Marlon Moraes vs Raphael Assuncao
Hardest fight of the night to predict in my opinion. A rematch from Moraes UFC debut at UFC 212 in 2017 in which Assuncao scraped a split Decision win. Since then Moraes seems to have the wind at his back, I mean neither have lost since then but it feels like Moraes is building towards something. Whoever wins here though really should have put themselves right in line for a title shot.
Assuncao isn’t the most fluid or flashy striker but he is very good at reading his opponents movement and timing so he can evade attacks and counter and when he counters he usually does it hard. If he gets the fight to the ground he is very heavy on top with a good submission game. His steady pace means that he doesn’t gass out much as the fight goes on and because he doesn’t really throw much combinations, he doesn’t open himself up to counterstrikes as much. All in all a very difficult proposition for any fighter not to mention that he also has a win over bantamweight King, TJ Dillashaw.
Moraes has a different style which is very pretty to watch, if you like that stuff…. like us. He’s a knockout artist with very smooth movement and hits hard, watch the head kick. One issue with Moraes is that he can get hit quite often although not usually hurt it still counts. Although against Assuncao, Moraes will have quite a noticeable speed advantage but he will still need to be careful of the counters and he needs to slip inside and counter the counters.
Whoever brings their game best will. A game of inches indeed but I think the momentum is with Moraes and his confidence is high. He has the skills and I see him putting together again here, doing the damage and getting Assuncao out of there.
Prediction : Moraes by TKO
Jose Aldo vs Renato Moicano
Seems like another fight that Aldo is pretty much being written off in. To listen to some people you wouldn’t think he’d won a fight since Conor McGregor knocked him out, which is just nonsense of course. What is true is that Conor destroyed his aura, that air of invincibility he had, that’s gone, but his skill as a fighter remains. In a three round fight I still believe Aldo is a mother fucker and that it was very smart of him turning down a five round fight.
Moicano has length and size and is good wherever the fight goes and Aldo will have to watch out in scrambles that he doesn’t get hooked in something. However Moicano doesn’t have the punishing pace that Max Holloway does, nor does he have the one punch knockout power of McGregor. Aldo still has very good use of range and good accurate hard punches. If he uses those leg kicks wisely and takes his time, lands his strikes I think Aldo gets the decision.
Prediction : Aldo by decision
Demian Maia vs Lyman Good
I think this will be one of these boring fights. Obvious Maia is one of the most decorated BJJ guys to ever compete in MMA and he’s has some good wins over some great fughters but he’s 41 now and not quite the fighter he was and to be honest I think he will struggle to keep Good on the mat. So we’re going to see a slow paced fight where Lyman Good avoids the takedown and counters Maia with punches, for three rounds, winning a decision.
Prediction : Good by decision
Charles Oliveira vs David Teymur
Charles “Do or Die”, is up to plate again. The man with the most submission wins in UFC history. That’s damn impressive. Will David Teymur have the ability to shut him down though?
Theoretically of course he can. He has very good use of distance and will hit Oliveira as he moves into range. The thing that sticks out to me is that Oliveira isn’t in the habit of losing decisions but Teymur doesn’t seem to have that killer instinct and won’t really open himself up to go for the finish too much.
I think this will be a competitive fight but Oliveira is the more dangerous man I feel. I don’t know if Oliveira will get the finish but he will have Teymur in more trouble at times during the fight and should be able to get the decision, but you know what fuck it, Oliveira by submission.
Prediction : Oliveira by submission
Johnny Walker vs Justin Ledet
Ledet is very basic isn’t he? Slow paced and uses his jab a lot. Could be effective against big plodding heavyweights but the light heavyweight division is a bit different. I could see Walker just over running Ledet here, as long as he doesn’t get sloppy. My only concern is that he may be over confident after his last fight and run into something. Unless that happens, Walker by TKO.
Prediction : Walker by TKO
Sarah Frota vs Livia Renata Souza
I think Livia will struggle to deal with the physicality of Sarah Frota. Won’t really be able to keep her off whether standing or on the ground and I think Frota gets the finish with either strikes on the ground or submission.
Prediction : Frota by TKO
Markus Perez vs Anthony Hernandez
Perez will struggle to deal with the hands and killer instinct of Hernandez. What Perez does have is UFC experience, for as much as that counts. Markus Perez tends to sit back and throw hard single shots and I think he will get caught in one, Hernandez will swarm and get the TKO or catch a choke.
Prediction : Hernandez by TKO
Talia Santos vs Mara Romero Borella
Haven’t seen much of either of theses two but Talia Santos is undefeated and I expect her to stay that way. She just seems better in general and unless she has a really bad night I expect her to win.
Prediction : Santos by decision
Thiago Alves vs Max Griffin
Thiago Alves still has it, in bursts. The problem is that those bursts are getting smaller and less frequent. Back in the day Alves was a monster but age and injuries can be a motherfucker. Now I don’t think this will be a blowout, at all, and I think it will be pretty competitive in especially the first round but as the fight goes on Griffin’s volume and forward pressure will become more evident. Either a decision or a late stoppage by TKO for Griffin.
Prediction : Griffin by decision
Junior Albini vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik
Albini is a big lump who hits reasonably hard but nothing spectacular for a heavyweight. Rozenstruik is undefeated in MMA and has a bit of kickboxing experience and that’s the main reason I’m picking him, that extra striking experience and I think he has more natural movement for a heavyweight.
Prediction : Rozenstruik by KO/TKO
Ricardo Ramos vs Said Nurmagomedov
As far as skill go, I would expect Nurmagomedov to win. He got decent striking and is a great grappler and put it all together very well. He is also aggressive enough without putting himself in danger. He didn’t look great against Scoggins though, first time Octagon gitters? Don’t know, might find out here. Ramos will be the more reactive fighter, waiting for an opportunity.
I think the higher output style, especially in the second and third round will mean that Said should win the fight if it goes to the judges. Ramos could catch him with something on the feet or find a sub on the ground but I think it goes the distance and Nurmagomedov wins.
Prediction : Nurmagomedov by decision
Rogerio Bontorin vs Magomed Bibulatov
I was a bit surprised to see Bibulatov get stopped like that by Moraga last time out, didnt seem like he was fighting to his potential. Usually Bibulatov is all action, lots of movement and speed and mixing up strikes and takedowns well. Where Bontorin will start slower, waiting for an opening and then go in hard when he sees it.
Call me crazy but I think the more defensively sound style of Bontorin will prevail. He will be patient and make Bibulatov miss and do damage when the opportunity presents. If Bontorin can avoid a lot of damage and slow the pace of the fight down I see him taking a decision.
Prediction : Bontorin by decision