Can you believe, that in a little over a month, there has only been one UFC event! An oddity, given that there have been times where the UFC had six consecutive weeks of events. And usually, when there is a gap in between events, it’s due to promoting a huge PPV card. This particular card isn’t huge, but it’s packed with a ton of intriguing fights.
Headlining the card, is the return of UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley. It’s been over a year since he last fought, but he’s back and set to defend his title against the fast rising Darren Till. The Brit, has rapidly risen in the ranks by finishing Donald Cerrone and then controversially defeating Stephen Thompson via decision. With a massive height and presumably weight advantage, Till has a legit chance to dethrone Woodley.
Anyways, to the Predictions!
UFC 228 PPV Main Card (10 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley vs. Darren Till – I think that timing-wise, this could be a perfect opportunity for Till. Woodley hasn’t fought in over a year and is coming over major shoulder surgery. Till is a massive welterweight and will tower over Woodley. However, Till is very green. This will be his seventh UFC fight, with Donald Cerrone and Stephen Thompson the only real names he’s fought. Till had no issues with Cerrone, but against Thompson, it was a chess match that many believed he lost. Missing weight didn’t help either. Nevertheless, Till was awarded the victory and a title shot.
As for a prediction, I have Woodley. I believe that having fought Thompson for 50 minutes should have him prepared for a similar opponent like Till. Add in the fact that Woodley’s power will be something I don’t think Till has ever dealt with, and I think we may have a shorter night then people expect. So with that, I have Woodley retaining via TKO.
115 lbs.: Jessica Andrade vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz – This is an excellent fight in the Women’s Strawweight division. However, I can’t pick against Andrade. She’s a literal bulldozer. Her durability, volume striking, pace, cardio, pressure, power are just too overwhelming for opponents. The only way to defeat Andrade is to counter and keep distance, which is hard when she’s just eats every punch and bullies her way inside. So with that, I have Andrade via decision.
145 lbs.: Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Brandon Davis – I love that Davis stepped up and he’s gritty enough to make this a fun fight. However, he’s got poor takedown defense, he gets hit too much and his pace calls for better cardio. Against a well rounded Magomedsharipov, it’s only a matter of time before he gets overwhelmed. My guess is late into the second. So with that, I have Magomedsharipov via submission.
135 lbs.: John Dodson vs. Jimmie Rivera – Fun fight, but Dodson hasn’t really impressed me of late. His fight ending power has dissipated and he’s not landing in volume anymore. He’s eking wins and against Rivera, a cerebral fighter, that won’t work. I expect Rivera to come out, crack Dodson with his power, match his speed and ultimately outpoint Dodson for a clear cut decision victory.
170 lbs.: Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Niko Price – This should be a slugfest, as both men are wild strikers. The one glaring difference though is that Price has the cardio to go full three rounds if necessary. Alhassan doesn’t. Hell, by the second round, he’s gassed out. So with that, I have Price via late TKO.
UFC 228 FX ‘Prelims’ (8 p.m. ET):
115 lbs.: Carla Esparza vs. Tatiana Suarez – I think Suarez is too big and lanky for Esparza to handle. Even if she stops takedowns in the open, she will get pressed into the cage and grinded down. Ive been saying this for a long time, Suarez is a future champion. So with that, I have Suarez via decision.
135 lbs.: Cody Stamann vs. Aljamain Sterling – Dynamic is the word in this fight. The only one who fits that description is Sterling. So with that, I have Sterling shrugging off Stamann’s takedowns and outpointing him on the feet with dynamic striking abilities.
170 lbs.: Frank Camacho vs. Geoff Neal – This should be an early barnburner, but ultimately I have Camacho earning the decision victory. Neal has yet to be tested, and against a durable fighter like Camacho, I foresee him getting discouraged when he Camacho withstands everything he’s got.
185 lbs.: Charles Byrd vs. Darren Stewart – Stewart has tons of power, but he’s wreckless at times and has been vulnerable to takedowns. Byrd will capitalize on Stewart’s inability to keep the fight upright. Takedowns followed by an eventual submission lead Byrd to his second UFC victory.
UFC 228 Fight Pass ‘Prelims’ (6:15 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Diego Sanchez vs. Craig White – In 2018, Diego Sanchez is still fighting. His iron chin is disintegrating by the fight. However, this seems like a tailored made fight to get him a victory. And despite all the red flags, I’ll go with Sanchez via decision.
155 lbs.: Jim Miller vs. Alex White – Miller probably could out-wrestle White, but his cardio has slowly dissipated to the point whereI don’t think he can go three rounds anymore. So with that, I have White via late TKO.
135 lbs.: Irene Aldana vs. Lucie Pudilova – Aldana started out her UFC tenure a little lackluster, but she’s better than this. Pudilova is no pushover though, but ultimately I still believe that Aldana’s volume striking should help her eek out a decision victory.
125 lbs.: Roberto Sanchez vs. Jarred Brooks – Brooks is desperately in need of a win after dropping two straight, including knocking himself out in his last fight. The “Monkey God” has the wrestling abilities to grind out a decision victory here.