For the seventh consecutive week, the UFC is back in action. Headlining the event, is a pair of welterweight contenders in Darren Till and Jorge Masvidal. Till enters this contest off his Welterweight title fight defeat to Tyron Woodley. It was rumored he would move up to Welterweight, given his massive weight cuts. As for Masvidal, the veteran has lost two consecutive fights. Prior, Masvidal had won three in a row, including a vicious knockout over Donald Cerrone.
UFC on ESPN+ 5 Main Card (4 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Darren Till vs. Jorge Masvidal – This is going to be fun fight. I feel like the odds are off here though. Till is an excellent talent, with solid striking and some decent pop in his hands. But, Masvidal is equally a gifted striker, whom can mix in the wrestling needed to win this fight. Masvidal has an iron chin and excellent cardio, which the verdict is out on both of those for Till. That weight cut, is just so brutal for Till. Against Masvidal, who will attack the body and wrestle-some, is going to drain Till in the later rounds. So with that, I’m calling upset. Masvidal via decision.
170 lbs.: Leon Edwards vs. Gunnar Nelson – Awesome matchmaking. Edwards is so underrated, but Nelson hit a corner in his last fight. He looked really good and displayed some vicious ground-and-pound. I don’t expect Nelson to take Edwards down, but I feel like Nelson is the more dangerous on the feet. Edwards lacks finishing power to put away Nelson. So with that, I have Nelson via decision.
205 lbs.: Volkan Oezdemir vs. Dominick Reyes – Fun fight, but I got Reyes. He’s too technical, and Oezdemir fades late if he can’t land that one-punch knockout. So with that, I have Reyes via late knockout.
135 lbs.: Jose Quinonez vs. Nathaniel Wood – This is a showcase for Wood to ignite the crowd in front of his hometown crowd. So with that, I got Wood decision.
170 lbs.: Danny Roberts vs. Claudio Silva – The way Silva decimated Nordine Taleb, I’m not picking against him. Silva via decision.
185 lbs.: Jack Marshman vs. John Phillips – While I lean Marshman, I’m feeling Phillips more due to the fact that he’s probably fighting for his job and he just wings power punches all fight. Phillips can eat a punch too, which I imagine what he’ll do to get inside of the pocket with Marshman. So with that, I got Phillips via knockout.
UFC on ESPN+ 5 ‘Prelims’ Undercard (1 p.m. ET):
145 lbs.: Arnold Allen vs. Jordan Rinaldi – I’m unsure in this fight because of how good Allen looked prior to fighting Mads Burnell. He was out-wrestled, which is exactly what Rinaldi does to his foes. However, I’m still going with Allen. He’s a far superior striker to Rinaldi and if he can stay off his back, it should be relatively easy. So with that, I have Allen via decision.
155 lbs.: Marc Diakiese vs. Joseph Duffy – What the hell happened to Diakiese? From 3-0 in the UFC, with a hype train, to three straight-losses. Make it four. Unless Diakiese seriously worked on his wrestling, this is Duffy’s fight. With that, I’ll go with Duffy via submission.
205 lbs.: Nicolae Negumereanu vs. Saparbeg Safarov – When looking at the undefeated Negumereanu, his resume features victories over pretty much all cans. And while Safarov is 0-2 in the UFC, he’s fought two veterans and gained valuable octagon experience. In a fight I don’t expect needing the judges, I’ve got Safarov via knockout.
145 lbs.: Danny Henry vs. Dan Ige – This is going to be a sloppy, scrappy fight where wrestling will edge the winner. Given Henry’s iffy TDD, I’ve got to go with Ige via decision.
125 lbs.: Priscila Cachoeira vs. Molly McCann – This is the first we’ve seen of Cachoeira since she was decimated in her UFC debut by current Flyweight Champion, Valentina Shevchenko. Given the layoff and beat down she endured, I’ve got to go with McCann via decision.
145 lbs.: Mike Grundy vs. Nad Narimani – I’ve not seen too much of either gentlemen, but I know Narimani is the better striker and Grundy is the better wrestler. Based off that, and given my lack of knowledge here, I’ll go with the wrestler. Grundy via decision.