STACKED is the only word that describes this card. from top to bottom there are brilliant fights. International fight week has blessed us with another huge PPV as Jared Cannonier aims to become middleweight king and Max Holloway aims to beat Alexander Volkanovski in his third attempt at the Australian. With so much more prior to that, this card will for sure go down in history.
Jessica-Rose Clark vs Julija Stoliarenko – Women’s Bantamweight Division
Interesting fight to start the card off. I think the most important aspect of this fight is Jessica’s decision-making. She cannot try and grapple with Stoiliarenko. In her last fight, she tried to grapple with Stephanie Egger and got caught with an armbar, if she keeps this on the feet, she can definitely come out of this fight with a victory, if she doesn’t, she loses, it’s that simple.
Prediction: Jessica-Rose Clark by decision
Jessica Eye vs Maycee Barber – Women’s Flyweight Division
We’re definitely going to see a lot of clinch work here. I’d go far enough to say that Maycee is almost a reincarnation of Jessica as they both have the same style of fighting in which they press their opposition to the cage to implement their clinch work. It’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top. I think experience may come through for Eye but I’m backing the young gun for the win.
Prediction: Maycee Barber by decision
Uriah Hall vs Andre Muniz – Middleweight Division
Muniz is that guy. The levels of jiu-jitsu are insane two fights, two first round armbars against high level opposition. I can only see Hall suffering the same fate. If Hall is going to win he’s somehow got to keep distance and not allow the Brazlian to force him back to the fence. Uriah often throws low kicks which is a dangerous game to play against Muniz who can definitely telegraph them to counter into a takedown. I can only see one winner.
Prediction: Andre Muniz by submission in round 1
Brad Tavares vs Dricus Du Plessis – Middleweight Division
The second middleweight showcase of the night and boy this fight is a banger. Both men are strikers but if Tavares wants to win this one, he’s going to have to test Du Plessis’ wrestling and defensive jiu-jitsu. Dricus has shown he’s in the upper echelon when it comes to striking in his two UFC fights so far. This fight reminds me of when Edmen Shabazayan fought Tavares, I think he’ll be shown levels on the feet, I’m taking youth over experience again.
Prediction: Dricus Du Plessis by TKO in round 1
Ian Garry vs Gabe Green – Welterweight Division
Two young talents, but one has that slight edge and I think it’s Ian Garry. I expect him to counter well as he did against Jordan Williams. If he keeps out of range, I can only expect one winner. Gabe is a tough fight though and I think he could rock Ian if he can get into the pocket. I don’t think this is as one-sided as people think but I’m still taking “The Future.”
Prediction: Ian Garry by decision
Jim Miller vs Donald Cerrone – Welterweight Division
For the love of God Donald retire after this one. I think this only goes one way. Miller by KO. Donald is the much bigger fighter and could potentially get a KO but I think his chin is done for. The Alex Morono fight was the nail in the coffin for me. Jim takes his win streak to three for me.
Prediction: Jim Miller by TKO in round 2
Brad Riddell vs Jalin Turner – Lightweight Division
This is a tough fight to call. Jalin has looked incredible in his four-fight win streak and is someone I can see fighting towards the top end of the division, especially if he wins on Saturday night. I think Riddell is the better striker, however, styles make fights and fighting someone like Jalin who is lengthy is very difficult. If Jalin can use his jab like he did against Jamie Mullarkey, Brad is in serious trouble. I have no clue who wins this honestly. So 50/50 I’d pick Turner. Potential FOTN for me.
Prediction: Jalin Turner by TKO in round 2
Pedro Munhoz vs Sean O’Malley – Bantamweight Division
Main card time and we start off with a banger, however, I feel like this fight isn’t as close as most think it is. Pedro Munhoz has fought most of the top guys in the division so he has that experience but unless he looks to grapple which he rarely does, I can only see Sean piecing him up on the feet. I think he has to use the BJJ black belt to win and I don’t trust him to do so. Pedro is tough but I think this matchup is perfect for Suga Sean.
Prediction: Sean O’Malley by decision
Robbie Lawler vs Bryan Barberena – Welterweight Division
This could be a war. This is one you don’t put money on. If this one is the war I expect it to be I can see this either Robbie getting KO’d even though Bryan rarely KO’s anyone at this point or it going the distance, so in that case, I’m going with Bryan by decision. Fight of the Night sleeper for me.
Prediction: Bryan Barberena by decision
Sean Strickland vs Alex Pereira – Middleweight Division
For me, this goes like this: Sean fights smart and makes the fight “boring” by grappling with Alex to get a decision to win and put himself next in line for the title depending on who wins the main event. Or, he falls in love with his striking and tries to outkickbox arguably the best kickboxer in the UFC, which leads to him getting knocked out and the UFC getting their dream fight for the belt, depending on who wins the main event. I think Strickland wins. I think he plays smart.
Prediction: Sean Strickland by decision
Alexander Volkanovski (c) vs Max Holloway 3 – Featherweight Championship
The trilogy, this could be the final chapter or the third of five. The champ is 2-0 up on Holloway despite how the second fight was scored and I expect this to be as close as their first two bouts. There’s not much more I can break down that I haven’t said in their second fight. I think Max has to and will put the pressure on Volk from the jump. He’ll need to evade those low calf kicks that trumped him in the first fight. This one is so close it’s ridiculous. I’m backing the champ. This one is a fight where you keep your money in your pocket and just enjoy greatness.
Prediction: Alexander Volkanovski by decision
Israel Adesanya (c) vs Jared Cannonier – Middleweight Championship
We’ve made it to the main event and I think there’s only one way with two probabilities. Izzy picks Cannonier apart or Izzy picks Cannonier apart but Jared lands a hail mary for the knockout. In my eyes, very similar to the Costa fight. I think Izzy’s elusiveness is the key difference here. He’s too hard to hit, Whittaker and Vettori proved that. Jared will have to step into his range if he wants to connect and Izzy will counter precisely. Izzy retains and I think he does it in style.
Prediction: Israel Adesanya by KO in round 2