UFC 271: Adesanya vs Whittaker 2 Predictions

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UFC 271: Adesanya vs Whittaker 2 Predictions & Results

Pintsized Background

A rematch three years in the making for Middleweight gold. Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker finally lock horns once again, perhaps a little overcooked considering the lack of talent in the division.

Attracting similar attention is Derrick Lewis and Tai Tuivasa certain banger. Well… Heavyweight banger. Both men are beloved by the fans as heavy-handed, crowd-pleasers, yet the scars of Lewis and N’Gannou will forever hang over any hyped-up Heavyweight brawl.

Pintsized content from the week before:
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PI’s Recommended Fight: Julian Erosa vs Steven Peterson

I feel like it is far to say that Alexander Hernandez and Renato Moicano do not enjoy each others company | UFC 271 Predictions
I feel like it is far to say that Alexander Hernandez and Renato Moicano do not enjoy each others company | UFC 271 Predictions

TIPPING JAR

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UFC 271 Predictions: Main Event

Israel Adesanya (21-1) vs Robert Whittaker (23-5)

Middleweight (185)

UFC Middleweight Championship

Israel Adesanya

Put some respect back on Adesanya’s name. The loss to Jan Blachowicz at LHW was a sobering lesson for many of Stylebender’s most rabid fans, but 185lbs remains a nigh-untouchable throne. There’s a realistic belief brewing that only Marvin Vettori could take the belt off Adesanya. Alas, Whittaker is a strong game-planner and will likely have new bells and whistles to trouble Israel.

To boil it down simply, Whittaker hasn’t evidenced an improved defence to handle Adesanya’s kicks. Specifically, Whittaker will once again be plagued by Adesanya’s lethal low kicks. While the champ only landed ‘7’ leg kicks during their first fight, as seen against Paulo Costa (27), the power Adesanya delivers means only one is needed to root opponents. Whittaker’s bouncing movement can often mesmerise opponents, yet Adesanya owns the medicine.

A speed differential in the pocket was apparent in their first affair, however. On a couple of occasions during the opening round, Adesanya sat into heavy jabs that flew over Whittaker’s ducking head. The Kiwi did well to watch the punches coming, but it would be dangerous to leave himself in range of Whittaker’s overhand bombs. Likewise, if Whittaker was to fight smarter, Adesanya’s well-extended lead leg would be primed for a punishing kick.

Robert Whittaker

Make no mistake, Robert Whittaker does not enjoy fighting longer, rangier strikers. Bobby Knuckles loves to bounce in with short, sharp combinations before escaping and resetting. Adesanya’s length and phenomenal footwork create a tall order for Whittaker (pardon the pun), with the Aussie finding no breathing room on the outside. As seen in the first fight, an uncomfortable Whittaker is like a trapped animal. Choosing to fight out of his cage, Whittaker’s explosive bursts were telegraphed and brutally countered by Adesanya.

That isn’t to say that Whittaker can’t deploy a more coherent front-foot gameplan with careful layers. During the Yoel Romero rematch, Whittaker peppered the Cuban with oblique kicks. The Reaper frustrated Adesanya in their first match with a couple of oblique kicks, yet made little effort to mask it outside of the first minute. Rather than head-hunting an impossible target again, Whittaker needs to mix up the focus – I mean for God’s sake, even Marvin Vettori landed almost every strike to the body.

Additionally, Whittaker has been written off the wrestling front? The dominant narrative appears to be that Blachowicz was only able to out-wrestle Adesanya because of a weight advantage? Hm. Doesn’t seem correct. Marvin Vettori at MW was able to rack up seven minutes of control time on the champ. Whittaker has shown great strides in his offensive wrestling over recent fights. Securing four takedowns against Kelvin Gastelum, Whittaker held the dangerous 1-2 merchant to the mat for almost five minutes total control time. Denying Izzy time on the feet or the opportunity to make reads/set traps may well create enough questions that the champ shells up.

Predicted Result: Adesanya Decision

To boil it down simply, Whittaker hasn’t evidenced the necessary defensive improvements, since their first meeting, to handle Adesanya’s kicks. Whittaker’s bouncing movement can often mesmerise opponents, yet the champ’s lethal low kicks will once again pepper the Aussie from range.

That isn’t to say that Whittaker can’t deploy a more coherent, layered front-foot gameplan. The Reaper frustrated Adesanya in their first match with a couple of oblique kicks, yet made little effort to mask it outside of the first minute. Rather than head-hunting an impossible target again, Whittaker can make good of the speed differential in the pocket, and target Adesanya’s well-extended lead leg.

Additionally, it seems strange to have already written off Whittaker wrestling threat. Blachowicz may be a naturally larger man, yet Vettori isn’t, and the Italian was able to rack up seven minutes of control time on the mat. Whether Whittaker can tie Adesanya to the mat may not be important, rather, the transitional delay and threat alone could be enough to deny Adesanya the time/space to make his necessary reads or set up traps.

Result: Adesanya def. Whittaker // Decision (UD – 48-47, 48-47, 49-46)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Less head-hunting this time around, Bobby Knuckles | UFC 271 Predictions
Less head-hunting this time around, Bobby Knuckles | UFC 271 Predictions

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UFC 271 Predictions: Co-Main Event

Derrick Lewis (26-8) vs Tai Tuivasa (14-3)

Heavyweight (265)

Derrick Lewis

Swang n Bang, Swang n Bang, Swang n Bang. The narrative has continued relentlessly throughout the media scrums, so much so perhaps, that Lewis and Tuivasa’s fight could now be jinxed. Still, the fight already seems too easy to predict. Lewis happily backs himself onto the cage, while Tuivasa lacks the wrestling threat to do anything other than press on the feet. In a 50/50 trade on the feet, Lewis’ power cannot be written off even with his apparent lack of tools. The only issue would be Lewis’ fleshy legs or body. The Beast owns a phenomenal chin, yet JDS and Gane were able to mentally break Lewis by investing in his lower half. Tuivasa is a mean leg kicker who will find the space to pick away.

Tai Tuivasa

Greg Hardy hits very hard, even the biggest haters would have to admit that. Does Greg Hardy hit harder than Derrick Lewis? Tuivasa isn’t really a fighter who gets ‘slept’ per se, rather, the Aussie tends to unravel against consistent volume. As seen against Hardy, Tuivasa can eat heavy leather, yet rather than shell-up or reset, Bam Bam instead immediately hops into counter-punching. If somehow, Tuivasa can ride Lewis’ power, then the Aussie could drag Lewis into an ugly back-and-forth affair with the former’s volume wearing on the latter’s mental. Lewis has to be favoured as the heavy favourite, yet Tuivasa’s finishing sequence against Augusto Sakai evidenced a newfound fluidity and technical edge to the once pure slugging of Bam Bam.

Predicted Result: Lewis TKO Round 2

As seen against Hardy, Tuivasa can eat heavy leather, yet rather than shell-up or reset, Bam Bam instead immediately hops into counter-punching. In a 50/50 trade on the feet, Lewis’ power will reign supreme, but Tuivasa isn’t particularly known as a fighter who is slept from one punch. Lewis’ may own a phenomenal chin, but Tuivasa will find ample space and time to unleash his mean leg kicks. While the Black Beast has to be favoured as the heavy favourite, Tuivasa’s finishing sequence against Augusto Sakai evidenced a newfound fluidity and technical edge to the once pure slugging of Bam Bam.

Result: Tuivasa def. Lewis // KO (elbow) Round 2 1:40

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Tai Tuivasa got that BOOM BOOM POW | UFC 271 Predictions
Tai Tuivasa got that BOOM BOOM POW | UFC 271 Predictions

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UFC 271 Predictions: Main Card

Jared Cannonier (14-5) vs Derek Brunson (23-7)

Middleweight (185)

Jared Cannonier

Can Cannonier deal with Brunson’s wrestling threat? Sure, Cannonier has looked far more capable of keeping himself standing at Middleweight – yet is this simply because of a physical edge? Brunson represents the most potent wrestling threat that Cannonier has so far faced at 185lb, but there is also the possibility that the Killa Gorilla need not call upon his TDD. Sure Cannonier’s hands are brutal, if not for their underrated accuracy, but his leg kicks leave a painful welt too.

Derek Brunson

An insane glow-up for Blonde Brunson, considering he looked all but finished after back-to-back first-round finishes in 2018. Even after all these years though, Brunson still throws his chin directly towards the ceiling at every given chance. Against the nuclear power of Jared Cannonier, it is a horrific risk to take, even with the renaissance of Brunson’s durability. Still, if Brunson can win the initial scramble and end up on top, the round may as well be written off. Cannonier is a freakishly tough dude, and as seen against Whittaker, will continue to plough on till the bitter end, but Brunson’s gas tank has rarely failed him.

Predicted Result: Cannonier TKO Round 1

The safest call would be for Blonde Brunson to grind this one out on the mat. Brunson’s refined striking has masked his awful habit of delivering a naked chin towards the ceiling, while Cannonier’s improved TDD has stemmed largely from his physical edge at Middleweight. Still, Cannonier’s nuclear hands are too difficult to overlook. As seen against Whittaker, Cannonier carries his power late and can flip the script of a fight with one punch. Darren Till wobbled Brunson briefly despite being overwhelmed prior. If Cannonier landed the same shot, it’s lights out.

Result: Cannonier def. Brunson // KO (elbows) Round 2 4:29

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌

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Kyler Phillips (9-2) vs Marcelo Rojo (16-7)

Bantamweight (135)

Kyler Phillips

If the Raulian Paiva loss is to have taught Phillips anything, it has to be that conditioning and volume alone cannot win fights without a game plan. There was no reason to leave it to the judges in a razor-close affair, Phillips skill on the mat should be levels above the current level of opposition. Rojo has a significant weakness on the mat, and Phillips’ powerful, creative grappling should be a stylistic nightmare for the Argentinian. An educated, mature performance is needed to restore the hype behind Phillips’ name.

Marcelo Rojo

Marcelo Rojo surprised many when he almost took Charles Jourdain to the distance in a brutal back-and-forth affair. With a stellar chin, relentless pressure on the feet and surprising spite to his punches, Rojo could spring a surprise if Phillips overlooks the Argentinian’s threat on the feet. The leaky TDD and clear grappling disadvantage is a bridge too far for the Argentian to survive.

Predicted Result: Phillips Submission Round 1

Marcelo Rojo surprised many when he almost took Charles Jourdain to the distance in a brutal back-and-forth affair. With a stellar chin, relentless pressure on the feet and surprising spite to his punches, Rojo could spring a surprise if Phillips overlooks the Argentinian’s threat on the feet. Unfortunately, Rojo’s significant weakness on the mat, and Phillips’ powerful, creative grappling should be a stylistic nightmare for the Argentinian.

Result: Phillips def. Rojo // Submission (traingle armbar) Round 3 1:48

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌

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Nasrat Haqparast (13-4) vs Bobby Green (28-12-1)

Lightweight (155)

Nasrat Haqparast

There hasn’t seemed to be much changed in Nasrat Haqparast’s game since the crushing Drew Dober loss back in 2020. Worryingly, Haqparast surrendered the centre of the octagon to Dan Hooker and made little effort to work himself off the cage. If Haqparast allows Green the space and time to set up traps, his powerful left hand isn’t going to prove potent enough to win rounds. Granted, Green’s frustrating taunting and inactivity see him drop rounds, but if Green is to keep this fight standing as expected – Haqparast’s athletic edge will struggle to touch Green’s wily countering.

Bobby Green

Good luck trying to eek a fair and balanced analysis of Bobby Green out of me. Fighting throughout lockdown, Bobby Green’s stock soared as he churned through the horrible opponent’s everyone else dodged (Lando Vannata, Alan Patrick). Even in defeat to Rafael Fiziev, Green could count himself unlucky not to have earned a 10-8 round against the lethal striker and secure the draw. In a five-round affair, the tide of power had well and truly swept over in favour of Green. Green may well be tagged in surprise by Haqparast’s reach, but it shouldn’t take Bobby long to time his opponent and catch the Afghan lunging in.

Predicted Result: Green Decision

There hasn’t seemed to be much changed in Nasrat Haqparast’s game since the crushing Drew Dober loss back in 2020. If Haqparast allows Green the space and time to set up traps, his powerful left hand isn’t going to prove potent enough to win rounds. Granted, Green’s frustrating taunting and inactivity see him drop rounds, but if Green is to keep this fight standing as expected – Haqparast’s athletic edge will struggle to touch Green’s wily countering.

Result: Green def. Haqparast // Decision (UD – 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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UFC 271 Predictions: Preliminary Card

Andrei Arlovski (32-20) vs Jared Vanderaa (12-6)

Heavyweight (265)

Andrei Arlovski

Ahahaha. WHY!!! Andrei Arlovski has long been acknowledged as the ‘striking gatekeeper’ on the Heavyweight division (Sergei Spivak offering the ‘grappling gatekeeper’). Aside from victories over the thoroughly limited Harry Hunsucker and Justin Tafa, in addition to failing the grappling test with a loss to Spivak, how has Vanderaa earned this opportunity? Arlovski’s chin has gone full circle and returned to the near-career best health, in part owing to a consistent tweaking to his style which accounts for age and lesser physicality. Arlovski can keep himself standing against almost every Heavyweight, while his patient counter-punching out-works the bottom of the barrel prospects that 265lbs produces.

Jared Vanderaa

It would have to take a gargantuan wrestling performance from Jared Vanderaa to take Arlovski down and keep him on the mat. Only Tom Aspinall was able to take the veteran down, the only fighter in the Belarussian’s last eight fights. If we’re talking about skill levels, Vanderaa and Aspinall aren’t even in the same solar system, let alone planet. Vanderaa’s heavy stature could pose a problem for the ancient bones of Andrei Arlovski, perhaps utilising the cage to drag out a vile Heavyweight decision, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Predicted Result: Arlovski Decision

Arlovski’s chin has gone full circle and returned to the near-career best health, in part owing to a consistent tweaking to his style which accounts for age and lesser physicality. Arlovski can keep himself standing against almost every Heavyweight, while his patient counter-punching out-works the bottom of the barrel prospects. Vanderaa’s heavy stature could pose a problem for Arlovski’s ancient bones, perhaps utilising the cage to drag out a vile Heavyweight decision, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Result: Arlovski def. Vanderaa // Decision (split – 28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Roxanne Modafferi (25-19) vs Casey O’Neill (8-0)

Women’s Flyweight (125)

Roxanne Modafferi

This isn’t the sport that provides regular fairytale endings. Boxers can sail off into the sunset with a light-hearted squash match, footballers can fly out to Dubai or USA for one last payday, MMA fighters are forced to pass on the baton to the next generation. Modafferi will be emotionally unaffected in her retirement fight, but physically, the rot has been apparent against Viviane Araujo and Taila Santos. Modafferi has never been a physical beast, yet her technical edge has often kept a solid balance of power. If O’Neill believes she can bowl Modafferi over and out-grapple the veteran, the prospect will be in for a rude awakening. Modafferi is a handy striker and could replicate a similar humbling as that of Maycee Barber. I fear that Modafferi has declined steeply since the Barber victory, while O’Neill is a more skilled prospect.

Casey O’Neill

If Casey O’Neill cannot overwhelm Modafferi to the mat, the veteran could counter the Scotswoman for fun all night long. The lesser Shevchenko, Antonina, found great success on the counter and in the clinch. O’Neill owns a wonderful chin, plus-athleticism and relentless pressure, but it is Modafferi’s lessened athleticism and lack of pop that will prove the difference. O’Neill is a menace from top control and should eventually prove too much to handle by the latter rounds.

Predicted Result: O’Neill Decision

If Casey O’Neill cannot overwhelm Modafferi to the mat, the veteran could counter the Scotswoman for fun all night long. Modafferi is a handy striker and could replicate a similar humbling as that of Maycee Barber. O’Neill owns a wonderful chin, plus-athleticism and relentless pressure, but it is Modafferi’s lessened athleticism and lack of pop that will prove the difference. O’Neill is a menace from top control and should eventually prove too much to handle by the latter rounds.

Result: O’Neill def. Modafferi // Decision (split – 28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Return to Fight Card


William Knight (11-2) vs Maxim Grishin (31-9-2)

Light Heavyweight (205)

William Knight

Yes, Willian Knight missed weight by a whopping TWELVE pounds, yet in fairness, Knight was a late-notice replacement. Taking one look at Knight, you wonder how much weight is possible to cut from the rippling physique. An unbalanced striker who often leaves himself open to punishment, Knight’s success stems from overwhelming grappling. Grishin owns a clear technical edge, yet Knight’s freakish strength could prove the great equaliser and force an ugly decision out of a sheepish Russian.

Maxim Grishin

At thirty-seven years old, Grishin is only a couple of years away from reaching the Light Heavyweight ‘prime age’. As the far more polished and experienced fighter, anything other than a dominant Grishin grappling performance would be seen as career suicide. Knight is thoroughly limited, despite his athletic riches, and unless Grishin is tagged early and retreats into a cautious shell, he should pose a vastly easier test than Marcin Tybura or Dustin Jacoby.

Predicted Result: Grishin Decision

Yes, Willian Knight missed weight by a whopping TWELVE pounds, yet in fairness, Knight was a late-notice replacement. Knight is thoroughly limited, despite his athletic riches, and unless Grishin is tagged early and retreats into a cautious shell, he should pose a vastly easier test than Marcin Tybura or Dustin Jacoby.

Result: Grishin def. Knight // Decision (UD – 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Ronnie Lawrence (7-1) vs Mana Martinez (9-2)

Bantamweight (135)

Ronnie Lawrence

Ronnie Lawrence is an entertaining fighter, although it is yet to be seen how far his style will allow him to climb. Fleet-footed on the outside, Lawrence neglects any boxing in place of kicks and spinning back-fists when opponents try to engage. Regular takedowns further keep opponents gun-shy, but Lawrence will struggle to keep Martinez on the mat. Most likely, Lawrence won’t be able to find the space needed for his kicking game against Martinez’s consistent pressure.

Mana Martinez

Martinez hardly sparkled against Guido Cannetti, fighting a horrific gameplan against the ancient Argentinian. Martinez doggedly keeps opponents pinned to the cage, yet ebbs between periods of inactivity into 15-shot bursts onto shelled opponents. A more equal, methodical spread of activity would hurt opponents far more. Against Lawrence, Martinez could offer enough time for the Nashville fighter to slide away.

Predicted Result: Lawrence Decision

A very tough fight to call, with Lawrence being backed perhaps for his entertaining style if anything. Fleet-footed on the outside, Lawrence neglects any boxing in place of kicks and spinning back-fists when opponents try to engage. Martinez doggedly keeps opponents pinned to the cage, yet ebbs between periods of inactivity into 15-shot bursts onto shelled opponents. Against Lawrence, Martinez could offer enough time for the Nashville fighter to slide away and avoid extended combinations.

Result: Lawrence def. Martinez // Decision (UD – 29-28, 29-27, 29-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Alexander Hernandez (13-4) vs Renato Moicano (15-4-1)

Lightweight (155)

Alexander Hernandez

A certified banger tucked away in the Prelims, there is a lot of bad blood between these two. Alexander ‘The Great Ape’ Hernandez has yet to find himself an identity in the cage. The swarming, volume striker was humbled by Donald Cerrone, switching instead to a more patient grappler. After losses to Drew Dober and Thiago Moises, it would appear that Hernandez has returned to the style that saw him blast away Beneil Dariush in his UFC debut. While both men are threats on the mat, Hernandez’s punishing ground and pound versus Moicano’s submission arsenal, I cannot see this fight taking place anywhere else than standing in the centre of the octagon.

Renato Moicano

Moicano has not been the same athlete since Jose Aldo broke the prospect back in 2019. What was once a fabulous striker who went toe-to-toe and beat Zubaira Tukhugoc, Jeremy Stephens and Calvin Kattar, is now an unwilling kickboxer who looks vulnerable against Jai Herbert-calibre opponents. Alexander Hernandez is a ferocious finisher, and although Moicano is a far more polished technician, the cracks in the chin are too prime an opportunity for Hernandez to miss.

Predicted Result: Hernandez TKO Round 2

A certified banger tucked away in the Prelims, there is a lot of bad blood between these two. While both men are threats on the mat, Hernandez’s punishing ground and pound versus Moicano’s submission arsenal, I cannot see this fight taking place anywhere else than standing in the centre of the octagon. Alexander Hernandez is a ferocious finisher, and although Moicano is a far more polished technician, the cracks in the chin are too prime an opportunity for Hernandez to miss. Unfortunately, this is a case of Moicano declining hard than Hernandez representing the superior talent.

Result: Moicano def. Hernandez // Submission (rear-naked choke) Round 2 1:23

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ✔️

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Carlos Ulberg (3-1) vs Fabio Cherant (7-3)

Light Heavyweight (205)

Carlos Ulberg

I have to be honest, I really like Carlos Ulberg. Prior to his Kennedy Nzechukwu loss, I envisioned a bright future for the Kiwi. With a massive 6’4″ frame, Ulberg patiently operates off the back foot and catches opponents lunging. A leaky striking defence and awkward gas tank were exposed by Nzechukwu, but there is a lot of time left for Ulberg to pick up the necessary experience.

Fabio Cherant

Fabio Cherant could threaten on the mat, but he has so far looked devoid of confidence in closing the distance against sharper, powerful strikers in the UFC. Granted, if Cherant can survive out of the first round, Ulberg’s explosiveness will be far tamer. I wouldn’t count on it, however, as Cherant seemed worryingly lacking in confidence against William Knight.

Predicted Result: Ulberg TKO Round 1

With a massive 6’4″ frame, Ulberg patiently operates off the back foot and catches opponents lunging. A leaky striking defence and awkward gas tank were exposed by Nzechukwu, but there is a lot of time left for Ulberg to pick up the necessary experience. Cherant is a solid submission threat who could overwhelm a tame Ulberg out of the first round, but I wouldn’t count on it – Cherant seemed worryingly lacking in confidence against William Knight.

Result: Ulberg def. Cherant // Decision (UD – 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Return to Fight Card


Jacob Malkoun (5-1) vs AJ Dobson (6-0)

Middleweight (185)

Jacob Malkoun

Yet Oceania fighter that I was keen on but flopped in their UFC debut. Starched in eighteen seconds by Phil Hawes, Malkoun made good on his return with a dominant decision victory over fearsome power puncher, Abdul Razak Alhassan. Rather than rely upon his sharp counter-punching, Malkoun showcased a fine wrestling display that smothered Alhassan.

AJ Dobson

AJ Dobson is a ferociously violent fighter who flies out of the blocks early – a style that Malkoun will be well experienced with by now in the UFC. It is amusing that Dobson could 50/50 fall down the paths of Phil Hawes or Abdul Razak Alhassan. It’s pretty rare to face such a coin-flip fight, but such is the case at this level of MMA – it is a quality of fight best suited to small hall shows while both men find their identity.

Predicted Result: Malkoun Decision

AJ Dobson is a freakishly powerful unit, with the ferociously violent early striking that Malkoun wilted to in his UFC debut against Phil Hawes. After Malkoun’s sweltering wrestling display against Alhassan, however, I am favouring the Kiwi to just about escape the first round and grind out an exceptionally scrappy decision. A coin-flip fight at its very ugly best.

Result: Malkoun def. Dobson // Decision (UD – 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Douglas Silva de Andrade (27-4) vs Sergey Morozov (17-4)

Bantamweight (135)

Douglas Silva de Andrade

Douglas Silva de Andrade has amassed quite the record over the past few years. Granted, de Andrade has regularly lost to the top names of the division (Rob Font, Petr Yan, Zubaira Tukhugov), but has always shone in some areas of the fights. Age is starting to creep up on the Brazilian, but he remains a surprisingly explosive threat with measured combinations. Unless de Andrade is pushed back or forced to fight at an uncomfortable pace, the Brazilian is capable of out-striking and out-weathering opponents.

Sergey Morozov

Morozov isn’t the type of fighter to get immensely excited over. A well-rounded fighter, the Kazakh stays light on his feet and picks away at opponents. The main game plan is to time takedowns and grind out time on the mat through superior control. Khalid Taha found out as much in a suffocating three-round defeat in which Morozov controlled the German for fun from half guard. Based on activity and conditioning in a young man’s division, Morozov has to be ever so slightly favoured.

Predicted Result: Morozov Decision

Age is starting to creep up on the Brazilian, but he remains a surprisingly explosive threat with measured combinations. Unless de Andrade is pushed back or forced to fight at an uncomfortable pace, the Brazilian is capable of out-striking and out-weathering opponents. Unfortunately for de Andrade, Morozov’s main game plan is to time takedowns and grind out time on the mat through superior control. Based on activity and conditioning in a young man’s division, Morozov has to be ever so slightly favoured.

Result: Silva de Andrade def. Morozov // Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) Round 2 3:24

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Jeremiah Wells (9-2-1) vs Mike Mathetha (3-0)

Welterweight (170)

Jeremiah Wells

A freak physical specimen, Wells’ looks to land first and freeze opponents. This isn’t a tactic that necessarily climbs well up the ladder, but with such natural explosiveness, anything could happen. Particularly underrated is Wells’ top control, overpowering Warley Alves throughout the first round of their fight with spiteful ground and pound. Whether Wells has the wrestling aptitude to secure top position is another question entirely, however.

Mike Mathetha

Blood Diamond has to be one of the coldest names in the business, for that alone, the Kiwi gets bonus points before his UFC debut. Mike Mathetha is a kickboxing convert to MMA, and as with every inexperienced MMA fighter, it is difficult to predict just how fast the Kiwi can make the switch. Diamond uses his length exceptionally well to post and stop an opponent’s advance in its track. Whether Mathetha’s basic grappling and TDD is enough to survive in the UFC is yet to be seen.

Predicted Result: Wells Submission Round 1

Mike Mathetha is a kickboxing convert to MMA, whether his basic grappling and TDD is enough to survive in the UFC is yet to be seen. Diamond uses his length exceptionally well to post and stop an opponent’s advance in its track, but Wells’ underrated top control will be the difference in this affair. With enough early pressure and a bit of luck to avoid anything significant, Wells can bundle Mathetha to the mat and punish his inexperienced foe.

Result: Wells def. Mathetha // Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) Round 1 4:38

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Return to Fight Card


Prediction Accuracy

UFC 271

Winner: 11/14

Method: 11/14

Round: 10/14

2022 MMA Season

Winner: 35/46

Method: 25/46

Round: 25/46

MMA Overall

Winner: 531/838

Method: 388/838

Round: 350/838

Takeaway comments: GIVE BOBBY GREEN A GOD DAMN TITLE SHOT.


TIPPING JAR

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