Who You Got?

Who You Got? (UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Volkov)

The UFC returns to London when two top ranked heavyweights battle it out in the main event of the evening. Here are my picks and predictions for how all of the main card fights of the night will go down:

Leon “Rocky” Edwards vs. Peter Sobotta

This fight will be a stylistic matchup. Although both are comftorable with a stand-up fight, Leon Edwards would love to get this fight to the mat. That will be easier said than done as Peter Sobotta is a hard competitor to put on his back. This will lead to a striking battle between the two in which I see Sobotta taking the victory. But because Edwards is a tough fighter to finish, I predict Sobotta winning by the judges’ decision.

Predicted winner: Peter Sobotta via Decision

Tom “Fire Kid” Duquesnoy vs. Terrion “Flash” Ware

This will definitely be the most difficult fight to pick on this card. Both Tom Duquesnoy and Terrion Ware love to strike so expect this to stay standing (unless somebody gets dropped). An interesting statistic though is that neither men have been finished due to strikes. This will more than likely go the distance with one of them edging the other out. I pick Duquesnoy due to his slightly better hand speed, knockout power, and ability to mix up his weapons in his arsenal. Ware will have to pressure Duquesnoy immensely but will probably eat an elbow or knee in the process. Tough fight to call, but my gut says Duequesnoy.

Predicted winner: Tom Duequesnoy via Decision

Jimi “Poster Boy” Manuwa vs. Jan Blachowicz

This may be the most exciting fight on the card despite their last encounter not being so eventful. Jimi Manuwa will play the striker in this fight while Jan Blachowicz will play the grappler. Manuwa’s biggest problem in his career has been his inability to takeout top-tier strikers. Although Jan Blachowicz is an excellent fighter, he is by no means a top tier striker. I see Manuwa’s boxing dominating this fight as Blachowicz struggles to take Manuwa down to the canvas. I also feel that Manuwa’s boxing has gotten better since these two mens’ last bout so I think Manuwa gets the finish this time around, but it won’t be immediate. It will probably happen in the second round.

Predicted winner: Jimi Manuwa via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 2

Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum vs. Alexander “Drago” Volkov

An odd main event for this London crowd, but it should be anything but boring. Fabricio Werdum is a master submission artist and is able to submit any of his opponents when he takes them to the ground. Taking down Alexander Volkov is no easy feat though. The striking game will be a bit close but I see Werdum gaining the slight advantage, especially in the later rounds as he gets his rhythm and timing down. Werdum should defeat Volkov but will probably not get the finish as knocking Volkov out or taking him down is too difficult for most fighters to do.

Predicted winner: Fabricio Werdum via Decision

Who You Got?

Who You Got? (UFC 222: Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya)

The UFC returns to Paradise when the most dominant Women’s champion the world has ever seen defends her belt against a massive underdog in the main event of the evening. Here are my picks and predictions for how all of the main card fights of the night will go down:

Cat Zingano vs. Ketlen Vieira

Undefeated fighter, Ketlen Vieira, looks to continue her winning streak by defeating former title challenger Cat Zingano. With Zingano being on a small losing streak as of late, this win can be do or die for her at this point in her career. I feel her losing streak will continue as both are known for grappling in their fights, and Vieira being the more superior grappler. Zingano has been taken down a few times in her prior fights while Vieira has defended roughly 90% of the takedowns shot at her in last three fights. To further back up this claim, Zingano is only a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu whereas Vieira is a black belt in both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo. Zingano is hard to finish, however, so I predict this fight going the distance.

Ketlen Vieira via Decision

Stefan Struve vs. Andrei Arlovski

This can’t possibly go the distance, right? Two heavyweights who are on the brink of irrelevance clash in this main card bout. Somebody is more than likely getting finished, but who? My answer: Stefan Struve. Let me explain. Andrei Arlovski finally picked up a win after a five fight losing streak. He didn’t get the finish but his opponentat the time, Junior Albini, had never been knocked out before then. So it is safe to assume that he is a hard guy to take out with strikes. Meanwhile, Stefan Struve has had a mixed record as of late with his last knockout win coming against the now released and fragile chinned Antonio Silva. His other knockout win before that, however, was against current champion Stipe Miocic. The problem is that it took place all the way back in 2012. So now let’s look at Arlovski’s recent knockout losses that led some to believe he now has a glass chin. Arlovski’s last three knockout losses were to Francis Ngannou, Alistair Overeem, and Stipe Miocic. How unlucky for him to be thrown in against those monsters. This is honestly a coin flip in terms of how likely each fighter is to win since heavyweight fights are always the most unpredictable fights on every card. But looking at Struve’s striking defense compared to Arlovski, I got to go with the ‘Pitbull.’

Andrei Arlovski via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

Sean O’Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath

The latest thing to come out of the UFC hype machine, Sean O’Malley, is set to fight Andre Soukhamthath in what should be an exciting fight. O’Malley is known for his unique striking style and impressive head movement that has made him a fan favorite. Soukhamthath is also an exciting fighter who has the power to knockout his opponents with either punches or a flying knee. The most significant factor in this fight is going to be both fighters’ striking defense. O’Malley showed, especially in his debut fight, that he is an insanely hard fighter to hit as he moves his head around in all sort of angles. Soukhamthath in contrast to O’Malley has been very hittable in his fights. Although he has never been knocked out, I think this will be the time it happens since O’Malley’s striking is lethal.

Sean O’Malley via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega

Both of these fighters each have large a legion of fans pulling for their fighter to win. Frankie Edgar is known for his impressive boxing and elite level wrestling while Brian Ortega is known for his crazy submission game. Many predict Ortega using his grappling game to submit the former Lightweight Champion. However, I see Edgar using his wrestling to keep the fight on the feet and using his boxing to outstrike Ortega on the feet. Ortega is no slouch on the feet, even though he was largely outstruck by Cub Swanson in his last fight, so I see him surviving the full fifteen minutes with Edgar.

Frankie Edgar via Decision

Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya

This is considered by many a one-sided contest for the UFC title. Not one fighter has been able to even come close to conquering Cris Cyborg. Holly Holm had the best chance of any fighter and even took Cyborg to the distance for the first time since 2008. Yana Kunitskaya is a poor replacement for Holm and will probably not do as well (if you want to call Holm’s performance well). I expect a quick night for Cyborg as she takes care of business as usual.

Cris Cyborg via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

Who You Got?

Who You Got? (UFC Fight Night: Jacare vs. Brunson

The UFC returns to Charlotte when a submission specialist and a knockout artist contest in a rematch in the main event of the evening. Here are my picks and predictions for how all of the main card fights of the night will go down:

Drew Dober vs. Frank “The Crank” Camacho

This is going to be a fun one as two men who love to strike battle. Although Frank Camacho does have a decent Jiu-Jitsu background, I don’t see it being used as much here unless Camacho was able to somehow take Drew Dober down (or drop him). But here, I see Dober being the victor because of his knockout power. Both will probably stand a trade in the pocket which will result in Dober taking Camacho out with his Muay Thai strikes.

Predicted winner: Drew Dober via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

Jordan Rinaldi vs. Gregor “The Gift” Gillespie

Here we have another fun fight (mainly because of Gregor Gillespie). Jordan Rinaldi loves to push the pace and lunge at his opponents with striking combos. However, he as only fought so little in the last two years and can be very hittable at times. Gillespie, on the other hand, is a top-tier wrestler and can stand and bang with the best of them.This can leve him open to getting caught, however, but that may also lead to him getting a knockout early on. In the end I see him using his wrestling to grind his opponent and then getting the finish late in the fight.

Predicted winner: Gregor Gillespie via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 3

Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez vs. Andre “Touchy” Fili

This night is just full of fun fights. Both men here have the ability to knockout the other, but I see this one actually going the distance. At first, I was leaning towards Andre Fili getting the victory (especially since his teammate, Darren Elkins was able to beat Dennis Bermudez). However, I think Bermudez is going to use his wrestling to pressure and then land strikes every now and then on the feet to wear down Fili. Or a crazy knockout will occur, who knows? Still I see Bermudez getting the decision victory.

Predicted winner: Dennis Bermudez via Decision

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Derek Brunson

This is a tough one to pick. In their last encounter, Ronaldo Souza knocked out Derek Brunson in the opening minute. Times change, however, as Brunson has shown great improvement in his striking. Jacare will have a hard time trying to knock him out. Also, Brunson is a superb wrestler, so taking him down is even harder. Jacare won’t be able to use his Jiu-Jitsu and his striking might not be enough to get the job done. I see Brunson getting the knockout win in this rematch similar to how Robert Whitaker was able to take Jacare out in their last fight.

Predicted winner: Derek Brunson via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 2

Who You Got?

[Mini] Who You Got? (Bellator 192)

I’m not the biggest Bellator fan but I would be lying if I said their show is garbage. They tend to put on great fights and utilize big names to keep me interested from time to time. Bellator 192 is no exception. However, because I do not want to become worn out from writing too many “Who You Got?” blogs, I decided to condense this one so that I can give out my fight picks while still keeping it easier to make. Expect short and sweet explanations below as I give out my predictions for the fights on this evening that will go down in Inglewood, California:

Aaron Pico vs. Shane Kruchten

Aaron Pico is known to me as having one of the worst, over-hyped debuts in MMA history. Now he is going up against a 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu fight in Shane Kruchten who is 12-3 while he is only 1-1. Good luck with that.

Predicted winner: Shane Kruchten via Submission in Round 1

Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Henry Corrales

To be honest, I don’t really know these guys. But they both like to grapple and Georgi Karakhanyan is apparently a master at it (also has never been submitted in his MMA career) so I am going to have to go with him in this one. Since Henry Corrales has some background in submission, I’ll have him survive at least the first round.

Predicted winner: Georgi Karankhanyan via Submission in Round 2

Michael Chandler vs. Goiti Yamauchi

It is hard for me to pick against Michael Chandler in any fight. So I won’t. Goiti Yamauchi is an insanely great submission specialist, but I see Chandler’s wrestling being enough to neutralize in for all three rounds.

Predicted winner: Michael Chandler via Decision

Douglas “The Phenom” Lima (c) vs. Rory “The Red King” MacDonald

Rory MacDonald has all the tools to win this. Douglas Lima may be great at finishing guys but MacDonald’s list of people who has beaten him are some of the most elite fighters in MMA history. I see MacDonald point striking him on the feet and out-wrestling him to get a decision victory.

Predicted winner: Rory MacDonald via Decision

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Chael “The American Gangster” Sonnen

This main event has the potential to be a snooze fest. I see it going either two ways: Chael Sonnen tries to stand with Quinton Jackson and gets knocked out or Sonnen wrestles with Jackson to get him to the ground to get an easy decision win. I see the latter happening.

Predicted winner: Chael Sonnen via Decision