Tim Elliot vs Mark De La Rosa
Mark De La Rose is making his UFC debut as a jiu jitsu specialist. Problem is Tim Elliot is one of the scrappiest fighters in the sport. Also very big for the 125 division standing at 5’7. I believe he will be too much for Mark as he is mainly a jiu jitsu guy but I will say he can be dangerous once he works on the striking but Tim Elliot might be too much for him.
Prediction: Tim Elliot TKO Round 1
Louis Smolka vs Matheus Nicolau
This is a must win fight for Smolka coming off of a three fight losing streak. Both are very well rounded fighters but Smolka absorbs a lot of unnecessary shots and I believe that’s where Matheus will excel in this fight. I believe from a technical standpoint he is a better striker but also no slouch on the ground with 4 submission victories.
Prediction: Matheus Nicolau by Decision
Marvin Vettori vs Omari Akhmedov
Omari is a very strong wrestler but Marvin Vettori excels at everything. It’s going to be hard to take him down and even if Omari does keeping him down will be the hardest part. Marvin should win the striking battle unless he is hesitant to the takedown. If Marvin can stick to a solid takedown and be patient he should win this fight in a decision.
Prediction: Marvin Vettori by Decision
Myles Jury vs Rick Glenn
Prediction: Myles Jury TKO round 3
Khalil Rountree Jr. vs Michal Oleksiejczuk
Khalil Rountree is a fighter to watch out for in 2018. He has showed all the skills in the octagon despite coming up short in some fights. He is a very solid striker with accuracy and KO power his grappling is the only flaw he truly has. Once he gets his grappling up to par he will be a hard guy to beat and I mean very hard.
Prediction – Khalil Rountree KO Round 2
Carlos Condit vs Neil Magny
Carlos Condit hasn’t fought since August of 2016 making his return to a very tough fight. This is a very even matchup only significant difference is Condit is a bit more aggressive as a fighter. Condit though hasn’t had the best past stretch of fights and coming off of a layoff while Neil has been fighting truly some of the best fighters in the world Magny could pull off the upset in this fight.
Prediction – Neil Magny
Cynthia Calvillo vs Carla Esparza
Cynthia is probably the hottest UFC female prospect. She has a perfect record of 6-0 and she keeps improving. Her strong suit is jiu jitsu her standup isn’t the greatest but she’s still young with a lot of time to grow. Carla on the other hand the very first champion of the Females Bantamweight division a seasoned veteran. She is probably the worst matchup stylistically for Cynthia. She will be too much for Cynthia. Carla is on a whole other level of striking than Cynthia so a KO from Carlas side is way higher of a chance than a KO from Cynthia’s side in fact I couldn’t see Cynthia winning at all on the standup. Only way I could find Cynthia being successful in this fight is her shooting for the takedowns to have Carla on her back. Carla is more of a wrestler so off her back she would be more vulnerable than if she is on top. I believe though Carla will be the one shooting for the takedowns that’s what she does and Cynthia isn’t submitting Carla.
Prediction – Carla Esparza by Decision
Dan Hooker vs Marc Diakiese
Marc Diakiese is one of the hottest fighters in MMA today. He is an exciting fighters with an unorthodox and explosive fighting style. He comes at the opponent all night with strikes you can’t even train for. His weakest point has been his cardio. He even has a solid grappling skillset though he is very strong and has very nice takedown defense. Dan Hooker is also a very good prospect in the UFC. With a very well rounded game. I see Marc Diakiese gassing out though at about the end of round 1 and Dan Hooker will take advantage grappling and striking once Mark is drained of energy.
Prediction – Dan Hooker by decision
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Edson Barboza
As much as I love Khabib as a fighter Barboza might take this on. Barboza in my opinion is the best pure striker in the 155lb division. Very fast, powerful and accurate striking. What I believe Barboza will do in this fight is pick Khabib apart and chop down his legs. Khaib won’t be too aggressive coming in for a takedown against a striker like Barboza. It’s only a three round fight so I can’t see Barboza getting too tired and the only way I can say Khabib going for takedowns is if he clinches with Barboza. Barboza is underrated as a grappler it will be hard to keep him down. In the clinch I would see Khabib having troubles even taking him down. Khabib is a 24-0 Sambo specialist and hasn’t really been in the deep waters. This will be a true test to Khabib but I believe he will get handed his first lost.
Cris Cyborg vs Holly Holm
This is one of the greatest female fights in history if not the greatest. Cyborg who most would consider the greatest women fighter of all time is facing her biggest test in Holly Holm. The reason Holly presents a challenge is because from a technical standpoint she is a better striker than Cyborg. Cyborg nowhere near a slouch though it isn’t too much of a gap but Holm has many professional boxing and kickboxing championships. While Cyborg is more of an aggressive, fast and probably the hardest hitting female fighter ever Holm is almost the exact opposite. She is a counter striker very quick with her in and outs and she has top level octagon Movement. Some people have questioned Cyborgs cardio but her last fight she looked just fine going into later rounds. She has a distinctive ground game advantage over Holm though. Cyborg is usually a striker and usually dominates her opponents on standup where you don’t ever see a lot of action. In this fight though Cyborg might actually grapple her way to victory if Holm gets too tricky on the feet. Holm has good takedown defense but with Cyborgs size and strength she can takedown any women.
Cyborg – TKO Round 4