Tag Archives: UFC Vegas 63

UFC Vegas 63: Kattar vs Allen – Main card predictions

The UFC returns to the Apex in Las Vegas for a featherweight clash in the main event between Calvin Kattar and Arnold Allen in a potential title eliminator.

Both guys are coming off great wins last time out and will be hoping to put their case forward for a shot against Alex Volkanovski in 2023.

There’s a pretty good undercard to go off too in comparison to recent weeks, so it’s a good set of fights to look forward to.

Last time out at UFC 280 we went 8/12 with four perfect picks to move to 749/1166 (64.58%) with 317 perfect picks (42.1%). You can see our full pick history here.

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


Dustin Jacoby (18-5-1) vs Khalil Rountree Jr (11-5) – (Light Heavyweight/205lbs)

Some brilliant kickboxers go head to head here. Jacoby is unbeaten in his last nine, with eight wins and a draw including winning his last four in a row. Rountree has won his last two, snapping Modestas Bukauskas’ ACL before smoking Karl Roberson back in March.

Jacoby is a legitimate kickboxer with elite striking skills to get in and out of range, while landing great boxing combinations at the same time too. Rountree is a striker too who’s performance blow from hot to cold and back again at the drop of a hat. You never know what you’re going to get from him, apart from lots of kicks and a solid clinch game.

With that said though, you surely have to go with the fighter who is consistently at a good level whether in victory or defeat. It’s been a long time since Jacoby lost a fight and that’s because he comes in and fights to his plan perfectly with great execution. His power and height advantage could play a big part too, despite a slightly shorter reach, so go with Jacoby on the cards.
PICK – Dustin Jacoby via Decision

Josh Fremd (9-3) vs Tresean Gore (4-2) – (Middleweight/185llbs)

Ultimate Fighter finalist returns to the octagon in this one. Fremd suffered defeat in his UFC debut to Anthony Hernandez back at UFC 273, while Gore’s first two trips to the octagon ended in defeat when he lost to Bryan Battle via decision and then got knocked out by Cody Brundage most recently.

Gore is a decent striker with some good kickboxing and excellent power, but he’s incredibly green in the MMA game and he’s been shown up on the UFC stage so far. Fremd is a volume heavy fighter who thrives in chaos, and also has some decent grappling in his back pocket if he needs to use it. This is a bit of an odd bout though on paper.

Fremd can make this a horrible fight for Gore if he uses his cardio and chaos, but if it’s a tidy, technical bout then Gore should be able to win this relatively comfortably. An uptick in volume, plus his added size and good power has me leaning his way but this really is last chance saloon for Gore.
PICK – Tresean Gore via Knockout, Round 1

Waldo Cortes-Acosta (7-0) vs Jared Vanderaa (12-9) – (Heavyweight/220-265lbs)

Big boys back in the cage now. Cortes-Acosta is an undefeated fighter making his UFC debut after a first-round knockout win on Dana Whites’ Contender Series back in August. Vanderaa is a UFC veteran on the other hand, who has lost five of his last six including his last four against Alexander Romanov, Andrei Arlovski, Alexei Oleinik and Chase Sherman.

Acosta is an absolute powerhouse with good boxing and a huge overhand right that can turn the lights out in an instant. There’s also a bit of wrestling there too which can see him be content on the ground, but he wants the fight on the feet. Vanderaa on the other hand is a fighter who likes to mix in his big strikes with wrestling and grappling as a jiu-jitsu guy, but he tends to just stand and that gets him in a lot of trouble.

This is a very strange fight at a very strange spot on the card. With Vanderaa’s recent performances and results, it seems like a bit of a setup fight for Cortes-Acosta. A former pro boxer, he will be very happy with this matchmaking and I expect him to land a nasty combination to end the night early and make a statement.
PICK – Waldo Cortes-Acosta via Knockout, Round 1



Tim Means (32-13-1) vs Max Griffin (18-9) – (Welterweight/170lbs)

A banger of a bout at welterweight that could really take the shine off the main event. Means was on a three-fight win streak before being submitted by Kevin Holland most recently in June, while Griffin had the same before Neil Magny beat him in March.

Means is a technical striker with good boxing skills and a decent wrestling game too, while Griffin in a well-rounded fighter with really good wrestling to go with his striking skills. This is a fight between two guys who are incredibly well matched and have a very similar skillset that could go either way in reality. Means is 38 now though and past his best, so Griffin will be confident that he can get the job done.

Expect that Griffin will come forward and meet him in the middle to land good striking combinations and mix in his takedowns. Means will no doubt be able to hold his own and compete in this fight, but the age difference is big and Griffin should be a bit quicker and more eye-catching to earn the win on the cards.
PICK – Max Griffin via Decision

Calvin Kattar (23-6) vs Arnold Allen (18-1) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

What. A. Fight. Kattar bounced back from a horror loss to Max Holloway (UFC Fight Island 7) by destroying Giga Chikadze at UFC Vegas 46, but then dropped a split decision to Josh Emmett most recently. Allen on the other hand is undefeated in the UFC with an 8-0 record and made a huge statement with a first-round knockout over Dan Hooker at UFC London back in March in his last fight.

Kattar is one of the best pure strikers in the UFC with terrific boxing combinations and incredible power, while he loves to mix in elbow strikes and showed his wrestling credentials against Chikadze. Allen on the other hand is a fantastic wrestler with a great grappling game, but he also has super power in his hands and good kickboxing combinations too. These two guys are well-rounded, but this is Allen’s biggest step up in competition in this division.

“Almighty” beat Hooker with ease, but that was a depleted lightweight. Kattar has been at the top of the mountain against the very best guys and while we saw that he’s not of that calibre, he knows what it feels like. Allen is likely to use his wrestling more, rather than standing and striking with Kattar who will have the advantage there. It could go either way in reality, but momentum is huge in this sport and I think Allen can do enough damage and use his wrestling well enough to get the decision on the cards.
PICK – Arnold Allen via Decision

UFC Vegas 63: Kattar vs Allen – Prelims predictions

The UFC returns to the Apex in Las Vegas for a featherweight clash in the main event between Calvin Kattar and Arnold Allen in a potential title eliminator.

Both guys are coming off great wins last time out and will be hoping to put their case forward for a shot against Alex Volkanovski in 2023.

There’s a pretty good undercard to go off too in comparison to recent weeks, so it’s a good set of fights to look forward to.

Last time out at UFC 280 we went 8/12 with four perfect picks to move to 749/1166 (64.58%) with 317 perfect picks (42.1%). You can see our full pick history here.

We’ll look to improve on that here and after starting with the early prelims, we move on to the rest of the prelims here.


Joseph Holmes (8-2) vs Junyong Park (14-5) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

Middleweights step into the octagon next. Holmes saw a seven-fight win streak snapped in his UFC debut against Jamie Pickett back at UFC Vegas 46, but bounced back with a first-round submission win over Alen Amedovski in May last time out. Park alternatively saw a three-fight win streak in the UFC ended when Gregory Rodrigues knocked him out in October last year, but he rebounded with a split decision win over Eryk Anders in his last fight.

Holmes is an excellent wrestler who comes into this fight with a huge advantage in height and reach, while his submission game and top control are big weapons that he likes to use. Park is a bit of a wild man in the octagon, with decent striking and good grappling defence but not really excelling in any department outside of his excellent cardio.

On paper Holmes should be able to use his reach to control where this fight takes place, but Park is very durable and will pressure Holmes plenty during this fight. Expect him to overwhelm Holmes and land the more eye-catching shots while refusing to be held down to score a win on the judge’s scorecards.
PICK – Junyong Park via Decision

Andrei Arlovski (34-20) vs Marcos Rogerio de Lima (19-9-1) – (Heavyweight/220-265lbs)

Heavyweight scrap up next between two veterans of the game. 43 year old Arlovski has bounced back from a submission loss to Tom Aspinall (UFC Vegas 19) with four straight wins over Chase Sherman, Carlos Felipe, Jared Vanveraa (UFC 271) and Jake Collier most recently. De Lima is 37 himself and is 2-2 in his last four, losing to Alexander Romanov (UFC Vegas 13) and Blagoy Ivanov either side of wins against Maurice Greene and Ben Rothwell.

Arlovski is one of the most complete heavyweights in history, with an excellent wrestling game to go with his expert kickboxing and good power. De Lima is a bulldozer who steps forward looking to end the fight in the first 150 seconds before slowly falling off a cliff with his cardio in the bin. This looks like another typical bout for Arlovski that he likely won’t be losing.

If De Lima lands flush a couple of times then Arlovski is going to sleep, but we’ve said that often in recent years and it hasn’t happened. Arlovski is still savvy enough to avoid those big shots and get his own damage in, and with De Lima’s cardio so poor, expect him to see off the initial blitz and then mix in some wrestling and clinch work to claim a decision win.
PICK – Andrei Arlovski via Decision



Phil Hawes (12-3) vs Roman Dolidze (10-1) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

Banger at middleweight in the featured prelim bout of the night. Hawes was on an absolute tear in the UFC winning his first three fights over Jacob Malkoun (UFC 254), Nassourdine Imavov and Kyle Daukaus, before a shock loss to Chris Curtis at UFC 268. He responded to that with a KO win over Deron Winn most recently. Dolidze recently made it two wins in a row, beating Kyle Daukaus via first-round KO.

Hawes is a brilliant kickboxer with legitimate knockout power and fantastic wrestling to go with it, making him a legitimate threat in the weight division. Dolidze on the other hand is a super wrestler who looks to use that to grind on his opponents and control them on the ground, handing out some decent ground and pound in the process. Big problem for him here though, he’s not as good at Hawes at anything.

“No Hype” should be able to have his way with Dolidze wherever this fight goes, but Dolidze is talented enough to make him pay if he isn’t at the top of his game. Hawes has got great power and a great array of attacks, so he should be able to land well and mix it up enough to potentially claim a finish but I do think Dolidze will be able to go the full 15.
PICK – Phil Hawes via Decision

UFC Vegas 63: Kattar vs Allen – Early prelims predictions

The UFC returns to the Apex in Las Vegas for a featherweight clash in the main event between Calvin Kattar and Arnold Allen in a potential title eliminator.

Both guys are coming off great wins last time out and will be hoping to put their case forward for a shot against Alex Volkanovski in 2023.

There’s a pretty good undercard to go off too in comparison to recent weeks, so it’s a good set of fights to look forward to.

Last time out at UFC 280 we went 8/12 with four perfect picks to move to 749/1166 (64.58%) with 317 perfect picks (42.1%). You can see our full pick history here.

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


Christian Rodriguez (7-1) vs Joshua Weems (10-2) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

An interesting bantamweight fight opens the card here. Rodriguez made his UFC debut back in February but was on the wrong side of a decision against Jonathan Pearce, while Weems makes his promotional debut in this one on a two-fight win streak via submissions.

Weems is a terrific grappler with a fantastic submission game, but he almost never uses it offensively and instead waits for his opponents to try and take him down before latching onto their neck or arm. He’s a brawler outside of that and it always makes for exciting bouts. Rodriguez on the other hand is a more steady boxer with good combinations and a decent low kick too, while his defensive grappling and offensive wrestling are decent too.

Both of these guys are unlikely to pull up any trees in the UFC any time soon, but Rodriguez certainly has more to his game. Weems is likely to come in as usual quite aggressively, and I expect Rodriguez to deal with that relatively easily with his jab and footwork. He’s got decent finishing power and with a really short-notice build for this for Weems, he could secure a late finish if he stays sharp and focus throughout.
PICK – Christian Rodriguez via Knockout, Round 2

Cody Durden (13-4-1) vs Carlos Mota (8-1) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

Flyweights going at it next in a fun bout. Durden was submitted by Muhammad Mokaev in just 58 seconds back in March, but rebounded from that with a 68 second knockout win over JP Buys in June most recently. Mota makes his UFC debut in this one having won his last two in a row via first-round knockouts.

Durden is an excellent wrestler with great top control and some nasty ground and pound to go with it, while his improvements in the striking department are noted too. Mota is a super aggressive and brilliant striker with a phenomenal body attack and great power that has earned him four knockout wins in his career to date. The longer this stays standing it will suit the Brazilian, and Durden has got a habit of fading as we get later into the fight.

With that said though, Durden’s wrestling and experience at this level should be enough to win at least two rounds. Mota is a good scrambler but Durden doesn’t often need multiple takedowns to gain control, but he has it in his toolbox to do that. I expect him to win both the first two rounds with his wrestling and top game, before surviving a late comeback from Mota to earn the decision win.
PICK – Cody Durden via Decision



Chase Hooper (11-2-1) vs Steve Garcia (12-5) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

Another fun bout this time in the featherweight division to close out this portion of the card. Hooper was super highly rated in the UFC but is now 2-2 in his last four, alternating losses to Alex Caceres (UFC 250) and Steven Peterson (UFC 263) with wins over Peter Barrett (UFC 256) and Felipe Colares most recently. Garcia on the other hand is 1-2 in the UFC, losing to Luis Pena, before beating Charlie Ontiveros and then losing most recently to Maheshate at UFC 275 in the first round.

Hooper is a grappling wizard on the ground with supreme technical skills in jiu-jitsu, who leaves a lot to be desired in the realm of striking on the feet. Garcia on the other hand is a striker who relies a lot on his power, but often overthrows and finds himself in trouble as he isn’t the most durable man on the roster. With that said, Hooper will be licking his lips at this match-making.

Garcia really struggles to control distance on the feet and if he gets too close and allows Hooper to grab him, this will likely end up on the mat. There he is basically in the ocean with a shark, as Hooper will control him relatively easily and likely cave his head in until the referee steps in to call it a day.
PICK – Chase Hooper via Knockout, Round 2