Another month, another big UFC event. We have a pretty decent card with two title matches as the UFC returns to Fight Island. Let’s get into the predictions.
Hakeem Dawodu vs Zubaira Tukhugov – Featherweight Division
We start off with a tough one, Hakeem comes into this 11-1 and is known for his muay thai with his dangerous kicks which he’ll use the gauge distance between him and his opponent. Zubaira is currently 19-4-1 in his MMA career and like most of his Russian compatriots, he’s a grappler. However, we know from his last fight in February, that Zubaira does has the ability to knock guys out and this something Hakeem will have to look out for. This one for me is a 50/50. There’s no clear favourite for me, but I’m going with Zubaira. I believe he’ll be able to take Hakeem down and win via decision due to him keeping him there.
Ketlen Vieira vs Sijara Eubanks – Women’s Bantamweight
Ketlen is a black belt in BJJ that comes into this fight 4-1 in the UFC. She has good Judo as well. Her last fight was against Irene Aldana, where she was caught with a huge left hand that put her to sleep. This is a huge factor to think about when your opponent is a brilliant boxer like Eubanks is. However, will fatigue be a factor for Eubanks as she last fought only 12 days ago, 15 days in between fights. Sijara is also a brilliant wrestler as well. I think she’ll take the win via decision.
Kai Kara-France vs Brandon Royval – Flyweight Division
The New Zealander named France is a brilliant striker and even though he’s at a massive height disadvantage is not to be taken lightly. He has serious power and I won’t be surprised if he will knock out Royval. This will be Royval’s second UFC fight after beating Tim Eliot by submission in his debut. I think Kai Kara will take the win, TKO in round 2.
Dominick Reyes vs Jan Blachowicz – UFC Light Heavyweight Championhship
Co-main event time and I can’t wait for this one. The vacated belt is on the line but in my mind Reyes is the champion. I still think he beat Jones back at UFC 247 for the title but that doesn’t matter now. Reyes is a brilliant striker and is an underrated wrestler as well. Reyes’ left side is extremely dangerous and Jan will have to watch out for strikes from that side if he wants to win this fight. Jan, is a black belt in BJJ and his striking is elite. We’ve all seen the Corey Anderson KO and we all know his power is nearly unmatched in the division. This is so tough. I think Reyes is the better fighter, but I can definitely picture Jan knocking Reyes’ light out. I’m going with the underdog. Jan KO in the 4th round.
Israel Adesanya (c) vs Paulo Costa – UFC Middleweight Championship
Another painful one to predict. Adesanya is my favourite fighter in the UFC but I won’t let that cloud my judgement in this fight. Undefeated vs Undefeated. One of these men will lose that on Sunday (unless they draw or no contest.) This fight is precision vs power. Adesanya in my opinion is the best striker in the UFC. His technical ability is insane and the way he reads fights and is able to judge distance is unrivalled. Costa has just flat out power and has brilliant striking as well. I think one thing that will be interesting to see is if Costa tries to wrestle Adesanya due to his clear advantage in power in comparison to the champion. Costa is a big guy and cardio has been a weakness for him in the past, struggling to fight past 3 rounds. If Adesanya wins this fight, then he’ll win it by picking apart Costa round by round depleting his energy. If Costa wins, he’s more likely going to rock him with a big shot knocking Adesanya’s lights out. I really don’t know for this one. My heart says the champ but my head says the challenger. I’m going with Izzy. It’s a toss up for me and I think if he does survive into the championship rounds without major damage then he’ll be able to beat Costa by decision.
This was a tough set of predictions and it looks like we have a decent show on our hands. A lot of the fights were toss up’s for me so we’ll see how they go.