UFC Fight Night: Moraes vs. Sandhagen Predictions
Source: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
What an interesting week its been. The Jones - Adesanya rivalry is burning brighter than ever before, Darren Till has stepped up to fight Chimaev (pending a victory over Hermansson) after the likes of a Wonderboy and Weidman declined, and tonight we have an absolute banger of a card to look forward to! We MMA fans are spoiled for choice sometimes. PREDICTIONS!
Marlon Moraes vs. Cory Sandhagen
It's amazing how a few performances can change the perception of a fighter. Before Cejudo, Moraes was THE guy to challenge for the 135 crown, but now, even after a win over Aldo, Moraes has been reduced to a "no cardio, no heart" kind of fighter. To me, that is an insane takeaway, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion I suppose (even if they're wrong).
Admittedly, Sandhagen is a tough matchup for Moraes. He's long, technically sound, and can go for days, but does he have the skills to withstand the arsenal Moraes presents? I don't think he does. If Moraes can treat this fight like a marathon rather than a sprint I think he can get Sandhagen out of there. He's an explosive counterpuncher who is more than capable of redemption tonight, should be a great main event.
Prediction: Marlon Moraes, 3rd RD TKO
Edson Barboza vs. Makwan Amirkhani
This is undoubtedly a massive fight for both gentleman as both have a lot to prove. For Barboza it's showing the masses that he is still worth mentioning at 155 after losing 5 of his last 6 fights, and for Amirkhani it's finally being able to get over the hump and jump to the next level. A ton on the line for both men here, but of course only one can come out a winner.
The thing that favours Barboza in this one is the fact that the Finn isn't exactly a pressure fighter, and that's something the Brazilian has struggled with recently. Amirkhani is great when he gets guys to the ground, but how does he plan on dragging a very defensively sound Barboza down? Kicks, volume and accuracy should be the keys to victory for Barboza.
Prediction: Edson Barboza, Decision
Ben Rothwell vs. Marcin Tybura
Rothwell is as steady, sturdy and experienced as they come. To me, he has the advantage anywhere this fight ends up. Tybura is a solid fighter, but Rothwell should continue his upward trend.
Prediction: Ben Rothwell, Decision
Markus Perez vs. Dricus du Plessis
Dricus du Plessis will make his debut tonight against the man with the best Joker impression in the UFC. Perez is gifted on the mat but has had a tough time implementing his strengths since coming to the big show and that will be the biggest tell of this fight. If du Plessis keeps it standing he'll win, but if Perez can get it to the ground I think a sub could be waiting in the wings. I'll bet on the ladder.
Prediction: Markus Perez, 2nd RD SUB
Tom Aspinall vs. Alan Baudot
One of the top prospects in the Heavyweight division, Tom Aspinall ended his UFC debut in style with a first round knockout over Jake Collier. I think he can do something similar here. Admittedly, I don't know much about Baudot, but I believe Aspinall is ready and primed for great things. At the very least, this one should be an entertaining tilt.
Prediction: Tom Aspinall, 1st RD TKO
Youssef Zalal vs. Ilia Topuria
Zalal has been my go-to guy since the beginning of the pandemic. With three wins in six months, he is looking to become the first fighter to win his fourth fight of the year. He's not all that powerful, but he is constantly busy and is tough as nails, and I just don't see Topuria doing what others haven't been able to do so far in Zalal's UFC tenure.
This could be a prime contender to take home fight of the night.
Prediction: Youssef Zalal, Decision
Rest of the Card
Bhullar def Breese
Nascimento def Daukaus
Kasanganay def Buckley
Kelley def Al-Qaisi
Chikadze def Morales
Cortez def Egger
Ulanbekov def Silva
2020 Prediction Record: 142 - 89 - 3