UFC 234 Predictions

Robert Whittaker vs Kelvin Gastelum – CANCELLED

The difference here may come down to blood and guts. I’ve always said there are athletes and there are fighters and Robert Whittaker is 100% fighter. His confidence is right up as well and he believes he’s the best middleweight in the world and may well be.

I think we got to go with Whittaker in this match up, don’t we. Gastelum’s best chance is likely on the ground but I don’t think he can get Whittaker down or at least keep him down, just through force of Whittaker’s will, certainly not enough to make anything count. If it’s a striking battle, especially over five rounds I think Whittaker will do more damage and he seems to throw with more intention. I just think Rob Whittaker’s will to win, his determination that he will not be beaten, see him through this. He can make this hellish for Kelvin and although he may not break him, I think he can’t put pressure on him and may get the TKO win late, making him the first man to stop Gastelum with strikes.

Prediction – Whittaker by KO/TKO

Anderson Silva vs Israel Adesanya

Aw man if this was prime Anderson vs Israel Adesanya then this would be fireworks. In this case though we have a surging young prospect against an all time great who is well past his best. Can the old lion summon the strength one more time or will he be eaten up?

The problem with fighters who rely on reflexes and timing is that it goes quickly with age, one minute you got it one minute you don’t. Especially at the cutting edge of top class competition where its all about split seconds. Think Roy Jones, he’s still Roy Jones but he’s not Roy Jones, y’know.

Anderson likes to feel his opponent out to begin with before he gets a read on them, tries to get them to attack and then counterstrike. Hard to see Adesanya in this situation charging in or making too many mistakes. Israel can be patient, slowly building and making openings for himself. I guess Anderson could try to take it to the floor where he would have an advantage but at this point in his career he is more interested in putting on a show than actually winning. Can’t see Silva having the speed to trouble Adesanya and I think Israel does more damage and controls the range for a decision.

Prediction : Adesanya by decision

Result : Adesanya by decision

Rani Yahya vs Ricky Simon

Interesting to see how Ricky Simon approaches this fight. Will he keep his wrestle heavy style? Will it be a huge mistake to fight an ADCC winner on the mat? Simon could theoretically try to keep it standing and win a striking battle but he will have to keep disciplined and resist his nature to go for the takedown.

Yahya is looking as good as he ever has right now. He’s won 7 of his last 8 and has won his last 3 by submission for 20 submission in 26 wins. Brave man who tries to grapple with him. To be honest I’m not sure you can change your nature in the heat of battle, Simon will try to grapple and Yahya will be able to take advantage. Ricky Simon will have success early but will get himself trapped and if not submitted, out grappled for a decision win for Yahya.

Prediction : Yahya by submission

Result : Simon by decision

Dong Hyun Ma vs Devonte Smith

If Devonte Smith can keep distance, keep separation and let his hands go, then he wins this one easily. Ma will want to press him against the fence, get the clinch, get takedowns and anything else where his body is close to Smith’s. Dong Hyun Ma cannot engage in a striking battle with Devonte Smith or he will get chewed up, but Ma will know this, won’t he? Of course he will.

So basically comes down to which one can impose their game plan best. For me though, if you think of it like poker, Devonte Smith has more outs. For Ma to win he will need to fight an almost perfect fight. Whereas Devonte will have much more opportunity to get the finish. In a numbers and probability viewpoint its all the way. I know mma doesn’t work like that but still, Smith will destroy this dude.

Prediction : Smith by TKO/KO

Result : Smith by TKO

Jim Crute vs Sam Alvey

One of the big problems with Sam Alvey is inconsistency. At times he looks reasonably good, moving well with the powerful left. At other times though he has looked so flat, very slow and hesitant. Crute is a different animal and although he has to be aware of walking into the power he should be able to push and control the fight well enough. If Alvey is ‘on’ then he can make a fight of it but either way it’s advantage Crute.

Prediction : Crute by decision

Result : Crute by TKO

Austin Arnett vs Shane Young

Probably a good match up for both of these two, both a similar level and place in their UFC run although saying that Shane Young only lost to Volkanovski and there is absolutely no shame in that. I do think Shane is the better striker, a more natural striker with his movement and defense. I think he will slowly chip away at Arnett, who can keep his hands low at times and either get a finish in the third or get the decision.

Prediction : Young by decision

Result : Young by decision

Nadia Kassem vs Montana De La Rosa

Run of the mill women’s match. Kassem is undefeated, although against questionable competition. De La Rosa is average at best. Who to pick who to pick.

I’ll go De La Rosa just because Kassem is Australian Top Team, take that however you like.

Prediction : De La Rosa by decision

Result : De La Rosa by submission

Kia Kara-France vs Raulian Paiva

I would expect this this to be very competitive and super close match up. Both are quick and agile but I maybe expect Kai to be a little bit more explosive and in this game inches make all the difference. Kara-France catches him and swarms for the finish.

Prediction : Kara-France by TKO

Result : Kara-France by Split decision

Teruto Ishihara vs Kyung Ho Kang

Might depend what kind of fight this turns into. Ishihara has his best chance if he can make it a blood and guts brawl, even then Kyung Ho Kang has decent striking if he can keep distance and make it technical. Kang’s easiest path to victory may be putting Ishihara on mat and out grappling him, which is very do-able but Teruto has been training with Alpha Male for a while now so it may be as easy as it once was. Lots of what ifs but I think over a three round fight Ishihara can push through and do more more damage…… or Kang could wrestlefuck him.

Prediction : Ishihara by decision

Result : Kang by submission

Lando Vannata vs Marco Mariano

After starting out impressively against Tony Ferguson, Vannata has struggled for a win recently and its surprising. I think he should get the win here though, just do the basics better and win the fight, even if its boring.

Prediction : Vannata by TKO

Result : Vannata by submission

Callan Potter vs Jalin Turner

Callan Potter steps in on short notice for Alex Gorgees but short notice or not Potter is probably the tougher fight. Both guys have good solid boxing but Potter can struggle defensively at times. Turner is a bit bigger with faster and sharper hands and I see him getting a knockout finish in the second round.

Prediction : Turner by KO/TKO

Result : Turner by TKO

Wuliji Buren vs Jonathan Martinez

Buren is one of those guys who is only in the UFC because he is Chinese, local markets n all that. Jonathan Martinez is only slightly better but he is better. To be fair to Buren he is usually pretty decent in the first round, and I expect him to do the same here before it goes down hill. Martinez will get into his rythme in the second and get the finish.

Prediction : Martinez by TKO

Result : Martinez by decision

CORRECT RESULT 9/11

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