Khalid Taha (13-2) Vs Bruno Sliva (11-3-1)
The opening fight of the night is between Khalid Taha and Bruno Silva. They were originally supposed to meet Sept 7th, but the fight got cancelled. Taha has had 10 finishes in his 13 wins. He lost in his UFC debut by decision to Nad Narimani, and followed it up with a 25 second knockout against Boston Salmon. Bruno Silva is making his UFC debut. He’s on a 2-fight win streak, and went to a draw with UFC prospect, Casey Kenney. Bruno Silva is a former TUF contestant, and has fought at flyweight and bantamweight. He’s fighting at flyweight for this fight. Bruno is a game opponent, but Taha knocked out Boston Salmon and I had high hopes for Boston Salmon. I got Taha winning by KO again.
Nadia Kaseem (5-1) Vs Ji Yeon Kim (8-2-2)
The second fight of the night is between two girls looking to make a name for themselves. Nadia Kaseem made her UFC debut in 2017, and took a long time off, then came back to drop her return fight to Montana De La Rosa by arm bar. Across from her is Ji Yeon Kim. Kim lost her debut to Lucile Pudilova, and then picked up two more wins against Justine Kish, and Melinda Fabian, only to suffer defeat again to Antonia Schevchenko. Kim has the striking Advantage with the longer reach, and even with her little ground game, it’s better than Kasseem’s. I have Ji Yeon Kim winning this one.
Brad Riddell (6-1) Vs Jamie Mullarkey (12-2)
Brad Riddell is a former kickboxer with 80 or so fights. He trains with one of the best gyms in the world right now at City Kick Boxing. He’s won 3-straight since his last loss. He owns a win over UFC veteran Kenan Song. Mullarkey is on a 4-fight win streak and all of his wins have come by way of stoppage. One of his two losses on his record is Alexander Volkanovski. Although both fighters are very great in their own way, I believe Riddell has the extra motivation and more experience, and should put Mullarkey’s lights out at some point in the fight.
Megan Anderson (8-4) Vs Zarah Fairn Dos Santos (6-2)
All right, as much as I don’t want to break this fight down I will. We all know Megan Anderson. She lost her debut to Cyborg, and then won with some weird toe to the eye stoppage, and then got choked out by Felicia Spencer. There was so much hype when she was signed to the UFC, but that never panned out. She has next to no ground game ability. So UFC matched her up with someone who is virtually just a striker in her hometown. Zarah doesn’t want to take things to the mat at all. She’s on a 3-fight win streak, but Anderson should win this fight by decision.
Callan Potter (17-8) Vs Maki Pitolo (12-4)
This is an extremely unfair match up for Potter. Porter is coming off a 53 second KO to Jalin Turner. He’s so much older than Maki Pitolo, and lacks striking defense. Pitolo is coming off a first round finish on the Contender Series at middleweight. This fight is at welterweight, where Potter is a natural lightweight. Without a doubt in my mind, I believe this is going to end in a first round knockout for Maki Pitolo.
Jake Matthews (14-4) Vs Rostem Akman (6-1)
Jake Matthews, the hometown boy, and former TUF contestant is coming off a loss to Anthony “Rocco” Martin. Before that loss he picked up 3 wins in a row. Jake Matthews is an above average fighter who is wildly inconsistent against tough competition. Rostem Akman is making his second walk to the octagon after suffering a unanimous decision loss to Sergey Khandozko. Akman was undefeated going into that fight and is a promising fighter, but Matthews is way more experienced, will have the crowd on his side, and is more well-rounded. Mathews will probably walk away with the decision win.
Yorgan De Castro (5-0) Vs Justin Tafa (3-0)
Yorgan De Castro fought on the Contender Series this season in week 1. He scored a first round finish over an impressive wrestler in Alton Meeks. 4 out of his 5 wins have come by stoppage. Justin Tafa has had 3 finishes in the first two rounds in all 3 of his fights. Tafa looks to take people down and I think he’s going to have trouble doing so, and Yorgan has a dangerous leg kick. In the long run, Tafa will be the better fighter but not now, he’s not seasoned enough. I got Yorgan winning this one.
Luke Jumeau (13-4) Vs Dhiego Lima (14-7)
Another below average Australian fighter Luke Jumeau will be taking on Douglas Lima’s brother Dhiego. Dhiego Lima has won 2 fights in a row, and has been a real surprise. Jumeau is coming off a decision victory again Daichi Abe. Dhiego Lima has struggled with fighters on the ground in his recent losses, and I don’t see Jumeau taking it to the mat at all. Jumeau really doesn’t do anything for me. I see Dhiego winning this fight by decision and maybe even a KO.
Tai Tuivasa (10-2) Vs Sergey Spivak (9-1)
Tai Tuivasa looked like the next best thing until he hit two big ass road bumps in Junior Dos Santos, and Blagoy Ivanon. Sergey Spivak lost his most recent fight to Walt Harris in less than 2 minutes. Spivak took that fight on short notice in his defense, but I don’t think a full camp would help him take down the beast of a man in Walt Harris. Spivak has success when he gets to take his opponent down and can get on top of him. I don’t see Spivak taking Tuivasa down, I think this is like the Mark O Madsen fight from last week. It should be a runaway fight for Tuivasa to get him back in the win column, and get a flashy finish in his hometown.
Daniel Hooker (18-8) Vs AI Iaquinta (14-5-1)
Daniel Hooker is coming off a first round knockout against James Vick. Before that, he suffered his first defeat since 2016 against Edson Barboza. He was on a 4-fight win streak going into the Edson fight and I feel he just bit off more than he could chew. AI Iaquinta is coming off a decision loss to none other than Cowboy Cerrone. Before Cerrone, he beat Kevin Lee, stepped up on 3 days’ notice to fight Khabib, and lost of course. Before the Khabib fight he was extremely inactive. I think Hooker has a really good chin, and holds the striking advantage, and is going to have the Australian fans behind him. Iaquinta struggles with lengthy strikers, and I don’t see that changing. I’m not sure how Hooker wins but I believe he will come out on top.
Israel Adesanya (17-0) Vs Robert Whittaker (20-4)
The Main event of the evening is Israel “Stylebender” Adesanya taking on Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker. Whittaker is on a 9-fight win streak. Including wins over Romero twice, Jacare Souza, Derek Brunson, and Uriah Hall, and more. Whittaker hasn’t fought since June of last year, whereas Adesanya is on his third fight this year. Adesanya hasn’t suffered a defeat yet in his MMA career. He holds wins over Kelvin Gastellum, Derek Brunson, Anderson Silva, and many more. Personally I want Israel to get the W here I have been following him since his UFC debut. Unfortunately I think Whittaker is the best and if he fights smart he should win. The only thing is if Whittaker tastes the canvas and pushes himself up to get back up leaving his entire head exposed. If that happens Adesanya won’t hesitate to kick his head off. My heart says Adesanya will win this fight while my mind says Whittaker will win it. I guess we can stay tuned and watch it Saturday night. We certainly are in for a treat!