Tag Archives: UFC Fight Island 6

UFC Fight Island 6 Fallout – Ortega 2.0, Andrade a threat at 125lbs

After 22 months away from the octagon, Brian Ortega returned with a striking clinic to completely outclass the Korean Zombie on Fight Island this past weekend.

It was widely expected that Ortega would need to get the fight into grappling range and take it to the ground to beat Chan Sung Jung, with the Korean Zombie expected to dominate any sort of striking affair.

However it was Ortega who dominated on the feet, leading with a strong jab and staying largely out of Zombie’s range while mixing in leg kicks and feinting takedowns to completely throw him off his rhythm. ‘T-City’ won every round decisively, out-striking Jung for 25 minutes and shutting down talk that Max Holloway had proven he couldn’t hang at the top of the division.

With the win, Ortega will now face Alex Volkanovski for the featherweight title in the future with both the champ himself and UFC president Dana White confirming that is the plan.

A match-up with Volkanovski is about as interesting a fight that you can make in the featherweight division currently, with both guys extremely talented in all aspects of MMA. Volkanovski has got great wrestling skills and top control while he showed he is more than a capable striker by hanging with Max Holloway in both fights.

He’ll need to be careful against this version of Ortega though, as he looked more than comfortable striking on the feet but also he’s far more dangerous on the ground than Holloway ever has been. If Volkanovski opts to try to throw leg kicks like he did to win the title, then Ortega will look to catch the kick and get a takedown before latching on to the neck for a choke.

UFC Fight Night: Chookagian v Andrade : News Photo

The fight will take place likely in the first half of 2021 and is definitely one to be excited for.

Another fight that could happen in the first half of 2021 is Jessica Andrade challenging for the flyweight title. In her division debut, she stopped former challenger Katlyn Chookagian with body shots to get a knockout win for the first time since winning the strawweight title with her infamous slam on Rose Namajunas. She immediately called for a fight with champion Valentina Shevchenko after the fight and it’s something the UFC should seriously consider.

Shevchenko is due to defend her title against Jennifer Maia at UFC 255 next month but she has so far made short work of everyone in the division since it was created. She has beaten everyone she has faced in the UFC except for Amanda Nunes but Andrade poses a different threat than most others have presented her with. The Brazilian has genuine knockout power in her hands but also has an exceptional ground game. She’s a pocket-sized Nunes who will look to close the distance to stop Shevchenko using her kicking game and she has shown she has the strength to pick girls up and slam them regardless of the weight division, something ‘Bullet’ will need to be wary of letting her do.

With the UFC now planning into the new year, two new contenders have emerged for two dominant champions to turn their attentions to.

UFC Fight Island 6: Ortega vs Korean Zombie – Results (Highlights)

EARLY PRELIMS

Said Nurmagomedov def Mark Striegl via Knockout, Round 1 (0:51)

Well that was quick! Nurmagomedov and Striegl exchange leg kicks and then as Striegl moves in for a takedown, Nurmagomedov lands a huge right hook. He follows it up with violent and accurate ground and pound and this one is over! Wow!

Maxim Grishin def Gadzhimurad Antigulov via Knockout, Round 2 (4:58)

A slow round to start off the fight as both men take a while to put the feelers out. They exchange jabs and then Antigulov shoots in for a takedown attempt but Grishin stuffs it well. A few more shots from each as the round runs through but overall a quiet round. 10-9 Antigulov.

Second round opens with a spinning wheel kick attempt from Antigulov and then a grappling exchange sees Antigulov take his back. After a scramble it’s Grishin who takes the back of Antigulov and he ends up in full mount. Lots of strikes and elbows land and Antigulov looks hurt but he manages to kick off the fence and get back to the feet. Grishin starts landing heavy shots to the head and Antigulov is just covering up and not moving. He’s still standing and throws a wild uppercut that misses before being hit several more times and the referee stops the fight with 2 seconds remaining of the round. Antigulov is FUMING.

PRELIMS

Fares Ziam def Jamie Mullarkey via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)

Energetic round between the two fighters as both men show sharp striking and grappling skills throughout the round. Mullarkey shoots in for a takedown against the cage but Ziam reverses the position well and lands a couple of nice strikes before they get back to the feet. Ziam is using his long limbs well to stay out of range and land nice elbows and jabs well and he’ll take the first round. 10-9 Ziam.

Second round starts well once again as both men come forward. Ziam using his range well before Mullarkey starts clinching and using his strength. He shoots in for a double leg takedown and gets Ziam down. Some nice strikes land on the ground as he secures top position and looks to advance. Ziam is throwing elbows from the ground and defending well while scrambling out of positions but Mullarkey does enough to control and win the round in my eyes. 19-19.

Final round and it’s Ziam this time who goes in with the takedown attempt but some excellent defending and a scramble sees Mullarkey reverse the position and end up on top himself. Good ground and pound and he’s trying to advance position well but Ziam is defending expertly. Good scrambling from both but Mullarkey is showing his advantage on the mat and holds top position for long enough that he should have the decision wrapped up.

Jun Yong Park def John Phillips via Unanimous Decision (30-25 x3)

A tentative first 30 seconds of both fighters just bouncing in front of each other before Park shoots for a double leg takedown and gets it immediately. He stacks Phillips against the cage and starts working to advance position, with a neck crank and guillotine attempt that keeps Phillips down. He starts floating to take the back and lands lots of ground and pound strikes but nothing crazy solid but he dominates more than enough to take that round 10-8.

Second round goes exactly as the first did with Park landing a takedown early in the round and at the first attempt before going to work with lots and lots of ground and pound while controlling the position on the mat. Another 10-8 round comfortably.

Third round begins once again with Park securing a takedown and holding Phillips on the mat. More ground and pound, more control on the ground and more survival from Phillips because he just can’t do anything other than defend himself and move in bursts before being held down once again. This is a genuinely embarrassing performance from John Phillips. Three 10-8 rounds for Park.

Gillian Robertson def Poliana Botelho via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-27 x2)

Aggressive start to the fight for Robertson as she shoots in for a single leg takedown immediately but Botelho does well to stuff it. Botelho frames up well and engages in a clinch against the cage. She looks to break with an elbow but misses. Robertson circling on the outside and eats a couple of leg kicks and has another takedown attempt stuffed by the Brazilian. Eventually she secures a takedown and top position with a scramble and lands some nice knees to the body before the round ends. Close, but I’ve got it 10-9 Robertson.

Second round starts with Botelho coming forward and a nice strike sees Robertson’s mouth-guard fly out of her mouth. She marches forward and throws a kick that Robertson reads and ends up on her back. Robertson then spends the rest of the round in complete control on the ground, floating from position to position and threatening with ground and pound and submissions. Really good round for Robertson. 20-18.

Third round and Robertson is feinting takedowns and landing kicks instead to start with. Botelho comes forward again which allows Robertson the chance to change levels and secure yet another takedown. She gets into three-quarter mount quickly and starts landing lots of short elbows and ground and pound. Botelho is tired and beaten on the ground now and can’t even explode out. She gives up her back with seconds to go and Robertson takes it willingly to land more shots and take a pretty straight forward decision win.

Guram Kutateladze def Mateusz Gamrot via Split Decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)

A really fun first round in this one as the two debutants look to make an impression. Gamrot got a takedown early on after the initial feeling out process. Kutateladze throws up a rubber guard and threatens with a heel hook which gets the fight back to the feet. Kutateladze starts throwing big body kicks and nice combinations with the hands and keeps the fight standing for the most part to take the opening round. 10-9 Kutateladze.

Second round starts and Kutateladze lands a big right hand that drops Gamrot! The Pole recovers immediately though and looks for a takedown again but Kutateladze defends so well and keeps the fight standing. More body kicks and you can start to see the bruising on the ribs of Gamrot. Gamrot finally lands a takedown and keeps Kutateladze down for a short while and is able to land some ground and pound. That round could go either way.

Final round and Gamrot comes out hard and aggressive. He throws some nice jabs and hooks and attempts several takedowns throughout the round. Kutateladze defends so impressively and is able to land some body kicks back on the feet again but he’s tiring now. Gamrot continues with takedown attempts but he keeps struggling to keep the fight down on the ground for any stretch of time. He ends the round with some ground and pound but I think Kutateladze has done enough in the first two rounds.

MAIN CARD

Jonathan Martinez def Thomas Almeida via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)

A good competitive round to start the fight as Martinez uses his jab and footwork really well to cut the cage off to Almeida and prevent any danger coming back. Martinez throwing big kicks with the left leg and a nice left hook to take the opening round but Almeida is definitely in the fight and coming forward. 10-9 Martinez.

Second round and Almeida is leading the charge a little bit more in this round. He’s coming forward with longer combinations and is avoiding the jab of Martinez so far but a shot from Martinez has caused a cut under the left eye of Almeida. Almeida trying to vary his attacks with body kicks, head kicks and even a takedown attempt has got Martinez hesitating and Almeida lands a big left hook that drops him! Martinez gets back up quickly though and avoids further damage then lands a nice double jab that stuns Almeida. Really fun round, 19-19 for me.

What a round! Both men come out looking to claim the final round and are throwing really high level boxing combinations and exchanging kicks. Martinez’s jab is causing Almeida trouble but he’s now following it up with a big left hook that is landing and hurting Almeida. Almeida now throws a huge right hook of his own that lands clean but Martinez eats it well and comes back to land his own hook yet again. Another wild exchange to end the round as Martinez defends a takedown and should take the decision win. 29-28 Martinez for me.

James Krause def Claudio Silva via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)

A fun first round as Claudio Silva looks to take Krause’s head off with every punch and Krause continuously slips the looping hooks and is landing a big right hand to counter it almost at will. He’s using his footwork well to avoid the big attacks and is countering quite easily but Silva is desperate for a takedown. He gets a body lock against the cage but Krause defends very well and manages to break away and stay safe. 10-9 Krause.

Second round is more of the same as Krause stays out of range and continues to counter the looping left hook of Silva with a straight right hand down the middle. Krause varying the attack a bit more now with some body shots and front kicks but overall it’s almost a carbon copy of the first round with Silva getting more and more tired. 20-18 Krause.

Final round and Silva is attacking the knee of Krause with kicks. Krause told his corner between rounds that his knee is injured so maybe there’s an audible there. Krause’s movement is severely limited in this third round, but Silva continues to throw looping punches that miss wildly while Krause continues to try and counter Silva with a straight right or a right hook. Silva finally lands one of those left hooks but Krause eats it well and continues to land with his right hand as the round ends. 30-27 Krause for me.

Jimmy Crute def Modestas Bukauskas via Knockout, Round 1 (2:01)

Crute comes out and takes the centre of the cage immediately, standing his ground and looking to trade early. Bukauskas trying to be mobile and move around a lot to stay out of range and both fighters exchange leg kicks. Crute goes for a takedown and drives to the cage, but Bukauskas defends well. Crute takes the centre again and lands a huge overhand right to counter a body kick attempt from Bukauskas and drops him! He lands a big follow up shot followed by two more to the grounded Bukauskas and the referee stops the fight. Huge knockout win for Jimmy Crute.

Jessica Andrade def Katlyn Chookagian via Knockout, Round 1 (4:55)

Really competitive opening round between these two ladies as Andrade looks to impose her physicality early on and close the distance quickly. Andrade comes across the cage and quickly and engages in a clinch and goes straight to the ground with a slam. Chookagian uses her guard well to defend and gets slammed down again but nothing doing and she ends up getting back to her feet. Chookagian trying to use her range and kicking game to get a rhythm going but Andrade keeps pushing forward and throwing hooks. A clinch takes place again and Chookagian throws an elbow but Andrade throws a nasty body shot that makes her opponent scream in pain and walk away. Andrade hunts her down with a flying kick and then lands another body shot that drops Chookagian again and the referee stops the fight. Huge win in her flyweight debut!

Brian Ortega def Korean Zombie via Unanimous Decision (50-45 x3)

A methodical start to this fight as Ortega and Zombie both showing patience early on. Ortega happy to stand in boxing range and throws a very heavy leg kick that gets the attention of his opponent. Ortega lands a nice hook with Zombie coming forward as he looks to counter all of Ortega’s attacks. Zombie comes forward and throws a body kick but Ortega throws a big hook that drops him! Zombie recovers immediately and gets back to his feet as the round comes to an end. 10-9 Ortega.

Second round and Ortega looks to continue with the patient approach, while Zombie is a bit more aggressive this time around. Ortega throwing a nice jab but Zombie is throwing nice leg kicks that are bruising up the legs of ‘T-City’. Takedown attempt from Ortega but Zombie does well to defend it. Zombie rushes in for a combo but Ortega counters with a spinning elbow right on the chin that drops Zombie! Ortega rushes for a ground and pound finish but Zombie survives the onslaught. Ortega ends the round with a takedown and on top. 20-18 but that was Zombie’s round until the knockdown.

Ortega’s jab is the big difference here in the third round as he keeps the distance and continues to land shots. Zombie is trying to push the pace a bit more but he’s not throwing nearly enough to trouble Ortega at the moment. Another spinning elbow attempt from Ortega just misses but he lands a nice left hook and some more leg kicks to take another round. 30-27 Ortega.

Fourth round and this is an Ortega clinic right now. More aggressive by Zombie as he tries to back Ortega up against the cage but then he doesn’t throw anything and Ortega lets a leg kick fly to create some distance. Ortega goes for a single leg takedown and drives Zombie back against the cage then drops the leg and lands a short right hand to the side of the head that opens up a cut over Zombie’s eye. Ortega continues to pop his jab and throw leg kicks as the round comes to an end once again. Dominant from T-City, 40-36.

Final round and Korean Zombie needs the finish badly. Ortega continues to completely dominate the striking exchanges, using excellent footwork to move in and out of range and just popping off his jab. Ortega chipping away at Zombie as the cut gets worse and blood pours down the face of the Korean Zombie. He cruises into the final minute behind his jab and takes an absolutely perfect victory. 50-45 Ortega.

UFC Fight Island 6: Ortega vs Korean Zombie – Main Card Predictions

The long awaited featherweight clash between Brian Ortega and ‘Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung is finally upon us as the UFC gives us the fourth instalment of the Fight Island series.

The two men will face off in a clash described as a No.1 contender fight by UFC president Dana White, with personal pride as well as a future title shot on the line.

In an 11 fight card that will also see Jessica Andrade move up to strawweight for the first time to take on Katlyn Chookagian, I will break down every fight and give my predictions. I have already predicted the prelims here, and now I’ll take to the main card.

Last week I correctly predicted 8/13 overall with five perfect picks (winner, method, round) although I was wronged by arguably the greatest knockout of all-time for one of them.

MAIN CARD

Thomas Almeida (21-3) vs Jonathan Martinez (12-3) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

This one could be fun to open up the main card in the bantamweight division. Thomas Almeida was a 20-0 title contender before he got knocked out by Cody Garbrandt back in 2016 while Jonathan Martinez has had an intriguing run in the UFC so far. Almeida hasn’t fought since January 2018 due to an eye injury but prior to that he had lost three of four while Martinez is currently 3-2 in the UFC including his most recent knockout win over Frankie Saenz back in August. Both guys are Muay-Thai fighters with good hand speed, power and size and it’s a really tough fight to pick. At his best, Almeida would have the advantages but after almost three years away from the cage it’s hard to know what he’s bringing to the fight. Martinez is coming off a big win and he hits hard and accurately so with the likelihood of ring rust coming into play, I’m backing Martinez to take a close decision win.
PICK – Jonathan Martinez via Unanimous Decision

Claudio Silva (14-1) vs James Krause (27-8) – (Welterweight/170lbs)

Another short notice fight on the card as James Krause saves the day yet again, stepping in with around two weeks notice to take on 38 year old Claudio Silva. Despite his age, he doesn’t have a lot of cage miles on his clock, with Silva fighting just three times since 2014. He’s suffered injuries upon injuries but now looks to win a tenth fight by submission. Silva has zero striking proficiency so Krause should be able to pick him apart there, but Silva has a knack of finding a way to win. Krause is coming off a loss but it’s hard to consider it, since he stepped up to middleweight for the first time ever and lost a split decision on ONE DAYS notice. I think Krause’s striking matched up with his good ground game should see him scrape a close decision.
PICK – James Krause via Unanimous Decision

Jimmy Crute (11-1) vs Modestas Bukauskas (11-2) – (Light Heavyweight/205lbs)

A clash between two future contenders in the light heavyweight division here as Australia’s Jimmy ‘The Brute’ Crute takes on the British-Lithuanian Modestas Bukauskas. Crute will be making his first appearance since February, where he defeated Michael Oleksiujczuk via a kimura in the first round while Bukauskas returns to Fight Island following a successful debut where he knocked out Andreas Michailidis with elbows. Bukauskas is a former British kickboxing champion and showed his striking chops in that debut fight but he also showed that his takedown defence isn’t the greatest. Against a guy stepping up from middleweight, he only just stayed on his feet and Crute is a fierce grappler himself. A natural 205lber, Crute is one of the most well rounded fighters in the division and has the ability to knock people out, out wrestle them and even submit them if necessary. Bukauskas is an impressive prospect for the future but right now he’s not on Crute’s level and the Aussie should be able to get an impressive stoppage win.
PICK – Jimmy Crute via Submission, Round 1

Jessica Andrade (20-8) vs Katlyn Chookagian (14-3) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

A very, very good fight on the cards here in the women’s flyweight division as the former strawweight champion moves up to take on a former title challenger in the division. Chookagian is a kickboxer who uses her kicks and range to outpoint her opponents as her 11 decision wins shows on her record. Andrade on the other hand is a brawler who is happy to walk through the fire to get her hands on her opponent and be able to drag her down to the mat to use her wrestling and jiu-jitsu skills. She has lost her last two fights though, being knocked out by Weili Zhang and losing out to Rose Namajunas last time out on the judges scorecards. Chookagian has a huge height and reach advantage in the fight so it will suit her style perfectly, but Andrade is just so powerful and durable and will be able to push a pace that Chookagian has never had to keep up before. Andrade is much more likely to finish this fight than win on points which makes her super dangerous throughout and for that reason I think she’ll be able to get the win via stoppage.
PICK – Jessica Andrade via Submission, Round 2

Brian Ortega (14-1) vs Korean Zombie (16-5) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

Almost guaranteed to be the fight of the night, this grudge match will surely be a lot of fun. Brian Ortega is making his first appearance since December 2018 where he got absolutely battered by Max Holloway while the Korean Zombie looks to make it three wins in a row after he knocked out Frankie Edgar in December last year. ‘T-City’ stands for ‘Triangle City’ and that nickname is well earned, with Ortega’s jiu-jitsu game among the absolute best in all of MMA, while Zombie lives up to his nickname too with a kill or be killed style that has seen him destroy so many opponents in violent fashion. When Ortega tried to stand and bang with Holloway he ended up with a broken orbital bone, nose and hand and Holloway doesn’t hit nearly as hard as Zombie does. Chan Sung Jung is also not a slouch when it comes to grappling. He has submission wins via twister and d’arce chokes while his takedown defence is among the best in the division too. Overall, Ortega needs Zombie to make a mistake for him to win this fight. Zombie is too powerful and too well rounded and I think he may be able to get himself a knockout win if he lands heavy on the chin of ‘T-City’.
PICK – Korean Zombie via Knockout, Round 3

UFC Fight Island 6: Ortega vs Korean Zombie – Prelims Predictions

The long awaited featherweight clash between Brian Ortega and ‘Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung is finally upon us as the UFC gives us the fourth instalment of the Fight Island series.

The two men will face off in a clash described as a No.1 contender fight by UFC president Dana White, with personal pride as well as a future title shot on the line.

In an 11 fight card that will also see Jessica Andrade move up to strawweight for the first time to take on Katlyn Chookagian, I will break down every fight and give my predictions.

Last week I correctly predicted 8/13 overall with five perfect picks (winner, method, round) although I was wronged by arguably the greatest knockout of all-time for one of them.

PRELIMS

Said Nurmagomedov (13-2) vs Mark Striegl (18-2 1NC) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

An interesting fight to open the card as the brother of UFC lightweight champion Khabib takes on a UFC debutant at bantamweight. Nurmagomedov is a very good striker who is super active with great takedown defence, while Striegl is a Sambo fighter with good wrestling credentials and a really solid submission game. Striegl is undefeated in his last five fights, winning four in a row before a a no contest last time out due to a low blow. Nurmagomedov however lost his last fight via decision to Raoni Barcelos. This fight depends entirely on whether or not Striegl can get it to the ground. Nurmagomedov leaves himself open for takedowns with his vast array of spinning attacks but his defence is very good. He hasn’t fought anyone with a takedown game as good as Striegl’s in the UFC though and has been beaten already after allowing a late takedown last time out. If he can keep it standing, I think he should be able to light Striegl up on the feet to earn himself a decision win.
PICK – Said Nurmagomedov via Unanimous Decision

Gadzhimurad Antigulov (20-7) vs Maxim Grishin (30-8-2) – (Light Heavyweight/205lbs)

After a great run between 2011 and July 2020, Maxim Grishin came into the UFC in the heavyweight division to take on Marcin Tybura on short notice and was handily beaten when he couldn’t cope with the sheer size of his opponent. He returns to his natural weight class of 205lbs when he takes on Gadzhimurad Antigulov who looks to snap a three fight losing streak. Antigulov won his first two UFC fights via submission, but was then knocked out in the first round by Ion Cutelaba and Michal Oleksiejczuk before being tapped out in the first round by Paul Craig last time out. Grishin is a pretty well rounded fighter, with good grappling defence and much better striking than Antigulov who will simply look to drag this fight to the ground. If Grishin can avoid the initial burst of energy and takedown attempts from Antigulov then he will see him zap all his energy and he’ll become target practice before a stoppage win.
PICK – Maxim Grishin via Knockout, Round 2

Jamie Mullarkey (12-3) vs Fares Ziam (10-3) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

A fight between two fairly young fighters looking to bounce back from a defeat last time out in this bout. Mullarkey made his debut in the organisation back in October 2019 at UFC 243, where he was outclassed by Brad Riddell on the night. Fares Ziam’s debut was on short notice back in September 2019 where he took on Don Madge at UFC 242 and was also just bettered by the better man on the night. Both men have all their wins bar one (11 for Mullarkey and 9 for Ziam) via stoppage so both are capable of finishing the fight but I believe Mullarkey has the edge. He’s a better striker and a more experienced grappler who has fought against better level opposition. For that reason, I expect he’ll be able to catch Ziam with a nice shot and then lay on the ground and pound for the win.
PICK – Jamie Mullarkey via Knockout, Round 1

Jun Yong Park (11-4) vs John Phillips (22-10 1NC) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

This one seems a bit of a mismatch on paper, until you remember that John Phillips has got a stupid amount of knockouts on his record. The Welshman has a staggering 19 KO wins in his career, but that meant nothing in his last bout when he was handsomely destroyed by Khamzat Chimaev. Park himself is a decent boxer but has more than enough wrestling acumen to cause Phillips a lot of issues. He’s 1-1 in the UFC following a defeat to Anthony Hernandez before a win over Marc-Andre Barriault last time out. If Park is silly enough to go to war with Phillips and exchange punches in a phone booth then he’ll get knocked out. If anything else happens, then he should win this comfortably. My bet is he takes the fight down early like Chimaev did and works the Welshman over before sinking in a choke for the win.
PICK – Jun Yong Park via Submission, Round 1

Gillian Robertson (8-4) vs Poliana Botelho (8-2) – (Strawweight/125lbs)

A strawweight bout between two prospects in the division as 25 year old Gillian Robertson looks to make it two wins on the bounce when she takes on Poliana Botelho. Her last fight was a submission win over Courtney Casey back in June. Robertson is a member of the American Top Team and has a fantastic wrestling game that opens up her superb jiu-jitsu. Botelho is a good boxer and has good power in her hands as her six knockout wins show, but she hasn’t fought in over 18 months. She has a very wide stance which could make the takedown hard for Robertson to get and she also has a height and reach advantage. The issue is she prefers for a big punch rather than to pop her jab and throw combinations, so I think Robertson should be able to slip the power shots and secure a takedown on an off-balance Botelho before putting her ground work in and securing a submission win.
PICK – Gillian Robertson via Submission, Round 1

Mateusz Gamrot (17-0 1NC) vs Guram Kutateladze (11-2) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

After watching his teammate Khamzat Chimaev take the UFC by storm on Fight Island back in July, Guram Kutateladze steps in on a little over a week’s notice to take on undefeated Pole and former KSW featherweight and lightweight double champ Mateusz Gamrot. Gamrot is a very intelligent fighter who has power in his hands but tends to lean more on his wrestling and submission skills to finish fights, while Kutateladze is a Muay-Thai fighter with exceptional striking skills. The Georgian has the speed and power advantage on the feet but his grappling leaves plenty to be desired. Unless he has developed some new wrestling defence techniques, I expect Gamrot to take him down and control him against the fence for a comfortable decision win in his UFC debut.
PICK – Mateusz Gamrot via Unanimous Decision

Brian Ortega Looking To Prove He Belongs At The Top Of 145lbs Division

It has been nearly two years since we watched Max Holloway’s greatest performance in an octagon, handing Brian Ortega the first defeat of his professional career.

‘T-City’ was supposed to be the kryptonite to Holloway’s title reign, with his insane ground game expected to test ‘Blessed’ to a point he’d not been pushed to yet. Instead, he got beaten black and blue as Holloway cemented his legacy as one of the greatest featherweights of all-time.

Since then he’s been away from the cage, training to get back to where he feels he belongs. A fight with the Korean Zombie has fallen apart twice already but they are scheduled to finally meet this weekend at UFC Fight Island 6 where they will headline the card.

UFC 231 Holloway v Ortega : News Photo

For Ortega, it’s a chance to beat a top contender in the division and potentially set up a clash with new champion Alexander Volkanovski but also to remind everyone of just how good he really is.

Despite that resounding loss to Holloway, Ortega was undefeated prior to that. He had beaten Diego Brandão, Clay Guida, Renato Moicano, Cub Swanson and Frankie Edgar during his UFC run – finishing them all. The performance against Edgar in particular was startling, knocking out the former lightweight champion with a vicious uppercut that was the first time he’d ever been stopped.

Ortega’s ability to synch in a choke from out of nowhere was on show against Cub Swanson, when he hung on to a guillotine in mid-air and adjusted his grip to get the tap while Swanson was still standing.

His striking has improved greatly since his initial debut and he landed well against Holloway but he will need more than just landing well against the Korean Zombie if he wants to win the fight. Chan Sung Jung is coming into this bout with bad blood after several verbal altercations led to Ortega slapping Jung’s friend at a UFC event last year.

Zombie is the better striker and is more than competent on the ground himself, being the first man to ever win a fight in the UFC using a twister submission. He’s a veteran of the cage and hits hard, becoming only the second man – after Ortega – to knock Frankie Edgar out.

This will be a war of attrition at featherweight and Ortega knows he needs the win to not be forgotten about. A second defeat in a row against a top contender after almost two years away will almost certainly send him crashing down the rankings and will leave him with a mountain to climb with the way the division has developed since he’s been away.

The likes of Volkanovski and Holloway are still around but there are also top contenders like Zabit Magomedsharipov, Yair Rodriguez and Calvin Kattar all knocking at the door of contention for a potential fight with the champ.

A win is vital for Ortega if he is continue on his path towards the mountain top, but there’s a zombie in his way who he has to find a way around first.