.42%) with 333 perfect picks (40.96%). You can see our full pick history here.

We’ll look to improve on that here, starting with the early prelims fights.


Saimon Oliveira (18-4) vs Daniel Marcos (13-0) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

An absolute banger to open up the card in Brazil in the bantamweight division. Oliveira comes into this one on a run of five wins in his last six, but he was beaten by Tony Gravely in his UFC debut at UFC 270 last time out. Marcos comes into this as an undefeated fighter and makes his organisation debut.

Both of these fighters are very talented Muay Thai guys, with great power and technical proficiency in their wheelhouse. Oliveira is the far more experienced fighter of the two though, and he has fought much higher level of competition also. Marcos has previously shown some cardio issues, and with Oliveira’s excellent submission game that could be a problem for him in the latter rounds.

I expect both guys to stand in the middle and trade for the most part, but when things get sticky and close, Oliveira has the ability to wrestle to a higher level and snatch rounds. Expect violence and a really fun 15 minutes, but Oliveira to come out on top in the end.
PICK – Saimon Oliveira via Decision

Josiane Nunes (9-1) vs Zarah Fairn (6-4) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

Women’s featherweight scrap up next. Nunes is on an eight-fight win streak, with her only defeat coming to Taila Santos back in her second pro fight in 2013. She claimed a big win over Ramona Pascual last time out. Fairn on the other hand has had a tough time in the UFC so far, getting stopped in the first round in both bouts against Megan Anderson and Felicia Spencer. This is her first fight in almost three years.

Nunes isn’t the most exciting or technical fighter in the world, with a big overhand left her biggest weapon. Fair is absolutely huge for a female fighter, but she lacks any real skills despite her okay boxing showings outside of the UFC. She has a huge size advantage here, but she will have to show a level of discipline and skill we haven’t seen before to win.

“Josi” is likely to step forward quickly to get into range and let off a barrage of strikes, with at least one of those likely to land clean. If it does then I expect Fairn will wilt and Nunes can get her out of there.
PICK – Josiane Nunes via Knockout, Round 1

Warlley Alves (15-5) vs Nicolas Dalby (20-4-1) – (Welterweight/170lbs)

Absolute banger in the welterweight division next. Alves is 3-3 in his last six, with a KO loss to Jeremiah Wells in his last outing in June 2021. Dalby on the other hand has lost just one of his last nine, to Tim Means on that same card. He claimed a win more recently though at UFC London, defeating Claudio Silva via unanimous decision.

Alves is a super aggressive fighter who wants to get the fight to the ground and work his phenomenal jiu-jitsu skills, which have earned him six submission wins including over Colby Covington. Dalby is a tidy kickboxer, but he has a tendency to let himself down with volume and a lack of urgency. It’s a real chalk and cheese fight, but Alves has got some nasty kicks to work from the outside too.

Dalby will likely take over as the fight goes on which gives him a greater chance of winning, but Alves is definitely the greater finishing threat. Neither fighter convinces me totally, but I’ll go with the safer pick of Alves getting it done in front of his home crowd.
PICK – Warlley Alves via Submission, Round 2



Ismael Bonfim (18-3) vs Terrance McKinney (13-4) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

A hugely entertaining fight in the lightweight division up next. Bonfim is on a 12-fight win streak with decisions in each of his last three, including Nariman Abbasov by decision on the Contender Series last time out. McKinney is 2-1 in the UFC with a 7-second KO over Matt Frevola before a defeat to Drew Dober. He earned a submission win over Erick Gonzalez last time out.

Bonfim is a fine striker with great power in his hands, but he has a horrible tendency to step backwards and find himself against the cage. That’s a nightmare against McKinney, who is a murderous puncher with great range and excellent wrestling skills. Technically Bonfim is excellent and his counter punching is fire, but it’s a big risk to take against someone like McKinney.

“T. Wrecks” is a genuine threat wherever this fight goes and with his experience in the UFC plus the size advantage he possesses, I’m going with him to get the win here.
PICK – Terrance McKinney via Knockout, Round 1

Luan Lacerda (12-1) vs Cody Stamann (20-5-1) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

A fun bantamweight bout up next closes this section of the card off. Lacera makes his UFC debut on a ten-fight win streak, defeating Marcirley Silva last time out in the LFA. Stamann snapped a three-fight losing streak last time out, KO’ing Eddie Wineland in just 59 seconds back in June in his last outing.

Lacerda is a fantastic jiu-jitsu practitioner, who will struggle to get this fight to the ground with poor wrestling and even poorer striking. Stamann is a stud of a wrestler with good submission defence, but also has some underrated striking on the feet with good power. He will want to stick away from his usual wrestling base and keep striking as much as he can.

If the fight does go to the ground then Stamann will pray he’s on top, but he will still have to be incredibly alert of the submissions coming back his way. The reality is that Stamann has fought at a far higher level than Lacerda for their whole career, and he should be able to lean on that experience to win again here.
PICK – Cody Stamann via Decision

UFC Vegas 67: Strickland vs Imavov – Main card predictions

The UFC returns after a month-long absence for it’s first card of 2023, and there has already been drama.

Originally slated to be a middleweight main event between Nassourdine Imavov and Kelvin Gastelum, before Gastelum fell out with a mouth injury during fight week.

He’s now replaced by Sean Strickland, who steps in after his main event defeat to Jared Cannonier in the final card of 2022.

During that even we went 9/13 with five perfect picks to end the year at #UFCVegas66, moving us to 804/1251 (64.27%) with 331 perfect picks (41.17%). You can see our full pick history here.

We’ll look to improve on that here and after starting with the early prelims of the night, and then moving on to the prelims section, we move on to our main card picks now.


Umar Nurmagomedov (15-0) vs Raoni Barcelos (17-3) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

A shout for fight of the card in this one to open up the main card. Nurmagomedov is undefeated and claimed a dominant win over Nate Maness in his most recent outing, while Barcelos bounced back from a two-fight losing streak to beat Trevin Jones in his latest fight.

Nurmagomedov by name, but not in style. Umar is a fantastic striker in the bantamweight division, using his kicks well, but still having that legendary grappling in his back pocket when he needs it. Barcelos is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the division who has found his age to be the biggest problem in his career. If Nurmagomedov wants to win this fight, he will absolutely need to use his grappling.

Barcelos has got fantastic jiu-jitsu skills to go along with his violent Muay-Thai, but on his back is where he’s at his least effective. Umar has got good striking to compete, but once he gets top position he can control the fight and work to a decision win in a close and entertaining bout.
PICK – Umar Nurmagomedov via Decision

Ketlen Vieira (13-2) vs Raquel Pennington (14-9) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

An interesting bantamweight scrap up next between two women looking to get into title contention. Vieira is on a two-fight winning streak having beaten former champions Miesha Tate and Holly Holm in her most recent bouts, while Pennington has won her last four, beating Marion Reneau, Pannie Kianzad, Macy Chiasson and Aspen Ladd.

Vieira is a well-rounded fighter with good knockout power and nasty submission skills on the mat too. She’s very aggressive and forward thinking, and will have a size advantage in this bout. Pennington on the other hand is very well rounded too, but she doesn’t have the greatest of finishing instincts and tends to be quite a reactive fighter. That leans the fight into Vieira’s favour undoubtedly.

Pennington will almost certainly look to hold a lot and land the odd strikes to score with the judges, while being defensively solid to give herself a chance. Vieira will press forward and look to mix up her attacks, but if she can score takedowns early then this is her fight to lose. I expect she will be able to do that, and get to a relatively comfortable decision win.
PICK – Ketlen Vieira via Decision

Punahele Soriano (9-2) vs Roman Kopylov (9-2) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

Bangers at middleweight go head-to-head up next. Soriano bounced back from consecutive defeats to Brendan Allen and Nick Maximov to earn a knockout win over Dalcha Lungiambula last time out, while Kopylov did the same after defeats to Karl Roberson and Albert Duraev with a KO win against Alessio Di Chirico in his last outing at UFC Paris.

Both of these guys see themselves as knockout artists in the short and simple summary, but they have more skills to their name than just that. Soriano is an All-American wrestler in the past too, while Kopylov is a decent grappler himself, especially defensively. There’s no doubt both men are at their best when striking though, with a combined 14 knockout wins in their career.

Both guys are at a similar level, and both fighters are at a similar stage of their career too. Kopylov is the better boxer with decent combinations, and Soriano has got the better cardio and ability to carry his power later in the fight. It will be entertaining for sure, but I think Kopylov should be able to do a bit more with his combinations to secure a decision,
PICK – Roman Kopylov via Decision



Dan Ige (15-6) vs Damon Jackson (22-4-1) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

A really fun and close match up in the featherweight division is the co-main event here. Ige has lost his last three via decision to Korean Zombie, Josh Emmett and Movsar Evloev, while Jackson is on a four-fight win streak beating Charles Rosa, Kamuela Kirk, Dan Argueta and Pat Sabatini in just 79 seconds.

Ige is a striker with decent one-punch knockout power and some solid defensive wrestling too, but he’s on a slide right now. Jackson on the other hand has really developed in the last two years, with fantastic grappling skills and much improved striking earning him a KO last time out. Many people will be thinking Ige is a level up on previous competition, but this is closer than you’d think on paper.

Jackson’s chin is very good for the most part, but it gets tested way too much to take too many shots from Ige. Ige is a very good defensive wrestler and Jackson will have to work really hard to be successful. If he can do that then it’s his fight to lose on the mat, but Ige’s defeats have come against top guys and I do think he should be able to hold off the wrestling threat and land enough on the feet to get back on track.
PICK – Dan Ige via Decision

Sean Strickland (25-5) vs Nassourdine Imavov (12-3) – (Light Heavyweight/205lbs)

Two ranked middleweight fighters compete in a short-notice light heavyweight main event here. Strickland has lost his last two, getting KO’d by the new champion Alex Pereira before dropping a split decision to Jared Cannonier most recently last month, while Imavov has won his last three with knockouts over Ian Heinisch and Edmen Shahbazyan before a decision against Joaquin Buckley.

Strickland is a well-rounded fighter but constantly allows his ego to dictate his game plan. He’s a solid wrestler who never wrestles, instead marching forward with his jab and weaponizing his cardio. Imavov is a very well-rounded fighter with spectacular striking to go with decent wrestling and grappling skills too. Imavov is a really top prospect in this division, and a win here could set him up for a title push in 2023.

Strickland will definitely step forwards and try to assert himself, but Imavov is a very good counter striker and we’ve seen that Strickland definitely trusts his chin rather than using his defence. That is a risky strategy, but with his volume and experience in a five-round fight he could start to pull away in the latter rounds. With that said, Imavov’s movement and speed, plus the fact he’s been in camp for this date, have me leaning towards him in a razor close fight.
PICK – Nassourdine Imavov via Decision

UFC Vegas 67: Strickland vs Imavov – Prelims predictions

The UFC returns after a month-long absence for it’s first card of 2023, and there has already been drama.

Originally slated to be a middleweight main event between Nassourdine Imavov and Kelvin Gastelum, before Gastelum fell out with a mouth injury during fight week.

He’s now replaced by Sean Strickland, who steps in after his main event defeat to Jared Cannonier in the final card of 2022.

During that even we went 9/13 with five perfect picks to end the year at #UFCVegas66, moving us to 804/1251 (64.27%) with 331 perfect picks (41.17%). You can see our full pick history here.

We’ll look to improve on that here and after starting with the early prelims of the night, we move on to the prelims section now.


Allan Nascimento (19-6) vs Carlos Hernandez (8-1) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

Another flyweight scrap in this one between two relatively experienced guys. Nascimento is 1-1 in the UFC, dropping a split decision to Tagir Ulanbekov before beating Jake Hadley most recently in May 2022. Hernandez on the other hand is on an eight-fight win streak, with a split decision over Victor Altamirano in his UFC debut back in February 2022 in his last fight.

Nascimento is the flyweight version of his countryman Charles Oliveira, that’s the best way to describe him. A stunning jiu-jitsu expert, his striking and wrestling have now caught up to an elite level and he is a genuine problem for the flyweight division. Hernandez is also a well-rounded fighter, with good power and solid scrambles, but his tendency to retreat in straight lines is an issue he must rectify.

Despite his qualities, Nascimento must stay patient in this bout. Expect him to strike early and mix in his wrestling skills control the fight, and then midway through the rounds land a nasty strike to drop Hernandez before pouncing on the neck for his first UFC finish.
PICK – Allan Nascimento via Submission, Round 2

Javid Basharat (13-0) vs Mateus Mendonca (10-0) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

Banger at bantamweight between two undefeated prospects at 135-pounds. Basharat has impressed in the UFC with decision wins over Trevin Jones and Tony Gravely so far, while Mendonca makes his promotional debut after a 48 second KO in on the Contender Series back in September.

Basharat is a really slick operator with good grappling, but it’s his excellent striking and movement that stand out when he’s in the cage. Mendonca alternatively is like a bull who has seen red, constantly stepping forward and looking to take his opponent’s head off the whole time. That aggression could go either way, either leaving him looking silly or being the exact reason he gets the win.

But Basharat will comfortably be the best fighter that Mendonca has fought, and his style is designed to avoid getting his head knocked off it’s shoulders. With his experience and ability to mix up in grappling too, he should have too much for the hot prospect in this one.
PICK – Javid Basharat via Decision



Mateusz Rebecki (16-1) vs Nick Fiore (6-0) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

Some interesting matchmaking in this one in the lightweight division. Rebecki is on a 13-fight win streak with 11 finishes in that run, including a submission against Rodrigo Lidio on the Contender Series in his most recent outing. Fiore on the other hand is undefeated with six finishes from six wins, including four submissions.

Rebecki is a powerhouse in the stand-up department of the cage, but he’s also got excellent wrestling and some ADCC level grappling too, making him a true threat no matter where this ends up. Fiore is a grappler first and foremost with tantalising jiu-jitsu, but his striking is improving with each outing. The problem he has here is that Rebecki is better than him everywhere.

The Poland native has all the tools to claim a big win here, and add the fact that Fiore is stepping in on just two weeks’ notice, this one is unlikely to last too long. Rebecki gets it done, and quickly.
PICK – Mateusz Rebecki via Knockout, Round 1

Claudio Ribeiro (10-2) vs Abdul Razak Alhassan (11-5) – (Middleweight/185bs)

Very fun middleweight scrap up next as the feature prelim of the event. Ribeiro is on a six-fight win streak with five of those coming as a first-round knockout, including his win over Ivan Valenzuela on the Contender Series most recently. Alhassan has lost four of his last five, with his only win coming in 17 seconds against Alessio Di Chirico. His last bout ended in a split decision loss to Joaquin Buckley.

Both men are absolute powerhouses with scary knockout power, but they’re at different ends of their career seemingly. Ribeiro tends to put his back to the fence and let fly, while Alhassan likes to back his opponent up against the fence and let fly with huge showers of strikes. That’s a recipe for disaster for Ribeiro, but he will be confident of finding Alhassan’s chin.

If the opening minutes don’t end in a KO, then Alhassan will know he can use his judo to slow things down if necessary. Despite that though, it will end early. The question is who lands the kill shot. For me, Ribeiro has a slight speed advantage but he’s never fought someone as scary as “Judo Thunder”. Alhassan’s blitzes will see more than one of his shots land in a row, and that’ll put Ribeiro’s lights out.
PICK – Abdul Razak Alhassan via Knockout, Round 1

UFC Vegas 67: Strickland vs Imavov – Early prelims predictions

The UFC returns after a month-long absence for it’s first card of 2023, and there has already been drama.

Originally slated to be a middleweight main event between Nassourdine Imavov and Kelvin Gastelum, before Gastelum fell out with a mouth injury during fight week.

He’s now replaced by Sean Strickland, who steps in after his main event defeat to Jared Cannonier in the final card of 2022.

During that even we went 9/13 with five perfect picks to end the year at #UFCVegas66, moving us to 804/1251 (64.27%) with 331 perfect picks (41.17%). You can see our full pick history here.

We’ll look to improve on that here, starting with the early prelims of the night.


Priscila Cachoeira (12-4) vs Sijara Eubanks (8-7) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

The first fight of the year is a fun flyweight scrap in the women’s division. Cachoeira is on a two-fight win streak, beating Ji Yeon Kim via decision before knocking out Ariane Lipski most recently in the first round. Eubanks on the other hand has lost three of her last four, including her most recent bout to Melissa Gatto back in December 2021.

Cachoeira is a well-rounded fighter who prefers to stand-up, mainly because her takedown defence is essentially non-existent. Eubanks is a fantastic boxer, but her Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills are very good too, which is almost certainly where she’s going to try to take this bout. But despite her skillset, she’s never been able to put it all together.

That’s because her cardio is horrible and after about a round and a half, she starts to drop her hands and slow all the way down. If Cachoeira can survive the initial onslaught on the mat, which she should considering Eubanks has never won via submission, then she should be able to get to her feet in the latter stages and beat her up enough to claim the win.
PICK – Priscila Cachoeira via Decision

Charles Johnson (12-3) vs Jimmy Flick (16-5) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

An intriguing men’s flyweight bout up next. Johnson bounced back from defeat to Muhammad Mokaev by earning a controversial split decision over Zhalgas Zhumagulov most recently. Flick is on a four-fight win streak but retired after his most recent bout in December 2020. This is his return fight after four-straight submission wins.

Johnson is a wrestler first and foremost, who looks to control opponents and work his ground and pound to claim victories. Flick is also a grappler, but he is a very serious submission specialist with phenomenal jiu-jitsu skills on the mat. The short-notice view of this bout should see Johnson as a relatively heavy favourite, but skill-for-skill it’s close.

You cannot rule out a Flick submission in the early rounds, but as the fight goes on it leans more towards Johnson’s favour. He should be able to win any striking exchanges and with the wrestling he will be able to fight his way up to his feet too. It’ll be closer than the odds suggest, but on short notice I think Johnson can claim the decision win.
PICK – Charles Johnson via Decision



Dan Argueta (8-1) vs Nick Aguirre (7-0) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

Two guys looking for a first UFC win in this one in another short-notice match up. Argueta was defeated in his UFC debut by Damon Jackson last time out, while Aguirre has split his seven wins with three KO’s and four submissions to have a 100% finish rate. He steps in for Isaac Dulgarian during fight week.

Argueta was the number one pick for Brian Ortega in the Ultimate Fighter recently, but got beaten by eventual winner Ricky Turcios in the opening round. He is a super well-rounded fighter with six finishes in his eight wins, including four submissions. He’s a solid grappler with decent power too. Aguirre is a very aggressive fighter who is comfortable wherever the fight goes, but his preference will certainly be grappling.

Considering the way Jackson dominated Argueta in the grappling department, and how undersized he looks in the division, there is a chance for an upset. With that said though, Aguirre’s level of competition to date is poor and this is a short-notice bout against someone better than he’s ever faced before. On a full camp he’d have a better shot, but as it stands I expect Argueta to be able to get it done.
PICK – Dan Argueta via Decision

UFC Vegas 66: Cannonier vs Strickland – Prelims predictions

The final UFC card of 2022 is upon us after a crazy year, with middleweight contenders battling it out in the main event.

Jared Cannonier returns to the octagon after a failed title attempt to take on Sean Strickland, whose last fight saw him beaten by the current champion in the division.

It’s a stacked 14-fight card including people like Drew Dober, Manel Kape, Bryan Battle, Said Nurmagomedov and more.

Last weekend at UFC 282 we went 6/11 with one perfect pick (we don’t count draws) to move to 795/1238 (64.22%) with 326 perfect picks (41.01%). You can see our full pick history here.

We’ll look to improve on that here and after starting with the early prelims, we move on to the rest of the prelims here.


Said Nurmagomedov (16-2) vs Saidyokub Kakhramonov (10-2) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

An absolute banger at bantamweight up next. Nurmagomedov has won his last three in a row, KO’ing Mark Striegl (UFC Fight Island 6), submitting Cody Stamann (UFC 270) and then earning a decision over Douglas Silva de Andrade most recently. Kakhramonov is on a four-fight win streak including a submission win over Trevin Jones and a decision win over Ronnie Lawrence in his first two UFC bouts.

Nurmagomedov is a good grappler, but despite his surname it’s his striking that is his standout attributes, with really good kicks in his arsenal. Kakhramonov is more like you’d expect Nurmagomedov to be, with excellent and relentless grappling with a fantastic gas tank to go with it and some okay striking at best. But his gas tank is a big problem for Nurmagomedov who can start a bit slowly sometimes.

With that said, Nurmagomedov is very good at what Kakhramonov is best at. The same cannot be said the other way around. Nurmagomedov will look to stand and land from distance and if he gets taken down he will make Kakhramonov work hard and it’ll be 50-50, so that leads me to a pick for Nurmagomedov in a really fun bout.
PICK – Said Nurmagomedov via Decision

Julian Marquez (9-3) vs Deron Winn (7-3) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

A weird middleweight bout next. Marquez earned submission wins over Maki Pitolo (UFC 258) and Sam Alvey (UFC Vegas 23) before a knockout loss to Gregory Rodrigues most recently. Winn on the other hand 1-3 in his last four, getting KO’d by Phil Hawes in his most recent bout.

Marquez is a powerful striker with good elbows and a heavy right hand, but it’s his gas tank that stands out most. He really struggles with defensive wrestling too, which is a big problem against a wrestler of Winn’s calibre. Winn is small but he should be able to get on the inside here and get his takedowns off, but his biggest issue is his cardio which falls off a cliff at some point in the second round regularly.

Winn should win the first round because of his wrestling, but Marquez’s pressure and power is a big problem. As the fight goes on Winn will start to waiver and Marquez will get stronger, meaning the takedowns get easier to defend and the strikes become easier to land. This could be billed as a bit of a “comeback” win, but I do think Marquez has the power and cardio to get it done late on.
PICK – Julian Marquez via Knockout, Round 3



Jake Matthews (18-5) vs Matthew Semelsberger (10-4) – (Welterweight/170lbs)

Welterweight banger up next. Matthews has won four of his last five fights, with his only defeat coming to Sean Brady back at UFC 259. Most recently he claimed a win over Andre Fialho via knockout. Semelsberger is coming off a short-notice loss to Alex Morono at UFC 277, which snapped a two-fight win streak.

Matthews has developed himself into a really well-rounded MMA fighter, with excellent striking and power to go with really good wrestling and some fine submission skills too. Semelsberger on the other hand is a straight up powerhouse, with a huge right hand that puts people’s heads into orbit. Defensively he has struggled with wrestlers in the past and his striking defence isn’t the best either, as shown against Morono.

Semelsberger will always have a punchers chance in a fight, but in this match it seems tough that he has anything more than that. Matthews is the better striker with good power and volume, and his wrestling is a get out of jail free card if he needs it too. Both guys are durable so a finish is unlikely, but Matthews should pull away by mixing all his skills together and claim a big win to show he’s a serious contender in the division.
PICK – Jake Matthews via Decision

Cheyanne Vlismas (7-2) vs Cory McKenna (7-2) – (Strawweight/115lbs)

The only women on the card take up the featured prelim spot for this card. Vlismas (formerly known as Buys) has won her last two in the UFC, KO’ing Gloria De Paula before earning a decision win over Mallory Martin most recently (UFC Vegas 44). McKenna has won five of her last six, with a defeat to Elise Reed at UFC London prior to her most recent win against Miranda Granger via submission.

Vlismas is a very good striker on the feet with good defensive takedown skills and plenty of output and volume, but she has often gone against an ideal game plan and found herself in trouble. McKenna is a strong wrestler who uses her striking to open up opportunities to shoot, but she struggled for control against Elise Reed which is a bad sign here. Vlismas is very good at moving away from shots and controlling distance, which would allow her to land clean a lot because of her five-inch reach advantage in this fight.

McKenna is capable of getting her to the ground, and once there she has a big advantage. She’s stronger physically and has good technique, but she may eat a host of shots trying to get in there. If Vlismas fights to her strengths by keeping distance on the outside and limiting her kicks, then she should be able to come away with a win.
PICK – Cheyanne Vlismas via Decision