UFC Fight Night 184 Main Card on ESPN+ (8 p.m. ET): 265 lbs.: Alistair Overeem vs. Alexander Volkov – I’m torn here. I see several ways that both men win […]
UFC Fight Night 184 Main Card on ESPN+ (8 p.m. ET):
265 lbs.: Alistair Overeem vs. Alexander Volkov – I’m torn here. I see several ways that both men win this fight. For Volkov, it’s simply keeping the fight on the feet, using his distance and landing volume. As the fight wanes, I could see Volkov overwhelming Overeem and winning via TKO. I could also see Overeem implementing a heavy wrestling attack like his teammate Curtis Blaydes did against Volkov. Overeem is exceptionally strong and can get Volkov down, but to keep him down might be another story. Obviously Overeem has power and could very well knock Volkov out, but that’s unlikely in my opinion. I believe in an intriguing fight, Overeem uses his wrestling and strength to grind out a victory over Volkov – winning via decision.
135 lbs.: Frankie Edgar vs. Cory Sandhagen – I’ve been wanting Edgar to fight at Bantamweight for a long time. I truly believe had he dropped down earlier, he’d a fought for a title and there’s a good chance he’d a been champ. However, Edgar came down to Bantamweight late. Albeit a successful yet controversial victory against Pedro Munhoz, Edgar is fully entrenched in fighting these younger and talented Bantamweights. Sandhagen is one of those Bantamweights. He’s quite frankly a monster and a handful for any fighter, even more so Edgar. With a two inch height and five inch reach advantage, I expect Sandhagen to land jabs and straights at will. Even though Edgar is quick, Sandhagen is going to slow that down with sheer punishment. In the end, I see Sandhagen finishing the durable and tough Edgar via TKO.
125 lbs.: Manel Kape vs. Alexandre Pantoja – Talk about a tough debut, as Kape immediately gets fed to the dogs. Pantoja is one of the best Flyweights in the UFC. He’s very well rounded and as durable as they come. Kape is a buzz saw on the feet, with legit knockout power and speed. His ground abilities lack, which I could see get exploited by Pantoja. However, Pantoja embraces the brawl, so it’s possible he feeds himself into Kape’s game. As for a prediction, I want to side with Kape because I do believe he has a bright future in the UFC. However, Pantoja is just such a tough out and he’s going to weather any storm and get the decision nod here.
155 lbs.: Beneil Dariush vs. Diego Ferreira – This is a excellent fight and a tough one to say the least for both men. They match-up pretty similar, as both have excellent grappling abilities and are no slouch on the feet. If I were to give advantages, I believe that Dariush is the better grappler and having a strength advantage amplifies that. On the feet, Ferreira gets the nod. The knock on Dariush is his chin can be shaky, which I won’t deny is not true. However, the man has won five straight fights and knocked the last two out. He’s dangerous regardless and I believe that he’s going to prevail this fight. I see Dariush bullying Ferreira with his strength and at some point in the later round, lock up a submission victory.
UFC Fight Night 184 ‘Prelims’ Under Card on ESPN+ (5 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: Clay Guida vs. Michael Johnson – This fight is a coin flip. Johnson is the more talented fighter, but his poor fight IQ has cost him literally over three fights. Guida is just a dog and won’t give in at any moment. Hell, he might just go heavy wrestling and succeed in taking Johnson down. Honestly, I have no idea. Considering I’ve been burnt by Johnson several times, you’d think I’d side with Guida. Wrong. Give me that third degree burn, as I have Johnson winning via decision.
205 lbs.: Danilo Marques vs. Mike Rodriguez – I just can’t get behind Marques, even after he won his UFC debut. I just don’t see a resume indicating that he’s ready for someone of the likes of Rodriguez. In the end, I expect the ‘Slo Mike’ to land often and eventually get this fight into the clinch and land a knockout blow.
135 lbs.: Martin Day vs. Timur Valiev – I believe Valiev should take this with relative ease. Obviously Day is tough and considering Valiev’s debut, anything can happen. However, Valiev is the better all around fighter and Day’s weaknesses on the ground is going to get exposed. So with that, I have Valiev using a grappling heavy attack to win via decision.
155 lbs.: Justin Jaynes vs. Devonte Smith – While Smith has faced a long-layoff, I believe he gets this done via knockout. Jaynes has showed that he is dangerous in the opening few minutes. After that, it seems like a waiting game on when he gets finished. With a ridiculous eight inch reach advantage, expect Smith to hit Jaynes often and eventually catching Jaynes rushing in. So with that, give me Smith to win via knockout.
135 lbs.: Joselyne Edwards vs. Karol Rosa – This is a fun fight and boy is Edwards a gamer. Three weeks ago, Edwards stepped in on short notice and beat Yanan Wu. Once again, she steps in on short notice and is taking on a very tough opponent. One, who 2-0 inside the octagon. Rosa is a striker by trade, using leg kicks to break down opponents and overall volume to outpoint them. While I like Edwards, this is a bit too much. Rosa is going to pile on the street and outpoint Edwards in a decision victory.
125 lbs.: Molly McCann vs. Lara Procopio – This should be a fun scrap, as you have two strikers durable strikers going toe-to-toe in what could potentially be a fight of the night candidate. Ultimately I side with Procopio. While McCann has shown the ability to take the fight to mat, she often loves the brawl. Given Procopio’s sheer striking volume, I believe that she will outpoint Meatball via decision.
145 lbs.: Seungwoo Choi vs. Youssef Zalal – Despite being a decent sized underdog, I have Choi taking this fight. He’s the better striker of the two, offering more power and volume than Zalal. The x-factor in this fight is wrestling, which Zalal has shown the ability to implement should he be overpowered on the feet. As long as Choi can keep this upright, I believe he should outpoint Zalal. So with that, give me Choi to win via decision.
135 lbs.: Ode Osbourne vs. Jerome Rivera – Given that Rivera just fought three rounds in a decision defeat two weeks ago – I’m going to side with Osbourne. Perhaps Rivera is still peaking, and that’s why he’s making this quick turnaround – But there is too much unknown to believe that true. So with that, give me Osborne to win via decision