The UFC is back in action, as they head overseas to Hamburg, Germany. Headlining the event is former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua against rising talent Anthony Smith. Rua, is currently on a three-fight streak and hasn’t lost since 2014. Each of the three victories have come in a different year. Rua, has not won four fights since 2011, and has a great opportunity not only to do that, but potentially earn a title shot. One in which Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier has called for if Rua were to win. As for Smith, the former Middleweight made a successful trek up to 205 pounds, defeating Rashad Evans via knockout in a mere 53 seconds. Prior to that victory, Smith had won eleven of his thirteen fights. Only three of those came in the UFC, but they were all via impressive comeback finishes.
Anyways, to the Predictions!
Main Card (FS1, 2 P.M. ET):
Light heavyweight: Mauricio Rua vs. Anthony Smith – This fight is going to be violent from the start and I have a feeling it’s not going to last all too long either. In my opinion, as good as Shogun was, he’s just not the same anymore. He’s got legit power in his hands, but he’s visibly slower. Against Smith, who’s tall, lengthy and faster, it’s only a matter of time before Rua gets finished. He’s tough, but Smith likes to use his elbows and knees and if one of those connect, it’s pretty much over. So with that, I’m going with the new blood at 205 pounds to defeat the legend Shogun via knockout.
Light heavyweight: Glover Teixeira vs. Corey Anderson – This is an excellent fight. If Anderson’s chin was a little less prone, he’d be a contender by now. However, it’s cost him several fights in which he was winning. Considering Teixeira has legit power in his hands, I figure he will keep this upright and try to test that chin of Anderson. Once he lands that perfect shot, I see him jumping on a wounded Anderson and locking on a submission for the victory.
Middleweight: Abu Azaitar vs. Vitor Miranda – No clue. Miranda had a little spark in the UFC, but that went away quick. The German Azaitar will have the hometown crowd in his favor, which will aid him to a decision victory.
Heavyweight: Stefan Struve vs. Marcin Tybura – Struve seems shot to me. He’s nearly 7 feet tall, always having a size advantage and reach advantage on opponents. Yet, he never throws jabs and instead fights in close range. A recipe that has seen him get battered and finished several times. If only he pumped the jab and tried for takedowns to use his world class BJJ. If only right… so with that, I have Tybura grinding this one out via decision.
Welterweight: Danny Roberts vs. David Zawada – Roberts is very underrated and I think people are too quick to deem him “chinny”. He took countless power shots from Perry before being rendered unconscious. He did get quickly knocked out by Nordine Taleb, but sometimes there is nothing you can do about a perfectly timed strike. Anyways, Roberts is a talent and he’s going to show it in an impressive submission victory.
Lightweight: Marc Diakiese vs. Nasrat Haqparast – Diakiese was once thought to be a superstar in the making. Now, he’s an afterthought and on the brink of potentially being cut by the UFC. Considering I like guys with their backs against the wall, it should be no surprise that I have Diakiese winning via decision.
Preliminary Card (FS1, 12 P.M. ET):
Lightweight: Damir Hadzovic vs. Nick Hein – The German actor and former police officer Hein is not losing in his home country. So with that, Hein via decision.
Welterweight: Bartosz Fabinski vs. Emil Meek – Even in defeat, Meek looked good against a wrestling heavy Kamaru Usman. In this fight, I think he shows off his defensive wrestling and keeps this one upright. On the feet, Meek is wild and powerful. I think eventually he overwhelms Fabinski and wins via TKO.
Featherweight: Nad Narimani vs Khalid Taha – Isn’t Narimani the guy who defeated Paddy Pimblett? Yup. So with that, I have Narimani winning via submission.
Light heavyweight: Justin Ledet vs. Aleksandar Rakic – Don’t know much about Rakic, but new blood in the Light Heavyweight division is always a plus. Unfortunately, Ledet is a talented striker. His last fight against Zu Anyanwu was a little lackluster, but his prior fights showed that he’s a potential contender. So with that, Ledet stays undefeated and wins this via late KO.
UFC Fight Pass Exclusive Prelims (10:30 A.M. ET):
Bantamweight: Davey Grant vs. Manny Bermudez – I thought Grant was pretty solid coming out of TUF, but I was wrong. He’s not very good and is going to get submitted by a very talented prospect in Bermudez.
Light heavyweight: Jeremy Kimball vs. Darko Stosic – This one ends in knockout. Given how massive Stosic is and just thinking how brutal that weight cut must be, I’m siding with Kimball here. If he can survive round one, I truly believe he will defeat the huffing and puffing promotional newcomer via TKO.
Bantamweight: Pingyuan Liu vs. Damian Stasiak – Don’t know Liu, but I’m well aware of Stasiak. He’s a karate fighter who seemingly gets cracked a bunch, but has insane toughness and heart. How he lasted as long as he did against Brian Kelleher was pretty crazy. Anyways, I’ve got Stasiak via decision.