Tag Archives: Dustin Stoltzfus

UFC Paris: Gane vs Tuivasa – Prelims predictions

The UFC returns from a two week break to make history with the companies first ever card from Paris, France.

The historic card is headlined by hometown heavyweight favourite Ciryl Gane, as he takes on fan favourite and knockout artist Tai Tuivasa in the main event.

The co-main will also see two world class middleweight contenders go head-to-head too as Robert Whittaker and Marvin Vettori clash in a potential title eliminator.

Last time out at UFC 278 we saw an amazing card, where we landed 7/12 correct picks with three perfect picks to move to 705/1094 (64.51%) with 298 perfect picks (42.26%). You can see our full picks history here.

We’ll try to improve on that here with this solid card and after starting with the early prelims here, we pick the rest of the prelims now.


Nassourdine Imavov (11-3) vs Joaquin Buckley (15-4) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

A super fun middleweight scrap up next. Imavov has won his last two via knockout, stopping Ian Heinisch and then Edmen Shahbazyan most recently at UFC 268. Buckley has claimed three wins in a row, KO’ing Antonio Arroyo, earning a split decision over Abdul Razak Alhassan and then stopping Albert Duraev last time out.

Imavov is a very technical striker with great power and excellent footwork to avoid standing still too often and getting caught. Buckley is a powerhouse who lands with devastating power, earning him 11 KO wins in his career. He does have a habit of loading up his strikes though which makes other talented strikers fancy their chances when going to war.

Both guys have got great cardio for their styles too, but Imavov’s style is a bit more point friendly and that should work in his favour here. “New Mansa” will come forward and be forced to reach a little with his strikes despite having a slight reach advantage and that should open up counters for Imavov. Expect a fun, but technical fight which should see Imavov claim the win in his homeland.
PICK – Nassourdine Imavov via Decision

Fares Ziam (12-4) vs Michal Figlak (8-0) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

A very interesting lightweight scrap between two prospects in this one. Ziam is 2-2 in the UFC, with wins over Jamie Mullarkey (UFC Fight Island 6) and Luigi Vendramini (UFC263) sandwiched between defeats to Don Madge and most recently Terrence McKinney. Figlak makes his UFC debut as an undefeated fighter.

Ziam is a striker who likes to use a points style, moving around a lot and just picking up shots as and when he can to try and earn a decision win or catch his opponent off guard for a knockout. Figlak might be the polar opposite, with a fast-paced and relentless approach with lots of power and submission skills to boot.

That is the perfect recipe to ruin Ziam’s homecoming to France, because Figlak has all the tools to stifle him and hurt him. The urgency and physicality will likely see Figlak bully him and claim a dominant win against the crowd’s wishes.
PICK – Michal Figlak via Decision



Abus Magomedov (24-4-1) vs Dustin Stoltzfus (14-4) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

An interesting middleweight scrap closes out the prelims section of the card. UFC debutant Magomedov comes in on a two-fight win streak, with his last fight coming in December 2020. Stoltzfus finally snapped a three-fight losing streak last time out, when he earned a decision win over Dwight Grant back in July.

Magomedov is a fantastic grappler with brilliant top control and great wrestling, while his striking comes with a hazard warning because of his power. Stoltzfus alternatively has got fantastic jiu-jitsu and top control, but his offensive wrestling often means he can’t get the fights to the ground to work that game. He has got an advantage in the cardio though and if he can drag this fight out then we could see Magomedov struggle.

Unfortunately for him, that seems unlikely. Magomedov’s wrestling credentials will likely see him end up in top position early doors and pounding away at Stoltzfus’ skull until the referee steps in and tells them enough is enough.
PICK – Abus Magomedov via Knockout, Round 2

UFC Long Island: Ortega vs Rodriguez – Early prelims predictions

The UFC heads to Long Island for a fight night event with a live crowd, as two featherweight contenders go head-to-head in the main event when Brian Ortega takes on Yair Rodriguez.

A very solid card will see plenty of excellent fights, with the 145-pound eliminator bout right at the top of the card. We’ll also see the likes of Li Jingliang, Michelle Waterson, Jack Shore, Shane Burgos and Miesha Tate.

Last time out at UFC Vegas 58 we went 7/11 with two perfect picks, moving us to 656/1020 (64.31%) with 281 perfect picks (42.84%). You can check out our full picks history here.

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


Jessica Penne (14-6) vs Emily Ducote (11-6) – (Strawweight/115lbs)

A fu women’s strawweight fight opens up the card between a UFC vet and a debutant. Penne is on a two-fight win streak, earning a split decision over Lupita Godinez before an armbar submission win over Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC 265, while Ducote comes into the UFC on a three-fight win streak from Invicta.

Penne is a solid grappler who looks to tie her opponents out and drag them down to the mat to work her submission game, something she’s won fights with on eight different occasions. Ducote is the opposite, a brilliant counter striker with good power with four of her last five victories coming inside the distance. Both fighters like to close the distance, and it comes down to who can implement their game more effectively.

Ducote will look to avoid the clinches and land her excellent right to make up for the reach and height disadvantage in this bout, but Penne is pretty durable and if she can get hold of Ducote she has a good advantage with the grappling. With that said though, Ducote is a decent grappler herself and she is the more mobile and active fighter. So long as she doesn’t end up on her back for the majority of the round, she should be able to claim a win on the scorecards here.
PICK – Emily Ducote via Decision

Dwight Grant (11-5) vs Dustin Stoltzfus (13-4) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

Middleweight scrap up next between two guys on losing streaks. Grant has been beaten in each of his last two, dropping a split decision to Francisco Trinaldo and getting KO’d by Sergey Khandozhko, while Stoltzfus got beaten by Kyle Daukaus at UFC 255 and then got submitted by Rodolfo Vieira and most recently Gerald Meerschaert.

Grant is a striker with great power, but a real lack or urgency and volume has cost him massively in his UFC career to date. He is moving up to middleweight for the first time in a decade for this bout. Stoltzfus is a strong wrestler and his top control is good, usually using leg kicks and a jab before changing levels.

If Stoltzfus just sticks to what he knows, he should win this fight. He’s by far the better wrestler of the two, with Grant giving up at least one takedown in six of his last seven fights. He’s now up against bigger guys which means his power is less likely to help him out of bad situations and being taken down is more likely, so it doesn’t look good for him here.
PICK – Dustin Stoltzfus via Decision



Dustin Jacoby (17-5-1) vs Da Un Jung (15-2-1) – (Light Heavyweight/205lbs)

An intriguing light heavyweight clash up next between two guys who haven’t tasted defeat since 2015. Jacoby has won seven of his last eight fights, with one draw in the middle. His last three fights ended in victory, with a KO against Darren Stewart before decision wins over John Allan (UFC 268) and Michal Oleksiejczuk. Jung is undefeated in his last 15 fights, with a draw against Sam Alvey (UFC 254) stopping him being on a big win streak. He beat William Knight and then KO’d Kennedy Nzechukwu in his most recent fights.

Jacoby is a terrific kickboxer with great mobility and speed in his strikes. His low kicks are lethal and he’s able to manage distance brilliantly, while his takedown defence is pretty solid too. Jung is a powerful striker, but he’s a grinder who looks to close distance and use his power to rag doll opponents. Jacoby is really difficult to hold down though, and in the striking realm Jacoby has a big advantage.

Jung tends to be very flat-footed and predictable with his strikes, something Jacoby will undoubtedly take advantage of. He’ll whip those low kicks in and jab Jung’s face off all night if he has to, until the opportunity presents itself to land power strikes. Jung doesn’t have much more going for him in this one, so I expect Jacoby to piece up the legs and eventually land a hammer blow in the latter rounds to claim a win.
PICK – Dustin Jacoby via Decision

UFC Vegas 45: Lewis vs Daukaus – Prelims predictions

The final UFC event of 2021 is upon us and will be headlined by heavyweight bangers in Derrick Lewis and Chris Daukaus at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

The two are at different ends of their career realistically and are fighting to carry the torch of the division into 2022.

In the co-main we’ll see welterweight contender Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson enter the last chance saloon for title contention when he takes on Belal Muhammad, who is looking to break into the top five of the rankings for the first time.

Last time out at UFC 269 we went 9/14 on the night in a fantastic card to move to 500/779 (64.18%) with 211 perfect picks (42.2%).

We’ll look to end the year on a high here and after starting with the early prelims on this 14-fight card, we move onto the rest of the prelims here.


Sijara Eubanks (8-6) vs Melissa Gatto (7-0-2) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

A very intriguing women’s flyweight bout here. Eubanks rebounded from consecutive defeats with a first-round KO win over Elise Reed at UFC Vegas 32, while Gatto won her UFC debut against Victoria Leonardo at UFC 265 due to an arm injury.

Eubanks is a great wrestler with excellent Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills and decent boxing abilities too, while Gatto is a grappler with four submission wins in her career to date. Interestingly, it’s Gatto who probably has the striking advantage on the feet with a two-inch reach advantage and better combinations. On the mat, it really depends who is on top.

The likelihood is that’ll be Eubanks, who has excellent offensive wrestling and her takedowns are often hard to defend against. Gatto is likely to be comfortable on her back chasing submissions, but Eubanks is skilled there and should be able to ride out top control to earn a judge’s decision win.
PICK – Sijara Eubanks via Decision

Justin Tafa (4-3) vs Harry Hunsucker (7-4) – (Heavyweight/220-265lbs)

Heavyweights up again, and the likelihood is this one doesn’t last too long. Tafa has lost his last two-in-a-row, dropping decisions to Carlos Felipe at UFC Fight Island 7 and Jared Vanderaa at UFC Vegas 27. Hunsucker on the other hand saw his UFC debut end in unconsciousness thanks to a resurging Tai Tuivasa at UFC Vegas 21.

Both these guys are your traditional heavyweights, who throw one or two strikes at a time with their feet planted and look to take their opponent’s head off. Tafa is quite clearly the more talented of the two here and that’s probably enough to earn him the win.

Hunsucker will come forward with his chin high and with poor defensive qualities and some sloppy offense, it should only take a couple of those big strikes from Tafa to land clean and end this one nice and early.
PICK – Justin Tafa via Knockout, Round 1



Raoni Barcelos (16-2) vs Victor Henry (21-5) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

One of the best fights on the entire card here and my pick for fight of the night. Barcelos saw a nine-fight win streak snapped last time out when Timur Valiev earned a majority decision win at UFC Vegas 30, while Henry makes his UFC debut after winning nine of his last ten fights.

Barcelos is an incredibly well-rounded fighter with brilliant boxing skills, fearsome leg kicks and a brilliant Brazilian jiu-jitsu game on the mat that has earned him ten stoppage wins in his career. Henry on the other hand is a decent wrestler himself with good power in his hands and some fine grappling himself to earn 14 stoppage wins in his career. Unfortunately for him, he’s outmatched everywhere in this fight in all honesty.

Henry has been beaten up on the feet by worse fighters, taken down by worse wrestlers and dominated on the ground by lesser grapplers. Barcelos has never really had a problem with his gas tank and while Henry has never been stopped, but that comes to an end this weekend.
PICK – Raoni Barcelos via Knockout, Round 2

Dustin Stoltzfus (13-3) vs Gerald Meerschaert (33-14) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

Prospect vs veteran in the featured prelim bout here. Stoltzfus is on a two-fight losing streak having been pipped to a decision by Kyle Daukaus at UFC 255 before getting submitted by Rodolfo Vieira at UFC Vegas 31. Meerschaert bounced back from his nasty KO against Khamzat Chimaev at UFC Vegas 17 to earn back-to-back submission wins against Bartosz Fabinski at UFC Vegas 24 and then Makhmud Muradov at UFC Vegas 35.

Stoltzfus is a good striker on the feet, using kicks and punches to accumulate volume and eventually put his opponents down. Meerschaert on the other side however is a volume striker too but he uses that to set up his takedowns and jiu-jitsu, with 26 submissions from 31 stoppages in his career. Meerschaert’s chin isn’t what it was, but it’s not totally gone yet. Stoltzfus needs to test it and land clean, hard shots to have a chance because on the mat he’s in big trouble.

Meerschaert will look to close distance, get the fight to the ground and work for submissions early. He will eat a shot to give one though so if Stoltzfus can put him down it won’t be a surprise in the slightest. In the end, I do think Stoltzfus will end up on the ground which is just bad news so it’s hard not to see Meerschaert being successful.
PICK – Gerald Meerschaert via Submission, Round 2

UFC Vegas 31: Makhachev vs Moises – Main card predictions

The lightweight division takes centre stage once again for the UFC this weekend as the highly rated Islam Makhachev headlines his first card against Tiago Moises at UFC Vegas 31.

Makhachev is hotly anticipated to make a run for the lightweight title in the future but takes on arguably his biggest test so far in this main event clash, replacing Max Holloway vs Yair Rodriguez which fell apart due to an injury for ‘Blessed’.

Last week at UFC 264 we had an excellent run, going 11/12 with three perfect picks to move to 363/566 (64.13%) with 163 perfect picks (44.9%) overall.

Lets see if we can improve on that run here with this 11 fight card and after starting with the early prelims and prelims here, here are the picks for the main card.


Gabriel Benitez (22-9) vs Billy Quarantillo (15-3) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

A super fun fight in the featherweight division as Benitez takes on fan-favourite Quarantillo. Benitez bounced back from two defeats in a row with a nasty knockout win over Justin Jaynes at UFC Vegas 16, while Quarantillo suffered the first defeat of his UFC run at UFC 256 against Gavin Tucker.

Benitez has got some incredible body kicks and good striking technique with his hands, while also using a chopping leg kick to his advantages. Quarantillo is a good wrestler with good striking too, using his range well and some great cardio. When you match them up skill-for-skill at 145lbs it’s hard to see Benitez losing but he’s had trouble making weight in the past and with his cardio.

Benitez will land plenty of strikes and damage but if Quarantillo can close the distance and drag the fight down to use his wrestling and wear on Benitez’s cardio issues. It’s a close fight but I think the damage will be enough to earn a decision win.
PICK – Gabriel Benitez via Decision

Rodolfo Vieira (7-1) vs Dustin Stoltzfus (13-2) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

The return of the jiu-jitsu phenom that is Rodolfo Vieira as he takes on another good grappler in Stoltzfus. Vieira is known as the black-belt hunter, but lost his last fight via submission against Anthony Hernandez after completing exhausting himself in the first round. Stoltzfus lost his UFC debut against Kyle Daukaus via decision at UFC 255, but his overall record is decent.

Vieira is a jiu-jitsu master with six of his seven wins coming via submission, while Stoltzfus has won five of his 13 victories via submission too. Vieira’s striking is completely non-existent but the level of his jiu-jitsu usually means if he gets you down it’s a wrap. Stoltzfus has got decent kicks in his arsenal, attacking the thigh and knee often knowing that he’s safe on his back. He isn’t against Vieira though.

Despite his last fight, Vieira is a supreme athlete with amazing jiu-jitsu and I do think he’d be able to get him down and get a submission. But Stoltzfus is good enough too to survive the opening round and capitalise on Vieira’s cardio issues to get the win himself as an underdog.
PICK – Dustin Stoltzfus via Knockout, Round 3

Jeremy Stephens (28-18) vs Mateusz Gamrot (18-1) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

The delayed lightweight debut of Jeremy Stephens against Mateusz Gamrot is finally here. Stephens has lost his last four fights at featherweight and hasn’t fought in over a year, while Gamrot bounced back from a split decision defeat at UFC Fight Island 6 with a KO win over Scott Holtzman at UFC Vegas 23.

Stephens is a great boxer with a bomb of a left hand, great durability and decent defensive grappling and is a veteran on the UFC roster. Gamrot on the other hand is a tremendous wrestler with decent striking to back him up which makes this fight a really interesting one. Stephens had legitimate one-punch KO power at featherweight and the move up to 155lbs will only help him in that regard but Gamrot is a very well-rounded fighter.

Gamrot is the naturally bigger man, and if he gets hit flush he’ll either go out or go straight into wrestling mode. If it’s the latter, then this could be a very long night for the veteran.
PICK – Mateusz Gamrot via Decision

Marion Reneau (9-7-1) vs Miesha Tate (18-7) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

A final run against a returning champion in the women’s bantamweight division as Reneau takes on Tate. Reneau is 44 and in her final fight of her contract, coming off four defeats in a row against Cat Zingano, Yana Kunitskaya, Raquel Pennington and Macy Chiasson most recently at UFC Vegas 22. Tate retired back in 2016 after a loss to Pennington, but returns now after five years away from the cage.

Reneau is a jiu-jitsu black belt with a limited striking game, while Tate is a strong wrestler with good submission skills of her own. Reneau is awful off her back and Tate is a good enough wrestler to get her down quickly and hold her down, using her boxing well to enter range. Reneau has much more power in her hands but her technique isn’t great.

Realistically this is set up for Tate to win the fight impressively and make her comeback a moment to remember.
PICK – Miesha Tate via Decision

Islam Makhachev (19-1) vs Thiago Moises (15-4) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

The next big thing at 155lbs as Makhachev takes on Moises who is coming in off a three-fight win streak. Makhachev returned from a year-and-a-half lay off back in March with a highly impressive submission win over Drew Dober at UFC 259, while Moises beat Bobby Green at UFC Vegas 12 and Alexander Hernandez at UFC Vegas 20.

Makhachev is an excellent striker with even scarier grappling, with his top position among the best in the entire sport never mind in the UFC lightweight division. Moises is a solid striker himself but he is also known for his jiu-jitsu skills, with six submission wins in his career. Makhachev’s wrestling is just such a big differential between the fighters that I can’t look past him winning.

He has his own submission skills but his positioning and pressure from the top is just as good at holding someone down and wearing them out and pounding them out. Moises has threats, but Makhachev’s cardio is likely to hold out and he’ll secure a big win.
PICK – Islam Makhachev via Decision