What a travesty that the UFC poster doesn’t showcase Felder’s Ned Flander’s moustache.
UFC Fight Night 183: Felder vs dos Anjos Predictions & Results
So here we are. Paul Felder facing off against RDA. By the luck of the Gods, Dana White has somehow managed to fumble the survival of this card. After Makhachev was forced to pull out, Paul Felder, a true company man, rose to the challenge on short notice. RDA is a shadow of his former self, but he still represents a dangerous well-rounded threat, and a fighter who could stop Felder’s ambitions for the Lightweight title.
This card is a shambles, regardless of its classification as a ‘Fight Night’ card. Don’t blindly follow the words of John Kavanagh, you don’t have to be happy to watch just any fights that the UFC organise. If you are supposed to represent the leading mixed martial arts promotion, then your fans shall naturally expect the best possible fights. The pandemic has caused many bouts to be cancelled, and issues with travel/testing has prevented some stars from fighting, but there is a very simple solution. Don’t throw out a card every week. Saturday night’s action is a step down in quality, and Bellator 252 just a few days ago had a starkly better card. I love combat sports, and will watch at every opportunity, but this card just straight up stinks.
Paul Felder (17-5) vs Rafael dos Anjos (29-13)
Paul Felder is a consummate professional. Despite the five days notice, Felder won’t have found himself horrendously out of shape ala Jorge Masvidal and his call-up for the Kamaru Usman title shot. Having said that, Felder will struggle to maintain his usual hectic pace in the later segments of this five-rounder. Felder’s high volume, balls to the wall striking barrages stem from his conditioning and ability to out-work his opponents. Instead, expect Felder to sit down harder on his leg kicks and carefully pick when to launch his high-volume punching combinations.
RDA has been fighting the elite wrestlers for so damn long, it is a relief to see the former champion being matched up with a striker. Felder does not shoot for takedowns, thus RDA will be more comfortable in establishing his striking game. A volume striker, RDA tends to overwhelm fighters with his boxing before securing top position. The real punishment from RDA comes from his top game. Expert positioning and control, RDA can bully opponents with his ground and pound which softens them up to a submission. While RDA has been unable to show his wrestling skill-set against the elite grapplers over the past few years, his work on the ground is far superior to Felder’s.
While RDA has a clear top game advantage, Felder still possess good scrambles and was able to reverse submission specialist, Charles Oliveira, off of his back. Felder is no schmuck and has a TDD that could easily prevent RDA from taking the fight to the mat, if RDA has heavily regressed as many believe. One area of the fight that might prove pivotal is the clinch. RDA is solid in the clinch, but he usually uses it as a vehicle into a takedown. Lingering and waiting for an opportunity to shoot, RDA was battered by Leon Edwards with elbows when entering and exiting the clinch. Felder is powerful and gifted with his elbows, and if thrown often, there is no doubt Felder will eventually land a significant shot.
Predicted Result: RDA Decision
A close fight, perhaps only separated by the fact that Felder has not been able to train a full camp in the build-up. Five rounds on just five days notice is a very tough ask, especially against a fighter with such a crushing top game. If the fight remains on the feet, Felder will struggle to keep up his usual pace during the later rounds.
Result: RDA def. Felder // Decision (split – 47-48, 50-45, 50-45)
Abdul Razak Alhassan (10-2) vs Khaos Williams (10-1)
What you see, is what you get with Abdul Razak Alhassan. At thirty-five years old, and with a very sporadic fight schedule, Alhassan enters the octagon with one aim of taking your head off in the first round. Pitiful conditioning and a reluctance to use his grappling skills, Alhassan rides solely on his insane power. Alhassan is fun to watch, but he doesn’t have a clear-cut N’Gannou path up the rankings.
Khaos Williams explodes with flurries when he gets tagged. Williams tends to get tagged pretty easily because of his lack of head movement. This is a recipe for disaster for the UFC prospect. If he is to get clocked early by Alhassan, he needs to keep a lid on his mental and refuse to engage in a dog fight which would only benefit the power of Alhassan.
Predicted Result: Alhassan TKO Round 1
Based on an insane power differential, and his more consistent success in the pocket, Alhassan should be able to out-bomb Williams in a cagey first-round.
Result: Williams def. Alhassan // KO (punch) Round 1 0:30
Women’s Strawweight (115)
Kay Hansen (7-3) vs Cory McKenna (5-1)
Ugh. Kay Hansen’s post-fight antics after her impressive submission victory over Jinh Yu Frey were simply cringe-inducing. Regardless, Hansen is a spritely, twenty-one year old fighter with a high ceiling yet to be identified. Her grappling is already extremely solid and is bolstered by her natural athleticism. While her striking is somewhat robotic, it should matter little in the Women’s Strawweight until she reaches the number one contender position.
A Cage Warriors and DWCS prospect, McKenna is a talented Strawweight who has been thrown to the wolves with this match-up. The same youthful age as Hansen, McKenna is a lesser version of her American counterpart. Well-rounded wrestling and boxing which are used to play into each other, McKenna is at a physical disadvantage and will struggle to keep Hansen off of her.
Predicted Result: Hansen Submission Round 3
Hansen is superior in every aspect of this fight: athleticism, striking, wrestling, submissions. McKenna is a talented prospect, but this is a case of too much too soon.
Result: McKenna def. Hansen // Decision (unanimous – 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Antônio Arroyo (9-3) vs Eryk Anders (13-5)
Arroyo is an okay fighter but there is still much to be seen before he can be considered a real threat to the Middleweight division. A decent top game shown in his DWCS victory over Henrique da Silva, his success was largely based on control rather than brutal ground and pound. Moreover, there were times he was easily reversed, a worrying sight against a fatigued opponent. Arroyo is a decent striker with a solid kicking game, but the volume is far too low.
There was once a time when Eryk Anders looked like he was going to be a star in the UFC. 3-1 during his early days, Eryk Anders has since found himself on a 2-4 slide, with one of his victories being a hard-fought split decision win over journeyman, Gerald Meerschaert. Anders looked lost in his last fight against Jotko. With no real gameplan, Anders fought as if he had expected to knock Jotko out clean with the first punch he threw. A power striker, Anders throws pot shots and has a solid enough TDD to keep the fight standing more often than not.
Predicted Result: Anders TKO Round 3
Anders has been dreadful for the past few years, but I’m really not sold on Arroyo. Anders somehow has the better gas tank and throws at a higher pace than Arroyo. Expect a sloppy contest with Anders possessing a clear striking power differential, and a TDD to stop Arroyo panic wrestling.
Brendan Allen (15-3) vs Sean Strickland (21-3)
Brendan Allen is a solid fighter who relies heavily on his strong submission game. While Allen is no slouch on the feet, he is robotic in his telegraphed strikes and could easily be overawed by the intensity of a volume striker. While defeating Kyle Daukaus last time out, Allen began to gas hard with the pressure from Daukaus. Although Strickland isn’t an out and out volume striker, he looked conditioned in his three-round spanking of Jack Marshman.
Worryingly, Strickland showed very little of his once dominant wrestling game against Marshman. Strickland didn’t necessarily need to call upon his wrestling, but if Strickland had wanted an easier affair, then it is questionable why Strickland refused to move the fight away from striking. Sure, Strickland has a striking advantage once again in this match-up, but he faces a much fitter/stronger opponent with a genuine ground game threat.
Predicted Result: Allen Decision
Allen’s gas tank is an issue, but his superior ground game should be able to see him claim the first couple of rounds. Strickland had a solid TDD back before his motorbike accident, but he faces a more powerful wrestler than he is used to.
Result: Strickland def. Allen // TKO (punches) Round 2 1:32
Women’s Strawweight (115)
Ashley Yoder (7-6) vs Miranda Granger (7-1)
Yoder is the bread and butter gatekeeper of Strawweight. Physically average, technically average, Yoder tests fighters based on her exceptional toughness, conditioning and well-rounded skillset. With Yoder’s only victories in the UFC coming against Amanda Cooper and Syuri Kondo, it may soon be more accurate to refer to Yoder as a journeyman.
Granger is a submission specialist who has yet to showcase her skills successfully outside of the regional scene. Out-grappled by Amanda Lemos, it was a bitter pill to swallow for Granger, but there is little doubts she possesses the superior grappling in this match-up.
Predicted Result: Granger Decision
A scrappy affair with Yoder making the contest ugly. Granger is happy to trade on the feet, which will benefit Yoder striking prowess. Yoder is liable to making amateur mistakes, which will benefit Granger’s wrestling supremacy.
Result: Yoder def. Granger // Decision (unanimous – 29-27, 29-27, 30-26)
Alex Morono (17-6) vs Rhys McKee (10-3-1)
Morono has fought in the UFC since 2016 and has struggled to place himself on the map. Despite victories over Zak Ottow and Max Griffin, Morono has been halted in his progression each time he stepped up. Overwhelmed by Khaos Williams in his last fight, Morono tends to be a calculated fighter who snipes with his striking.
McKee is the victim of a Chimaev arse whooping. Before that, McKee was a respected Cage Warriors prospect who bullied Lightweight opponents with his freakishly long frame yet still struggled against rugged wrestlers. Moving up to Welterweight poses many new wrestling threats, where an off the back submission will not suffice as competent ground game.
Predicted Result: Morono Decision
Morono has fought better quality opposition and succeeded. McKee probably pips Morono in terms of striking volume and ability, but Morono can make the fight ugly and will probably be able to secure his first takedown in this fight.
Result: Morono def. McKee // Decision (unanimous – 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Louis Smolka (16-7) vs Jose Alberto Quiñonez (8-4)
An ugly scrap between two Bantamweights who have fallen upon hard times. Smolka looked composed against Kenney, throwing decent body shots, before he was submitted into oblivion. Smolka has constantly been touching up all aspects of his game, but he has unfortunately not had the luck to succeed much of late.
Quiñonez is best known for running his mouth against Sugar Sean O’Malley before being nuked on the feet in the first round. Despite claims of a dive, Quiñonez is typically a hardy aggressive striker who bullies opponents in their face and on top of them.
Predicted Result: Smolka Decision
Both men are equally as poor as each other, but it should be an entertaining scrap. Quiñonez will start the action immediately with his aggressive boxing, while Smolka will actively search for a clinch and opportunities to land kicks on the outside.
Women’s Strawweight (115)
Randa Markos (10-9-1) vs Kanako Murata (11-1)
Win one, lose one Markos is the very definition of a litmus paper test at the Strawweight division. Markos’ grappling, based around control time, halts the progression of fighters who are unable to reverse or sweep there way off of their back. An active stand-up allows Markos to survive on the feet, but she just is not entertaining.
Invicta champion, Kanako Murata, enters the contest with considerable hype behind her. Murata possesses a wicked takedown game which allows her to take the fight to the ground and work through her arsenal of submissions. Small for a Strawweight, Murata will struggle with the larger physical specimens found in the UFC roster .
Predicted Result: Murata Decision
Markos is a tough fighter to predict because of her clear ability often being thrown to the wayside by her terrible fight IQ. Murata is riding a high from Invicta, and has the superior grappling skills, although it is yet to be seen whether she can work the larger Markos to the ground.
Result: Murata def. Markos // Decision (unanimous – 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Tony Gravely (19-6) vs Geraldo de Freitas (12-5)
Gravely is a powerful athletic striker who looks to outwork opponents from up-close. Mis-matched in his UFC debut against the exceptional grappling skills of Brett Johns, Gravely will have a much easier time establishing his striking against de Freitas.
de Freitas is a tricky, durable customer but he is not athletically gifted enough to climb the UFC rankings. Despite decent grappling and a lovely jab/feint selection, Freitas isn’t a physical freak and he will be bull-rushed by the better strikers.
Predicted Result: Gravely Decision
Gravely is the stronger athlete and more powerful boxer. de Freitas will struggle to gain the respect necessary to keep Gravely from pushing forward all night long.
Result: Gravely def. de Freitas // Decision (split – 28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Don’Tale Mayes (7-4) vs Roque Martinez (15-6-2)
Don’Tale Mayes has had a couple of horrendous matches to kickstart his UFC career. Facing Heavyweight’s golden prospect, Ciryl Gane, was an outrageous ask, and a follow up fight against the exceptional grappler, Rodrigo Nascimento, wasn’t exactly a gimme. Athletically gifted and with improving boxing/TDD skills, Mayes remains a prospect that the UFC needs to nurture.
Martinez was rag dolled against Alexander Romanov in his UFC debut, and somewhat exposed for his flakey record against tomato cans. A big boy and rather durable, Martinez opts to wrestle and could be a persistent pain for Mayes.
Predicted Result: Mayes Decision
While Martinez’ wrestling could prevent Mayes from comfortably establishing his boxing, Mayes’ TDD is solid enough to prevent the fight from hitting the mat and allowing Mayes to eventually start landing significant shots.
Result: Mayes def. Martinez // Decision (unanimous – 29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
UFC Fight Night 183: Felder vs dos Anjos
2020 MMA Season
Takeaway comments: RDA winning himself zero fans with a performance like that.
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