After three events in three consecutive days, with UFC 200 capping it off, who would of thunk that there would be another UFC event, on Wednesday, in South Dakota… Well, if you’re a fight fan like me and can’t get enough, then there’s no reason to complain!
Originally this card was supposed to be headlined by Tony Ferguson and Michael Chiesa, but unfortunately Chiesa who’s been adamant about a top ten fight and being a headliner, pulled out due to an injury. Tony Ferguson was instead knocked down to the co-headliner and is now set to fight a UFC newcomer. Not exactly beneficial for either guy.
Anyways, sliding into the main event slot due to those circumstances, is now Michael McDonald vs. John Lineker. In what should be a barnburner, the implications of the bout could catapult one of these men into a title contender fight. Also on the card is the aformentioned Tony Ferguson, who is must watch tv, regardless of opponent. A win here doesn’t do much for him except extend a seven fight win streak.
Enough hyping up the card, let’s just get to the Predictions!
FOX Sports 1 Main Card (9 p.m. ET):
135 lbs.: Michael McDonald vs. John Lineker – Awesome fight, as the winner sets themselves up for a huge fight in the bantamweight division. It’s funny to think that Lineker, who arguably could of fought for the Flyweight title if he could just make weight, is already a contender in the bantamweight division. Anyways, McDonald returns to the Octagon for the second time in 2016 and second time since 2013. It’s been a long road for the former Bantamweight title challenger, as a litany of injuries set him back. But, he’s healthy now and is right back in the title picture. In his way, is the heavy hitting John Lineker. As I stated before, he’s a former flyweight, which for his height would be a more proper division. However, since moving to the bantamweight division, he’s dominantly won two fights. And overall, he’s won four straight heading into the bout. As for a prediction, I’m siding with Lineker. He’s just too heavy handed and for a guy like McDonald, before defeating Masanori Kanehara, he struggled mightily. Now, it could of been rust or a red flag as I see it. So with that, I have Lineker via TKO!
155 lbs.: Tony Ferguson vs. Landon Vannata – This is rather brutal, as Vannata makes his debut against a potential title contender. And I’m not going to even break this down, as Ferguson is going to win by whatever he wants. For prediction purposes, I have Ferguson via TKO!
185 lbs.: Tim Boetsch vs. Josh Samman – I’m sorry, but Boetsch has obviously regressed and it’s shown. He’s lost three consecutive bouts and is 2-6 in his last eight fights. And usually I like fighters with there backs against the wall, but I’m going to turn the cheek on this one. Samman is a huge 185 pounder and will use his strength and length to pick apart Boetsch on the feet, occasionally taking him down en route to a TKO finish.
265 lbs.: Alexey Oleinik vs. Daniel Omielanczuk – Despite being out of action for over a year and half, I still believe that Oleinik gets this done rather easily. And no offense to Omielanczuk, but he’s not really good in one aspect of mixed martial arts. He’s just a heavyweight, who relies on surviving the initial onslaught and then coming back to win. Unfortunately that strategy only works against the bottom tier of the division, which is something that Oleinik is not among. And with two first round finishes in his only two UFC bouts, I’ll go ahead an say he adds third win and first round finish. Oleinik via TKO!
170 lbs.: Keita Nakamura vs. Kyle Noke – Noke is so unpredictable, as one moment he looks like a world beater and the next – you question if he’s a UFC talent. It’s really a mystery and his loss to Alex Morono still boggles my mind. In fact, I’m already going to say that I’m not going to predict him to win here. The winner is going to be Nakamura, who really impressed me in his last fight against Tom Breese. He took down the giant, swept him and showed a lot of heart. And that goes along way in my books, enough to make me pick him. Nakamura via decision.
125 lbs.: Ben Nguyen vs. Louis Smolka – This fight is insanely under looked! The winner of this potentially sets themselves up to either be a title contender or in a title eliminator bout. Ben Nguyen is currently riding a nine fight win streak and is 2-0 inside the Octagon. He’s made an instant impact too, as he’s finished both opponents in the very first round. His combatant Luis Smolka has been on quiet tear, winning three straights fights. His most recent win came against the recently retired Paddy Holohan, which saw him impressively submitting the submission expert. As for the fight, Nguyen is an elite striker in the bantamweight division, while Smolka is quality in all aspects. However, he does not possess the power Nguyen has, which is the x-factor . If he can keep this upright like I believe, Smolka will be in serious trouble. Actually F it, Smolka hit the sweet chin music for a KO victory in the UFC – this time he’s going to hit the Stone Cold Stunner. Smolka via TKO!
FOX Sports 1 “Prelims” Undercard (7 p.m. ET):
135 lbs.: Katlyn Chookagian vs. Lauren Murphy – I hear great things about Chookagian, but Lauren Murphy is one of the more underrated fighters in the UFC. She might not be a knockout artist or submission expert, but she’s a grinder and a well rounded fighter. And despite some iffy judging that cost her in two fights, I believe that Murphy is destined to make a run at the title. So with that, I believe that Murphy extends her streak to two and defeats Chookagian via decision.
185 lbs.: Eric Spicely vs. Sam Alvey – Who is Spicely? And why is he fighting Sam Alvey? I guess what I’m trying to say is, Sam Alvey wins this via knockout!
115 lbs.: Cortney Casey vs. Cristina Stanciu – Casey is such a fierce competitor and although she might lack the technique, she gave Joanne Calderwood a hell of a fight. That’s good enough for me to, as I have her taking this one via decision.
155 lbs.: Scott Holtzman vs. Cody Pfister – Poor Pfister can’t get a break here, especially after facing off against Sage Northcutt in his previous fight. He get’s a big, athletic all around fighter in Scott Holtzman. A guy who will wind up being his last opponent in the UFC, as I predict that Pfister will lose via submission and soon after receive his walking papers.
Fight Pass “Prelims” Undercard (6 p.m. ET):
135 lbs.: Rani Yahya vs. Matthew Lopez – Why is a newcomer facing a veteran like Rani Yahya? It seems to soon for that type of fight, in fact, I think Yahya finishes him via submission. Lock it in!
185 lbs.: Devin Clark vs. Alex Nicholson – I know Devin Clark is a prospect from Dana White’s looking for a fight, but I wasn’t overly impressed in the little footage they showed. Nicholson hung tough with top prospect Misha Cirkunov and that’s good enough for me to think that he wins here, via decision.