A week after a thrilling UFC 226 card, the UFC is back in action with an exciting Fight Night card in Boise, Idaho. This will be the promotions first visit to Idaho. Headlining the card is a Heavyweight bout pitting former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos against promotional newcomer Blagoy Ivanov. Dos Santos returns to octagon for the first time in 2018, as he had been held back by USADA due to a potential violation. After a lengthy battle, Dos Santos was cleared of any PED use.
Dos Santos most recently is coming off a UFC title defeat against former UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic. Since 2012, Dos Santos has fough eight times, trading a win and loss each fight. As for Ivanov, the promotional newcomer enters the UFC with a sterling 16-1 record. Ivanov, rides into this fight on a five-fight win streak. He is the former WSOF/PFL Champion and is a welcome addition to a Heavyweight division starting to regain steam. This is a huge debut fight, as a victory over the former UFC Heavyweight Champion instantly vaults him into the top ten.
Anyways, to the Predictions!
UFC Fight Night 133 Main Card on FOX Sports 1 (10:00 PM EST):
265 lbs.: Junior Dos Santos vs. Blagoy Ivanov – Heavyweight fights are so tough to predict, as it can end in one punch. Given that and the fact that Ivanov hasn’t fought anyone to the caliber of a shell of Dos Santos, I’ve got the former UFC Champion here. So with that, I have JDS via TKO.
170 lbs.: Sage Northcutt vs. Zak Ottow – This is a tough fight for Northcutt, as he’s not only moving up in weight, but fighting an experienced, gritty and overall grinder of a fighter in Ottow. However, Ottow isn’t a knockout artist and he doesn’t pressure his foes. Given that, Northcutt will be able to stay on the outside and use his arsenal of leg strikes. He will also have a significant speed advantage that I can foresee frustrating Ottow. So with that, I have Northcutt taking this fight decision.
145 lbs.: Dennis Bermudez vs. Rick Glenn – Glenn is a tough, lanky and long fighter. He’s also extremely hittable and against a volume and powerful striker like Bermudez, that doesn’t bode well. Mix in Bermudez’s excellent wrestling and ground-and-pound, and we got ourselves a beat down that ends in an a TKO victory by Bermudez.
170 lbs.: Randy Brown vs. Niko Price – Honestly I’m unsure, but I lean Price. He’s a wild striker who has legit knockout power and a pretty decent submission game. Price already has finished the likes of Brandon Thatch, Alan Jouban and George Sullivan. Not a bad list. Meanwhile, Brown is a formidable striker himself and could use his height and reach advantage to keep Price’s power at bay. However, Brown’s level of competition is no where near Price’s, having Mickey Gall as his biggest win to date. So with that, I have Price winning via late TKO.
145 lbs.: Myles Jury vs. Chad Mendes – I don’t know what to expect from Mendes, but if he’s the same fighter he was two years ago, then he’s got this fight. He’s an underrated striker, who’s bread and butter of wrestling and top control is amongst the best in the UFC. Against a tough and gritty Jury, it might initially be hard to take him down, but the constant grind that Mendes employs here will eventually break Jury. So with that, I have Mendes via decision.
135 lbs.: Cat Zingano vs. Marion Reneau – This is a toss up, but I’m going with Zingano. Mentally I think she’s back and while Reneau is on a roll, she’s often found herself getting beat up early and rallying to win. Against Zingano, a fighter who’s essentially built her career of comebacks, rallying back won’t happen here for Reneau. I mean, Zingano has already endured current Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes best shots and former Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate’s smothering grappling, only to come back and finish both of them. So with that, I have Zingano getting back on track via decision.
UFC Fight Night 133 Prelims on FOX Sports 1 (8:00PM EST):
135 lbs.: Alejandro Perez vs. Eddie Wineland – Wineland’s laid 2 eggs in his last two fights. While he has the better skill set, it’s the momentum and improving Perez that I’m picking here. Wineland is too hesitant of a striker, meanwhile Perez throws more in volume and uses timely takedowns to keep his foes uncomfortable. So with that, I have Perez via decision.
145 lbs.: Darren Elkins vs. Alex Volkanovski – This is such a tough fight to call, but I’m done counting Elkins out. I mean, I believe that Volkanovski has the style, pace and cardio to win this fight on the scorecards. However, he’s yet to fight anyone notable or as durable as Elkins. With six consecutive victories and a top five fight on the horizon, perhaps a main event against Frankie Edgar, I’ve got Elkins doing Elkins things en route to a decision victory.
125 lbs.: Said Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Scoggins – Given that Said Nurmagomedov is cousin of UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, I am to assume he is world class wrestler. And given Scoggins, while a phenomenal striker, has some of the poorest fight IQ, I am to side with the wrestler in this one. So with that, I have Nurmagomedov via decision.
145 lbs.: Raoni Barcelos vs. Kurt Holobaugh – I’ve got Holobaugh all the way here. He’s got a 5 inch height and 1.5 inch reach advantage. He’s coming off three consecutive victories, really four if you count the no contest due to using an IV bag to rehydrate. Each of the victories he has finished his foe. As for Barcelos, he hasn’t fought in nearly two years and this will be his UFC debut. Against a well rounded, scrappy and dam right durable Holobaugh, I can’t envision Barcelos shaking off the rust to get the victory. So with that, I have Holobaugh taking this one via submission.
UFC Fight Night 133 Prelims on Fight Pass (6:30PM EST):
125 lbs.: Liz Carmouche vs. Jennifer Maia – Tough fight to call, but I have Maia taking this in her UFC debut. She was the number one Flyweight outside the UFC and is on a roll of late, winning six consecutive fights. While Carmouche will look to use a heavy dose of wrestling and top control to win this, it’s Maia’s grappling and volume striking that will neutralize her. I expect a close fight though, but ultimately it’s Maia who gets the judges nod via decision.
125 lbs.: Mark De La Rosa vs. Elias Garcia – Don’t know, but I have Garcia on the account that in De La Rosa’s debut, he landed a mere 4 punches in over 6 minutes of action. It was against former Flyweight title challenger Tim Elliott, but still I have Garcia via decision.
115 lbs.: Jessica Aguilar vs. Jodie Esquibel – Considering Esquibel is a former Atomweight and her takedown defense isn’t exactly great, this is a tailored made matchup for the former number one Strawweight Aguilar. Expect a heavy dose of takedowns and top control en route to a decision victory.