For the seventh straight week, the UFC has an event. This time, it’s in Portland, Oregon and has a banger of a main event featuring John Lineker and John Dodson. Both former Flyweight contenders, now make the walk as Bantamweight standouts. Lineker, comes into this bout on a five-fight win streak, three of which were in the Bantamweight division. Most recently, he knocked out former Bantamweight title challenger Michael McDonald in the very first round. As for Dodson, he looks to build off his 37 second knockout victory over Manvel Gamburyan in his UFC Bantamweight debut.
Co-Headlining the event, is the former Bellator Lightweight Champion Will Brooks against Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira. Brooks enters this bout on the heels of a nine-fight win streak and most recently, defeated Ross Pearson via decision in his UFC debut. Oliveira, got back in the win column in July, as he edged out James Moontasri via decision.
Some other names on the card include Josh Burkman, Louis Smolka, Nate Marquardt, Hacran Dias, etc… Anyways, let’s just get to the predictions.
FOX Sports 1 Main Card (11 p.m. ET):
135 lbs.: John Lineker vs. John Dodson – What a fun main event, as two heavy handed sluggers collide in an all important contest in the Bantamweight division. Both, originally fought in the flyweight division, but Lineker could never make weight and Dodson failed to beat Champion Demetrious Johnson. These reasons alone called for weight class moves and boy have they paid off. Lineker, is 3-0 in the Bantamweight division and has won five consecutive fights. He’s slowly inching towards that Bantamweight belt, in what would be an improbable thought given his 5’3 stature. Dodson, made a successful Bantamweight debut against Manvel Gamburyan and will look to vault himself to contender status in two divisions. As for a prediction, I’m going with Dodson. He’s more elusive, quick and is an intelligent fighter. Lineker is a all-or-nothing type fighter, who embraces the brawl. He’s more inclined to stand in the pocket and swing away until someone falls, in other words a wild man. I tend to stay away from reckless fighters, so I’m going Dodson to win this one via fourth round KO, as Lineker fades late.
155 lbs.: Will Brooks vs. Alex Oliveira – Fun fight, as you have the former UFC Bellator Lightweight Kingpin in Will Brooks against the Brazilian they call “Cowboy” in Alex Oliveira. Brooks, is on a nine-fight win streak and has not only world class wrestling, but his striking abilities have grown. Oliveira, most recently defeated James Moontasri by decision, getting him back into the win column. As for a prediction, I’m going with Will Brooks. Oliveira is so hot and cold, it’s tough to pick someone so inconsistent. I mean, watch his first two fights against Gilbert Burns and K.J. Noons and then watch him a fight later against Joe Merritt. So with that, I’m going with the Bellator superstar to make it two in a row in the UFC. Brooks via decision.
125 lbs.: Louis Smolka vs. Brandon Moreno – Smolka is one of the best flyweights in the world and has to unfortunately fight a UFC newcomer in Brandon Moreno. This also won’t end well for the promotional newcomer, as Smolka is going to eat him for lunch. So with that, I have Smolka via submission.
155 lbs.: Josh Burkman vs. Zak Ottow – Laughable, as Zak Ottow has to make his UFC debut against a grizzled veteran. This will not end well, as Burkman KO’s him in round one.
FOX Sports 2 “Prelims” (9 p.m. ET):
205 lbs.: Joachim Christensen vs. Luis Henrique da Silva – Haven’t seen these guys fight before, but I’m going with Luis Henrique da Silva as he slightly edges out Joachim Christensen in the amount of letters in there name. So with that, I have Luis Henrique da Silva via TKO!
145 lbs.: Hacran Dias vs. Andre Fili – I’ve been waiting for Fili to show his true potential for quite some time, but he’s just shown little patience in his fights. He’s too wild, often finding himself in bad positions. Maybe he finally gets it together, but it’s a tough task in Hacran Dias. The BJJ black belt will look to get back in win column, after Cub Swanson defeated him last April via decision. The loss ended a two-fight win streak, one in which looked like momentum was building for the touted Brazilian. As for a prediction, I’m siding with Dias. Fili is just too crazy for my liking and I think he gets edged out her via close decision.
265 lbs.: Shamir Abdurakhimov vs. Walt Harris – I’ve never been impressed with Walt Harris, despite just recently defeating a fairly decent Heavyweight in Cody East. And, It took him his fourth UFC fight to finally get his first UFC victory. Anyways, Abdurakhimov is more well rounded and technical. I think his wrestling will be an asset here too, as he can soften up Harris before eventually finishing him. So with that, I have Abdurakhimov via TKO!
170 lbs.: Keita Nakamura vs. Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos – Nakamura is so underrated. I recall everyone, including me, thinking he was fodder for Tom Breese. Instead, he proved that he was UFC caliber and had potential to crack the top 15 in a stacked welterweight division. Clearly I’m on high on him, so I’m just going to predict that Nakamura wins via submission!
UFC Fight Pass “Prelims” (7 p.m. ET):
185 lbs.: Nate Marquardt vs. Tamdan McCrory – Nate Marquardt used to be one of the best mixed martial artist on the planet. And even back in 2012, you could justifiable say that was a top ten welterweight. Fast forward to 2016 and Marquardt is 2-6 in his last eight fights, having been knocked out in four of the six losses. McCrory, a veteran of the game, doesn’t quite have the mileage that Marquardt does, as he took a five-year absence from mixed martial arts from 2009-2014. Since his return, he’s gone 3-1 with all his wins coming via finish. As for a prediction, I’m not going to side with a Marquardt, who should be retired and has a deteriorating chin. I’m going with the fresher veteran in McCrory to win via knockout.
205 lbs.: Ion Cutelaba vs. Jonathan Wilson – The real tough decision in this bout, is who to pick on a nickname basis. Cutelaba is “The Hulk” and he even showed that off by painting himself from head to toe green at the weigh-ins. Wilson’s nickname is “Johnny Bravo”, which is just amazing. Ughh, such a tough choice, but since Cutelaba made the extra effort to look like the Hulk, I’m siding with him via decision.
265 lbs.: Curtis Blaydes vs. Cody East – The safe pick here would to go with the wrestler Curtis Blaydes and not Cody East, who lost um…Walt Harris. However, the Jackson-Wink fighter East is much better than he showed in his debut. I fully expect his striking abilities to come out in this one, leading to a KO victory.
135 lbs.: Kelly Faszholz vs. Ketlen Vieira – Who and Who? Actually, I recall Faszholz fighting Lauren Murphy…therefore I pick her to win via decision.