We’ve had a few brilliant UFC events in the month of July and just after last week’s submission fest we have another high calibre card for Sunday morning.
Khamzat Chimaev vs Rhys Mckee – Welterweight Division
Khamzat made his UFC debut a week ago at Middleweight against John Phillips dominating the Welshman in a Khabib-like style, presenting his wrestling prowess after getting a submission win in round 2. He now returns to his natural weight class for this fight. Rhys Mckee will be making his UFC debut and goes into the fight 10-2-1. Mckee is a skinny fighter and if you saw his fight against Terry Brazier a few years back, Terry was able to manhandle Mckee at lightweight. This fight only goes one way for me. I see a Khamzat domination and a round one submission victory.
Alex Oliveira vs Peter Sobotta – Welterweight Division
Oliveira (Cowboy) is one of the most entertaining fighters in the UFC, when he fights he always puts on a spectacle. As a Muay Thai specialist we know ‘Cowboy’ can crack anyone with an elbow but his opponent Sobotta is a Judo specialist and will definitely have the advantage in the clinch and on the ground. I believe the result of this fight is going to be based on how good Oliveira’s takedown defence and with his excellent BJJ, I don’t see him having an issue in the clinch. So for that reason, I’m going with Oliveira by decision.
Paul Craig vs Gadzhimurad Antigulov – Light Heavyweight
Paul Craig enters this fight 12-4-1 in his career but 4-4 in the UFC. All four of his victories coming via submission as he’s very comfortable on the ground. Antigulov is primarily a wrestler and he’ll be looking to end this bout in round one. His endurance isn’t the best and if this fight goes longer than five minutes, I expect Craig to take the victory. I also think that Craig has an advantage on the feet as well, with a history in Kung-Fu. I think going with Craig is the safe bet. I’m predicting Craig with a submission win in round 2.
Carla Esparza vs Marina Rodriguez – Women’s Strawweight
Esparza is coming off her UFC 249 victory over Michelle Waterson going into this fight. The no.7 ranked Strawweight in the UFC, will have the advantage in the wrestling aspect of the bout. Marina Rodriguez, is a brilliant striker and has a huge advantage in height and reach. Her takedown defence needs to be top-tier in this fight if she’s going to beat ‘Cookie Monster’. This is a tough pick but I’m edging towards Rodriguez by decision. This one is definitely a 50/50 though.
Fabricio Werdum vs Alexander Gustafsson – Heavyweight
We have a fight fans dream. The former Heavyweight champion going against one of the best Light Heavyweight’s of all time. Werdum is a Jiu-Jitsu specialist, with a black belt in the discipline. This will be the former champion’s last fight and I expect him to leave it all on the table. But he’s going up against one of the greatest Boxer’s in UFC history. This might be a poor decision but I’m going with Gustafsson. Just because of how Werdum looked against Oleinik. Werdum was sloppy in that fight and made Oleinik look like a threat on his feet. Both fighters are clearly out of their prime and it’ll be an interesting watch but I’m going Gus with a round 2 TKO.
Mauricio Rua vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira – Light Heavyweight
This one is another fight fans dream. Two legends of the sport going at each other once again for the last time. ‘Shogun’ Rua has beaten ‘Lil Nog’ twice and I expect him to do the same again. This could go either way, they could both put each other to sleep but I’ve got a feeling ‘Shogun’ will come out victorious with a round one KO.
Robert Whittaker vs Darren Till – Middleweight
We’ve made it to the main event. Whittaker is the former champion and is a man that has fought 50 minutes with Yoel Romero. He’s one of the most well-rounded fighters in the world and is comfortable wherever the fight goes. Darren Till is a brilliant Muay Thai striker and will have an advantage on the feet in my opinion. The ‘Gorilla’ has moved up to Middleweight where he beat Kelvin Gastelum in his debut, which is very impressive as Till was thrown into the deep end in his first bout. This one is a 50/50 for me but I’m going with Till. I think Whittaker’s chin is much weaker than it was before after going through Romero and Adesanya and I think Till may take this fight by TKO in round 4.
This card is looking exciting as we have many interesting fights to pick from this week. I hope they all deliver.