It’s been awhile, but the UFC is back in action for the first time since a historic UFC 229 Card on October 6th. In a world where the UFC has very much saturated the fight game, three weeks seems like an eternity. Nevertheless, we got ourselves a fun card with two heavy hitting Light Heavyweight contenders in Volkan Oezdemir and Anthony Smith. Given I’m late to these predictions, I’ll briefly run down my thoughts.
UFC Fight Night 138 Main Card on FOX Sports 1 (10 p.m. ET):
205 lbs.: Volkan Oezdemir vs. Anthony Smith – This comes down to who gets hits first, who can survive and who can keep up with the frantic pace. I say Oezdemir comes out aggressive, tags Smith, but it’s Smith who counters and puts away Oezdemir maybe even with a flying knee. So with that, I have Smith via KO!
145 lbs.: Artem Lobov vs. Michael Johnson – While Johnson has shown to have poor fight IQ and engage in brawls, I think he starts to smarten up here. Lobov has power, but he fights with his hands down. Johnson should easily be able to use his speed and boxing advantage against Lobov and with his power, the knockout will eventually come.
205 lbs.: Misha Cirkunov vs. Patrick Cummins – Neither fighter has a claim to fame about their chin, but I like Cirkunov better in this fight. His striking and power advantage should allow him to fend off Cummins takedowns and ultimately lead to a finish via KO.
135 lbs.: Jonathan Martinez vs. Andre Soukhamthath – Never heard of Martinez, so by default I have the above average Soukhamthath getting it done via decision.
205 lbs.: Gian Villante vs. Ed Herman – This most likely will be a sloppy slugfest. In the end, the younger and fighter with less mileage, Villante will prevail via KO.
170 lbs.: Alex Garcia vs. Court McGee – Despite gas tank issues, Garcia’s speed and power on the feet should lead to a relatively short night for Mr. McGee. So with that, I have Garcia via KO.
UFC Fight Night 138 Prelims on FOX Sports 1 (8 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Nordine Taleb vs. Sean Strickland – This should be a close fight, but ultimate the strength of Taleb should garner him a few key takedowns that lead to the decision victory.
145 lbs.: Thibault Gouti vs. Nasrat Haqparast – Gouti is a sacrificial lamb to yet another potential rising star. So with that, I have Haqparast via KO.
145 lbs.: Calvin Kattar vs. Chris Fishgold – Kattar should be able to keep this upright and effectively outpoint Fishgold on the feet in a decision victory.
135 lbs.: Sarah Moras vs. Talita Bernardo – Really depends on who’s ground game is better and I’m a side with Bernardo’s. Thinking decision victory.
UFC Fight Night 138 Prelims on Fight Pass (6:30 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: Te Edwards vs. Don Madge – Not familiar with either, but Madge hasn’t fought that great of competition. So, I’m a go with Edwards via KO.
265 lbs.: Arjan Bhullar vs. Marcelo Golm – Bhullar’s heavy dose of wrestling should wear down an aggressive Golm. Midway into the second, Golm will be gassed and could be susceptible to the finish. I’ll predict tough, a decision victory for Bhullar.
155 lbs.: Stevie Ray vs. Jessin Ayari – Ray is the better all around fighter and should be able to outpoint Ayari on the feet.