Junior Dos Santos vs Tai Tuivasa
I’d say if this happened a few years ago when Junior was at his prime or close to it, it would be a really bad night for Tuivasa. JDS was the perfect size for his style, had excellent boxing for a heavyweight, a BJJ Black belt and knockout power. Time takes its toll though, as well as injuries and maybe some other circumstances. So he’s not what he once was but he’s still dangerous and Still a top five fighter.
On the other hand Tai is a young, undefeated prospect who’s coming up really fast. We don’t know what the ceiling is for Tai but this fight should go some way to answering that.
Going to be a tough fight for Tuivasa, especially given that its five rounds. Tai needs to do really good work in the first two to stand a chance. I think Junior can avoid the power from Tai and use his jab and move effectively, especially early on then deeper in the fight start to land more power. JDS finishes an exhausted Tai Tuivasa with strikes in round four.
Prediction : Dos Santos by TKO
Result : Dos Santos by TKO
Mark Hunt vs Justin Willis
An absolute legend of combat sports, former K1 Grand prix winner (when it really meant something), Hunt has an overall record of 13 wins and 13 losses and if this is his last fight as suggested then I’d love to see him go out with a with a win.
You know what you get with Hunt. He’s a knockout artist with one of the most solid chins in the history of combat sports. Grappling and submissions have always been his weakness.
Justin Willis is another big guy who’s pretty decent all round. His only defeat was in his debut and he’s rattled off 7 wins since then including 4 knock outs.
Obviously Hunt needs to stay off his back but he needs to be careful standing as well, Willis has a huge reach, but Hunt disguises his punches well and he has great attacking movement for a big man. Also Willis is pretty hitable and that’s very dangerous against a guy like hunt. You know what though it might be fan boy shit, maybe nostalgia, but I think Hunt knocks this man out then goes to RIZIN for a well paid retirement tour.
Prediction : Hunt by KO
Result : Willis by decision
Tyson Pedro vs Mauricio Rua
I hate when Shogun competes nowadays. He’s one of my three all time favourite mma fighters and it’s horrible to watch your heroes going full circle. Don’t get me wrong I’m not totally writing him off, he still has power and can move well in bursts and of course all that experience. However to beat Tyson he will need to trap him or lead him onto his right hand and get the finish. It’s not impossible but I can’t really see it.
In Tyson we have a big young guy who moves well, strikes well and grapples well. He’s a guy who was literally brought up in mma. He has his limitations though, like I don’t think he will ever be a real contender. He’s probably a top ten fighter and no more, bottom half of the top ten.
I always want to back Shogun because I remember what he was but realistically I can’t see this going for him. Pedro’s use of range and speed will be enough to win this and add in a few takedowns as well. I don’t think Shogun gets stopped but loses a decision.
Prediction : Pedro by decision
Result : Rua by TKO
Jake Matthews vs Tony Martin
I really want Jake Matthews to win this one, I’m not a fan of Tony Martin at all and I’m not exactly sure why, he’s just one of those guys I don’t like.
Matthews has OK striking and good BJJ but Martin has a good countering style and he’s good at nullifying opponents strengths. My head is saying Martin but fuck it, I’m going to back the hometown boy.
Prediction : Matthews by decision
Result : Martin by submission
Paul Craig vs Jim Crute
Aussie Jim Crute making his UFC debut against Scotsman Paul Craig. Crute is undefeated at 8-0 and is dangerous with his hands and has nice natural movement for a big guy. Paul Craig on the other hand is most dangerous on the mat with 9 of his 10 wins coming by submission, include a last second against the odds triangle against Ankalaev last time out.
I can see the debut nerves slowing Crute down just a touch enough for Paul Craig to take advantage. Craig will close the distance and get the takedowns and do his thing. Crute will get back to his feet few times but I expect Craig to stay on him. Although he will find himself in bad positions I don’t think Crute gets submitted but Craig will get the decision.
Prediction : Craig by decision
Result : Crute by submission
Suman Mokhtarian vs Sodiq Yusuff
I think there is big difference in the skill level of these two. To me Yusuff is UFC ready and Mokhtarian is here because he is an Aussie. Mokhtarian can strike, he’s had Muay Thai fights, and he’s a good grappler and he is undefeated but his record seems extremely padded but maybe that’s just the level of opposition in Australia.
Yusuff is more powerfully built and more powerful, higher level experience and better skills. I think he overwhelms and knocks out Mokhtarian in the first round.
Prediction : Yusuff by TKO
Result : Yusuff by TKO
Yushin Okami vs Alexey Kunchenko
Simply put, Okami needs to get Kunchenko on the mat as quickly as he can. I know, razor sharp insight, right?
It is what it is though.
Kunchenko may start slowly, he likes to be patient and wait for opponents to make mistakes. When he sees those mistakes then he can unleash hell. Of course Okami can bully him with his size, get him on the ground and try to nullify him but I can’t see it happening here, Kunchenko will be ready for that.
Alexey Kunchenko is undefeated at 19-0 and he’s not going to pick up his first loss here. Superior movement, timing and power gets him the knockout win.
Prediction : Kunchenko by KO/TKO
Result : Kunchenko by decision
Wilson Reis vs Ben Nguyen
Reis has lost his last three straight and I think Ben Nguyen extends it to four. Nguyen is too fast and explosive for Reis, of course you should never write Wilson off especially on the ground but for that to happen he needs to hurt Ben on the feet. Reis is durable so I’ll take Nguyen by decision.
Prediction : Nguyen by decision
Result : Reis by decision
Mizuto Hirota vs Christos Giagos
Giagos just because he’s a little bit quicker and transitions well from striking to takedowns. He also seems to have calmed down the aggression a little bit these last few years.
Prediction : Giagos by decision
Result : Giagos by decision
Elias Garcia vs Kai Kara France
Garcia takes this fight on a weeks notice against the debuting Kai Kara France. France has good hands and good boxing but can struggle on the ground. In this fight given the short notice I think Kai Kara has the speed and aggression to put Garcia on the back foot and either win a decision or a late knockout stoppage.
Prediction : Kara France by decision
Result : Kara France by decision
Keita Nakamura vs Salim Touahri
Who wins here?
Well it sure as fuck ain’t going to be the fans is it?
Low volume kickboxing match. I give the edge to Touahri on aggression but it can easily go the other way.
Prediction : Touahri by decision
Result : Nakamura by decision
Damir Ismagulov vs Alex Gorgees
Two guys making their UFC debut here, Kazakhstan vs Russia. In short Ismagulov is the better fighter. The way I see it, although Alex Gorgees is undefeated at 7-0, the level of his opposition may be questionable. However he’s a tall lightweight with obviously good reach and a lot of confidence.
This is a dangerous fight for Gorgees. Ismagulov is tough and rugged as you expect from someone from that area. He has been fighting in M1 for years. He has good movement, good head movement, good punches including a nice wide left hook, spinning kicks, flying knees. I just think he will be too much for the Aussie and I see him getting the finish as early as the first round.
Prediction : Ismagulov by KO/TKO
Result : Ismagulov by decision
Correct Picks 6/12