Mark Hunt vs Aleksei Oleinik
A fight between one of the premier knockout artists in combat sports and one of the most accomplished heavyweight submission guys.
Basically Oleinik needs to get the fight to the ground or he’s in trouble but if he can get the the takedowns then it’s advantage to him. One issue I have when Hunt fights these day is where is his head at? We all know he has legal and personal problems with the UFC and doesn’t want to be there anymore but does that make him go in half hearted? Not caring? Fight out his contract and go to RIZIN? Or will personal pride make him want to knock this man out?.
If all is well and both men give it their all I see Hunt getting the knockout. Hunt is not that easy to take down, especially when he’s looking for it and at times Oleinik can come in with his head down when he’s looking for the clinch. I see Hunt finishing with a right uppercut, round 2.
Prediction : Hunt by KO
Jan Blachowicz vs Nikita Krylov
The return of Nikita Krylov after two years away from the UFC. Jan Blachowicz is a good fighter and he’s had some good moments but I’m all in on Krylov here. Big, strong, fast and confident. He’s on a good roll and I think it continues here.
I think his striking aggression can back Blachowicz up but he needs to watch out for counters. Krylov has more tools and I think that gets him the win here.
Prediction : Krylov by decision
Andrei Arlovski vs Shamil Abdurakhimov
I think this is a winnable fight for Arlovski, now I’m not saying he’s going to win I’m saying he could. Shamil has pretty good boxing for his size but nothing Andrei hasn’t dealt with before and Andrei’s boxing and defence are also pretty good. Obviously though Arlovski is not what he was, far from it but I think if he can use good movement for the whole fight and stick and move and not get lost in these moments of passivity he sometimes has, he can get the decision. In fact I just talked myself into it. Arlovski wins.
Prediction : Arlovski by decision (split)
Alexey Kunchenko vs Thiago Alves
Remember when Alves was in his prime? Just an absolute wrecking machine. Yep 2008 version of Thiago vs Kunchenko would have been a hell of a scrap. Unfortunately the 2018 version of Thiago is a touch slower, a bit more predictable and his punch resistance ain’t what it was. He can still make a fight of this but I think at some point Kunchenko hurts him and goes on to get the finish.
Prediction : Kunchenko by KO/TKO
Rest of the Card
Khalid Murtazaliev vs CB Dollaway
Murtazaliev making his UFC debut at shot notice here and he’s Dollaway’s third opponent for this event.
The way I see it, Murtazaliev is a decent striker and grappler and CB Dollaway is past his best and still carrying injuries. So despite the short notice I pick Murtazaliev to win by decision.
Prediction : Murtazaliev by decision
Petr Yan vs Jin Soo Son
Let’s make this short and sweet. They have not found Petr Yan an opponent, they have found him a victim. Yan has mountains of potential and this could be another fight he will showcase himself in. Koreans are always tough but I would imagine Yan is going to be too much.
Prediction : Yan by submission
Rustam Khabilov vs Kajan Johnson
You know for sure that Dana White can be a vindictive prick at times like this. Kajan Johnson is well known as being one of the faces and figureheads of Project Spearhead, the fighter led Union movement. Last fight he had Islam Makhachev and now he’s got Rustam Khabilov. Dana’s revenge baby.
Don’t get me wrong Johnson is a good fighter. He’s fast with OK striking and good wrestling but Khabilov has the skill set to just shut him down and I think that’s what will happen. May not be many big moments in the fight but I say Rustam Khabilov wins a pretty dominating decision.
Prediction : Khabilov by decision
Mairbek Taisumov vs Desmond Green
Desmond Green can definitely play the spoiler roll here but of course Taisumov has the edge. Taisumov will push the pace and Green can be a bit too reactive rather than proactive. Green is a great wrestler but Taisumov is a much better striker and hits harder. As some point in the fight Taisumov catches Green and finishes him.
Prediction : Taisumov by KO/TKO
Magomed Ankalaev vs Marcin Prachnio
Ankalaev was the guy who was beating the absolute fuck out of Paul Craig before getting caught with a crazy last second Hail Mary triangle choke. While Prachnio was last seen getting knocked out by Sam Alvey.
Can’t see Ankalaev making that kinda mistake twice and he’s too good to lose to Prachnio otherwise. Ankalaev drops him on the feet and finishes on the ground.
Prediction : Ankalaev by TKO
Adam Yandiev vs Jordan Johnson
Someone’s 0 has to go. Both undefeated fighters are 9-0 and dropping to middleweight. Different styles though. Johnson is a former NCAA division 1 wrestler who has a frame and height for the division at 6’1 but he’s more of a conservative fighter. He’ll take what’s there but he’s not gonna rush into anything. Where Yandiev is more of a marauder, who rather than waiting for spaces will go and make them. No real technique just brute strength and aggression.
As we have seen, brute force alone is not enough at the top levels of MMA but I got a feeling that Yandiev may get away with this one. Johnson has better technical striking, better reach and better wrestling technique but for some crazy reason I think Yandiev wins………. Then gets popped for PEDs
Prediction : Yandiev by TKO
Ramazan Emeev vs Stefan Sekulic
Don’t know much about Sekulic except he’s a big strong Serb. He has decent boxing and he does have some submission wins but that’s not his thing.
Both guys are pretty good strikers but I think the difference is Emeev is a bit more loose are has smoother movement and is better in the clinch. If Emeev can get control of the distance then he can pick Sekulic apart and win a decision
Prediction : Emeev by decision
Merab Dvalishvili vs Terrion Ware
Backs against the wall for both these guys regarding their UFC future with two straight losses for Merab and three for Terrion. To be fair though one of Merab’s losses was a split decision and the other was that controversial bullshit against Ricky Simon where he was being choked but didn’t tap and didn’t go out when the bell rang to end the fight but the refs gave the fight to Simon anyway. Ware’s losses were to Sean O’Malley, Cody Stamann and Tom Duquesnoy so no easy fights there either.
Ware has very good boxing, very loose, very efficient and he’s very good at mixing body and head shots but to me he’s a bit one dimensional. If Dvalishvili mixes it up with punches, leg kicks and takedowns and keeps the pace up I see him get the decision.
Prediction : Dvalishvili by decision