Another month, another UFC predictions. We have a pretty good card on tomorrow although we’ve lost our co-main event, Alexander Volkanovski (c) vs Brian Ortega for the Featherweight title. Without further ado, let’s get into the predictions.
Jamie Mullarkey vs Khama Worthy – Lightweight Division
Coming into this bout 12-4 in his MMA career but 0-2 in the UFC, Jamie Mullarkey has something to prove. That man can take a punch though. Brad Riddell easily beat him up for 15 minutes and somehow Jamie fought the whole way. Worthy is coming off a disappointing loss to Ottman Azaitar but this match will be fireworks. I expect it to be stand and bang for the duration of the fight and because of this, I’m taking Jamie Mullarkey to pick up his first UFC win. I think his chin is incredibly durable in comparison to Khama and I think we could see a KO finish in round 2.
Prediction: Jamie Mullarkey by KO in round 2
Gillian Robertson vs Miranda Maverick – Women’s Flyweight Division
Gillian comes into this fight 6-3 in the UFC. With a very good history in jiu-jitsu (black belt) she’ll be looking to submit Maverick. From watching tape, it seems that Robertson doesn’t mind fighting on the back foot which puts her in trouble from the start of the fight. I’d like to see improvements in her offensive striking so she doesn’t have to constantly use her defensive striking, which isn’t that good. Maverick is more of a well rounded fighter. She has history in muay thai and jiu-jitsu so wherever the fight goes, she’s dangerous. I think that this comes down to if Miranda can keep it on the feet, which I think she can do. I believe that history in jiu-jitsu will help with the takedown defence and Miranda will finish Robertson on the feet with a round three TKO.
Prediction: Miranda Maverick by TKO in round 3.
Sean O’Malley vs Thomas Almeida – Bantamweight Division
Thomas Almeida is an experienced fighter coming in at 22-4 in his career so far. He’s an excellent striker with a dangerous muay thai game but his chin has been shattered multiple times. I’m not sure how he went to decision in his last fight with Jon Martinez because he got clipped multiple times in that fight. Sean O’Malley is coming off his first loss in this one. Unfortunately, he got injured in that fight but that was all due to Marlon Vera checking the low kicks and attacking the lower leg of Sean. However, Sean is still a dangerous striker. His ability to feint and cause his opposition to bite at what he’s throwing is genuinely incredible, it’s how he got that incredible KO against Eddie Wineland. If I’m being honest, I don’t think I could bet against O’Malley in this fight. His quality striking against a weak chin? If he doesn’t win this fight he might go down as one of the most overhyped prospects in MMA history.
Prediction: Sean O’Malley by KO in round 1
Tyron Woodley vs Vincente Luque – Welterweight Division
Something about this fight is telling me it’s win or bust for the former champion. Do I think this is fair? No. His last three losses have come against the three best welterweights on the planet and Luque is no slouch as well. Woodley’s a powerhouse, he has one punch KO power that could finish most guys at 170lbs. He also has decent wrestling which in his last three fights he hasn’t been able to use because he’s faced three excellent wrestlers. This is why I don’t think he’s done just yet. He has looked a shade of his former self but I think that’s just him being outclassed by terrific wrestlers. Luque’s muay thai is incredible. Even though he’s 19-7-1, he’s never been finished. So I think it’s a matter of will Tyron outscore Luque? I don’t know. This one is a 50/50 for me. I’m going with Woodley by decision. I think he’ll use some of that wrestling experience. Really tough call though.
Prediction: Tyron Woodley by decision
Stipe Miocic (c) vs Francis Ngannou 2 – Heavyweight Championship
Main event time and we have a rematch three years in the making. This fight will be much different to the first though as Ngannou has improved his wrestling as he’s been working with Welterweight Champion, Kamaru Usman. We all know about Ngannou’s power. I think Dana White said he had the same power as being hit by a Ford Escort at full speed. That’s insane. Question is, can he knockout Stipe? In this first fight, he rocked him, which Stipe followed with a barrage of takedowns to win the fight by decision and I think it may happen again. Stipe is the greatest heavyweight of all time for a reason and I think even with Ngannou’s improvements, if Stipe can weather the round one and two storm, he can control Ngannou the whole fight. This is so tough to call because Ngannou can knock Stipe out at anytime, it only takes one punch. We’ve also got to question the smaller cage, does that give Stipe less space to avoid strikes or does that give Ngannou less space to avoid the takedown. I think it’ll be a Stipe decision win or an Ngannou KO in round two. I think I’ve got to stick with the champ. Another tough call.
Prediction: Stipe Miocic by decision