We’re finally crowning a new Lightweight champion after the retirement of Khabib Nurmagomedov back in October. This is a pretty interesting PPV with some close fights and tricky picks. Let’s get into the predictions.
Shane Burgos vs Edson Barbaza – Featherweight Division
Shane is a boxer that comes into this bout 13-2 in his career so far. Barboza is one of the best strikers of all time. Obviously, he has some of the best KO’s of all time and we know he’s dangerous with the feet. He’ll 100% target the lead leg of Burgos so Shane will have to make sure he checks the leg kicks. Most of the time, the way to beat Edson is by grappling and tiring him out, however, I don’t think Shane Burgos is good enough in that department to beat him that way. He’s done it before, but not to the calibre of fighter of Edson. I think we could see an Edson masterclass. I’m expecting him to up the leg to restrict Shane’s movement then win by TKO.
Prediction: Edson Barboza round 2 TKO
Katlyn Chookagian vs Viviane Araujo – Women’s Flyweight Division
When it comes to Katlyn Chookagian, she likes to outpoint her opposition. She’ll do what she needs to do to win the round and being a well rounded fighter helps her game plan. to win by decision. Viviane’s game plan will probably be to take Katlyn down and beat her up on the ground for 15 minutes. She has good jiu-jitsu so if the opportunity to gain a submission comes she’ll definitely go for it. I don’t expect there to be a finish in this fight and I’m going with Viviane for the win. I think she’ll control Katlyn on the ground for the majority of the fight and essentially beat her at her own game.
Prediction: Viviane Araujo by decision
Matthew Schnell vs Rogerio Bontorin – Bantamweight Division
Tough fight to call for me. Schnell is really good on the feet, especially fighting backwards. His jiu-jitsu is pretty solid as well and if this fight ends up on the mat, which I think it will, he has a good chance of securing his patented triangle choke from the bottom. Rogerio comes into this fight 16-3 in his MMA career. Although he’s lost his last two fights, he’s looked pretty decent. He was dominating Kai Kara France until he got rocked and I expect him to shoot for a takedown early on to establish dominance early on. I think this is a 50/50 pick. So I’ll side with Schnell.
Prediction: Matthew Schnell by decision
Tony Ferguson vs Beneil Dariush – Lightweight Division
Tony Ferguson is a mad man. Simple as. His cardio is incredible, he’s good on the feet, has good jiu-jitsu and has inhumane pain tolerance. I still don’t know how he managed to take that armbar from Charles Oliveira in his last fight, that was brutal. Dariush is a well rounded fighter, Currently on a 6 fight win streak, he’s shown vast improvements since his last loss. Unless you’re Justin Gaethje, the way to beat Tony is by beating him on the ground and even then, you have to be an elite level jiu-jitsu practitioner to do so, like the man in the main event, and I don’t think Beneil is capable of that. So I’m taking Tony. I haven’t gone against him yet, and I’m not ready to start now. I don’t think he’s done just yet.
Prediction: Tony Ferguson by decision
Charles Oliveira vs Michael Chandler – Lightweight Championship
Main event time. Charles Oliveira is one of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners in the world right now. Most submissions in UFC history, he can pick at a limb from anywhere. I think the main question when it comes to this bout against ‘Iron’ Mike Chandler is, will this fight go to the ground.? Chandler has a brilliant background in wrestling and I think it’ll be tough to take him down. I also have to compare both these guys’ cardio. We’ve seen Oliveira shutdown before after round 1 and 2. Could that happen tomorrow? Chandler has the power to KO Charles and in a five round fight, we could definitely see that happen. I think I’m going to bank in on that hunch.
Prediction: Michael Chandler by KO in round 3