UFC Fight Night 184: Overeem vs Volkov Predictions & Results

Will the Reem’s dream continue onwards towards a title, or will the former Strikeforce and K-1 Champion descend into nightmare

UFC Fight Night 184: Overeem vs Volkov Predictions & Results

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the fully natty, big dog. After a heartbreaking last-second knockout loss to Jairzinho Rozenstruik, having dominated all five previous rounds, Reem has bounced back with two comprehensive victories over Heavyweight top-10 contenders, Augusto Sakai and Walt Harris. Many feared that Overeem was on his last legs after two disgusting lights-out losses to Francis N’Gannou and Curtis Blaydes, but the wily veteran has found yet another way to give his career a new lease of life. Stop-Start Russian, Alexander Volkov, will be hellbent on securing a huge scalp to push for his first well-deserved title shot.

Saturday’s card is jampacked with quality fights, perhaps bolstered by the fact that last fortnight’s PPV lacked talent outside of the main event. Striking bossman, Cory Sandhagen, tests his mettle against a fiercely difficult veteran in Frankie Edgar. Written off after his shock stoppage loss to TKZ, Edgar put to bed any retirement doubts after a (debatable) split decision over prime contender, Pedro Munhoz. Oh yeah, Michael Johnson also features on the main card. Strap yourselves in for an opening round of beautiful boxing, distance management and calculated gameplan before he completely falls apart.

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MJ precedes to break my heart once again as he taps early in the second round to a Thiago Moises’ ankle lock

Main Event

Heavyweight (265)

Alistair Overeem (47-18) vs Alexander Volkov (32-8)

Don’t let the Reem go out like this. Not to Stingray turned Samurai boi. After enduring one of the hardest fought careers across any combat flavour, Overeem is surely on his last legitimate quest to hold UFC Heavyweight gold. A member of the prime organisation since 2011, Overeem’s decade in the UFC has featured several highs and lows. Overeem’s first three fights say it all – a debut demolition job over former champion, Brock Lesnar, before back-to-back losses against (retrospectively average) opposition, Antonio Silva and Travis Browne. Since then, Overeem has routinely cleaned up almost all Heavyweight prospects and only falling to the best (aside from Ben Rothwell, lol). No longer the chin forward kickboxer of old, Overeem is hyper-aware of his physical fragilities and tries to out-last his opposition during the early proceedings.

In the clinch and on the ground, there are few in the Heavyweight division that have any chance of dominating the Dutchman. In a division so often dominated by swang n bangers and granite chins, Overeem brings technical expertise to all aspects of his game. As such, the Reem ranks as the most well-rounded fighter beside current champion, Stipe Miocic. Being a jack of all trades may prove fateful against Alexander Volkov if he can utilise his reach to tap Overeem’s chin. Overeem’s tendency to sit back passively during the first round will allow Volkov to fight at a comfortable pace and distance in the centre of the octagon. You would never describe Volkov as a power puncher, but like a continual drop of water, the 6’6″ Russian will eventually breakthrough.

Overeem’s path to wrestle-humping his Russian counterpart may prove a struggle. While Blaydes was able to ragdoll Volkov through sheer power and aggression, the American eventually gassed by the championship rounds as Volkov awkwardly defended himself off his back. At forty-years-old and without the wrestling ceiling of Blaydes, don’t be surprised if Volkov can regularly stuff the takedown. Instead, Overeem will likely aim to cut Volkov up against the cage and aim to sneak takedowns rather than actively pursue it.

Predicted Result: Volkov Decision

Overeem has the nuance to land a Lewis-esque shot much earlier in this match-up, but Volkov’s stand-up has always been overlooked. While Overeem has a clear advantage in the clinch and on the mat, it will take the Reem more effort than many expect. Dropping 14 takedowns to Blaydes is a sadness, but Volkov overcame the surging tides and began to come into his own by the championship rounds. Going with the younger man this time.

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Imma break from tradition on posting fighters in the octagon, just take a look at the size of this colossus. Good God.

Result: Volkov def. Overeem // TKO (punches) Round 2 2:06

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Co-Main Event

Bantamweight (135)

Cory Sandhagen (13-2) vs Frankie Edgar (24-8-1)

It’s difficult to put your finger on just how good Cory Sandhagen can be. Violated by Aljamain Sterling in less than a minute and a half last year, Sandhagen recovered his public image with a second-round knockout over boogeyman kickboxer, Marlon Moraes. Questions will always remain over Sandhagen’s comfort on the mat, but in all fairness, he was facing the best version of Aljo seen in the octagon. Edgar has shown his wrestling chops in the past are more than enough to cruise fights, but it will be difficult for the veteran to get inside of the taller, longer, faster man.

Sandhagen’s stand-up is a treat to watch. Utilising his jab as the platform to elevate his offence, Sandhagen continually prods his opponent with a jab as he bursts through various short combinations. A seemingly never-ending gas tank ensures Sandhagen can throw ridiculous output until the final round (i.e. John Lineker), while remaining mentally and physically fresh to maintain form. As a result of pouring constant pressure on the feet, Sandhagen often faces little resistance in terms of distance and pace.

Enter Frankie Edgar. The thirty-nine-year-old fan favourite has endured a sad decline during the past couple of years. Although Edgar’s chin still seems kinda sus given the viciousness of his stoppage at the hands of TKZ, Edgar is an extremely well-drilled striker who will be willing to tussle with Sandhagen over distance/position in the octagon. Against Munhoz, Edgar was forced to grind out a performance against a fighter, who in his prime (and will all due respect), Edgar would have likely wiped the floor with. It seems like Edgar has started to struggle with adapting his gameplan during the fight. Once tagged with a hard shot, Frankie falls back into robot mode and commits to defensive boxing or solely prioritising the takedown.

Predicted Result: Sandhagen TKO Round 3

The real question is whether Sandhagen can find the finish or not on Saturday night. Edgar hasn’t fallen off of a cliff, and remains a challenge to the top contenders, but he no longer possesses the edge amongst the elite. Whether Sandhagen can be invited into the top Bantamweight’s Boys Club is yet to be seen – but after his destruction over Moraes, it would be wise to answer his incessant knocking on the door.

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Outclassing Marlon Moraes from the start to finish, Sandhagen refused to let the Brazilian bully him early and instead knocked his foe out cold.

Result: Sandhagen def. Edgar // KO (flying knee) Round 1 0:28

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Main Card

Lightweight (155)

Michael Johnson (19-16) vs Clay Guida (35-20)

At this point in his career, everyone is aware of how Michael Johnson’s fights will go. The Menace starts fights with blistering hand speed and beating his opponent to the punch on every exchange. Commentators will gleam about how MJ is finding the form of his 2013-2015 run, and fans will eat up the hyperbole. Immediately, at the start of the second round, MJ will fall apart like a modern day Humpty Dumpty. Whether it is backing himself into a cage against renowned grapplers, leaving his hands down against famed power punchers, or simply failing to maintain offensive pressure – MJ has a varied arsenal on how to throw fights.

Clay Guida has a foot out of the door at this point. Thirty-nine years old, and from the Frankie Edgar era of the UFC, Guida has suffered a more traumatic twilight than his periodic counterpart. Fighting the journeymen and prospects of Lightweight, Guida has struggled. With his only win in the past four years being a decision victory over BJ Penn’s decomposing corpse, Guida’s recent record is a stinker. Against Bobby Green, however, Guida exhibited his trademark tenacity and never-ending gas tank as he constantly threatened the takedown and roughed up Green against the cage.

Predicted Result: Michael Johnson Decision

Remind me the definition of madness? Almost every MJ fight I end up choosing The Menace, and he regularly finds a way to disappoint me as a fan. Clay Guida is well over the hill at this point and MJ’s TDD is rather underrated. Johnson’s activity hopefully sees him to a much needed victory at this point.

Result: Guida def. Johnson // Decision (unanimous – 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Flyweight (125)

Alexandre Pantoja (22-5) vs Manel Kape (15-4)

Pantoja is a man who deserves some respect attached to his name. Hidden away in the Flyweight division, the least sexy weight class in terms of promotion or hype, Pantoja is an incredibly hard hitting, iron chinned, grappling machine. Favouring a tree chopping leg kick, Pantoja has also addressed his boxing deficiencies. Pantoja’s issue then? Conditioning. The Brazilian struggles to keep his output by the third round – a scary prospect for a fighter in a division that regularly reaches the final bell.

UFC newboy, Manel Kape, is a bit of a gem. Former Rizin Bantamweight champion, Kape is an action-first fighter who happily enters into war with opponents. Out of Kape’s fifteen wins, only one has ended in decision, and almost all result from striking. Of course, comparisons to current champion, Deiveson Figueiredo, will run rife but Kape does not possess that instant KO power. Then again… who does?

Predicted Result: Pantoja Decision

A difficult fight to call. Pantoja is confirmed UFC quality, and an extremely tricky debut for a fighter used to the ropes of Rizin. Kape’s willingness to fight in the pocket has served him well in the past, but even if he lands his hardest shots, its difficult to see how it will break Pantoja’s chin if Figueiredo couldn’t either.

Result: Pantoja def. Kape // Decision (unanimous – 29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Featherweight (145)

Cody Stamann (19-3-1) vs Askar Askar (11-1)

Stamann needs a big scalp, and he needs it quick, if he wants to remain relevant for a title run. Although 5-2 in the organisation. Stamann has failed his two attempts to rise out of obscurity. A second round submission loss to Aljo and a decision loss to Jimmie Rivera are nothing to be ashamed of, but it seems like Stamann is destined for a gatekeeper role. Failing to finish any opponent in the octagon, the culprit is Stamann’s style rather than a lack of power. Preferring to pressure box and eventually find a way into top game, Stamann rarely catches his opponent off guard with a big ol swing.

Askar Askar is another UFC debutant, albeit this time a little less marketable than Kape. Askar Askar is a last-minute replacement, but it is a challenge to see any victorious route for the Palestinian outside of a stunning knockout. Despite rife early stoppages at the regional level, Askar was often competing against cans. Moreover, Askar was slept last year in just forty-seconds at the hands of Saidyokub Kakharamonov.

Predicted Result: Stamann TKO Round 3

Stamann’s best shot at finding a stoppage is likely against Askar Askar. Unproven outside of the regional scene, Askar carries the power to cause a shock and remain with the UFC, but he will struggle with Stamann’s angles and calculated pressure.


Lightweight (155)

Diego Ferreira (17-2) vs Beneil Dariush (19-4-1)

Seven years on from their first match-up, a bout where Dariush claimed bragging rights, both men have developed leaps and bounds. Undefeated over the past five years, and having collected victories over decent names (Rustam Khabilov and Anthony Pettis), Ferreira finds himself in prime position to race towards to the top-10 promised land. The thirty-six year old has always been hampered by his wrestling deficiencies, but his willingness to throw fire has papered over the cracks in his game. When the fight hits the mat, Ferreira’s dominance in the grappling department is stark – it almost seemed like Pettis gave up when he found himself under the Brazilian.

It’s damn hard to hate Dariush. After a shock first round knockout to newcomer, Alexander Hernandez, back in 2018, it seemed like Dariush may be on his way out of the organisation. Fed a litany of prospects/gatekeepers, Dariush has finished four of five fights on his way back into Lightweight relevancy. Submissions over Frank camacho and Drew Dober, along with knockouts of Drakkar Klose and Scott Holtzman, Dariush has conjured up a highlight reel that has seen his stock rising rapidly. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

Predicted Result: Dariush Decision

Both men are on extremely hot form, but the ghosts of their past fight may haunt the Brazilian. While their fight could never be considered ‘one-sided’, Dariush has shown he has the power to use as a get-out clause against pressure fighters (i.e. turntables against Drakkar Klose). Dariush is a crafty grappler, and will be acutely aware of the threat of Ferreira.

Result: Dariush def. Ferreira // Decision (split – 28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Preliminary Card

Light Heavyweight (205)

Mike Rodriguez (11-5) vs Danilo Marques (10-2)

Ah. My time has come. ONCE AGAIN, FUCK ED HERMAN. I despised the boneheaded commentary on the night, celebrating Ed Herman’s victory over Mike Rodriguez as a ‘crafty veteran move’. Nah mate, Herman clearly cheated and referee, Chris Tognoni, made a real boob of the situation. I will never view Rodriguez’s last fight as a loss, and if sporting bodies weren’t always such toothless shells, they would have had the balls to overturn the result. I digress. Rodriguez is a scary clinch fighter who has finally began to tap into his 82″ reach.

Marques caused a betting shock when he decisioned Khadis Ibragimov at the end of 2019, but if anyone who has ever watched Ibragimov knows, he is absolutely garbage. Marques gassed after a couple minutes of fighting and proceeded to sloppily Homer Simpson his way against possibly the least skilled fighter on the roster. Marques is supposed to be a threatening grappler, but if you can keep him stood up for a round, all that threat fades away.

Predicted Result: Rodriguez TKO Round 1

Unbelievably cold on Marques. Any man who has to go through life and death against Khadis Ibragimov, is simply not good enough for the UFC. Rodriguez has continued to develop his striking, and once he fully masters his ridiculous reach, he can prove to be more than a threat in the clinch.

Result: Marques def. Rodriguez // Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) Round 2 4:52

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Catchweight (160)

Justin Jaynes (16-6) vs Devonte Smith (10-2)

Since a shock first round knockout over Frank Camacho, Jaynes has struggled with the pace of the UFC. A third round submission loss to Gavin Tucker ended a war between both men, that saw the two knocked down and engaged in hectic grappling sequences. It is a shame then, that in Jaynes next match, he was destroyed by Gabriel Benitez in the opening round. While Jaynes’ sole victory in the UFC came from a similar last-minute call-up, he will be facing a fearsome prospect this time around.

Devonte Smith has been out of the game for a long time – almost two years since his torn Achilles. Worse still, Smith is returning after a first round KO loss to prospect Khama Worthy. At only twenty-seven, and with a LONG time out to recuperate, hopefully the Ohioan has recovered fully. On his day, Smith is a long fighter who pokes with jabs and leg kicks as a mask to eventually land his power shots.

Predicted Result: Smith TKO Round 2

This has the potential to be a true banger. Jaynes has shown complete willingness to fight to the death in the pocket from the opening bell. Smith is a more composed, sniping striker – but with almost two years out of the game with an achilles injury, and carrying lights out power, Smith may be enticed into a striking war. Both men’s chins are suspect, but Smith possesses the physical advantages.

Result: Smith def. Jaynes // TKO (doctor stoppage) Round 2 3:38

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Women’s Bantamweight (135)

Karol Rosa (13-3) vs Joselyne Edwards (10-2)

Karol Rosa is a cardio machine – constantly throwing single shots to keep her opponent on the backfoot and unable to mount any consistent offence. While Rosa hasn’t faced the elite of Women’s Bantamweight – there isn’t really much competition to be quite honest. Rosa can wrestle decently well but can easily fumble her way into dangerous positions on the mat.

Edwards legitimately fought last month lmao. Got to cheer on a fighter who is chasing that bread – we may have a potential female Khamzat Chimaev on our hands if Edwards can string together another couple of wins. After a dominant decision victory over Yanan Wu, Edwards showcased her kickboxing skills, neglecting defence in favour of regularly landing shots.

Predicted Result: Rosa Decision

This isn’t a fight that instils much excitement simply because the winner will still be so far from the current champion’s skillset. Rosa is the more well-rounded fighter, and has the tools to expose Edward’s leaky defence.

Result: Rosa def. Edwards // Decision (unanimous – 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Women’s Flyweight (125)

Molly McCann (10-3) vs Lara Procópio (6-1)

If Meatball is to fall once again, she will have to began the uncomfortable questions over her future. After entering the UFC with huge hype in 2018, McCann fell to Gillian Robertson and most recently, Taila Santos. McCann has worked herself a rugged wrestling base, but she lacks the physical pop to move up the rankings.

Procópio is 0-1 in the UFC, but that loss was a razor thin split decision to Karol Rosa – never an easy debut. Procópio has been out of action for seventeen months, but at only twenty-five and with a clear technical edge, Procópio is a heavy favourite.

Predicted Result: Procópio Decision

I straight up refuse to choose Meatball at this point – the workhorse has struggled with the physical specimens in the UFC and as a result, fails to apply her wrestling game. Procópio is an accurate striker who has the ability to fly through the rankings.

Result: Procópio def. McCann // Decision (unanimous – 29-28, 29-27, 30-27)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Featherweight (145)

Youssef Zalal (10-3) vs Seung Woo Choi (8-3)

Youssef Zalal IS STILL MY BOY. Entering Saturday after a crushing loss to Ilia Topuria, Zalal enjoyed brief moments of success amongst long periods of Topuria striking/grappling domination. Regardless, Zalal remains one of the hottest prospects at Featherweight. A long striker with power, Zalal fights smart – using his jab to control rounds. An improving kicking game will only boost Zalal’s chances against the top Featherweight bois.

Woo Choi is your MMA White Rhino. Choi jumps into the phone booth at first calling and swings until he or his opponent are sleeping. Often though, Choi is faced with the task of chasing his opponent (i.e. Movsar Evloev) and seemingly lacks the technical to entice opponent’s back into range.

Predicted Result: Zalal Decision

Zalal has proven far too mature and shrewd a striker to be baited into a phone booth scrap with Choi. Expect a long night of Choi chasing Zalal’s shadows across the Octagon.

Result: Woo Choi def. Zalal // Decision (unanimous – 29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

Featherweight (145)

Timur Valiev (16-2) vs Martin Day (8-5)

Valiev’s debut ended unceremoniously in a second round turnaround knockout at the hands of unknown, Trevin Jones. While the fight was overturned to an NC, make no mistake, Valiev was out cold against Jones. Also… the reason for the NC? A positive marijuana test! Thank you NSAC for stopping these violent pot-smokers from dirtying our sport. Valiev’s debut was hotly anticipated after racking up masses of victories in top promotions WSOF and PFL. Unfortunately, Valiev seems to have peaked too early before his UFC career has really began.

0-3 in the UFC, and with only one fight going to the bell, it is safe to say that Martin Day is fighting for his UFC career on Saturday. Pressure can make or break fighters, and it is a shame that it will likely snap the kickboxer. A lively striker, Day actively avoids the ground game and has a decent TDD to back it up. Bit grim that Valiev is far more technically polished.

Predicted Result: Valiev TKO Round 2

Whether Day likes it or not, Valiev will be able to get this fight to the mat if he wants to. The shock Trevin Jones loss will hopefully prove to be just that – a shock.

Result: Valiev def. Day // Decision (unanimous – 30-25, 30-25, 30-26)

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Featherweight (145)

Ode Osbourne (8-3) vs Jerome Rivera (10-4)

DWCS prospect, Ode Osbourne, faces a long journey ahead of him if he wants to develop on his potential. A lanky counter striker, Osbourne has already shown flashes of excellence on the mat. Unable to counter effectively under Kelleher’s pressure, the experience gap was clear. A little more time to develop against live bodies will do Osbourne the world of good.

Jumping up from Flyweight just three weeks ago, Rivera enters Saturday for a Featherweight fight. Rivera will be at a clear physical disadvantage – a nightmare for a fighter who seeks to bully opponents on the mat. It seems a far cry that Rivera was held aloft as a DWCS gem.

Predicted Result: Osbourne Submission Round 3

Rivera is technically a very good fighter, but to jump two weight classes in less than a month – it’d be ludicrous to view Rivera as a favourite. While Osbourne does struggle with pressure on the feet, he will feel more comfortable to counter strike as the far larger man.

Result: Osbourne def. Rivera // KO (punches) Round 1 0:26

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Prediction Accuracy

UFC Fight Night 184

Winner: 9/12

Method: 7/12

Round: 7/12

2021 MMA Season

Winner: 30/47

Method: 27/47

Round: 28/47

MMA Overall

Winner: 221/351

Method: 164/351

Round: 153/351

Takeaway comments: Goodnight sweet King Edgar.

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