Tag Archives: Kyle Nelson

UFC Vegas 68: Lewis vs Spivac – Main card predictions

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UFC London: Blaydes vs Aspinall – Early prelims predictions

The UFC returns to London’s O2 Arena for the second time this year for a stacked card, headlined by a heavyweight duel between top five big-men Curtis Blaydes and Tom Aspinall.

We’ll also see the likes of Paddy Pimblett, Molly McCann, Mason Jones, Alexander Gustafsson, Paul Craig and Muhammad Mokaev competing in an event sure to provide plenty of fireworks.

Last week at UFC Long Island we went 8/12 with three perfect picks, moving us up to 685/1032 (64.34%) with 284 perfect picks (42.77%). You can check out our full history of picks here.

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


Claudio Silva (14-3) vs Nicolas Dalby (19-4-1) – (Welterweight/170lbs)

A fun welterweight scrap opens up the card in this one. Silva has lost his last two fights, dropping unanimous decisions to James Krause and Court McGee most recently. Meanwhile Dalby saw a six-fight undefeated streak snapped last time out, dropping a decision to Tim Means last time out.

Silva is a typical old fashioned Brazilian fighter who uses his excellent takedowns and jiu-jitsu skills to secure submissions, as his nine career submission wins show. Dalby on the other hand is a tidy kickboxer with decent boxing, but his takedown defence isn’t good and he’s a very slow starter.

That’s a big problem against someone like Silva, who will come out quickly and look to get this fight down to the ground quickly to work his grappling game. If he’s successful then this won’t last long, but if it goes on for a bit longer then Dalby should be able to grow and use his size and striking to pick Silva off from distance. That said, the fast start is a big problem so I think the Brazilian gets it done in this one, in one.
PICK – Claudio Silva via Submission, Round 1

Mandy Bohm (7-1) vs Victoria Leonardo (8-5) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

Two women coming off losses go head-to-head next in the flyweight division. Bohm suffered the first defeat of her career last time out, dropping a decision to Ariane Lipski while Leonardo has lost her two, getting KO’d by Manon Fiorot at UFC Fight Island 8 and then breaking her arm and retiring on her stall against Melissa Gatto at UFC 265.

Bohm is a decent striker with good mobility and movement as she looks to keep distance and pick her opponents off. Leonardo on the other hand is a strong grappler and wrestler, who uses her physicality to drive opponents against the cage and work her takedowns.

Leonardo’s only defeats in her career so far have come against top opposition, and her strengths lie exactly where Bohm’s weaknesses sit. Bohm is the better striker, but if she allows Leonardo to close the distance and get hold of her then I expect her to claim a comfortable win with control and damage on the mat.
PICK – Victoria Leonardo via Decision



Jai Herbert (11-4) vs Kyle Nelson (13-4) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

Banger at lightweight up next as Herbert makes his return from the last UFC London event. He has lost three of four in the UFC, getting KO’d by Francisco Trinaldo (UFC Fight Island 3), choked out by Renato Moicano and KO’d again by Ilia Topuria. He earned his own stoppage win over Khama Worthy in the middle of that. Nelson on the other hand is in the same boat, but his fights stretch back to 2018. His last bout saw him KO’d by Billy Quarantillo most recently at UFC Vegas 10.

Herbert is a guy who absolutely loves to go to war with his guys, with solid striking and some decent wrestling defence in his locker too. He’s looked chinny in the UFC though, getting put out cold in both his KO losses. Nelson is a decent striker himself, with decent power, but he’s naturally a featherweight and he has a considerable speed disadvantage in this one.

Nelson will look to wrestle and slow Herbert down, but Herbert is so quick with such great technique and power on the feet as well as his defence that he’s likely to be able to catch him first with some powerful strikes to claim the win in impressive fashion in front of his home nation crowd.
PICK – Jai Herbert via Knockout, Round 2

Muhammad Mokaev (7-0) vs Charles Johnson (11-2) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

The super impressive undefeated Mokaev is back for his second UFC bout up next. He earned a brilliant debut win at UFC London back in March, choking out Cody Durden in just 58 seconds. Johnson on the other hand makes his UFC debut on a four-fight win streak, coming over from the LFA.

Mokaev is a brilliantly well-rounded fighter, with lightning quick strikes and good power to go with excellent grappling skills and some tight, technical chokes. Johnson meanwhile is super experienced, with good striking and scrambling skills and he will be a tough test for the 21-year-old without a doubt. With that said though, Johnson has some glaring faults that Mokaev should be more than ready to exploit.

Johnson has a habit of throwing naked kicks in punching range, and also backing himself up against the cage and going on the defence quickly. That makes him bread and butter for a wrestler as good and relentless as Mokaev is, and while I think Johnson should be able avoid being submitted I do expect him to be dominated for 15 minutes for another big win for “The Punisher”.
PICK – Muhammad Mokaev via Decision