It’s not even been a week since UFC 267 and we’re back for more UFC predictions. We have another amazing card on the books with the Trevor Wittman trio headlining the card. Let’s get started!
Shane Burgos vs Billy Quarantillo – Featherweight Division
A really fun fight to start the card, Burgos comes in off his peculiar KO loss to Edson Barboza at UFC 262. Currently standing with a record of 13-3, Burgos is a brilliant boxer and he’ll be looking to make sure Quarantillo doesn’t attempt a takedown, which got him a TKO finish from the rear naked choke position against Gabriel Benitez. Billy is tough and if it stays up on the feet he’ll need to make it a dog fight. If he can get Shane in the clinch and catch him with elbows and knees on the way out he can definitely put Shane away. This is a huge step up in competition for Billy and I think it will show how good he really is. If this stays on the feet, I think Burgos can out point him though. I’m taking Shane by decision.
Prediction: Shane Burgos by decision
Frankie Edgar vs Marlon Vera – Bantamweight Division
The legend Frankie is coming into this fight as arguably the most well rounded fighter, other than Petr Yan at 135lbs. He’s a brilliant wrestler, good striker but his best days are behind him. Marlon Vera is primarily a jiu-jitsu fighter but has a good standup game, I think this is a good matchup for him. If Marlon catches Frankie clean I think he can put him away pretty easily. I also believe although Frankie has the experience advantage, Marlon can outgrapple him if needs be. I’m taking Marlon.
Prediction: Marlon Vera by TKO in round 2
Justin Gaethje vs Michael Chandler – Lightweight Division
FIREWORKS! I CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS FIGHT! This will Gaethje’s first since the Khabib loss and it’ll be interesting to see how he bounces back. He has a history in wrestling but he’s become one of the best strikers in the UFC. His leg kicks are normally a huge factor going into a fight and it’s no difference here, especially because Chandler carries such a wide stance. Chandler is primarily a wrestler but just like Gaethje has a good standup game. He was within an inch of claiming the title in his second UFC fight against Oliveira, a fight which showcased his power, yet revealed the weakness of his chin. That I think will be the deciding factor in this fight. The more patient Gaethje we’ve seen recently which broke Tony Ferguson down over the course of 5 puts Chandler away inside three. This fight will be a war, and I think Justin will come out on top.
Justin Gaethje by KO in round 1
Rose Namajunas (c) vs Zhang Weili 2 – Strawweight Championship
The first of two rematches and this fight will be interesting to see what has Zhang done to improve. Over the course of the last 6 months she’s made excuses for the loss against Rose even though she lost fair and square, with a beautiful head kick which was disguised as a low kick. I think Rose’s footwork, which ultimately won her the first fight will pay dividends again. Zhang does have a good top game so if she can find a way to get the fight on the ground, she can possibly find a submission to get the win. Another method for Zhang to win is, making it ugly. She needs to apply the constant pressure she did with Joanna and push Rose against the cage. With that all being said, I still think Rose will out-strike her and technically piece her apart again. Yet, if this does become an “ugly” fight, Zhang can put Rose away in the later rounds. Tough pick but I’m going with “Thug Rose” to defend her strap.
Prediction: Rose Namajunas by TKO in round 2
Kamaru Usman (c) vs Colby Covington 2 – Welterweight Championship
Finally, to end the card we have one of the most anticipated rematches amongst fight fans in recent years. The first fight was a war between two great warriors and after breaking Colby’s jaw in the 3rd round, Usman put the fight to bed in the last minute of the 5th. Since then, Usman has fought three times and has made massive improvements in his striking, The way he KO’d Masvidal was brutal and he finished Burns with just a jab. Under Wittman the jab has become Usman’s biggest weapon as he’s learnt to control distance with it and he can switch stance to make sure his powerful right hand is his lead, which is what helped finish Burns. We’ve only seen Colby fight once since their last fight but he was dominant against Tyron Woodley. If Colby is to win he’ll probably need to wrestle. They’re both terrific wrestlers and I don’t believe Usman has been taken down yet in his UFC career so far but there’s a first for everything and if it’s not Khamzat it’ll be Colby. However, the run Usman is on right now is incredible and I don’t see Colby stopping that at the weekend. I think Usman puts him away again.
Prediction: Usman by TKO in round 4