MAIN CARD PREDICTIONS
Odds provided by our sponsor Sports Interaction. For a great sign up bonus click the link!
Pedro Munhoz vs Sean O'Malley
Pedro Munhoz is coming off two losses but they were against former UFC Champions Jose Aldo and Dominick Cruz. He is a traditional Striker who defends Takedowns by way of a nasty Guillotine Choke.
Sean O'Malley is a tall, long dynamic Striker who loves to pick opponents apart using his superior reach as an advantage. Sean O'Malley is five inches taller and has a seven inch reach advantage over Pedro Munhoz.
This match up is picture perfect for Sean O'Malley. Not only is Munhoz at 35 years old on the decline. Stylistically Sean O'Malley couldn't ask for a better opponent. In what is sure to be a striking match, Sean O'Malley is by far the better striker.
Sean O'Malley to Win
Level 1 - O'Malley to Win -345
Level 2 - O'Malley by KO, TKO, DQ -125
Level 3 - Fight goes the Distance YES -108
Robbie Lawler vs Bryan Barberena
Robbie Lawler is already a legend and will be in the UFC Hall of Fame. He is a true warrior and has been in some of the greatest fights in UFC history. At 40 years old there are many fight fans that believe he should retire. He is a tough brawler that prefers a straight up slugfest.
Bryan Barberena likes a straight up fight as well. He isn't young either. At 33 years of age his best years may be behind him as well. He does have the skills to compete anywhere the fight goes, but this fight will probably remain on the feet.
This has potential fight of the night implications. That's also what makes it such a difficult fight to predict. The real question is how diminished do you believe Robbie Lawler's skills are? At their best this fight would be an easy win for Lawler. He just isn't at his best anymore. I believe this fight will come down to pure will. The winner will be decided by whoever wants it more and can grind out the victory.
Robbie Lawler to Win
Level 1 - Fight goes the distance YES -193
Level 2 - 2.5 Rounds OVER -185
Level 3 - Lawler to Win -125
Sean Strickland vs Alex Pereira
Sean Strickland is a very difficult fight for most anyone. What makes him so difficult is his ability to confuse and slow down his opponents defensively. He is able to keep his opponents at a safe distance or tie them up well enough to limit their strikes. His only real weakness is against high level wrestling.
Alex Pereira is a true Kickboxer, and possesses some very high level striking. His Ground game is very limited. To mitigate that he has worked on his Takedown defense and has had success keeping fights standing. Fighting Strickland at this point in his MMA career is a big step up for him.
This should be a very interesting fight. Sean Strickland will be well aware of how dangerous Alex Pereira can be. Much has been made of his knockout win over Israel Adesanya as a Kickboxer. This will be a test of skill vs power. Although Strickland generally prefers to keep things standing. I expect him to exploit Pereira's weakness and mix in some takedowns. His goal will be to make this an ugly fight. Pereira will be expecting that so I'm sure we will see some very aggressive striking from him early in every Round.
Sean Strickland to Win
Level 1 - 1.5 Rounds OVER -180
Level 2 - Strickland to Win -115
Level 3 - Fight goes the Distance YES +151
Alexander Volkanovski vs Max Holloway
Alexander Volkanovski has just kept improving. He is extremely strong for the division. At times he has relied on his wrestling to bully and frustrate opponents. His striking has significantly improved which allows him to dictate where fights take place.
Max Holloway is definitely one of the most skilled mixed martial artists in the UFC. He is a very skilled boxer, has a great Ground game, and is tall for the division. At 5'11" he is five inches taller than Volkanovski but doesn't have a reach advantage. He has lost to Volkanovski twice, although the second fight was a controversial split decision.
So what will be different this time around? Can Max Holloway defeat Alexander Volkanovski? I believe he can if he utilizes his full skill set. The mistake Holloway makes in a lot of his fights is trying to turn a mixed martial arts fight into a boxing match. Sure he possesses superior boxing skills over his opponents. Unfortunately he doesn't have true knockout power. That allows time for his opponents to adjust. Volkanovski steals Rounds from Max by utilizing his wrestling and finishing Rounds in top position. For Max to win he will have to mix in some heavy leg kicks, and constantly look for submissions whenever he gets taken down.
Alexander Volkanovski to Win
Level 1 - 4.5 Rounds OVER -234
Level 2 - Volkanovski to Win -175
Level 3 - Holloway by Decision +220
Israel Adesanya vs Jared Cannonier
Israel Adesanya is the best striker in the UFC. I can say that with complete confidence. His Takedown defense is constantly improving. He is very tall, and has very long reach for the division. Undefeated as a Middleweight the only difficulty he has experienced is against opponents able to wrestle him to the mat.
Jared Cannonier is a true power puncher. He possesses serious one shot knockout power. He earned this title shot by knocking out Derek Brunson with a vicious elbow in a fight he was obviously losing. He has fought competitively at Light Heavyweight and is incredibly strong at Middleweight.
Cannonier has the strength to take Adesanya down but I don't believe he has the skill. Plus Cannonier's path to victory is by Knockout. This is going to be a kickboxing match, and Adesanya is the far better striker. Adesanya will control the range and pace of the fight, but will have to be wary of getting caught with a heavy shot.
Israel Adesanya to Win
Level 1 - Adesanya to Win -470
Level 2 - 4.5 Rounds UNDER -120
Level 3 - Adesanya by KO, TKO, DQ +105