This will be a unique night in mixed martial arts, as the UFC features two fight cards on the very same day and there is also a Bellator card tonight. So if you like fights, strap in from noon till after midnight of non-stop action!
Anyways, UFC Fight Night 99 takes place in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Headlining the card is a rematch between Middleweight contender Gegard Mousasi and the dynamic striker Uriah Hall. The last time these men fought, Mousasi was thoroughly controlling Hall. That was until Hall threw a perfectly timed spinning back kick that stunned Mousasi, who had ducked in for a takedown. With Mousasi wobbling all over the place, Hall smelt blood and put Mousasi away via TKO.
Despite being a short notice replacement fight, it’s a little unorthodox that Mousasi, who has won three straight fights is paired up with a loser of two straight in Hall. The only plausible thought, is that the UFC wanted to keep the now-outspoken and demanding Mousasi happy with a rematch in which he believed was a fluke loss.
Co-Headlining the card, is a UFC veteran in Ross Pearson against a young lion in Stevie Ray. Pearson has struggled of late and is desperately in need of a win to keep his UFC career in tact, meanwhile Ray will be looking to get back into the win column with by far his biggest name he’s faced yet.
Also on the card is a pair of former UFC Flyweight Challengers in Kyoji Horiguchi and Ali Bagautinov, the “Motown Phenom” Kevin Lee, Timothy Johnson, Alexander Volkov and sick fight between Artem Lobov and Teruto Ishihara. Anyways, let’s get to the Predictions!
UFC Fight Pass Main Card (3 p.m. ET):
185 lbs.: Uriah Hall vs. Gegard Mousasi – As Mousasi rises up in the Middleweight division and demands fights against the likes of Anderson Silva, the only other way to keep him happy, was to give him a rematch against Uriah Hall. As we know, the dynamic striker Hall spinning back kicked Mousasi into oblivion back in September of 2015. Since that fight, Hall has dropped two straight fights and finds himself with his back up against the wall. In the same span, Mousasi has won three fights in a row and the last two coming via finish.
As for a prediction, I have Mousasi. I do believe the first fight was lucky in a way, as Mousasi was thoroughly controlling Hall in the fight. Of course, the one strike aspect plays a role in every fight and it did here, so respect to Hall for an amazing win. However, Mousasi is one of the very best fighters on the planet and at only 31 years old, he’s still evolving. His grappling should neutralize Hall and I expect him to be very cautious and fight smart coming into this one. I also expect him to finish Hall and make a statement, that he’s a contender in the Middleweight division. So with that, I have Mousasi via fourth round submission!
155 lbs.: Ross Pearson vs. Stevie Ray – This is a potential changing of the guard fight, where the veteran (Ross Pearson) takes on a young lion (Stevie Ray). Pearson, is the Ultimate Fighter season 9 winner and has been with UFC since 2009. This will be his 22nd fight in the UFC, as well as his fifth this year. His combatant Ray enters this contest looking to get back into the column, as he saw his five-fight win streak snapped by Alan Patrick. Ray, is a striker, so I expect this one to take place the majority on the feet. The advantage there though goes to Pearson, who is a technical boxer. And while Pearson has lost three of his last four fights, he’s been very competitive in defeat. In my opinion, this is Pearson’s fight to lose and he knows to keep his UFC career and/or fighting career going, this is a must win. So with that, I have Pearson via decision.
265 lbs.: Timothy Johnson vs. Alexander Volkov – While I want to pick Volkov because I believe he has the better skill set of the two, especially on the feet, I’m not going to. I’m going to side with Timothy Johnson just because of his abilities to make fights ugly and sloppy. He likes to push opponents up against the cage, use his weight to wear down opponents. Johnson might not be the most exciting fighter, nor look like one, he’s a tough customer with a tough style to beat. Volkov’s kryptonite has been grapplers, which is why I’m going to predict that Johnson wins via decision.
145 lbs.: Teruto Ishihara vs. Artem Lobov – This fight promises sheer violence, as these two men are bonafide strikers with knockout power. However, besides knockout power, Lobov offers no technique or grappling abilities. He fights with hands down and swings for the hips, which is why he comes into this bout with a 12-12 record. Ishihara on the other end, has technique and is well rounded, but he often throws that out the window and engages in a punch for punch battle. This could be an eye opener for him if Lobov lands, but if Ishihara fights somewhat smart, he should easily finish Lobov at some point via TKO!
UFC Fight Pass “Prelims” (12 p.m. ET):
185 lbs.: Magnus Cedenblad vs. Jack Marshman – When is Cedenblad going to get a step up in competition? I mean, he’s won four in a row, including defeating Krzysztof Jotko. I mention Jotko because Cedenblad remains his lone career defeat and later tonight, Jotko fights Thales Leites. So again, why is Cedenblad facing a promotional newcomer? Whatever, Cedenblad via TKO in a slugfest.
125 lbs.: Ali Bagautinov vs. Kyoji Horiguchi – Great fight, but Horiguchi is the second best Flyweight. He fought Demetrious Johnson for the title way too soon, due to the division being so shallow and payed for it. This is an excellent fight to sharpen his tools as he eventually will meet Demetrious Johnson again. So with that, I got Horiguchi carvine up Bagautinov on the feet, winning via decision.
155 lbs.: Kevin Lee vs. Magomed Mustafaev – No offense to Mustafaev, as I know he’s a very promising prospect, but Lee is very underrated. So underrated that I predict he contends for the Lightweight title in 2018. So with that, I have Lee via decision.
115 lbs.: Amanda Cooper vs. Anna Elmose – Never seem either fight before, so I’m going with Elmo… via decision.
265 lbs.: Mark Godbeer vs. Justin Ledet – I’ve seen Godbeer fight in Bellator against Cheick Kongo and wasn’t overly impressed with his skill set. Maybe he’s improved, but I’m going with Ledet via TKO!
170 lbs.: Zak Cummings vs. Alexander Yakovlev – While Zak Cummings is monster for the weight class, Yakovlev is super underrated. Both are coming off loses and need to avoid dropping two straight in a relatively wide open Welterweight division. Cummings is a grappler, which if he can’t force the action to the ground, he becomes less of a threat. Yakovlev is also a grappler, but he has shown formidable striking abilities with knockout power. As for a prediction, I’m siding with Yakovlev in an upset. He’s hard to finish and only been overwhelmed against a superior grappler in Maia (Who couldn’t finish Yakovlev) and a superior wrestler in Kamaru Usman. If he keeps this on the feet, I’m confident he edges this out via decision.
135 lbs.: Milana Dudieva vs. Marion Reneau – I can’t say I remember seeing Milana Dudieva fight, but I can say I’ve seen all of Marion Reneau’s scraps. She’s a tough customer, is coming off a controversial split decision loss and has been in there with Holly Holm and Jessica Andrade. This is an easy call for me, Reneau is battle tested and has this one in the bags via decision.
135 lbs.: Brett Johns vs. Kwan Ho Kwak – I’ve heard of Brett Johns before, so I’m siding with him. In all fairness though, I actually look forward to seeing this fight as both are highly regarded on the regional scene and undefeated. However, I have Johns via decision.
170 lbs.: Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Charlie Ward – I have no idea who these two are, but I’m really digging the name Abdul Razak Alhassan. Although, Charlie Ward used to be a solid point guard for the Knicks, but this ain’t that guy. Razak via TKO!