Max Holloway vs Dustin Poirier
Maybe a potential fight of the year candidate for sure. Max Holloway, Featherweight Champ who will probably go down as the best featherweight ever, moving up a division to take on Dustin Poirier for the Interim Lightweight title. Poirier himself is on a roll with his last three wins; over Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje and Eddie Alvarez all coming be stoppage.
They have fought before a long time ago with Dustin winning by submission in the first round. So in Dustin’s mind knowing that he has beat him before and easily enough will give him a boost but on the other side of that I don’t think it will affect Max Holloway mentally at all. Max sees himself as almost a different fighter back then and he knows how much he has improved. I mean they have both improved but Max seems almost untouchable at this point but Dustin Poirier will definitely test that.
I expect the first two rounds to be close and Poirier to win at least one of the first two. After that I think Max comes into it more and his pace begins to tell on Dustin, along with use of range and accuracy. End of round three or four Max begins to land harder and I think gets the finish late.
Prediction : Holloway by TKO
Kelvin Gastelum vs Israel Adesanya
By far the biggest fight for Adesanya so far and time to find out if he’s ready for what may be his destiny. Like a few other fights on this card I think it will come down to the first round. Adesanya may have to ride it out a bit, stay off his back as much as he can and away from the clinch. We know that Gastelum tends to fade late in fights so I think he needs to at least do some damage in the first few rounds.
Adesanya though, does have very good use of range and he is hard to keep down, has that ability to pop back up. Of course Kelvin has power in his hands but its about getting in position to land something hard. My head is saying Israel but I also remember thinking that was when Kelvin fought Uriah Hall but Kelvin was absolutely able to shut him down and stay in his face but Adesanya isn’t Hall and won’t be so easy to break.
Five round fight Adesanya knocks out a tired Gastelum in the forth I think.
Prediction : Adesanya by KO
Ovince St Preux vs Nikita Krylov
Nikita Krylov hasn’t gone to a decision in 30 fights and I don’t see that changing here. Two ways I see this fight going, either Krylov catches St Preux pretty early on and manages to stop the fight with strikes or St Preux takes him down and submits him. Worth noting that they fought before, in 2015, and St Preux won by submission with a Von Flue (Von Preux???) choke.
Krylov is a fast starter, not too much feeling out, and OSP has been caught cold before and St Preux has seemed a bit hesitant on his feet recently. If OSP can weather the storm though and get deep into the second or third round then the fight should be his, Krylov has had issues with conditioning before. I’m going with St Preux in this one, although I’m not very confident. I think he has an easier path to victory.
Prediction : St Preux by submission
Curtis Millender vs Belal Muhammad
Pretty straightforward it seems. Muhammad would need takedowns and to make the most of them to have the best chance of getting his hand raised. A few moving parts to this thing because Belal is not a great takedown artist, but he is pretty good at putting his strikes and takedowns together where as Millender has good movement and good control of range.
So maybe advantage Millender? Well that’s round one. As the fight goes on Millender will slow down and Muhammad will keep going. In my opinion. Millender could easily catch Muhammad coming in, with a kick or a knee, but outside of that and outside of round one and early round two I give the advantage to Belal. If it goes to the judges then it depends on how round one goes in my opinion but I think Belal Muhammad will control enough of the fight to earn a decision.
Prediction : Muhammad by decision
Eryk Anders vs Khalil Rountree
Could a good scrap or it could be boring with both guys feeling out and reluctant to engage. Either man has the power to change the fight with a punch and each of them know it.
Anders has lost his last two and will be feeling the pressure. Seemed to have so much promise but things haven’t gone his way recently. We know his strengths and we know the weak parts of his game. For example he will be out pointed by quicker men with good movement, luckily there are far less of them in the light heavyweight division but they do tend to hit harder. Rountree doesn’t do well on his back against half decent wrestlers but again, luckily, Eryk Anders is probably not the man to do that.
Been going back and forth a bit but for now I’m saying that Anders will be more aggressive and more volume in Round one. Both men will be gassed and slow in round three. Round two though Anders will have to stay safe while still getting his shots in, if he doesn’t get caught I think he wins a decision. His back’s against the wall and he needs a performance and I got a feeling that he pulls one out.
Prediction : Anders by decision
Poliana Botelho vs Lauren Mueller
I think Mueller needs to get the takedown and get it early. Botelho has better striking, much more fluid, but her ground game is not the same level. And the reason I said early is that as the fight goes on Botelho maybe able to get her movement and timing down and be harder to tackle. Tough one to judge but I think Botelho pulls it out, stays safe in round one then opens up a bit after that and I think gets the TKO.
Prediction : Botelho by TKO
Max Griffin vs Zelim Imadaev
Zelim Imadaev making his UFC debut here after accumulating an 8-0 record with all the wins coming by stoppage although against less than great competition. His opponent is Max Griffin who is a good fighter, pretty durable and should be a good test.
A few ways Imadaev can win this. He seems to have a decent, heavy, top position wrestling game if the fight goes there and he is also a good striker with good accuracy. He has a habit of finding a punch. Griffin could get in his face and catch him early on and try to make it a dog fight. If he can do that then I don’t know but a think Imadaev is more dangerous in each range and should get the win. I’ll say by decision because it’s Imadaev’s debut and Griffin is tough.
Prediction : Imadaev by decision
Alan Jouban vs Dwight Grant
I’m thinking Jouban should be smart and skilled enough to out point Grant but the only issue I have is defence. Jouban has good enough defence except when he attacks. When he attacks he has left holes in the past and Grant can definitely capitalise. Close one for me but I’ll go with Grant catching Jouban and putting him out.
Prediction : Grant by TKO
Wilson Reis vs Alexandre Pantoja
Wilson Reis surprised me in his last fight, thought Ben Nguyen would get the win but Reis did it pretty convincingly. I don’t think he will get the W here though, he will be looking to clinch and takedown and Pantoja will be looking to stand his ground and bang. I think Pantoja will do damage and get a late stoppage.
Prediction : Pantoja by TKO
Boston Salmon vs Khalid Taha
I this this will be a mainly stand up fight and I think Salmon has a clear advantage. He’s a southpaw with very good boxing and he has a decent sprawl. Possibly the only issue I see may be that Taha throws more volume and gets the nod from the judges cos let’s face it…….
Otherwise, Salmon should land cleaner and get the nod.
Prediction : Salmon by decision
Brandon Davis vs Randy Costa
Randy Costa making his UFC debut. In just under a year as a pro he has got a 4-0 record, all being stopped by strikes and most under a minute with just one slightly over. On paper this looks impressive but in reality none of his opponents had winning records, in fact only one opponent has a professional win.
Brandon Davis isn’t doing too great in the UFC with a 1-3 record and, having lost his last two, must be feeling the pressure or he should be because a loss here is most likely to be his release. I think Davis wins this. From what I’ve seen Costa just over whelms people and throws punches and lots of kicks till something lands. He leaves himself very open it seems although no one has manage to capitalise this is a huge leap in competition. It will be interesting to see what happens when Costa can’t just run through Davis. What happens in round two against a skilled opponent. The only doubt I maybe have is that Randy Costa seems far bigger than Davis but maybe not. Could be wrong but I think the step will tell and after round one Davis will control things, maybe even a second round stoppage.
Prediction : Davis by TKO
Jalin Turner vs Matt Frevola
Turner is a tall long dynamic striker who usually has a high output. He has good movement and because of that he has decent takedown defence. One weakness of his is the bottom position when grappling. Frevola sort of barrels through taking a few to land a few to get that takedown. So this could be interesting. For me though Frevola probably gets hit too much but he picked up his first loss last time out so be interesting to see if he changes anything.
For Frevola to win he has to have a good first round. If he can’t get the takedowns then Turner will get more into his groove and grow confidence, get his timing down. I see Turner landing on Frevola through the first round and getting the TKO on the second.
Prediction : Turner by TKO
Montel Jackson vs Andre Soukhamthath
Who remembers when Soukhamthath fought Sean O’Malley a while back? O’Malley is winning by two rounds to zero, end of the third O’Malley breaks his foot. Like clearly fucked. Can’t stand up. All Soukhamthath has to do to win the fight is step back and make the referee tell O’Malley to get up. Does he do that? Nope he lays on him for a minute like he met him on fucking Gindr. For that reason alone its hard back him.
As far as skills go Soukhamthath is dangerous, he’s quick and accurate and very well rounded in the striking game. Jackson is probably more measured than Soukhamthath, he will look to take the middle and defend it. He counters well and hard, not much wasted energy. I see this one being close, 29-28, with Jackson getting the best of it, especially in the last two rounds as Andre fades. He’ll keep Soukhamthath on the outside and land cleaner.
Prediction : Jackson by decision