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

What Next?

What Next? (UFC 212: Aldo vs. Holloway)

Fighters do not always like to think what fights they will be in next after feeling the relief of finishing their last fight. The fight game is neverending, however, and so I list ouf the best outcome for the winners and losers from the UFC event that shook Rio de Janeiro up.

Erick Silva

The many wars that Erick Silva has been in may have attributed to his loss this past Saturday. He is still a fan favorite and should look to win against a slightly lower tier fighter in Luan Chagas who won on the early prelims of the same card. Chagas deserves the oppurtunity to fight a bigger name such as Silva and I hope he gets it plus it would be a fun fight to see since Silva always puts on exciting matches.

Next opponent: Luan Chagas

Yancy Medeiros

After taking out Erick Silva, Yancy Medeiros will be wanting to face off against a ranked opponent. That may not come just yet since most of them are pretty busy at the moment. So he should face another welterweight trying o become ranked. Peter Sobotta fits that description. Both men have finished there last opponent via KO/TKO in the second round which makes it sound even more like a good idea.

Next opponent: Peter Sobotta

Oluwale “Holy War Angel” Bamgbose

Oluwale Bamgbose is still a dangerous force in the middleweight division and needs to learn from this loss in order to improve as a fighter. A match against jiu-jitsu expert Antônio Carlos Júnior could do wonders for him. He may not do well if he is taken down by Júnior but the fight always starts on the feet where Bamgbose will have an advantage. This is an old fashion striker vs. grappler matchup.

Next opponent: Antônio Carlos Júnior

Paulo Borrachinha

It was impressive for Paulo Borrachinha to get the stoppage againsst a man who has stopped his opponents in all of his victories. This also shows that Borrachinha is not just a first-round-knockout-or-bust fighter. He took minimal damage in this fight and should fight someone who has done the same. My pick for him to fight is Nat Marquardt who has also fought on this card. Although Marquardt did not win to the judges, many believed he won in a great performance against his adversary. This would be a fun matchup as both men have great power and wrestling.

Next opponent: Nate Marquardt

Nate “The Great” Marquardt

See Paulo Borrachinha’s next opponent above for full details.

Next opponent: Paulo Borrachinha

Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort

Although it is highly unrecommended, Vitor Belfort is going to continue fighting in the UFC. He just barely beat an unranked Nate Marquardt in a controversial decision victory it is questionable whether or not he would want to face a ranked opponent. I’m just going to assume he would want to face a ranked opponent next. If he is looking for easy matchups then I could give an endless list of fighters for him to face. Instead, I’m going to match him with the most competitive he can get. David Branch seems appropriate. He is a former two division WSOF champion but put on a boring fight a few months back that he won by decision as well. The two are close to eachother on the ranking, making this match make all the more sense.

Next opponent: David Branch

Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Karolina Kowalkiewicz just revealed a massive Achilles’ heel in her game: her ground game. She needs to go back to the drawing board and develop that portion of her skillset. Her next opponent should be Jessica Andrade who just fought for the title in a losing effort earlier this year. Both are coming off high profile losses and should look to bounce back with a win over the other.

Next opponent: Jessica Andrade

Claudia Gadelha

This one is very complicated but bear with me. Claudia Gadelha has shown that she is the guaranteed second best strawweight in the UFC. She has stated that she does not want to challenge for the title yet and that she wants Rose Namjunas to challenge first. If this happens then Gadelha should definitely challenge the winner for the title. But if for whatever reason the UFC does not pull the trigger with Namajunas then Gadelha and Namjunas should face eachother for the title shot.

Next opponent: Rose Namajunas/Winner of Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk

José Aldo

Poor José Aldo was on top of the world and it all came crashing down. But contrary to what some are saying online, he is far from done. Aldo can certainly get back his title if he takes out a top contender to earn himself a title shot. For now t all depends on his health after suffering that beating in his last fight. If he wants to get back in there quickly then Ricardo Lamas is the perfect pick since his opponent, The Korean Zombie, pulled out of their contest at UFC 214: Cormier vs. Jones 2. If Aldo wants to take a bit of time to recuperate then his matchup should be with Cub Swanson who is also waiting as of now. I do not usually make picks like this but with Aldo it will be determined on what he wants to do.

Next opponent: Ricardo Lamas/Cub Swanson

Max “Blessed” Holloway

The logical choice for Max Holloway’s first title defense is the current top contender, Frankie Edgar. He has shown why he is one of the greatest of all time when he dominated Yair Rodriguez earlier this year. He had a great showing against José Aldo but ultimately came up short. Holloway may end up being a better matchup for him. This could be Edgar’s last chance to win that elusive second UFC championship.

Next opponent: Frankie Edgar