Kevin Lee vs Al Iaquinta
Of course recently Al Iaquinta has got attention for his fight and performance against the champ, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Of courseAl has big steel balls, he took a fight on extremely short notice against the most feared lightweight in the world. To be fair though the actual fight seems to be re-imagined by some, Iaquinta did lose every round, some pretty badly, but he seems to get a lot of props for surviving and fair enough.
A point to consider is Al Iaquinta already has a win over Kevin Lee, more than four years ago though and a lot changes in that time. Here and now I think Kevin is lot more dynamic, he’s a bigger guy and he has a lot of self belief. He’s not going to get it all his own way. Iaquinta can strike with him well enough, but Lee will be quicker and also I don’t think the takedowns will be easy to get. I do feel that Kevin Lee has the momentum and he feels it, he will be the one pushing forward and the persistence will pay off. Lee gets the takedown late on and catches a submission.
Prediction : Lee by submission
Result : Iaquinta by decision
Edson Barboza vs Dan Hooker
Who would have thought back in 2016 that Dan Hooker would be on a four fight win streak, be betting favourite over Edson Barboza, and be beginning to look like an actual Contender?
Think people are counting Barboza out a bit soon in this one though. We know what his weaknesses are and his last two opponents specialised in that. This fight will be a completely different situation and will mainly be a stand up fight. Hooker will try to be on the front foot, trying to back Edson up, try to break his will a bit. Hooker has good accuracy on his punches and is good at keeping guys on the end of them.
I think the speed of Barboza pays off here, especially with the confidence Hooker will be feeling. Barboza will draw him in then light him up with punches and I can see a few low kicks as well. Although Hooker can grapple he’s nothing to worry about relative to the last two guys.
Prediction : Barboza by KO/TKO
Result : Barboza by TKO
Rob Font vs Sergio Pettis
Sergio Pettis moving back up to bantamweight because of the flyweight purge. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t think he will be as successful, lots of big hitters at this weight.
Although Pettis will be quicker with more of a variety of attack, Font is defensively good and hits harder. Rob Font has a good jab and works well behind it I see him being able to counter Pettis well and bust him up a bit. Font will control the range and do more damage and I can see him getting a TKO but I’ll go safe by saying decision.
Prediction : Font by decision
Result : Font by decision
Jim Miller vs Charles Oliveira
Charles Oliveira should change his name from ‘Do Bronx’ to ‘Do or Die’. Win or lose, only 3 fights have went to a decision out of 33, that’s good stuff. Then we have Jim Miller who managed to pull a submission out of his ass last time out after going on a four fight losing streak. Lucky boy.
In the areas that Miller will look to be successful I think Oliveira is more dangerous. Oliveira is quicker with sharper boxing, better in scramble positions and more than capable of snatching a submission.
Oliveira will win the striking and grappling exchanges and be able to position himself to get the submission.
Prediction : Oliveira by submission
Result : Oliveira by submission
Bobby Green vs Drakkar Klose
This should be a good fight and both of these guys are all action, especially Green. What I will say is that it seems like Klose will be more able to grab hold of the fight and control how it goes. Green is quick with some good head movement but Klose will change it up more and be a step ahead with takedowns and clinch added to the striking.
Green will be aggressive as usual but Klose will be ready for him. Klose manages to hurt and finish Green on the ground.
Prediction : Klose by TKO
Result : Klose by decision
Zac Ottow vs Dwight Grant
This fight could have a sudden ending, Dwight Grant hits hard and Zac Ottow leaves his chin open too much. Grant also moves well enough that he won’t be taken down easily and he has a good sprawl. He can be a little wild when he’s on the defensive but all things considered I think he waits for an opening and knocks Ottow out.
Prediction : Grant by KO
Result : Ottow by Split decision
Gerald Meerschaert vs Jack Hermansson
Similar age and similar size but Hermansson is a bit quicker with a better skill set. Anything can happen but my money is on Hermansson.
Prediction : Hermansson by TKO
Result : Hermansson by submission
Jared Gordon vs Joaquim Silva
Don’t really see Silva winning this one, he’s a good grappler but he’s going to struggle to get it there. Jared Gordon will not accept bottom position easily and Silva doesn’t seem super dangerous from the bottom . Gordon has much slicker striking and he will be pushing forward more where Silva will probably be throwing more hard single shots.
To be honest Gordon wins this unless he ducks into a kick or a guillotine choke. I also believe he will be the first man to finish Silva after a few rounds of pressure.
Prediction : Gordon by TKO
Result : Silva by KO
Dan Ige vs Jordan Griffin
Could be a close fight and it could depend on how well Ige starts. If he starts well and puts it on Griffin from the start he will have his opportunities to win but if he has a slow start and allows Griffin to start pushing him back I give the edge to Griffin.
Prediction : Griffin by decision
Result : Ige by decision
Jessica Rose Clark vs Andrea Lee – CANCELLED
Andrea Lee’s first fight since the Nazi doucebag boyfriend domestic assault situation. Hopefully she’s adjusted and recovered mentally and she’s OK. I like Lee’s style, she has a pretty striking style, crisp with good movement.
Jessie Jess has had some up and down, in her fight career and personal life, but she pushes through. Jessie is more of, I don’t know if grinder is exactly the right word but she uses her size and weight to bully the other girls.
Andrea Lee has much better technique and if she can maintain some distance for the majority of the fight she will get the win, decision of course because women’s fights usually are, let’s face it.
Result : Lee by decision
Chris De La Rocha vs Juan Adams
Two big dudes with not much technique between them. Sometimes with these big dudes one big punch can be all it takes, especially when they don’t seem to know what the fuck they are doing. De La Rocha seems to have slightly more technique, in that fat man kind of way and Juan Adams is like Donkey Kong just bashing people on the head.
De La Rocha will struggle to deal with Adams’ aggressive attack, especially early on. If it goes more than a round it might be different but I say Juan Adams by TKO in the first round.
Prediction : Adams by TKO
Result : Adams by TKO
Adam Milstead vs Mike Rodriguez
If Adam Milstead is ‘The Prototype’, maybe they need to scrap the design and start again, am I right? Only joking, kinda.
Neither of these two are great. They are both finishers and have either knocked out or submitting each of their wins but some of the victories were against less than stellar opponents, especially Rodriguez, but nevermind, here we are.
I’ll go with Rodriguez. I think he brings more to the table but he does find himself in bad positions at time. Could go the other way but I think Rodriguez in a slow, semi boring, decision.
Prediction : Rodriguez by decision
Result : Rodriguez by KO
Trevor Smith vs Zak Cummings
At a time when a lot of talented flyweights have been told they are no longer required, Trevor Smith and Zak Cummings are still here, wild.
I think Trevor Smith grinds this one out. He has slow, ugly striking and clumsy entries but he will manage to close the distance and get Cummings clinched up against the fence, get some takedowns and stay on him for most of the fight.
Prediction : Smith by decision
Result : Cummings by decision
CORRECT PICKS : 7/12