UFC 228 Predictions

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Conor McGregor

For all hype about this maybe being one of the biggest MMA fights of all time, and as hard as this may be be predict objectively, I don’t think it will be a close fight. I think we will know within the first two minutes who the winner will be.

If Conor can stuff or avoid early takedowns and if he can land strikes early then it looks good for him. If he can get back up after being taken down then great.

The other side of that is if Khabib can close the distance and get hold of Conor, if he gets takedowns and top position. His top pressure is said to be crazy. And also if the fight goes past three round we know Conor has conditioning issues and Khabib is an animal.

As I said, this won’t be a close fight. Either McGregor wins by knockout in the first round or Nurmagomedov wins a dominant decision or submission. I just think Khabib has more options and he finishes an exhausted McGregor by ground n pound in the fourth.

Prediction : Nurmagomedov by TKO

Result : Nurmagomedov by submission

Tony Ferguson vs Anthony Pettis

The way I see this going, for Pettis to win he has to land something clean and end it. He’s absolutely capable of doing that though and he’s a bit quicker and a technically better striker than Ferguson.

If he can’t hurt Ferguson though he will have a guy that will keep coming and throwing different things and from different angles. Ferguson also has great cardio, great in scrambles and a great ground game. Truth is we has seen Pettis mentally break before where I don’t think anything would break Ferguson.

The unknown factor is Tony’s knee but by all accounts it’s as good as new and if it is then I think Ferguson will put the pressure on and get the submission in the third round.

Prediction : Ferguson by submission

Result : Ferguson by TKO (Corner stop)

Ovince St Preux vs Dominick Reyes

The still undefeated Dominick Reyes, at 9-0, comes up against his hardest test here in the dangerous Ovince St Preux. Reyes is a big athletic light heavyweight with sharp hands and heavy body kicks and he’s not afraid to throw them. In St Preux you have another big strong guy with decent power and very efficient submissions.

I think St Preux will need to weather the storm a bit early on in this one if he is to get through it. Reyes will be coming forward with a bit of volume and he has good timing and accuracy. I do think though that experience will play a roll here, St Preux can stay calm and take the fight where it needs to be whether it’s in the clinch or the mat.

Was going to say Ovince by St Flue Choke but na, I think he gets the decision.

Prediction : St Preux by decision

Result : Reyes by decision

Derrick Lewis vs Alexander Volkov

Derrick wants this fight on the ground with him on top and to be able to Donkey Kong Volkov. On the other hand Volkov needs to strike at range and stay out of Lewis reach.

This one is most dangerous for Volkov in the first round and especially the first two or three minutes because Lewis has heavy heavy hands but then again Volkov has a pretty good defensive guard. I see this being tentative in the first with Volkov fighting going backward and using his long jab and then I think the more fatigued Lewis becomes the more Volkov will bust him up with effective hard strikes.

Lewis is tough as shit and Volkov is not really a one shot finisher so I’m not sure he will be stopped in three rounds but either Volkov by decision or a late TKO.

Prediction : Volkov by decision

Result : Lewis by KO

Michelle Waterson vs Felice Herrig

So Waterson is faster, more agile and technically better than Herrig. Herrig is bigger and stronger than Waterson.

If Waterson can keep distance, hit and move and utilise those fast side kicks then she should win a decision. If Herrig can out muscle her in the clinch or ground then she should win the decision, because let’s face it, it will be a decision. So pick your poison. I think technique over power but I could be wrong.

Prediction : Waterson by decision

Result : Waterson by decision

Rest of the Card

Sean O’Malley vs Jose Alberto Quinonez – CANCELLED

This might sound a bit crazy or whatever but I think O’Malley is a bit over rated. I mean, he’s a good fighter and everything but the way people are talking about his is a bit too much at this stage. Yeah he’s undefeated as a pro but I think that comes to an end here.

What’s good about O’Malley is his originality and unpredictability but that sort of fearless movement also gets him hit against good strikers but usually his reflexes and that movement get him out of most trouble he finds himself in. Thing is though, Quinonez is pretty hittable as well but I think he likes the battle. Quinonez is a southpaw like O’Malley but he has a more traditional striking style, which isn’t saying much. If Quinonez can get his body close to O’Malley and make it dirty and rough, don’t give him space and use takedowns he will get the nod but then again Sean is young and improving and he could easily use his range and movement to win on the cards but as I said I think the undefeated streak wins here and O’Malley get a bit exposed to an extent.

Prediction : Quinonez by decision

Sergio Pettis vs Jussier Formiga

Formiga wants this and needs this on the ground and the fact that everyone knows this plays into Pettis hands. Pettis is quick and agile with good timing and a nice right hand. Obviously on the ground Formiga is in a different class but I think Pettis should be able to stop the takedown he knows is coming.

Pettis is on a roll right now and seems to be coming to his peak and he’s also been in with better opponents. I think he’s smart and good enough to get the decision here.

Prediction : Pettis by decision

Result : Formiga by decision

Vicente Luque vs Jalin Turner

Don’t really see this fight being really close. Turner is a big and tall guy who usually fights at lightweight but coming up to welter for this one. He’s not a huge hitter but he has got decent hands and heavy but not snappy kicks. He does use his length but could definitely utilise it better and he has improving take down defense.

Luque on the other hand is a big hitter and he’s done it against very good opposition. He’s defensively good on his feet and he times his counter punches off of his opponents movement, he doesn’t wait for them to actually throw, and he’s a very good finisher.

I think Luque catches Turner being sloppy, as early as the first round and I’d be surprised if this goes to a decision.

Prediction : Luque by TKO/KO

Result : Luque by KO

Aspen Ladd vs Tonya Evinger

Before Evinger got beat by Cyborg she hadn’t lost a fight since 2011, not a bad run. While Ladd is a real prospect at 23 with an undefeated 6-0 record.

Both these girls are good wrestlers and both are very good on top position. Evinger is more of a grinder but Ladd is a strong girl and a solid striker. I’m picking Ladd in this one because she has more tools, hits harder and she’s younger and will probably come forward more.

Prediction : Ladd by decision

Result : Ladd by TKO

Lina Lansberg vs Yana Kunitskaya

I can see the majority of this fight being fought in the clinch and being a pretty close thing with not much real damage. Do we go with the bigger Kunitskaya or the probably technically better Lansberg?

Whoever wins, it will be close and I’m picking Kunitskaya to impose herself physically and grind out the W.

Prediction : Kunitskaya by decision

Result : Kunitskaya by decision

Scott Holtzman vs Alan Patrick

I remember once Alan Patrick got a shady decision win because I’m pretty sure the judges got the names mixed up. ‘The white guy definitely won, which ones that?, well it must be Alan, that’s a white name!’.

Here Patrick will be more open with his attacks but is more open to being hit where Holtzman is more defensively sound. I don’t know though, I can see Patrick clipping Holtzman and getting the finish.

Prediction : Patrick by TKO

Result : Holtzman by TKO

Gray Maynard vs Nik Lentz

Who the fuck knows with Gray Maynard these days. He was near the top of the pile at one stage and he took Frankie Edgar to the edge twice when Edgar was the man but then had a fall of almost Barao proportions, just lost it overnight seemingly. In his last fight against Ishihara he got back to his wrestling basics and ignored all that striking bullshit and got his body as close to his opponent and tried to keep it there and grinded it out.

Back at 155 for this one and I think Lentz is a good enough wrestler that Maynard won’t be able to dominate him there and I don’t trust Maynard on the feet at all. I think that although Lentz doesn’t have real stopping power, he can put it on Maynard enough here to get a TKO finish.

Prediction : Lentz by TKO

Result : Lentz by TKO

Ryan LaFlare vs Tony Martin

I suppose whoever can impose their gameplan best. Martin is not flashy, he’s a methodical and technically OK striker and he can probably out point LaFlare on the feet. One the other hand if LaFlare can close the distance and take advantage of Martins, questionable at times, take down defense then he can grind it out as well. Who knows who wins this? I’m saying Ryan LaFlare.

Prediction : LaFlare by decision

Result : Martin by KO

Correct Picks 7/12

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