The UFC is back in action, taking their talents to Calgary, Canada. Headlining this card, which airs on big FOX, is Lightweight contenders Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier. This will be a rematch, as the first fight took place on May 13, 2017 and ended in a controversial no contest. It was a wild and exciting fight for two rounds, with both men hurting each other. However, it was Alvarez who was rocked, rallied back and then landed an illegal knee that halted the action. Considering Poirier couldn’t continue and Alvarez landed multiple illegal blows, the fight probably should of ended in a disqualification victory for Poirier. The referee deemed it was accidental, hence the no contest.
Over a year later, both will lock horns in what should realistically be a number one contenders fight. However the reemergence of Conor McGregor seemingly ruins those logistics. Nevertheless, these two men will undoubtedly put on a show. Alvarez, comes into this fight fresh off a stellar victory over Justin Gaethje. He is on the last fight of his contract, betting on himself, to well, make bank. Meanwhile, Poirier comes into fight on the heels of a two fight win streak. In two “fight of the nights”, Poirier was able to withstand punishment and come out on top, finishing both Anthony Pettis and Justin Gaethje.
Anyways, to the Predictions!
UFC on FOX 30 Main Card on FOX (8 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier – What an exciting fight. These two Lightweight contenders are the epitome of entertainment. If we were to go by of recent, it’s Poirier who’s turn it up a notch of late. The last two fights against Anthony Pettis and Justin Gaethje showed that wherever the fight goes, Poirier is fully capable of making it advantageous for him. An ability to withstand punishment too has certainly nixed the claim that Poirier has a weak chin.
As for a prediction, I’ve got Alvarez. I think against Justin Gaethje, he showed massive improvements. And if I remember correctly, he somehow avoided getting rocked at any point. He took a ton of leg kicks, but his head movement and striking were all on point. If I’m being honest too, I think Alvarez’s problems stem from the first round. He’s a slow starter and doesn’t quite adapt until around the second rounds. Against Poirier, he couldn’t deal with the reach. In this fight, I think he uses his wrestling to deal with it. I mean, he’s on the last fight of his contract and a title shot isn’t even guaranteed. So with that, I believe Alvarez will wrestle and grind down Poirier, finishing him into the later rounds via TKO.
145 lbs: Jose Aldo vs. Jeremy Stephens – This is a tough fight to call, but I have Aldo. The main reason, this is a three round fight. Against Holloway, Aldo looked solid for about two rounds, but Holloway’s volume, pace and pressure proved to be too much for the former Featherweight kingpin. Stephens is a guy who can replicate Holloway’s gameplan, but he doesn’t have the height, reach or high output Holloway has. He does have power though, which is scary given the amount of punishment Aldo has endured in his last two fights. Nevertheless, if Aldo can get back to guy who threw those patented debilitating leg kicks and stayed away from brawling, he has the ability to get back on track. Against a dangerous Stephens, who is on the cusp of a title shot, I believe this is do or die for Aldo. With his back up against the wall, Aldo will perform and outpoint Stephens via decision.
115 lbs.: Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Tecia Torres – This is a great fight, but I feel like Jedrzejczyk is better everywhere. Now, Torres is an excellent fighter, but she lacks power and finishing instincts. Against Jedrzejczyk, you need power to put her away or at least keep her at bay. So with that, I have Jedrzejczyk via a dominant decision victory.
155 lbs.: Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Alexander Hernandez – This is a tough fight to call, especially given Hernandez’s debut. Honestly, I’ve always thought OAM was a special talent, who’s a striking game away from breaking out. Welp, in his last fight, he showed that. However, it ended so early that I feel I need a little more to be sold. I feel like Hernandez is a confident wrestler, who’s got legit pop in his hands. I can see him fending off OAM and hurting him on the feet. OAM is tough though and won’t go away lightly. So with that, I have Hernandez via decision.
UFC on FOX 30 Prelims on FOX (6 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Jordan Mein vs. Alex Morono – Mein has all the weapons to be successful, but for whatever reason, he can’t put it together. It might be mental, but I don’t know. Either way, I’ve got Morono via a sloppy decision victory.
145 lbs.: Austin Arnett vs. Hakeem Dawodu – I’ve heard great things about Dawodu, but his debut was not them. Nevertheless, this is tailored matchup for him to get back on track. So with that, I have Dawodu via decision.
155 lbs.: Kajan Johnson vs. Islam Makhachev – The Russians are coming! Makhachev looks to be a force to be reckon with and I believe Johnson is the perfect opponent to showcase him to a larger audience. So with that, I’ve got Makhachev via submission.
205 lbs.: Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs. Ion Cutelaba – Antigulov is on a roll, but considering he’s finishing everyone (19 of 20 wins), his cardio remains relatively unknown. Cutelaba has shown to have great cardio, a relentless pace and high volume of output. He’s also shown durability, so I’m not concerned about him being knocked out. The potential to be taken down and submitted is very possible. Nevertheless, I’m going to predict that Cutelaba weathers the early storm and puts away Antigulov via TKO in the third round.
UFC on FOX 30 Prelims on Fight Pass (4 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: John Makdessi vs. Ross Pearson – If this were Pearson five years ago, I would have picked him. However, it’s a slower and more hittable Pearson. Considering Makdessi is a counter puncher, I expect Pearson to walk right into every punch. So with that, I have Makdessi winning this one via decision.
125 lbs.: Katlyn Chookagian vs. Alexis Davis – This is a toss up. Chookagian has the striking edge, while Davis the grappling. Chookagian has been vulnerable to grapplers, defending takedowns at only a 57% clip. If Davis can get this to the ground, I find it hard to believe Chookagian will be able to get back up. So with that, I have Davis via decision.
125 lbs.: Matheus Nicolau vs. Dustin Ortiz – Another toss up here, but I’ll go with the momentum of Nicolau. Ortiz is a gritty wrestler, who is relentless at taking his foes down. His top control and scrambling abilities are tremendous to boot. However, on the feet, Ortiz is vulnerable. He’s a serviceable striker, but his troubles have come standing. Nicolau has shown to have excellent striking and takedown defense. I expect Nicolau to fend off Ortiz and outpoint him for two rounds. In the third, Ortiz will finally get him down, but won’t be able to get the finish. So with that, I have Nicolau taking this fight via decision.
115 lbs.: Nina Ansaroff vs. Randa Markos – This is once again, another toss up. Ansaroff has the striking advantage, although Markos has shown tremendous improvements on the feet. Meanwhile, Markos is an excellent grappler and I could very well see her mixing in takedowns en route to my prediction, a decision victory.
155 lbs.: Alvaro Herrera vs. Devin Powell – Both men haven’t fought in quite sometime, so I expect rust. In the name of Predictions, I’ll go with Powell. Herrera is a one round fighter, meanwhile Powell has shown durability and a knack for weathering earlier storms. So with that, I’ve got Powell via submission.