Finally, we have some live sport on its way after over a month without. This card is one of the most stacked cards we’ve seen in a while so it’s good to see UFC come back with a bang. Let’s get into the predictions…
Ronaldo Souza vs Uriah Hall – Middleweight division
Souza currently has 9 wins and 5 losses going into this bout in the UFC and is a master in ju-jitsu. Recently, Souza has started to change the way he fights as his opponents have started to figure him out, so he’s worked a lot more on his striking game. Hall comes into this fight with 8 wins and 7 losses in the UFC, he’s an expert striker, has a wide range of strikes at his disposal. This fight is really a clash of styles and I’ve got Souza to take it. I believe he’ll take him down to the ground and he’ll be able to finish Hall off from their due to Hall’s weak grappling game.
Carla Esparza vs Michelle Waterson – Women’s Strawweight division
A delayed fight we have on our hands here in the strawweight division. Esparza is 15-6 in her MMA career. She is a great wrestler and she’s improved her boxing in her last few fights over the last couple of years. Waterson comes into this fight 17-7 and she is a talented striker, so like the Hall and Sousza matchup, it will interesting how their styles clash. Michelle’s last fight was against Joanna Jedrzejczyk (who’s name I will always have to google to make sure I spell correctly) and she took a tough loss after going 5 rounds with one of the best strawweights in the world. She got battered that fight taking 180 significant strikes from JJ showing her heart and determination to keep fighting. I’ve got Waterson for this fight, she has a huge advantage with her varied move set over Esparza.
Alexey Oleynik vs Fabricio Werdum – Heavyweight Division
Two legends of the sport both 42 years old going at it from bombs in the heavyweight division. Werdum is a brilliant grappler, however, this is his first fight in just over 2 years due to a suspension finding him positive for doping. In his last fight, he didn’t look as good as he has been over the years, even though he managed to take down Volkov, he was too predictable and lead to a KO loss in the 4th round. Oleynik is a brilliant grappler as well, with over 40 wins via submission, so I expect this fight to be on the floor as they are both excellent grapplers. So who’s better on the ground? To be honest, I’d say Werdum so just for that reason alone, I’m picking Werdum, but then the 2 years off comes into play. This one can really go either way.
Donald Cerrone vs Anthony Pettis – Welterweight Division
We’ve got a rematch on hands, 7 years in the making for this one. I watched the first fight between these two and it’s crazy to see how far they’ve both come. Pettis won that fight due to a huge leg kick to the body in the 1st round. Cerrone is a legend of the sport and I respect all that, he’s done in his career, however, he’s lost his last 3 fights, albeit to 3 of the best fighters in the UFC right now, in Conor McGregor, Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje, two of those even headline this show. The thing for me is that these losses were all in convincing fashion as well, he looks much slower than he used to be and with carrying extra weight at welterweight, he looks even slower than before. Pettis striking ability is immense and I feel like he hits a couple of blows to the body or to the jaw like he did in the first fight, this one will end within the first round even though recently Pettis hasn’t been at his best and hasn’t been too durable recently as well. I’ve got Pettis for this one.