The UFC is back on ABC, as two Middleweight contenders look to thrust their name into title contention. While this main event was originally supposed to feature Darren Till and Marvin Vettori – Till pulled out and in stepped Kevin Holland. If you don’t recall, Holland fought three weeks ago in a main event against Derek Brunson. Let’s just say, Holland didn’t show up. With three weeks to mull over the loss, he is back at it with a tall task – the ‘Italian Dream’ Marvin Vettori. The Italian is climbing up the rankings and is coming off an absolutely impressive performance against Jack Hermansson. While a win over Holland is nearly as stock boosting as one over Till would of been, Vettori could be setting himself up in a number one contenders fight next.
13 – Kevin Holland is stepping back in on short notice, three weeks after an unaspiring fight again Derek Brunson. Noticeably, ‘Big Mouth’ has been relatively tame and perhaps lessons were learned. I want to lean Marvin Vettori in this fight because he is an all around talent, who is durable and seemingly has five round cardio. However, Holland’s aura this week has me believing that he’s going to pull off the upset. As long his cardio holds up, I expect him to go back to fierce striker he’s shown he is. So with that, I have Holland winning via decision.
12 – I believe that Arnold Allen is talented, but between his lack of activity and the opponents he’s faced – I don’t see him getting his hand raised in this fight. Sodiq Yusuff is specimen, who has shown excellent striking abilities thus far. His takedown defense is good enough to shrug off anything Allen attempts on him, and the volume alone on the feet will pick apart the Brit. While many are split on this fight, I believe Yusuff handily takes it and in fact, I believe there is a higher chance it comes via KO.
11 – Sam Alvey is tough, but also getting up there in age and overall punishment. Add in the way Julian Marquez wings power strikes and I envision a knockout sooner than later for the ‘Cuban Missile Crisis’.
10 – Despite being out of action for awhile, Nunes is one of the more underrated strikers in the division. I also believe that Dern’s a better striker than given credit for too – at least for being such a specialist. As for the fight, give me Nunes. I believe she shuts down Dern’s grappling and outpoints her on the feet for a decision victory.
9 – Unless Mike Perry starts taking this serious, I can’t trust him. He’s got the durability, striking and strength – just no real game plan. So with that, give me Rodriguez to use his volume to outpoint Perry via decision.
8 – As much as I can see Jim Miller pulling off a submission, I also have really liked what I’ve seen from Joe Solecki thus far. His grappling has been solid and I envision Miller being on his back this whole fight. So with that, give me Solecki via decision.
7 – I believe Mateusz Gamrot is better than what he showed in his debut – one I still thought he won despite the judges scorecards. He’s a work horse, which goes a long in the UFC. Expect Gamrot to live up to the hype this time around, winning via TKO.
6 – Upon further review, I’m not entirely impressed with Ignacio Bahamondes. And while John Makdessi might be a little weathered, the man has shown he can still out strike many of his opponents. In a three round striking contest, give me Makdessi to overcome the height and reach disadvantage to outpoint his foe for a decision victory.
5 – Danho hasn’t fought for some time, nor has impressed when he did. Given he’s a heavyweight, anything can happen – however, give me De Castro to win via TKO.
4 – Jack Shore’s grappling is just so good, it’s hard to pick against him. Even though Hunter Azure has wrestling chops, I’m not sure he can withstand the constant grappling exchange that Shore is going to deploy. So with that, give me Shore to win via decision.
3 – Toss up. Guess Griffin, but I’m not sure either way.
2 – I’m going with Da Un Jung. While Wiliam Knight is a specimen with strength and power, I’m a little bullish on this fight. Jung has a solid jab, and I believe that it will neutralize Knight from getting off his power shots. In the end, Jung will outpoint Knight over three rounds for a decision victory.
1 – I believe the odds on this fight are off. Impa Kasangnay is only being critiqued for being on the end of one of the very best knockout in history. Meanwhile, the man is a solid striker, who is durable and has legit power. Sasha Palatnikov has heart and the will to win, but his chin is shaky. In the end, Kasangnay walks away the victor via knockout.