Tag Archives: Adrian Yanez

What’s next for Sean O’Malley after UFC 269 win?

The ‘Suga’ show once again delivered a spectacular performance in front of a sell-out crowd at UFC 269 as Sean O’Malley earned yet another highlight-reel victory against Raulian Paiva.

The two bantamweights went head-to-head in the main card opener at the T-Mobile arena, with O’Malley securing a third straight knockout victory when he launched a stunning combination at Paiva in the first round.

With 2022 just around the corner and ‘Suga’ almost certain to move into the rankings following this win, who should the UFC be looking at matching him up with going forward? Lets take a look at some options.



Pedro Munhoz

If the UFC fancy giving him a real push in 2022 as expected, then the veteran that is Pedro Munhoz would be a great option.

Both fought at UFC 269 and Munhoz found himself on the losing end of a decision against Dominick Cruz. He has never been finished in his professional MMA career and has excellent power in his hands and jiu-jitsu skills that would give O’Malley something to think about.

He currently sits in the top ten so it may be one too soon, but it’s surely a fight that would interest both guys.

Adrian Yanez

These two have been going back and forth on social media and are two of the very best prospects the UFC have to offer. The fact they compete in the same division makes it even more exciting.

Both of these two have made a real name for themselves by knocking their foes out in the UFC and both are looking to move into the ranked conversations next year and make a push to be a contender.

But with Yanez unranked, it would seem a backward step to pair them together now despite the fact they both want it. Maybe that’s one for 2023 if they keep winning..

Frankie Edgar

The veteran has found himself on a bad run over his last five fights. He was beaten handily by Max Holloway and Korean Zombie in 2019 before moving to bantamweight in 2020, earning a solitary yet controversial decision win over Munhoz.

Since then though he was KO’d violently by both Cory Sandhagen and Marlon Vera and has found himself on the edge of the rankings. A fight between himself and O’Malley would see if he can really still cut it, while also giving O’Malley a big name and a test against a ranked fighter.

This may be the most logical fight the UFC could make, although it’s probably not quite as exciting as some of the others mentioned.

Song Yadong

A super young prospect with plenty of experience, this fight would undoubtedly produce fireworks.

Both guys love to stand and strike, have genuine knockout power and have a super bright future if you ask anyone that knows the sport. The UFC could look to keep these two apart because of how popular they are, saving it for a future date instead with higher stakes.

If that isn’t part of their thinking though, this could be the best fight for the fans and for O’Malley too.

UFC Vegas 43: Vieira vs Tate – Main card predictions

The UFC returns to the Apex centre in Las Vegas for a women’s bantamweight main event bout between Ketlen Vieira and former champion Miesha Tate.

Tate will be looking to keep the UFC’s dreams of a potential rematch with Amanda Nunes alive with a win in the main event, while Vieira is hopeful of killing off her comeback plans.

In the co-main event, Michael Chiesa will be looking to fight off gatekeeper claims in the welterweight division when he takes on the undefeated prospect Sean Brady.

Last week at UFC Vegas 42 we had a poor showing with our picks, earning jut 5/11 correct with three perfect picks to move to 476/741 (64.24%) with 200 perfect picks (42.02%) since June 2020.

We’ll look to improve on that this week with this 12 fight card and after starting with the early prelims and picking the rest of the prelims here, we move on to the main card now.


Davey Grant (13-5) vs Adrian Yanez (14-3) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

Absolute banger to open the main card in my pick for fight of the night. Grant earned a KO win over Jonathan Martinez at UFC Vegas 21, before defeat to Marlon Vera at UFC Vegas 29 most recently. Yanez, dubbed ‘baby Masvidal’, is undefeated in the UFC and earned stunning KO victories against Victor Rodriguez at UFC Vegas 12, Gustavo Lopez at UFC Vegas 22 and then Randy Costa at UFC Vegas 32.

Grant is a solid wrestler who has recently developed his hands to be able to knock people out cold with his looping hooks. Yanez on the other hand is a super tidy boxer, with great power and footwork and the ability to mix up body and head attacks brilliantly. This is a fight that seems highly unlikely to go the distance, because both guys don’t know how to step backwards. Grant has fallen in love with his hands recently and if he wants to trade strike-for-strike with Yanez, he’s probably going to sleep.

If Grant opts to use his wrestling more though, he could use his experience to be able to grind out a win and slow Yanez’s output down entirely. With that said though, Yanez has shown decent takedown defence in the past and because of how much Grant loads up with his strikes I can see Yanez countering with a nice combination and scoring a huge knockout win.
PICK – Adrian Yanez via Knockout, Round 2

Joanne Wood (15-6) vs Taila Santos (18-1) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

Formerly Joanne Calderwood, Wood debuts her new surname after marriage to return to the octagon against a super hot prospect. Wood is 4-4 in her last eight, with a win over Jessica Eye at UFC 257 being followed up by a loss to Lauren Murphy at UFC 263 last time out. Santos on the other hand has lost just once, on her UFC debut, and has won each of her last three fights against Molly McCann at UFC Fight Island 1, Gillian Robertson at UFC Vegas 17 and then against Roxanne Modafferi at UFC 266.

Wood has got some solid kickboxing skills, good wrestling and a decent submission threat on the ground too despite just one tap-out win in her career. Santos has shown throughout her career that she is also supremely well-rounded, with some great takedowns and jiu-jitsu skills as well as crisp kickboxing on the feet. This is a very tough fight to call, because it’s experience against the uprising talent.

Santos has proven to be too physically strong for all her opponents so far and has got the power to make fighters try to take her down, where she has been able to control everyone else too. Wood has got lots of experience and good footwork too, but ultimately Santos will likely just be hungrier and more active to earn a close decision win.
PICK – Taila Santos via Decision

Rani Yahya (27-10-1) vs Kyung Ho Kang (17-8) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

A submission battle beckons in this one in the bantamweight division. Yahya is 1-1-1 in his last three, suffering defeat to Ricky Simon and drawing with Enrique Barzola before finally returning to the win column against Ray Rodriguez at UFC Vegas 21. Kang on the other hand has won each of his last three fights, but steps into the cage for the first time since December 2019 after injury.

Yahya is a jiu-jitsu black belt with all 21 of his stoppage victories coming via submission throughout his career, while Kang is an excellent wrestler who also looks to secure submissions rather than just simply control his opponents. Both these guys will be desperate for the fight to hit the ground as soon as possible, and that only fits to suit Yahya’s style as much as possible.

If he gets taken down he is very good at getting back to his feet quickly, and if he ends up on top then the likelihood of Kang getting back to his feet are slim unless the round ends or the referee is waving the fight off. Ultimately, this is the perfect stylistic match-up for an ageing bantamweight and I think Yahya will likely be able to transition on the ground to get Kang’s neck and secure another stoppage win.
PICK – Rani Yahya via Submission, Round 2



Michael Chiesa (18-5) vs Sean Brady (14-0) – (Welterweight/170lbs)

An absolute banger at welterweight between two ranked fighters. Chiesa was on the brink of a title shot with four wins in a row against Carlos Condit, Diego Sanchez, Rafael Dos Anjos and Neil Magny at UFC Fight Island 8, before defeat last time out to Vicente Luque at UFC 265 pushed him down to number six in the rankings. Brady on the other hand is undefeated in his career and 4-0 in the UFC with decision wins over Court McGee and Ismail Naurdiev before submissions against Christian Aguilera at UFC Vegas 8 and Jake Matthews at UFC 259.

Chiesa is a brilliant wrestler with unbelievable grappling and jiu-jitsu skills, with his back control being among the best in the entire company. Brady is also a stud wrestler, with good stand-up skills and decent boxing while on the mat he is more than capable of locking up a couple of submissions too. This is a stylistic clash, because it’s two primary grapplers but both are also capable of holding their own in the opposite world.

Whoever is on top in the grappling exchanges will be the dominant one and on the feet they’re both pretty even. Ultimately though I think this level is a bit too big of a jump for Brady and I think Chiesa should be able edge it on the feet and eventually control on the ground to secure a decision victory and hand Brady his first defeat.
PICK – Michael Chiesa via Decision

Ketlen Vieira (11-2) vs Miesha Tate (19-7) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

Main event time in the women’s bantamweight division to round off what looks to be a very fun card. Vieira is 1-2 in her last three, with a win over Sijara Eubanks at UFC 253 sandwiched between defeats to Irene Aldana at UFC 245 and Yana Kunitskaya at UFC Vegas 19. Tate returned from a near four-year retirement to score a third-round TKO win over Marion Reneau at UFC Vegas 31 in the summer.

Vieira is a decent wrestler with some excellent jiu-jitsu, with a brilliant heavy position from the top where she can flatten her opponents out and just dominate. Tate on the other hand is also an excellent wrestler, using a powerful double-leg takedown and some good jiu-jitsu from the mat to secure seven submission wins in her career.

This is a fight that doesn’t really have any place being a main event, but it is. Vieira has struggled with weight issues in the past, missing weight in her defeat to Kunitskaya and does not having any previous five-round experience. With Tate likely to push the pace and gain top position at some point, it’s hard to see how she may lose this fight because stylistically that goes against everything Vieira stands for. It won’t be the most exciting main event, but Tate should be able to control with her wrestling and cardio to earn a decision win.
PICK – Miesha Tate via Decision

UFC Vegas 32: Sandhagen vs Dillashaw – Prelims Predictions

Arguably the best fight of the year not on a pay-per-view card headlines UFC Vegas 32 this weekend as Cory Sandhagen puts his number one contender status on the line against the returning former champion TJ Dillashaw.

The two were supposed to fight back in May, only for Dillashaw to sustain a cut in training forcing the bout to be postponed. In what should be an incredibly close fight, the winner is likely to get the next title shot against the winner of Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan’s rematch.

Elsewhere on the card, two young female prospects go head-to-head when Miranda Maverick and Maycee Barber square off on the main card in the flyweight division. Knockout sensation Adrian Yanez also returns to the octagon to take on Randy Costa too.

Last time out at UFC Vegas 31, we went 7/10 with one perfect pick on the night to move up to 370/576 (64.24%) with 164 perfect picks (44.32%).

We’ll look to improve on that here with this 13-fight card and after starting with the early prelims here, we finish off our prelims picks now.


Micky Gall (6-3) vs Jordan Williams (9-4) – (Welterweight/170lbs)

An intriguing welterweight fight between CM Punk’s slayer Micky Gall against Jordan Williams looking to earn his first win in the UFC. Gall has yo-yo’d wins in the UFC since 2016 in his last six fights, losing to Mike Perry last time out at UFC Vegas 4. Williams lost his UFC debut to Nassourdine Imavov at middleweight in October last year.

Gall is a wrestler with good jiu-jitsu skills and really poor striking but his submission is capable of earning him a win against anyone on the ground. Williams on the other hand is a complete wild man of a fighter who has a background in his wrestling but great power in his hands, with seven knockouts in his nine professional wins. Williams’ power is scary good and while he gets hit a bit himself, Gall’s striking is nothing for him to worry about.

With Williams’ defensive wrestling chops, his size advantage and the power in his hands, I think he gets a memorable stoppage win on the feet early on.
PICK – Jordan Williams via Knockout, Round 1

Nassourdine Imavov (9-3) vs Ian Heinisch (14-4) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

A very interesting middleweight bout between two unranked 185lbers as Imavov takes on Heinisch. Imavov saw a six-fight win streak snapped in a defeat to Phil Hawes at UFC Vegas 19 while Heinisch has lost three of his last four, including to Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 258.

Imavov is a terrific grappler who looks to take his opponents to the ground but is also confident on the feet with his striking. One thing he struggles with though is pressure, and Heinisch loves to grind his wrestling into the ground and really push forward against his opponents. That’s a positive for him and with his good kicks and knees, mixed in with his brilliant cardio he’s got the edge here.

Heinisch is not on the best of a momentum swing but he’s got the tools to edge a decision win here.
PICK – Ian Heinisch via Decision

Punahele Soriano (8-0) vs Brendan Allen (16-4) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

A real banger at middleweight in the featured prelim bout of this card. Soriano is an undefeated knockout artist with five knockouts and two submissions in his career while Allen is a very highly rated prospect who has lost just one of his last nine fights with a submission win against Karl Roberson last time out at UFC 261. Soriano KO’d Dusko Todorovic at UFC Fight Island 7 in his last time out.

Soriano has got great kickboxing but it’s his hands that are the most violent weapon he has. Nobody has ever tried to take him down in the UFC yet but that will change in this fight, with Allen being a great wrestler with an excellent submission game on the ground. Both prospects are really good at implementing their style on a fight and it could go either way.

With that said though, Allen’s capabilities on the ground give him the edge here. There’s every chance he could get clipped and put to sleep while trying to enter for a takedown, but if he gets the fight down the fight is in his world and I think he’ll be able to get the submission win.
PICK – Brendan Allen via Submission, Round 2

UFC Vegas 22: Brunson vs Holland – Results (Highlights)

** Gregor Gillespie vs Brad Riddell was cancelled on fight day due to COVID-19 protocols and will be rescheduled for a later date.**

** Julija Stoliarenko was withdrawn from her fight with Julia Avila on medical advice after fainting twice during the weigh-ins.**

THE CARD CONTINUES WITH TEN FIGHTS.


Bruno Silva def JP Buys via Knockout, Round 2 (2:56)

First shot of the fight is a kick from Silva that lands straight on the cup and the referee pauses the fight immediately. Silva throws a hard calf kick once they resume and follows it with a right hand, but Buys comes forward. Buys throws a punch and Silva tries to push him away but a thumb catches Buys in the eye and the referee pauses the fight again. Silva lands a stiff right hand once they restart again ad then Buys lands a nice left hand, before Silva hits a front kick to the body. Buys pulls guard as he closes the distance and starts working for submissions, but Silva very good from the top and lands some nice ground and pound while stifling the transitions. Buys manages to scramble back to his feet and then looks to lock in a kimura that Silva just about defends, but Buys gets himself in a more dominant position against the cage in a clinch. They separate and then Silva lands a big right uppercut that definitely gets Buys’ attention. Buys looks for a takedown as the round ends but it’s denied and Silva lands a spinning back fist that rocks him on the buzzer. 10-9 Silva.

Buys comes out more aggressive in the second round, throwing some head kicks and doubling his jab but he slips when throwing a kick and then Silva gets on top of him. Silva throws some nice strikes on the ground but Buys does well to get back to his feet well. He’s starting to hunt Silva who’s slowing down a bit, but Silva still has the power advantage. Buys lands a huge elbow as they break on the clinch and Silva is hurt. Both men start swinging and Silva lands a beautiful pull right-hand that drops Buys! He goes for the ground and pound and hurts Buys again but he’s able to get up and move away. Silva stalks him again and lands a big right hand again that drops Buys once more and the referee waves the fight off! Huge win for Silva!

Montel Jackson def Jesse Strader via Knockout, Round 1 (1:58)

Patient start from both fighters as they circle, trade jabs and feint. The two clinch up together in the centre and Strader lands some nice knees to the body but Jackson counters with a big right hand that drops Strader! He looks to land ground and pound but Strader gets back up and Jackson stays patient. Jackson continues to come forward and lands a nice left-right combo that drops Strader again and then he stands over him, lands some vicious ground and pound and the referee steps in to wave it off. Impressive win from Jackson!

Trevin Giles def Roman Dolidze via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)

Strong leg kicks to start the fight from Dolidze, as Giles stays calm in the middle and looks to work his way into striking range. Giles lands a nice head kick with speed, but Dolidze continues with the heavy calf kicks. Giles lands a nice, strong right hand before Dolidze throws a left and then a spinning-back fist with his right. Giles goes in for a punch but Dolidze changes levels perfectly and gets a takedown with relative ease. Giles works his way up to the feet but Dolidze keeps a body lock against the cage and throws plenty of knees to the body and to the thighs to see out the round. 10-9 Dolidze.

Giles comes out in the second round with a huge right hand to wobble Dolidze immediately, but Dolidze gets back to the low kicks. Giles is throwing heavy shots and lands a big left hook, overhand right. Big shots land from Giles again and then Dolidze changes levels and starts looking for a leg lock submission. Giles defends it by throwing some huge strikes to Dolidze’s face, but he’s still in danger. Dolidze finally lets go and they scramble back to the feet, with Dolidze getting another body lock and seeing out the round with knees to the thighs again. 19-19, all to fight for now.

Dolidze comes out in the third with some low kicks and a high kick, then a nice right hand. Giles threatening with his right hand and then thumps one down the pipe that drops Dolidze! Giles looks for a finish but Dolidze clinches up and then starts rolling for submissions and takedowns to recover and ends up on top. Giles works his way back to the feet with a minute to go and Dolidze’s nose is bleeding and causing him problems. Giles goes for a big right hand again and the two clinch against the cage, before Dolidze falls on top of him and sees out the round from top position. Very close fight, I edge it 29-28 to Dolidze.

Grant Dawson def Leonardo Santos via Knockout, Round 3 (4:59)

Nice fast paced start to the fight from both guys as Santos lands some nice low kicks and threatens with his right hand too. Dawson throws a couple of head kicks and starts faking the level change, throwing an overhand right behind it. One of those overhands lands clean and Santos’ legs go from under him, then Dawson goes straight in for a takedown against the cage. He tries to lift Santos but the Brazilian defends it well and they continue to battle against the cage. Santos with a beautiful outside trip and throw to end up on top, but Dawson works his way back to his feet quickly and gets back into a dominant position against the cage. The two continue their clinch battle until the end of the round. 10-9 Dawson for me, but only just. Could go either way.

Good start to the second round once again from both fighters, with both guys willing to stand in front of each other and exchange. Dawson lands a couple of solid right hands that get Santos’ attention, then the Brazilian throws a body kick that lands straight on the cup to cause a pause in the action. Dawson lands some nice leg kicks as the restart, but Santos backing him up against the cage and letting his hands go. Dawson changes levels and clinches up against the cage in a solid position, looking for the takedown but Santos defends well. Referee separates them for inactivity and Santos walks forward again, forcing Dawson to shoot. Santos sprawls and ends up taking the back of Dawson and landing some nice shots but Dawson gets back up to end the round. 20-18 Dawson for me but could well be 20-18 the other way or 19-19.

Final round and Dawson comes out looking for a knockout, with big hooks and trying to put some punches together. Dawson shoots in for a single-leg takedown but Santos defends it brilliantly. Dawson continues to push for a takedown in the clinch against the cage and eventually switches to the back and is able to lift and slam Santos down. Dawson sitting in half guard is firing some ground and pound out but Santos is blocking a lot of the strikes, so not much damage being done. Dawson continues to hold Santos down on the ground as we enter the final minute, landing some nice ground and pound strikes from the top. More pressure from Dawson who stands up in the final seconds and starts to thump Santos in the face and knocks him unconscious!! Oh my God what a finish!

Macy Chiasson def Marion Reneau via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)

Cagey start to the fight from both ladies, as Chiasson keeps her distance with Reneau looking to land some leg kicks early. Chiasson starting to come forward and lands a couple of nice jabs but still looking quite cagey. Reneau lands a nice left hand and follows that up with a quick flurry as she gets on the inside. Chiasson backs Reneau against the cage and swings a hook but Reneau using some nice footwork to escape. Nice left hand from Chiasson lands and then both ladies exchange a body kick each before they clinch up against the cage. Reneau lands a couple of nice knees then slips to the back to end the round on the attack. 10-9 Reneau.

Second round start and Chiasson being more aggressive from the jump. An exchange in the middle of the cage sees Chiasson land a big left hand that busts up Reneau’s nose immediately and forces her on the back foot. Chiasson throws a combo against the cage but Reneau does well to tie her up in a clinch to try and recover, but Chiasson starts throwing some nice shots to the face as they clinch up. Big elbow from Chiasson as they continue to battle for position in the clinch. Chiasson lands a body kick as they break from the clinch that hurts Reneau and she continues to come forward again looking for a finish. Reneau charges in but Chiasson slips and lands a nice one-two to the chin, then Reneau changes levels and shoots for the takedown. Chiasson battling off her back and attacks a leg lock, then uses it to sweep Reneau and end the round on top. 19-19, great round for Chiasson.

Fast start from both ladies to the final round as they both look for a potential finish. Chiasson doing well to maintain her distance and range on the feet, landing her straight punches but Reneau is doing her best to continue to be a threat. Reneau shoots in for a takedown against the cage and switches to the back, but Chiasson is able to fight it off and keep it on the feet. Reneau comes forward with punches as Chiasson uses her footwork to avoid damage, but Reneau battles for a clinch position against the cage. Reneau gets the fight down but Chiasson is able to get guard quickly and then get back to her feet well. They clinch up again and Chiasson is then able to get a takedown fo her own and starts looking for ground and pound to end the fight on top. 29-28 Chiasson for me.

MAIN CARD

Tai Tuivasa def Harry Hunsucker via Knockout, Round 1 (0:49)

Fast start as Tuivasa comes out with some heavy low kicks that immediately make Hunsucker uncomfortable. Hunsucker lands a big right hand, then Tuivasa responds with a leg kick that makes him grimace in pain. Tuivasa lands a big right hook on the chin that drops him, follows it up with some ground and pound and that’s all she wrote. Big first round KO!

Adrian Yanez def Gustavo Lopez via Knockout, Round 3 (0:27)

Slow start from both guys as they throw out lots of feints and feelers early on to get their range. Lopez wings a wild overhand that just misses, as Yanez throws a calf kick while he looks to find his range. Yanez lands a lovely right hand as Lopez looks to close the distance, then snaps a straight right out there again that lands. Lopez throws a double jab that misses but then throws another one of those wild swings but this time it clips Yanez. Nice left straight and short right hook lands clean on Lopez that forces him backwards. Yanez starting to counter now and rocks Lopez with a lovely one-two down the pipe. Another lands and Lopez is hurt but Yanez stays patient and the round ends. 10-9 Yanez.

Yanez has taken control of the fight now as he stands in the centre and allows Lopez to circle on the outside, showing great patience. Yanez still looking for that one-two and it’s landing well once again. Yanez feinting then rips a beautiful shot that drops Yanez! He goes for the finish but Lopez looks to shoot to recover, but Yanez defends it perfectly. He goes for a flying knee that just misses then exchanges in the pocket with Lopez before easing back up once again. Great head kick from Yanez lands, before Lopez responds with a calf kick. Excellent round for Yanez. 20-18.

Lopez comes out in the third knowing he needs a finish and looks for a big swing. Yanez counters a jab with a pull right-hook that knocks Lopez out cold! What a knockout! Yanez is a star.

Montserrat Ruiz def Cheyanne Buys via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x2, 29-27)

Very quick start to the fight as Buys and Ruiz meet in the middle, exchange a wild flurry before Ruiz gets hold of Buys against the cage. She uses her physicality to drag Buys to the ground in a scarf hold like grip and starts to throw rabbit punches from the top. Buys tries to escape with different transitions but the entire round plays out with Ruiz holding that position and throwing those short punches. Buys escapes with seconds remaining and tries to take the back, but too late. 10-9 Ruiz.

Second round and Buys comes out hard once again, landing a big flurry of punches and a head kick too. Ruiz threatening with a left-hand but Buys doing well to avoid, until Ruiz closes in for a clinch and looks for a takedown. She goes for the same position again, but Buys defends it for a second until Ruiz grabs the head and takes her down once more. Ruiz continues with the short rabbit punches and looks to isolate Buys’ arm between her legs but Buys is able to escape momentarily only to get thrown once again into the same position. Buys escapes quicker this time and ends the round in full mount raining down punches. 20-18 Ruiz.

Big right hand from Buys lands hard on Ruiz, who looks much slower and more tired in this final round. Buys is standing in the centre and trying to pick her shots, but not quite enough urgency yet from her considering she’s comfortably down in the fight. Buys throws a flurry of punches then a knee as Ruiz looks to clinch her. Big straight right hand from Buys lands and then Ruiz goes immediately for the head and arm throw and gets it first time. Buys is able to escape and take the back, then looks like she’s going for a calf slicer submission but Ruiz reverses the position and ends up on top to see out the round. 29-28, but it’s a clear Ruiz decision.

Max Griffin def Song Kenan via Knockout, Round 1 (2:20)

A few feelers to start the bout as they trade leg kicks and jabs before Griffin lands a right hook and then shoots in for a takedown. Song defends it well and is able to step away from the cage and throws a head kick that just misses. Griffin lands another strong calf kick that gets a reaction from Song, but he responds with a couple of heavy body kicks. Griffin steps forward with a right straight that wobbles him and knocks him off balance, then follows it up with a one-two that face plants Song! He lands one more shot before the referee gets in and waves it off. Huge win for Griffin, big knockout!

Derek Brunson def Kevin Holland via Unanimous Decision (49-45, 49-46 x2)

Confident start from Holland as he comes out throwing kicks and trying to check his range and distance. Holland slips as he throws another kick though and Brunson launches onto him and takes top position immediately. Brunson landing big strikes from the top while Holland looks to swing round on his hips for a potential submission, but Brunson defends well and rains down more punches. Brunson is throwing elbows from the top but Holland is blocking the impact for the most part. Brunson goes for some more ground and pound and Holland escapes back up to his feet as the round comes to an end. 10-9 Brunson.

Brunson comes out meaning business and closes the distance quickly and early but Holland throws kicks and long strikes once again. Brunson goes for a trip but Holland denies the attempt and lands some huge punches that have got Brunson rocked! Holland goes for the kill but Brunson clinches up and then gets a trip to take the fight down to the mat and he controls the round from there, attempting a head and arm choke and landing some ground and pound. 20-18 Brunson.

Third round starts in a similar way, with Holland striking well and landing clean but Brunson’s wrestling is too good for him and he’s getting takedowns at will. He gets hold of him again and gets the trip to sit in the full guard, with Holland seemingly accepting bottom position and looking for strikes from his back. Brunson looks absolutely exhausted on top but Holland not really taking advantage of that as the clock winds down. Brunson throws some ground and pound but it’s really laboured and he remains on top for the remainder of the round. 30-27 Brunson.

Holland comes out a bit more serious than the previous three rounds and looks to land straight shots against a tired Brunson. A couple of straight rights land well from Holland, but Brunson keeps trying to grab hold of him to get the fight to the ground again. Holland falls into the clinch after landing a right hand and Brunson now gets a body lock and takes Holland down into top position. Ground and pound from Brunson as we enter the final minute but Holland tries to get up and Brunson does well to grab hold of him again against the cage and see out the round. 40-36 Brunson.

Final round and Holland knows he needs a finish. Holland goes for an axe-kick that just misses and lands some nice right hands before Brunson clinches up again. Holland throws a couple of knees in the clinch and then trips Brunson to end up on top! Holland throws some decent elbow strikes and some punches before Brunson kicks him off and then shoots in for an immediate takedown of his own which he gets. Short elbows and ground and pound from Brunson as he ends the round standing.

UFC Vegas 22: Brunson vs Holland – Main card predictions

The middleweight division picks up this weekend as Derek Brunson takes on Kevin Holland in the main event of UFC Vegas 22.

In a big month in the division, with six of the top contenders facing off against each other, ‘Trailblazer’ looks to make it six wins in a row after going 5-0 in 2020 by going up against the middleweight gatekeeper.

Elsewhere on the card, Gregor Gillespie makes his return to the cage for the first time since the vicious head-kick knockout against Kevin Lee back in 2019 at UFC 244, to take on the kickboxing mastermind in Brad Riddell in the co-main event.

Last week at UFC Vegas 21, it was a strange card that saw two no decisions meaning our picks got cut down to just 11. We went 6/11 on the night with four perfect picks, to take our total to 256/406 (63.05%) with 115 perfect picks (44.92%).

On a 12 fight card this week, lets see if we can improve that with the main card picks. You can see our picks for the prelims here.


Tai Tuivasa (11-3) vs Harry Hunsucker (6-3) – (Heavyweight/220-265lbs)

The big boys open up the main card as Tai Tuivasa looks for consecutive wins in the UFC against super-late notice replacement Harry Hunsucker. Tuivasa had lost three in a row before a first round knockout win over Stefan Struve at UFC 254, sending ‘The Skyscraper’ back into retirement. Hunsucker is a brawler, who has never seen the second round in his professional career.

Both men love a fire fight and have been knocked out in the past and considering the short-notice nature of the fight this one isn’t likely to last long either. Both guys will come out swinging and it’s all about who has the better chin. Tuivasa has fought by far the higher calibre of fighter throughout his career and we’ve seen him eat big shots before, while Hunsucker’s best shot is his left hook. Hunsucker will look to land a big shot and then shoot for a takedown to work submissions or ground and pound, but the likelihood is that Tuivasa catches him with one of his trademark big shots and start the night with a bang.
PICK – Tai Tuivasa via Knockout, Round 1

Adrian Yanez (12-3) vs Gustavo Lopez (12-5) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

A big banger at bantamweight as Adrian Yanez returns following his big debut win back at UFC Vegas 12 to take on Gustavo Lopez. Lopez went 1-1 in 2020, getting dominated by Merab Dvalishvili in his promotional debut before getting a win over Anthony Birchak at UFC Vegas 13.

Yanez is compared to a certain Jorge Masvidal for his style with fantastic boxing, great kicks and knockout power with all his limbs. Lopez is a wrestler with good top control and some very good submissions, with six tap-out wins in his career. Yanez has some decent takedown defence and it should be enough for the skills of Lopez. Yanez will use good footwork, his excellent boxing and some knees to avoid the takedown and eventually score a knockout win.
PICK – Adrian Yanez via Knockout, Round 2

Cheyanne Buys (5-1) vs Montserrat Ruiz (9-1) – (Strawweight/115lbs)

A big debut in the women’s strawweight division as Cheyanne Buys makes her first appearance in the big time against a very short notice opponent in Montserrat Ruiz. Buys has won four in a row including her Contender Series bout against Hilarie Rose in August, while Ruiz went 1-1 in Invicta before getting this call-up on just nine days notice.

Buys is a striker with excellent kickboxing skills, using distance management and kicks to her advantage to outstrike opponents, while Ruiz is also a is a pressure fighter with very good clinch fighting. Both women have an excellent work-rate and lots of volume but the fact Buys has the height, reach and kicking advantage this is her fight to lose. Neither woman has one-punch knockout power so the chances of this fight ending early are slim, but it should still be a pretty fun fight for the 15 minutes it goes.
PICK – Cheyanne Buys via Decision

Gregor Gillespie (13-1) vs Brad Riddell (9-1) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

Another possible fight of the night between two very highly rated lightweights in Gregor Gillespie and Brad Riddell. Gillespie was an undefeated contender in his last fight, before getting head-kicked into oblivion by Kevin Lee back in 2019. This is his first fight since that bout. Brad Riddell is a kickboxer for City Kickboxing gym and has enjoyed a 3-0 start to his UFC career including his most recent decision win over Alex da Silva Coelho at UFC 253.

If there has ever been a clash of styles bout in the UFC, this is it. Gillespie is a power wrestler with decent striking but moreso a huge ground and pound scrapper. Riddell is a technically gifted striker who lands nice power shots and uses excellent footwork to evade his opponent, but also has a fantastic ability to pop back up to his feet after being taken down. With that said, Riddell has never fought a wrestler as good as Gillespie. ‘The Gift’ will take you down, hold you down and break your spirit before beating you into oblivion. If the fight stays on the feet, then Riddell will probably knock Gillespie out. The likelihood is though that Gillespie gets the takedown in each round and clubs him to a wide decision win.
PICK – Gregor Gillespie via Decision

Song Kenan (16-5) vs Max Griffin (16-8) – (Welterweight/170lbs)

A potential fight of the night bout here at welterweight. Song Kenan is 4-1 in the UFC and currently on a two-fight win streak, with wins over Derrick Krantz and Callan Potter in his most recent fight back in February 2020. Griffin on the other hand has lost four of his last six and two of his last three, but won his most recent fight against Ramiz Brahimaj at UFC Vegas 13 via doctor’s stoppage.

Both guys are power punchers who have a wild, brawling style that test the will of their opponent. Griffin has developed a great jab and a good kickboxing game but also has an excellent wrestling game now too. Kenan’s record is somewhat padded, with the majority of his opponents not really UFC calibre fighters. If Griffin comes out looking to just swing for the fences as he has in the past, then he probably gets clipped and knocked out by the Chinese fighter. If he decides to use his wrestling game and gets the takedowns then he should do enough for a comfortable decision win. The likelihood is that Griffin swings early to test the power out and then shoots the takedowns for a win in a highly entertaining bout.
PICK – Max Griffin via Decision

Derek Brunson (21-7) vs Kevin Holland (21-5) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

A big middleweight main event, as both men look to break into the top five of the division en route to a potential title shot. Brunson is on a three-fight win streak having beaten Elias Theodorou, Ian Heinisch and most recently Edmen Shahbazyan, while Holland went 5-0 in 2020 including his most recent win – a huge first-round knockout of Jacare Souza from his back.

Brunson is a very wrestle heavy fighter, who will look to get hold of his opponent and put him into the mat then land big ground and pound from the top position. Holland on the other hand is a fantastic kickboxer with ridiculous power in his hands, but also a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. We’ve seen Brunson struggle against power punchers before like Israel Adesanya but he’s only ever been beaten by the elite of the elite in the UFC. If Holland is a legit threat, he should be able to deal with the wrestling and on the feet he has a clear advantage. Confidence is key and he will believe he can knock Brunson out and survive on the ground if he gets taken down. It’s a super close fight and I could get this totally wrong, but my gut tells me Holland lands a big punch or three for a career-defining win.
PICK – Kevin Holland via Knockout, Round 2

UFC Vegas 12: Hall vs Silva – Results (Highlights)

EARLY PRELIMS

Miles Johns def Kevin Natividad via Knockout, Round 3 (2:51)

Competitive start to the fight as both men put out feelers for each other early on. Johns lands a nice low kick and then shoots for a single leg against the cage, but Natividad defends very well to deny. They break and Johns starts landing a long, lead jab to keep Natividad away. Natividad starts letting off combinations against the cage on Johns, but he ducks under and shoots for a takedown once again. He gets it down but Natividad jumps up as he looks to land ground and pound. Round comes to an end but it’s been steady from both. 10-9 Johns for me.

Natividad comes out in the second round more aggressive, throwing hooks over the jab attempt but not landing with anything flush. Johns still looking to land his jab and then shoots for the takedown once again and gets it, but Natividad once again is able to get back to his feet quickly. Johns holds him against the cage for a while but the referee breaks them apart due to inactivity. Natividad coming forward with big punches again as Johns looks like he’s tiring and a flying knee attempt just misses. Natividad goes in for a takedown of his own but Johns sprawls out of it and lands a big spinning back fist as they get back to the feet. Wild hook attempt from Natividad is ducked under and Johns goes for a takedown again as the round ends. 20-18 Johns.

Final round and Natividad comes out very aggressive in this one. Both men exchange big hooks but they eat it well and continue circling. Natividad starts trying to work the body, but Johns fires back with two nice low kicks. Johns shoots for a single leg takedown and pushes Natividad against the cage. Natividad threatens a d’arce choke attempt and as they break Johns lands a huge uppercut that knocks Natividad unconscious! What a knockout!

Dustin Jacoby def Justin Ledet via Knockout, Round 1 (2:38)

Strong start to the round for Jacoby as he comes out and attacks the legs of his opponent. Ledet looks to land a hook but Jacoby avoids and counters with a big straight right hand of his own that wobbles Ledet. Calm pressure from Jacoby but Ledet lands a nice jab and swings an uppercut that just misses. Jacoby lands three more leg kicks and drops Ledet then jumps on the ground and pound. He lets Ledet back up and then knocks him out cold with a huge right hand. What a performance from Dustin Jacoby.

PRELIMS

Jason Witt def Cole Williams via Submission (Head & Arm Choke), Round 2 (2:09)

Witt comes into the centre and immediately shoots for a takedown with the single leg. He gets him down immediately and takes Williams’ back, but against the cage and he defends a precarious position well and gets him into full guard. Witt starts throwing some heavy ground and pound and Williams moves away from the damage but is showing no signs of being able to get back up to his feet. Witt lands a beautiful short elbow that opens up a massive cut above the left eye of Williams and blood is pouring down his face now. Witt continues with the strikes on the ground as the round comes to an end. 10-8 Witt for me.

Quick start to the round again as both men throw some big shots before Witt shoots in for a takedown, picks Williams up above his head, walks him over to the opposite side of the octagon in front of his corner and slams him down. Witt advances to full mount and is searching for the submission, but Williams slips out of the rear-naked choke attempt. Witt switches to a head and arm choke and squeezes, then gets the tap. Hugely impressive win for Jason Witt.

Sean Strickland def Jack Marshman via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)

Strickland comes forward immediately and starts walking him down across the cage, throwing out feel punches while Marshman responds with big hooks that hit fresh air. Strickland starts mixing in a leg kick too and lands a huge left straight, right hook combo. Marshman starting to feel the effects of the shots he’s absorbing as Strickland continues to walk him down across the octagon. Strickland backs him up against the cage again and throws a huge one two that lands flush, before a big body shot lands too. Marshman throws a big right hook that lands flush and stings Strickland but the round ends. 10-9 Strickland.

Strickland once again comes out and takes the centre, landing his jab with ease. He lands a big double-jab and follows it up immediately with a right cross that lands clean. Marshman starting to look banged up but is holding firm and still throwing strikes of his own. Another strike from Strickland opens up a cut under Marshman’s eye as he stays out of range and counters well. Strickland landing his jab at will and Marshman throwing wild hooks that aren’t even close to landing for the most part. Dominant round again for Strickland. 20-18.

Third and final round and both guys start exchanging words in the centre of the cage as they trade blows. Both guys going back to back with big hooks, crosses and stiff jabs but Strickland has been completely dominant. A nice jab and head kick combination lands and the two start screaming at each other. Strickland asks Marshman “why won’t you fall?!” as they exchange wild hooks until the buzzer goes. 30-27 Strickland.

Adrian Yanez def Victor Rodriguez via Knockout, Round 1 (2:46)

Quick start to the round for Rodriguez who shoots in for an early takedown against the cage, but Yanez defends well after about a one minute clinch and they break back into the centre. Rodriguez throws a big overhand right that lands but Yanez eats it and moves forward. Big combination lands and wobbles Rodriguez! He starts hunting landing big shots and gets a knockdown. Rodriguez gets back to his feet but Yanez lands another big right-left combo that drops him again. Rodriguez gets back to his feet, Yanez throws a right hand followed a head kick that puts Rodriguez’s lights out. Superb performance from Yanez.

Alexander Hernandez def Chris Gruetzmacher via Knockout, Round 1 (1:46)

Gruetzmacher comes out and lands two heavy leg kicks immediately but Hernandez fires back with one of his own. Hernandez landing jabs, hooks and kicks at will and staying out of range perfectly well. He’s really showing his talents here, dominating every exchange and he looks a level above right now. Big one-two lands and a head kick wobbles Gruetzmacher! Hernandez hunts for the knockout and lands a four-piece combo that knocks Gruetzmacher down and out! What a stunning performance!

MAIN CARD

Thiago Moises def Bobby Green via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)

Strong start to the fight by Thiago Moises in this one as he comes in throwing bombs early including some vicious leg kicks that force Green to switch stance. A head kick lands by Moises but Green eats it and comes forward with a nice right hook of his own. Moises shoots for a takedown and is able to pick up Green and slam him down. Moises moves straight to the back but Green shakes him off and ends up on top himself. Big knee to the body and they break. Lots of feints and small strikes land before Moises lands a big right hand flush to the face that hurts Green, but he takes it and survives. Flurry of punches from Green ends the round. 10-9 Moises.

Fun second round as the two meet in the middle and exchange hooks early on. Green lands a beautiful step back right hand that lands on Moises who is wobbled for a second, before Green shoots in for a takedown. He lifts the single leg and sweeps the standing leg to get the top position. Moises gets back up quickly and takes the back of Green, then rolls through with a reverse heel hook. Green fights it in a panic and eventually escapes. Moises looks tired now and Green is teeing off against the cage while the Brazilian looks to recover. Flying knee attempt by Green just misses and then Moises lands a big right hook as the buzzer goes. Close round but 19-19 for me.

A tense final round as both guys are landing big strikes and swinging big. A wild exchange ends up with Green having a big cut over his right eye but it doesn’t stop him coming forward and looking to land heavy right hooks. Moises pushes Green back against the cage and looks to load up a takedown but Green tries to counter it with a kimura. Moises avoids and takes the back but can’t get Green down on the mat properly. They get back to the feet for one final wild exchange as the fight ends. Great fight, 29-28 Moises for me but super close fight.

Kevin Holland def Charlie Ontiveros via Verbal Submission, Round 1 (2:38)

Interesting start to the round as Holland with a big swing and a miss puts himself on his butt, then when he gets back up Ontiveros lands a big axe-kick to the head of Holland. Holland responds with an immediate takedown and ends up in north-south position landing big elbows to the head. Ontiveros fights for position and tries to get back up against the cage but Holland gets a firm grip and slams him to the mat again. The referee then waves the fight off out of nowhere and Ontiveros is saying he’s injured. The broadcast tell us after the decision that he needs to be stabilised and removed on a stretcher having not moved since the fight ended. Best wishes to Charlie Ontiveros.

Greg Hardy def Maurice Greene via Knockout, Round 2 (1:12)

Aggressive start to the fight by Greg Hardy, who checks a leg kick and marches forward. Greene throws a body kick attempt that Hardy catches and he lands two huge right hands that drop him! He runs for the finish with heavy ground and pound and Greene looks to defend with up-kicks before Hardy scrambles and ends up on top. A huge elbow lands but Greene manages to tie him up enough to frustrate him and Hardy stands the fight back up. Nice one-two lands for Greene but Hardy eats it as the round comes to an end. 10-9 Hardy.

Second round starts slowly, with both fighters tiring already. Lots of feints and jabs, but Hardy throws a big lead left uppercut and drops Greene! He jumps on for the ground and pound again and despite him moving still, Greene is taking unanswered shots and the referee waves it off. Big win for Hardy!

Bryce Mitchell def Andre Fili via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27 x2)

Quick start from Mitchell in this one as he comes out with jabs and then goes for an early takedown. Fili gets back up quickly but Mitchell drives him back down again and wraps up the legs as he looks to pass but Fili escapes. Mitchell latches on again though and takes the fight back down immediately, stacking Fili against the cage and landing some ground and pound. Mitchell eventually passes into full mount but not doing much damage, just taking his time and looking for openings. Fili escapes full mount but Mitchell once again is able to step into it before Fili reverses the position and gets back to his feet. Mitchell throws a huge overhand right and catches a kick at the same time to get the fight back down once again as the opening round comes to an end. 10-9 Bryce.

Second round starts with Mitchell landing a big overhand left twice, before shooting for a takedown. Fili sprawls expertly well and defends against it, before landing a big right-hand of his own. Fili throws a flying knee that lands well and Mitchell starting to look uncomfortable on the feet. Both men throw a right hook and Mitchell changes levels to shoot for a takedown, but Fili defends superbly against the cage. Fili coming forward now on the feet and is teeing off on Mitchell, who shoots for another takedown and this time lifts Fili and slams him down to complete it. Fili threatens with a guillotine but Mitchell stays calm and moves away from the position. Fili kicks off the cage and rolls through to get back to his feet and both men land big strikes as the round ends with Mitchell attempting a takedown and failing. 19-19.

Final round begins with Fili swinging big and looking to apply pressure, but Mitchell changes levels and gets an early takedown in the centre of the octagon. Mitchell looking to advance but Fili defending really well and manages to kick back up, but Mitchell holds onto a leg and takes him back down. Fili switches the position and ends up on top, lands a couple of shots but Mitchell gets back to his feet. Mitchell throws a big right hook that lands then goes straight back to the takedown and now starts landing short elbows and punches. Final minute of the fight and Mitchell is still on top forcing Fili to defend strikes. More ground and pound for Mitchell as he manages to stay on top for the remainder of the round and likely take the win. 29-28 Mitchell.

Uriah Hall def Anderson Silva via Knockout, Round 4 (1:24)

A very, very slow start to this fight. In the first two minutes we get a leg kick each before Silva opens up a bit more with a head kick. Silva has a leg kick checked by Hall and then decides to come forward with some punches and apply that infamous pressure against the cage. Some decent shots land but nothing that effects Hall before a stalemate in the centre of the octagon again. Two nice jabs from Hall land before Silva charges forward with a three punch combo. Big jab from Hall again keeps Silva away as the round ends. 10-9 Silva.

Another slow round from both fighters as they continue to feel each other out. Silva bouncing around on the outside while Hall is snapping his jab. Both fighters are exchanging leg kicks too but neither man doing any damage whatsoever. Hall seems hesitant to fire anything powerful and Silva seems content to just touch him. Spinning body kick from Hall connects and the two exchange jabs as the round ends. 19-19.

Silva’s footwork is moving him out of Hall’s range constantly, but he isn’t throwing nearly enough to really trouble ‘The Spider’ so far. Still lots of feeling each other out with neither fighter seeming willing to throw hands with any real venom just yet. Hall throws a right hand followed by a spinning body kick but both miss, as Silva misses with an axe kick. Left overhand lands for Silva but Hall is the one moving away on the outside now. Both guys exchange a body kick and then Silva lands a right hand that catches the eye of Hall. He comes forward with pressure now as Hall shows he’s struggling but nothing heavy lands and he recovers. Hall lands a big right hand that drops Silva! He follows up with big ground and pound but Silva grabs a leg and the round ends! Saved by the bell. 29-28 Hall.

Hall comes out more aggressive in the fourth round after the end of the previous round. Silva charged forward with a rushing one-two that completely misses and Hall lands a counter right hand that drops Silva again! He lands some huge ground and pound and the referee waves it off! Big knockout win for Uriah Hall!

UFC Vegas 12: Hall vs Silva – Prelims Predictions

The first ever Halloween card in UFC history will see the end of the career of one of the greatest fighters of all-time when Anderson Silva fights Uriah Hall in the main event.

After the fun of Fight Island, the UFC returns to the Apex in Las Vegas for a 12 fight card with some interesting fights including a featherweight clash between Bryce Mitchell and Andre ‘Touchy’ Fili in the co-main event.

I will break down each fighters skills and style and give my prediction for each fight, starting with the seven prelim fights.

Last weekend at UFC 254, I got 9/12 picks correct with five perfect picks. Since starting my predictions back in June, my current record stands at 145/222 total picks, with 67 perfect picks in that time. I will look to improve that this week with these picks.

EARLY PRELIMS

Miles Johns (10-1) vs Kevin Natividad (9-1) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

Two very well rounded bantamweights are scheduled to open the card up as Kevin Natividad makes his UFC debut against Miles Johns. ‘Chapo’ won his debut in September last year, a split decision against Cole Smith before losing his last fight when he was mauled by Mario Bautista and eventually knocked out. Natividad was supposed to debut against Brian Kelleher in September but withdrew after testing positive for COVID-19. He comes into this fight on a five-fight win streak including a knockout in his most recent fight in July. Johns has the advantage in boxing and wrestling, so he probably should control where the fight takes place but Natividad has got fantastic power. If Johns employs and sticks to a game-plan to mix it up he should be able to get a decision win, but he needs to ensure he doesn’t take too many shots from a man looking to make an impression.
PICK – Miles Johns via Decision

Cortney Casey (9-8) vs Priscilla Cachoeira (9-3) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

Cortney Casey returns for her third appearance in the octagon of 2020, after beating Maria Romero Borella before losing to Gillian Robertson a month later. Cachoeira lost her first three UFC fights, including her debut against the division champion Valentina Shevchenko but finally got herself in the win column with a knockout of Shana Dobson back in February. Casey is a solid all round fighter but has real issues with consistency, not winning back-to-back fights since back in 2016. Cachoeira however is a power puncher and nothing more. She has heavy hands but struggles on the ground and isn’t particularly fast either. Casey has the skillset to nullify her and get a win, but knowing her she’ll make it tougher than it needs to be.
PICK – Cortney Casey via Decision

PRELIMS

Dustin Jacoby (12-5) vs Justin Ledet (9-3) – (Light Heavyweight/205lbs)

A return to the Octagon for the first time since 2012 for Justin Jacoby as he takes on former heavyweight Justin Ledet. Jacoby was in the UFC previously, but consecutive defeats saw him leave the company without a win. Ledet started at 3-0 in the heavyweight division but then moved down to 205lbs and has been battered ever since. He was dominated by Aleksandar Rakic, KO’d in 15 seconds by Johnny Walker and then beaten convincingly by Aleksa Camur back in January. Jacoby went into kickboxing after leaving Bellator and had lots of success before returning to MMA in 2019. Ledet is a talented boxer but his output is poor and he gets hit far too easily for someone who relies on striking. Jacoby should be able to use his kickboxing skills to control the fight and pick up a pretty comfortable win.
PICK – Dustin Jacoby via Decision

Cole Williams (11-2) vs Jason Witt (17-6) – (Welterweight/170lbs)

This is a fight that in all honesty has no business on a UFC card. Both guys have had decent regional careers but when they entered the UFC, albeit on short notice, were both trounced in no time by specialists of their craft. Williams was submitted in the first round by Claudio Silva back in August, while Witt was knocked out in under a minute by Takashi Sato in June. Both guys are well-rounded but not to a particularly high level and it’s tough to predict who will come out on top. Williams has the slightly sharper striking skills but is also now 36 years old having fought just three times in the last three years. Witt has been much more active with 12 fights since January 2017 and has a decent submission game in his arsenal. It won’t be the most memorable of fights, but I think Witt has enough about him to get another tap out on his record.
PICK – Jason Witt via Submission, Round 2

Sean Strickland (20-3) vs Jack Marshman (23-9) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

An exciting fight between ‘Tarzan’ Sean Strickland and Wales’ Jack Marshman who steps in on short-notice for Wellington Turman, who tested positive for COVID-19. Strickland has fought some of the best welterweights around, losing to Kamaru Usman and Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos but beating Court McGee and Nordine Taleb but this is his first fight since 2018 and first fight at 185lbs since 2014. Marshman is a powerful striker but has lost four of his last six fights in the UFC, including his last bout against Edmen Shahbazyan at UFC 239. On the feet the fight is close, with Strickland’s reach advantage likely to give him the edge but on the ground it’s as one-sided as can be. Strickland has good submission skills and great wrestling so I think he uses the jab to get in on a takedown and gets a quick submission on his return to the cage.
PICK – Sean Strickland via Submission, Round 1

Adrian Yanez (11-3) vs Victor Rodriguez (7-2) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

This could be a blowout. Adrian Yanez is arguably the hottest prospect in the 135lbs division, with unbelievable boxing and hand power coming up against a short-notice opponent in Victor Rodriguez who hasn’t got much to show for his record. Yanez demolished his opponent on Dana White’s Contender Series in just 39 seconds and Rodriguez is so easy to hit that this might as well be an exhibition fight to show off Yanez’s skills. A highlight right hand lands in the first round and turns out the lights of ‘Vicious’ early.
PICK – Adrian Yanez via Knockout, Round 1

Chris Gruetzmacher (14-3) vs Alexander Hernandez (11-3) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

This is another fight that seems like a bit of a mismatch on the card as Chris ‘Gritz’ Gruetzmacher takes on Alexander ‘The Great’ Hernandez. Hernandez was one of the top prospects in the division until he was smashed by Donald Cerrone and has since struggled to gain momentum, beating Francisco Trinaldo but then being knocked out by Drew Dober. ‘Gritz’ has also lost two of his last three, being submitted by Chas Skelly and Davi Ramos in 2017 before winning his last fight against Joe Lauzon in 2018. Hernandez is the better striker, better grappler, more physical fighter and more skilled fighter. Hernandez isn’t really a finisher and ‘Gritz’ has never been knocked out before but so I expect ‘The Great’ to dominate the fight wherever it goes for the full 15 minutes to get himself back in the win column.
PICK – Alexander Hernandez via Decision