This used to be UFC 196 of Werdum vs. Valasquez and then Werdum vs. Miocic for about 8 hours before Werdum pulled himself out due to a back injury. Now no longer a PPV and a fight night. Here are the quick calls for it.
UFC Fight Pass Prelims (7 PM/ET):
Artem Lobov (12-11-1, 1NC) vs. Alex White (10-2): A fight to kick off the night in the featherweight division. I think this fight could be fun to kick off the show. I got Alex White in a 2nd round submission victory.
Mickey Gall (1-0) vs. Mike Jackson (0-0): The exciting part of the night that might get under appreciated because Mickey Gall is a young UFC prospect. This fight is in the welterweight division. Mickey Gall wins this one in a 1st round submission.
Fox Sports 1 Prelims (8 PM/ET):
Noad Lahat (9-1) vs. Diego Rivas (6-0): This fight is in the featherweight division to kick off the televised prelims. Diego is a power punching fighter against Noad who is a submission artist when he gets to the mat. I think this fight is so close. I think Lahat is the better all-around fighter and will pick up a unanimous decision victory.
# 12 (12) Ray Borg (9-1) vs. (#15) Justin Scoggins (10-2): This fight in the flyweight division will be some fun here between two guys I think are pretty good ranked fighters. Scoggins is a KO finisher, Borg is a mat finisher picking up a majority of his wins through submission wins. The counter opposites will clash for a chance to get in the top 10. I really like Scoggins and think he grabs the win. Justin Scoggins wins through a 2nd round TKO.
Derrick Lewis (13-4, 1NC) vs. Damian Grabowski (20-2): The Co-main event of the televised prelims is in the heavyweight division. I really don’t see a big edge to either fighter in this one. I think Damian Grabowski really shows off some skills late and picks up a 3rd round TKO.
Joshua Burkman (28-12) vs. KJ Noons (12-7, 1NC): The Main event of the televised prelims will take place in the lightweight division. Joshua Burkman is a well-rounded fighter that has proven he can finish everywhere. KJ Noons is a knockout specialist who struggles a bit on the mat. I think KJ survives this battle and picks up a unanimous decision.
Fox Sports 1 Main Card (10 PM/ET):
Mike Pyle (26-11-1) vs. Sean Spencer (12-4): The Opening fight of the main card will kick off the welterweight division. Mike Pyle is looking to turn around his bad luck as of late and get back on track and maybe get ranked in the Welterweight division. Sean Spencer is looking to bounce back after his recent loss to recently retired Cathal Pendred. I really am torn on how to call this fight. When it comes down to it I think Sean Spencer will get the win through unanimous decision.
Misha Cirkunov (10-2) vs. Alex Nicholson (6-1): This fight is in the light heavyweight division between two guys who can win through KO and submission either way. Alex Nicholson is a huge underdog in this one and will be fighting the day after proposing to his girlfriend during weigh-ins and will be fighting with an edge. Misha Circkunov will win this one most likely through a 2nd round TKO.
#1 (1) Joseph Benavidez (23-4) vs. #8 (8) Zach Makovsky: This fight in the flyweight division has two top ranked fighters and with a win I think Benavidez should get Demetrious unless Cejudo is. Both of these guys have the abilities to finish this fight standing or on the mat and that will keep this fight exciting. If Makovsky pulls off the win he could throw himself into top 5 talks. Joseph Benavidez is a great fighter who can fight for the title but I am not sure if he can win against Demetrious. Benavidez wins this fight by unanimous decision.
#6 (6) Ovince Saint Preux (18-7) vs. #13 (14) Rafael Cavalcante (12-6, 1NC): This fight is going to draw a lot of attention in the light heavyweight division. Preux is a great fighter with skills everywhere. Rafael is a knockout fighter and purely a knockout fighter. This fight would be pretty incredible if it stays standing but if this fight goes to the mat I believe it could be a one sided affair. I think this one is pretty simple. Ovince Saint Preux is one of the best fighters in this division and I think he picks up a 1st round TKO victory.
#11 (11) Roy Nelson (21-12) vs. #12 (12) Jared Rosholt (14-2): This fight in the heavyweight division is going to be a fight between a declining Roy Nelson and an uprising Jared Rosholt. According to most the things I have seen online most fans are choosing Nelson to win this fight and I am not going to agree with that at all. I have Rosholt winning through a 2nd round submission victory.
#2 (5) Johnny Hendricks (17-3) vs. #8 (8) Stephen Thompson (11-1): The main event of the evening will take place in the welterweight division. I honestly want to say Johnny Hendricks is one of the most overrated fighters in the UFC. His highlight reel is maybe 4 fights which is saying something from a champion. He seems to be one of the most boring fighters in the history of the sport which is a shame because he has so much power and skills. It is annoying because to a real fan it seems like he just goes out looking to score on the scorecard and then win via decision by holding on and hanging on in the final rounds to secure the win and avoid getting stopped. I hate that he fights for the scorecard and decision victories. Stephen is a great fighter who could upset and shock the whole world with a win because everyone seems to be on the Hendricks hype train which I do not understand. I am taking Stephen on a 4th round TKO even though he admitted he didn’t remember this fight was a 5 round fight and might be ill-prepared.
- Matt Koontz