Bruno Korea (4-1) vs Matheus Nicolau (10-2-1): Two new comers to the UFC. Both young good fighters with potential to be pretty good. This fight is in the Bantamweight division. I am going off my research and knowledge of the two and taking Matheus Nicolau in a second round TKO.
Pedro Munhoz (12-1) vs. Jimmie Rivera (17-1): Here is another Bantamweight fight. Personally I think this is the weaker fight of the online prelims. I am going to pick Jimmie Rivera in a unanimous decision.
Viscardi Andrade (17-7) vs Gasan Umalatov (15-4-1): A battle in the welterweight division between two guys who are trying to find their stride. This fight is hard to honestly see a favorite and it makes me torn between Andrade who is the hometown guy or the guy who might have the slightest edge skill wise. I will take Umalatov though since it’s an online prelim there aren’t many fans there for the home field advantage. Umalatov wins in a split decision.
Fox Sports 1 Prelims (8PM/ET):
Kevin Souza (19-3) vs Chas Skelly (14-1): The first televised fight kicks off in the featherweight division between two guys who have been rolling as of late. I am going to take the “underdog” and pick Souza to win via 2nd round KO.
#11 Clay Guida (32-12) vs Thiago Tavares (23-6-1): CLAY GUIDA IS BACK!!!!!!!! He recently said he won’t retire until he actually sucks, granted he is only 33 years of age and that is younger than the light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier. Now this fight in the featherweight division is going to be some serious fun. Guida might be ranked and Tavares might not be but that doesn’t mean anything in this fight. Guida is an all-around monster and his chin is incredible. Tavares is a very very powerful man and that leaves this as an intriguing matchup with so much potential to steal the show. I am going to take Guida through a second round submission via RNC.
Yan Cabral (12-1) vs Johnny Case (21-4): This fight in the lightweight division should be fast paced and fun. I personally think this is will be fast paced but there is a bit of a mismatch in my opinion. Johnny Case I believe is the better fighter by a fair amount and should pick up the first round KO.
Gleison Tibau (40-11) vs Abel Trujillo (12-6, 1NC): Another fight here in the lightweight division and the main even of the prelims. These guys are both big guys who fight with different fight styles. I like both of them a lot because of their pure power but Trujillo is the only fighter who truly seems to use it. Gleisson is a big boy for this division but he is a slow paced defensive fighter and I believe that will be a negative in this one. I am taking Trujillo to win here via a 3rd round KO.
Main Card on Fox Sports 1 (10PM/ET):
#12 Fabio Maldonado (22-8) vs #14 Corey Anderson (7-1): The opener to the main card is a battle in the light heavyweight division. It is a bit annoying that we are seeing Maldonado fight before Rampage since he lost his last fight to Rampage but he is a great fighter with the definition of a granite jaw. Corey is stepping in for an injury of Tom Lawlor. This fight could either be really brutal and close or just a one way show. I believe that Anderson even with the late notice is just going to beat up Maldonado and get him to the mat and secure a 2nd round Submission.
Gilbert Burns (10-0) vs Rashid Magomedov (18-1): This fight in the Lightweight division is an interesting fun battle. This fight is between two young guys on the rise with 28 combined wins and only 1 loss between the two. This fight is truly going to be awesome and a true brawl. I love both fighters’ skills and really am having a hard time picking between the two, I am going to take Rashid though and hand Gilbert his first professional loss. I think Rashid will get it done by way of a unanimous decision.
Alex Oliveira (12-2-1, 1NC) vs Piotr Hallmann (15-4): This is a fight in the lightweight division between two guys on the opposite end of things, by that I mean Hallmann is struggling to find his grove and Oliveira is a good fighter who seems to be rolling lately. I think the home fans will lift Oliveira even more and make this fight just too much for Piotr. I am taking Oliveira via third round submission.
#9 Thomas Almeida (20-0) vs Anthony Birchak (12-2): This fight in the Bantamweight division will be a blast between two good fighters, one a future superstar. Almeida is one of the most lethal fighters I have ever seen especially at 24 years of age!!! I like Birchak as well but in this fight I think he is completely outmatched and out gunned. Thomas Almeida if he wins this fight should solidify his title run and start getting some fights that can prove he is ready to fight the champ. I am going to take Almeida in a second round TKO.
#4 Glover Teixeira (23-4) vs #9 Patrick Cummins (8-2): This fight in the light heavyweight division should be more entertaining than it is getting credit for. I am not sure how Teixeira does it but at 36 years of age he still looks like a title fighter. Cummins is just seeming to come into his prime and seems to be a little late at 34 years of age but he is coming into this fight with a lot of confidence. I am going to take the underdog here and pick Cummins to win via split decision.
#4 Vitor Belfort (24-11) vs #12 Dan Henderson (31-13): A middleweight battle between two absolute legends of the sport and so hard for me to even want to pick this fight due to my respect for both. Personally I love Dan Henderson in the octagon and outside the octagon but I can’t ever say anything negative about Belfort either this fight is so hard for me. This fight is between a 38 year old and a 45 year old and it still is one of the most exciting fights on paper I have ever seen. Henderson seems to have somehow at 45 found a resurgence and become more powerful as of late. Belfort is coming off a loss to Weidman in the title fight, honestly wasn’t outmatched he just got to aggressive fast and let himself open to get knocked down where he couldn’t recover. If they both fight their style of fighting this fight could wind up being fight of the year. I really am not sure who the better fighter of the two Hall of Famer’s is at this point in their careers and I am just taking a shot in the abyss here with my pick. I will go with my heart Henderson wins by 2nd round TKO of Vitor Belfort.
- Matt Koontz.