After a week off, which was not the case in the last two month’s, the UFC is back in action in London, England. Headlining the event, is a pair of Heavyweight contenders in former UFC Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum and former Bellator Heavyweight Champion Alexander Volkov.
Since losing his title in May of 2016, Werdum has gone 3-1, with his most recent win coming over Marcin Tybura. At 40 years of age, Werdum is showing no signs of slowing down and is closing in on another title shot. As for Volkov, since debuting in UFC in November of 2016, it’s been nothing but perfection. Three fights, three wins, with the last coming via knockout in a main event against Stefan Struve. The implications are high in this fight, with both men vying for a title shot.
Let’s get to the Predictions!
UFC Fight Night 127 Main Card (5 p.m. ET):
265 lbs.: Fabricio Werdum vs. Alexander Volkov – This is a fun fight that can shake-up the Heavyweight division should Alexander Volkov win. He’s a fresh and a young contender in division filled with dinosaurs. Then again, it’s a dinosaur in Werdum whom presents a rough matchup for Volkov. The Russian striker has excelled on the feet much of his career. Armed with long limbs, specifically his 81′ inch reach, Volkov has been able to pick apart foes en route to knockouts. His weakness though, is his defensive wrestling.
Werdum is perhaps one of the best grapplers in mixed martial arts and once he gets a hold of Volkov, it’s game over. The BJJ wiz will only need under a minute to win via submission.
205 lbs.: Jan Blachowicz vs. Jimi Manuwa – I’ve really enjoyed Blachowicz’s resurgence. He’s not just a striker anymore, but his wrestling abilities are a real factor in his game. Also, his defensive wrestling which cost him pretty much in every defeat except against Manuwa has vastly improved. It’s perhaps the main reason behind Blachowicz’s resurgence.
However, I’ve got Manuwa. I believe his last fight was a combination of being too cocky, overlooking Volkan Oezdemir and focusing his energy on Champion Daniel Cormier. Not taking anything away from Oezdemir’s victory, but Manuwa is better than 42 seconds he showed there. With an extended time off and fighting in his backyard, Manuwa will eventually crack Blachowicz on the feet and win via knockout.
135 lbs.: Tom Duquesnoy vs. Terrion Ware – Who is Ware’s manager? First, Cody Stamann, then Sean O’Malley and now Tom Duquesnoy? Jeez! Talk about being used as a stepping stone for prospects.
Anyways, I believe Ware can definitely win this fight. He’s got excellent boxing and has a hell of chin on him. However, the Jackson-Wink trained Duquesnoy is a dynamic striker who I can only assume is hungry for a win after Cody Stamann put a wrestling clinic on him. Given Ware is a striker, Duquesnoy won’t have to worry about wrestling. Instead, he will show off his arsenal of striking in a fun fight for however long it last. So with that, I have Duquesnoy via KO!
170 lbs.: Leon Edwards vs. Peter Sobotta – Love the resurgence of Sobotta, but this is Edwards fight to lose. He’s the more well rounded fighter and has really shored up his defensive wrestling, which was a major problem earlier in his career. So with my thoughts of this fight taking place on the feet, it’s Edwards who holds a major advantage. And it’s Edwards who will come away with a rather easy decision victory.
UFC Fight Night 127 Prelims (2 p.m. ET):
185 lbs.: Charles Byrd vs. John Phillips – I want to pick Phillips based on his knockout power, but he hasn’t fought in over a year due to injuries. Also, his defensive wrestling and ground game is simply not great. Byrd on the other hand, is fast and pretty decent on the feet. I assume he’s aware of Phillips power and will keep distance early with leg kicks. When Phillips get’s frustrated and forces his way inside, Byrd will take him down and have his way. So with that, I have Byrd via submission.
170 lbs.: Oliver Enkamp vs. Danny Roberts – I thought Enkamp got a raw deal in his debut, as he had to fight a monster for the weight class in Nordine Taleb. Despite losing, he fared rather well. Problem is, once again he gets a raw deal in fighting Roberts. The well-rounded Brit is an excellent fighter who’s been dubbed “Chinny” due to his last two defeats coming via KO. However, I’d argue in the fight against Mike Perry, he took several bombs throughout three rounds before going down. The Taleb fight was just a perfect head kick and punch by a very powerful man
Anyways, Enkamp doesn’t have anywhere near the power of Perry or Taleb. Roberts should be able to edge him out on the feet en route to a decision victory.
145 lbs.: Hakeem Dawodu vs. Danny Henry – No clue, but I Dawodu just beat a very game Steven Siler heading into his UFC debut. That’s good enough for me. Dawodu via decision.
205 lbs.: Magomed Ankalaev vs. Paul Craig – I’ve been waiting for Ankalaev’s UFC debut for quiet sometime. The dude delivers some of the most vicious ground-and-pound and I believe he’s going to open some eyes in this fight. Craig is an awful striker with poor offensive wrestling. His only hope is to catch Ankalaev in a triangle-choke when this hits the mat. That won’t happen though, as Ankalaev crushes him via KO!
155 lbs.: Kajan Johnson vs. Stevie Ray – Tough fight to call. However, I’ll side with Ray due to his well-rounded abilities. I believe if the striking doesn’t go his way earlier, he can resort to his underrated wrestling. The only concern here, is that Ray comes into this bout with contract/management issues that cost his from fighting since July of 2017. Despite that, I have Ray via split decision.
265 lbs.: Mark Godbeer vs. Dmitry Sosnovskiy – Godbeer is tough, but I got to go with Soda Popinski via submission.
155 lbs.: Nasrat Haqparast vs. Nad Narimani – Haqparast had a tough debut against Held, but he showed some solid pop on the feet. Given Narimani is coming into this on short-notice and moving up a weight class, I’ll take my chances with Haqparast via KO!