Tag Archives: Josiane Nunes

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 34: Cannonier vs Gastelum – Prelims predictions

The UFC returns after a two week break with two middleweights battling to get back into contention at the top of the rankings as Jared Cannonier takes on Kelvin Gastelum.

Originally supposed to be Paulo Costa, Gastelum stepped in to take over this bout and knows that a win for him can get him back in the conversation for a future title shot while Cannonier knows he’s just two big wins away from a title shot in all likelihood.

In a 12 fight card, it’s a card with a few sleeper fights and a killer main event so lets see how we do with our picks.

Last time out at UFC 265 we went 9/13 with four perfect picks to move to 383/600 (63.83%) with 169 perfect picks (44.13%). We’ll look to improve that here and after starting with the early prelims here, these are the rest of the prelim picks.

Bea Malecki (4-0) vs Josiane Nunes (7-1) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

An interesting women’s bantamweight bout in this one. Sweden’s Malecki is 2-0 in the UFC but hasn’t fought since March 2020, but is unbeaten in her professional career. Nunes on the other hand is on a six-fight win streak and is set to make her UFC debut in this one after her initial debut got cancelled on super-short notice last time out.

Malecki is a classic striker, with good kicks and range management on the feet but a totally non-existent ground game. Nunes on the other hand is a power striker who stands at just 5ft 2′ and has six knockout wins in her career. Nunes has a decent ground game too, but with such a size disadvantage in each of her fights she doesn’t really get to use it. Malecki will look to try and control range but with a lack of power, her opponents tend to just walk through it to get to her.

Neither of these women are going to light up the bantamweight division any time soon with their current level or skillset, but Malecki’s ability to strike from a distance should be enough to earn a decision win in a not-so entertaining bout.
PICK – Bea Malecki via Decision

Brian Kelleher (22-12) vs Domingo Pilarte (8-2) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

A very fun bantamweight fight in the men’s division for this one. ‘Boom’ Kelleher returns to action after defeat to Ricky Simon at UFC 258, while Pilarte fights for the first time since February 2020 when he got knocked out by Journey Newson in just 38 seconds but saw it overturned after a positive marijuana test.

Kelleher is a really well rounded fighter, with good submission skills on the ground as well as a really powerful right hand. Pilarte is similar, but to a lesser level, with decent power and a sneakily good ground game himself. Pilarte has some good calf kicks in his game but defensively he is poor and Kelleher can take advantage of that. If he steps forward and applies pressure, he has a good enough chin to take damage and enough power to end the fight early.

If the fight goes to the ground it will be interesting, because Kelleher is capable of out-scrambling Pilarte and pushing a great pace but overall I think Kelleher gets the win on the feet and the ground to earn himself a good win.
PICK – Brian Kelleher via Knockout, Round 2

Austin Lingo (8-1) vs Luis Saldana (15-6) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

Featured prelim fight is a fun featherweight scrap between two up and coming fighters. Lingo bounced back from defeat in his UFC debut to earn a decision win over Jacob Kilburn at UFC Fight Island 7, while Saldana has won five in a row including last time out against Jordan Griffin at UFC Vegas 23.

Lingo is a man with genuine knockout power on his feet, but nothing more than decent boxing technique outside of that. Saldana on the other hand is a kickboxer with good range management and a solid kicking game with good wrestling in his back pocket too. Lingo isn’t the most aggressive fighter considering his best chance to win fights is to land a big single shot and that will help Saldana.

If Lingo can press forward and maintain his power, Saldana struggles with pressure but I don’t see Lingo employing those tactics. Because of that, Saldana is likely to stay at range and use his leg kicks and body kicks to earn a win via the judges.
PICK – Luis Saldana via Decision

UFC Vegas 24: Whittaker vs Gastelum – Early prelims predictions

The middleweight division continues to move on at UFC Vegas 24 as Robert ‘The Reaper’ Whittaker takes on short-notice replacement Kelvin Gastelum in the main event.

Whittaker knows a win cements his place as the number one contender for a potential rematch with Israel Adesanya, while Gastelum looks to get back to the sort of run that saw him fight Adesanya in an interim title fight two short years ago.

In the co-main event, Jeremy Stephens makes a return to the lightweight division for the first time since 2012 when he takes on heavy hitter Drakkar Klose at 155lbs.

Last time out at UFC Vegas 23 we had a pretty good night, going 9/13 with four perfect picks to take our total up to 279/439 (63.55%) with 125 perfect picks (44.8%).

We’ll look to improve that with this 12 fight card, starting with the early prelims here.

Tony Gravely (20-6) vs Anthony Birchak (16-7) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

A fun bantamweight fight to open this card up as two fairly new fighters in the company go head-to-head. Gravely is 1-1 in the UFC, losing his debut to Brett Johns before returning with a split decision win over Geraldo de Freitas Jr in November. Birchak made his debut in November too at UFC Vegas 13 and was beaten on short notice by Gustavo Lopez via first-round submission.

Gravely is only 5ft 5 but is always looking to wrestle his opponents down to the ground and stay heavy on top and work his ground and pound game. Birchak on the other hand has some pretty decent takedown defence and has a more than decent submission game. Despite that though, this fight looks pretty lopsided.

Gravely is a primary wrestler and Birchak has been dominated by them in the past. His best chance to snatch a neck on a takedown, but Gravely is too experienced to get caught with that and he should be able to cruise to a dominant decision win.
PICK – Tony Gravely via Decision

Austin Hubbard (12-5) vs Dakota Bush (8-2) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

A lightweight fight between the very popular Austin Hubbard as he takes on the best nickname in the UFC, Dakota ‘Hairy’ Bush. Hubbard has alternated losses and wins in all five of his UFC fights, going 2-3 so far with a defeat to Joe Solecki last time out at at UFC Vegas 7 after beating Max Roshkopf at UFC Vegas 3 when he forced him to retire on his stall.

Hubbard has some good striking on the feet and his defensive wrestling is pretty good considering, while Bush is a primary wrestler. Stepping in on just one week’s notice that could’ve been a problem, but Bush isn’t as good a wrestler as Hubbard’s original opponent. That should mean the fight gets kept standing and both guys are capable on the feet, but Hubbard is the better striker and with his excellent cardio he could potentially get a late finish too.
PICK – Austin Hubbard via Knockout, Round 3

Zarah Fairn (6-4) vs Josiane Nunes (7-1) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

A very interesting women’s bantamweight fight as the once highly touted Zarah Fairn takes on debutant Josiane Nunes. Fairn entered the UFC as a featherweight but was easily stopped in the first round by both Megan Anderson and then Felicia Spencer. Nunes has won six in a row coming into this, including her last five via knockout.

Fairn is a well-rounded fighter with a mix of everything in her game, but her clinches are excellent and with Nunes only 5ft 2′ knees could be a very clear path to victory. Nunes on the other hand is a power puncher with a good low kick to set up her overhand, but other than that there isn’t much to her game.

It won’t be the most high quality scrap on the card and I think Fairn will use her reach and size to be able to get the first win of her UFC career.
PICK – Zarah Fairn via Decision