UFC Fight Island 7: Holloway vs. Kattar Predictions
Source: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
The boy is back! And I can happily say that 2020 is behind us and 2021, well, looks like it's gonna be much of the same. However, from this point onwards we can have treasured thoughts knowing we won't be without an MMA card for a long, long time. I do have to point out that I had a pretty stellar predictions record last year and I expect that my knowledge and grace will once again be on display this coming year too.
Fight Island 7, or UFC on ABC 1, is a special one as it marks the first UFC event on ABC airwaves. If you care about that sort of thing then it is quite a watershed moment for the promotion. I'm sure it will result fatter paychecks for the fighters...
Enough talk, PREDICTIONS!!!
Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar
Say what you want about Holloway and whether or not he won or lost his fights against Volkanovski, but the dude is still the biggest threat to the Aussie's title. With that said, he does have quite the challenge in front of him in Calvin Kattar. Kattar's 2020 was as good as anyone's, and if he catches Holloway slipping he could find himself next in line for a shot at the belt. However, the Hawaiian is a bad matchup for anyone and I just don't see Kattar getting over this hill.
Kattar is not a volume guy, and Holloway doesn't tend to get hit with a lot of big shots. I also don't think Kattar has the footwork to land from angles he normally would. Remember that elbow he landed on Stephens? That shot won't be there this fight. Holloway controls distance better than anyone in the division, and not only has the ability to throw all day, but he's also one the great finishers in 145 history. Volume and footwork will be king in this matchup.
Prediction: Max Holloway, Decision
Carlos Condit vs. Matt Brown
I'm stoked just as stoked for this fight today as I would have been in 2010! Listen, you can say what you want about guys fighting this late into their careers, but both still seem to have something left in the tank. I think Condit is going to run circles around Brown in classic Condit fashion. Brown is still a brawler at heart but he just doesn't have that same chin and power to back it up the way he once did. It's not a shot at him, blame age.
Condit has always been the better fighter, no matter what era we are talking about, and now that he's not fighting the top fighters in the division, I think we can expect to see him have a solid stretch to end his legendary career. Stick and move baby, stick and move.
Prediction: Carlos Condit, Decision
Li Jingliang vs Santiago Ponzinibbio
Santiago Ponzinibbio is probably the most overlooked fight on the UFC's roster. Sure, that's due in large part to injury and missed time, but even before his two year layoff the man wasn't getting much love despite being undefeated three years running. All that aside, you do have to wonder if he'll be the same fighter with a respectable opponent on the other side of the cage.
If Santiago comes into this fight with the same tenacity he did before the layoff I don't see Li being able to fend him off. The Argentine is bigger, longer and more experienced. Enough said.
Prediction: Santiago Ponzinibbio
Joaquin Buckley vs. Alessio Di Chirico
Buckley is as box office as any other prospect the UFC currently has. He has great finishes on his resume, has a great look, and is great on the mic. The dude is just entertaining. In front of him is the scrappy Italian Alessio Di Chirico. Now, I'm not gonna say this is an easy fight for Buckley, but this is one of those fights to gauge where he's really at.
Holland humbled him in his UFC debut (who as it turns out, is one of the best 185ers in the game), but came back with back-to-back highlight finishes against fellow newcomers. So this is great fight to see how he fairs against more experienced competition. He shouldn't have much of a problem with Di Chirico, but maybe we'll get to see more of his game.
Prediction: Joaquin Buckley, 2nd RD TKO
Punahele Soriano vs Dusko Todorovic
Besides the main event, this is the most intriguing fight on the card. Two young studs, and two former Contender Series standouts face off in what is a fight of two contrasting styles. Soriano is by far the more aggressive fighter, but Dusko is more well-rounded in my opinion. Not many are giving Dusko a shot in this one, which is quite strange. You know Michael Pereira? Yeah, Todorovic has already beat him, so he knows how to deal with explosive strikers.
I think this fight plays out with Soriano coming out guns a blazin, as per the ush. However, I think Dusko weathers that storm and picks the young Hawaiian apart from there on out. Soriano has a violent style, but has a tendency burn out while going for the finish. He gets them, but he makes it much harder on himself than it needs to be. I like Todorovic for the upset.
Prediction: Dusko Todorovic, Decision