Diakiese vs. Packalen: This is the first notable fight of the prelims and with good reason. Marc Diakiese was 11-0 coming into this fight and this was his third fight in the UFC. He showed off some flashy kicks and landed a knockout so quick that it looked like it took Packalen's body a second to realize it. Matt and I agree that this kid deserves someone low in rankings already and even though he is #15 I believe Francisco Trinaldo would be a good fit for him to start in the rankings.
Duffy vs. Madadi: The next notable fight is the main event for the prelims. Joe Duffy landed double the amount of shots than his opponent and just picked his opponent apart the whole fight. If that was enough, early in the fight he took full mount and landed nasty elbows. Since Duffy has beaten the current champ of his division, Conor McGregor, I know he should start fighting ranked guys, but he recently lost to #9 Dustin Poirier so he should fight #13 Gilbert Melendez.
Allen vs. Amirkhani: Now we are on to the main card and Arnold Allen won this fight with the only decision on the main card. He also beat his opponent with more than double the amount of strikes and defended eight takedown attempts. He also showed off some pretty clean takedowns and showed some good hustle the whole fight. As for a next opponent I think "Bruce Leeroy" Alex Caceres would be a good match up because I think Allen needs to learn to beat guys that can finish fights before he takes on ranked guys and Caceres can finish fights, but has a spotty record so it would be a good starting point.
Pickett vs. Vera: Marlon Vera won this fight by TKO with only about a minute left in the first round. He got the knockdown and only swung two more times before the ref called it off. I think the ref called it too early because Pickett pushed Vera off right as the ref was calling it and he seemed alert right after when speaking to the ref and his corner. Had the ref not called that, I believe Picket would've won the fight. Vera had a good bit more strikes landed, but Pickett scored a few takedowns and kept ground control for over three minutes. Well Vera won and I'm not going to knock him for it. We think that Joe soto would be a good next fight because he just got ranked and they are both good standup fighters.
Nelson vs. Jouban: Statistics-wise this was a pretty close fight in the first round except Nelson had a lot of control time. On to the second round, Nelson rocked him pretty quick in the round, ran up to him, paused, then decided to get his first career guillotine victory. We think that Neil Magny would be the prefect test for Nelson to break into the top five fighters in the weight class because his aggressive striking would force Gunnar to overcome those heavy hands to implement his game plan.
Manuwa vs. Anderson: This was a very intense fight while it lasted. Both fighters manuvered away from a lot of strikes and Manuwa stuffed all three of Corey's take down attempts. That is until Jimi Manuwa landed a quick one-hit knockout and picked up performance of the night. Corey Anderson needs to prove he can stand against a phenomenal striker before he gets considered for the title and Ovince St. Preux is great for him to test himself against. As for Jimi Manuwa, Matt and I are confident that he shouldn't face anybody other than the loser of the upcoming title fight. We believe that Gustaffson should be the next person to fight for the title no matter who wins and if Manuwa wants next in line then he has to end whoever cant seal the deal on April 8th.