Grigorii Popov (14-3) Vs Davey Grant (8-4)
To kick the card off, we have Grigorii Popov returning after getting finished by Eddie Wineland. Opposite to Popov is Davey Grant who is on a 2-fight losing streak, both by submission. Popov had pretty decent stand up, but lacked wrestling defense. For that, I think the key to a Davey Grant victory is to take him down in the opening minutes and get a submission, and end up back in the win column.
Jessica Rose Clark (9-5) Vs Pannie Kianzad (11-5)
Jessica Rose Clark is coming off a very long layoff, 16 months to be exact, with a foot injury. She draws Pannie Kianzad a young prospect who is coming off a decision loss to Julia Avilia. Funny enough Pannie has a win over Jess in Invicta. Personally, I feel this will be a stand up battle and the length and the reach will benefit Pannie and she most likely squeaks out a split decision victory.
Alexander Yakolev (25-9-1) Vs Roosevelt Roberts (8-1)
Alexander Yakolev was originally scheduled to take on Vinc Pichel until Pichel had to pull out. He now will be facing the guy Pichel just beat, Roosevelt Roberts. Roberts was a promising prospect with very impressive submission skills, he was found on the Contender Series. Yakolev is a very inconsistent fighter, he did just finish another vet, Alex Da Silva by submission, but that was after a long layoff. If Roberts can get him to the ground, it’s over. He’ll get that neck but personally I wouldn’t be surprised if Yakolev pulls off the win, especially since Roberts has only been training 3 weeks.
Abubakar Nurmagomedov (15-2-1) Vs David Zawada (16-5)
Abubaker Nurmagomedov is Khabib’s cousin and is coming from PFL. Since 2014 Abubakar has only lost 1 fight and that was from Pavel Kusch where he was dropped and eventually submitted. Since then, he’s had a decision victory, and a draw with Bojan Velickovic. Zawada hasn’t won since joining the UFC. He is a powerful striker and has good wrestling though he’s just had to fight pretty tough competion in JingLiang Li and Danny Roberts. I don’t really know who is going to win this fight just because I personally feel Abubakar is overrated, but Zawada isn’t really anything special. This will be a close fight but I feel that Abubakar’s wrestling will be too over whelming.
Roman Kopylov (8-0) Vs Karl Roberson (8-2)
Roman Kopylov is undefeated and a former Fight Night Global Middleweight Champion. In his first defense he won with a body shot for his 7th finish in a row. He hasn’t fought in a little more than 10 months though, so that may play a role in his performance. Karl Roberson is another Contender Series veteran, he is 3-2 since joining the UFC. His only losses are to Glover Teixeira and Cezar Ferriera. His last win was a split decision victory againt UFC debuting Wellington Thurman. I got Roman Kopylov staying undefeated and even finishing Karl Roberson.
Rustam Khabilov (23-4) Vs Sergey Khandozhko (27-5-1)
Rustam Khabilov we all know is a UFC veteran who has won 6 of his last 7 fights. He is coming off a unanimous decision loss to the impressive light weight Diego Ferriera. Khabilov is moving up weight classes and taking his talents to welterweight. He will make his WW debut against Sergey Khandozhko. Sergey is coming off a decision victory himself against Rostem Akman. Sergey has had 19 finishes out of his 27 wins. Sergey struggles with wrestlers though, and that is what Rustam is. So unless Rustam can’t wrestle like he could at light weight, then I don’t see Sergey winning this one at all.
Magomed Ankalaev (11-1) Vs Dalcha Lungiambula (10-1)
Magomed Ankalaev and Dalcha Lungiambula are two light heavyweight prospects that have a little hype around both their names. Ankalaev has looked powerful as all get out. He’s recently coming off a decision victory to Klidson Abreu. Dalcha Lungiambula is a former EFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion. Dalcha won his UFC debut by stoppage against late notice replacement Dequan Townsend. I give Dalcha a chance to win but I believe Ankalaev is too strong and too powerful for him and will eventually get him to the ground and pound him out.
Shamil Gamzatov (13-0) Vs Klidson Abreu (15-3)
Another PFL fighter making his UFC debut Shamil Gamzatov is undefeated and doesn’t look like he’s going to slow down anytime soon. I don’t think Klidson Abreu is even a little bit good, if you can’t finish Sam Alvey you don’t impress me. I’m sorry. I don’t know much about Shamil but I know he hasn’t lost and has had 8 finishes in his 13 fights and that’s good enough for me.
Anthony Rocco Martin (16-5) Vs Ramazan Emeev (18-3)
This is a weird fight and a dangerous one at that, especially for Rocco Martin. Martin is coming off a decision loss to UFC veteran Demian Maia his last fight. While Emeev is on a 7 fight winning streak, including wins over Sam Alvey, Alberto Mina, and Stefan Sekulic. Earlier in my breakdowns I said you can’t trust someone who hasn’t finished Sam Alvey and I still stand by that. Rocco was on a four fight winning streak and they were all quality opponents. I think this is a step up in competition and it isn’t gonna go Emeev’s way, and this will be a slow boring fight.
Ed Herman (23-14) Vs Khadis Ibragimov (8-1)
Ed Herman is coming off a knock out finish his last fight against fellow light heavyweight veteran in Patrick Cummins. Khadis Ibragimov was 8-0 before joining the UFC. Ibragimov showed flashes but ultimately was submitted in the later rounds by Da Un Jung. If Ed Herman can take this into the later rounds then he can get this W.
Zelim Imadaev (8-1) Vs Danny Roberts (16-5)
DANNY ROBERTS HAS NO CHIN. In all seriousness, Zelim Imadaev is a flashy fighter with impressive kick boxing, not much wrestling though. Danny Roberts doesn’t look to wrestle ever and if he looks to stand and trade with Zelim he is going to get knocked out.
Alexander Volkov (30-7) Vs Greg Hardy (5-1)
Honestly, Greg Hardy is green, way too green to be fighting Alexander Volkov. The thing with heavyweight fighters is you always have a punchers chance. That being said, Volkov is way too good to lose this fight. The only way Greg Hardy wins is by knock out in like the first minute.
Zabit Magomedsharipov (17-1) Vs Calvin Kattar (20-3)
This is a phenomenal fight and a perfect main event. Personally I think it’s very strange it’s only a 3 round main event. Zabit and Calvin were supposed to fight at UFC Boston, but Zabit had to withdraw because of an undisclosed reason. I don’t like how they are catering to Zabit’s every need especially since he tends to gas. So not only did they make Kattar go to Russia for the fight, but they even made it only a 3 round fight which benefits Zabit’s cardio issues. That being said let’s get into the breakdown. Zabit is undefeated since joining the UFC with wins over Sheymon Moraes, Kyle Bochniak, Jeremy Stephens, and Brandon Davis. While Calvin Kattar has beaten Andre Filli, Shane Burgos, Ricardo Lamas, and Chris Fishgold. Calvin is a great boxer and hits like a ton of bricks, but Zabit has an impressive chin, crisp striking, and tons of submissions to work with. Zabit has the advantage in almost every category but his boxing. Zabit most likely gets a sub or a decision victory and hopefully we finally get to see him take on Yair Rodriguez.