Ismail Naurdiev (19-3) vs Sean Brady (11-0)
Let me start off by saying whoever thought this fight should be a prelim and Megan Anderson vs a UFC newcomer should be on the main card needs to be slapped. Sean Brady is a really exciting prospect who has yet to taste defeat including his amateur career. Ismail Naurdiev is also another fighter that has some potential. Brady is coming off a great fight in his debut against UFC Veteran Court McGee. This is really tough fight to predict a winner. Naurdiev had a great debut but followed it up with a loss to Chance Rencountre. After his loss he went back to the drawing boards and came back with a 1 sided victory over UFC veteran Siyar Bahadzurada where he implement a heavy wrestling attack. If Brady can defend the takedowns and let Naurdiev waste his energy in the first round. I can see Brady getting the stoppage victory and potentially a new welterweight contender is born.
Aalon Cruz (8-2) vs Spike Carlyle (8-1)
This is going to be a fun fight. Two young & hungry UFC debutants ready to make a statement. Aalon Cruz was recently featured on the Contender Series where he got a devastating flying knee finish that made Dana White leave his seat. Spike Carlyle is taking this fight on late notice because the original opponent Steven Peterson pulled out. He’s currently on a 4 fight winstreak with back to back KO’s. Carlyle is not going to be able to strike with Aalon Cruz though. Cruz is going to be the longer fighter in there and if he fights like he did on the Contender Series he is going to have ridiculous output of strikes. Carlyle is going to look to get this fight to the mat. If he can’t, he’s going to get slept.
Tj Brown (14-6) vs Jordan Griffin (17-7)
This fight is just as hard as the others to predict. Jordan Griffin is currently on a 2 fight losing streak since joining the UFC. Granted they were against Dan Ige and Chas Skelly. TJ Brown is another Contender Series alumni he won by RNC. What stands out to me is that Griffin yes, hasn’t looked the best but he faced two really tough opponents and they were close fights. I don’t really consider TJ Brown to be on Ige or Skelly’s level. This fight is going to be kind of like the Cruz fight earlier in the night. TJ Brown is going to look to get this to the ground. I like Jordan Griffin to be able to defend the takedowns and keep it standing and win a comfortable decision.
Marcin Tybura (17-6) vs Sergey Spivak (10-1)
Marcin Tybura is one of the worst heavyweights on the roster and thats hard to do. He’s 1-4 in his last 5 fights including being knocked out in his last two. Sergey Spivak is coming off a bloody finish over fan favorite Tai Tuivasa his last time out. Sergey Spivak is kind of a question mark his first fight he was thrown to the wolves against Walt Harris where he was obviously knocked out in the 1st round. Spivak is going to look to get this to the mat like a lot of the fighters in the night. Tybura has pretty decent kick boxing but I don’t think his cardio is anywhere it used to be. I expect Sergey Spivak to get the first round mauling. i could be wrong though because Sergey is such a question mark.
Brendan Allen (13-3) vs Tom Breese (11-1)
Tom Breese should win this fight but if you follow MMA you know about Breese anxiety issues. Brendan Allen isn’t too bad he had a great submission finish over a durable fighter in Kevin Holland his debut. Tom Breese has the better striking here and honestly he has had 2 grappling fights recently and won both of them by submission. So, as long as the confident Tom Breese can make the walk to the octagon I like his chances. If he is even a little off he will lose this fight. Brendan Allen knows how to win a fight and make it dirty.
Gabriel Silva (8-1) vs Kyler Phillips (6-1)
This is another close fight on paper, this time it’ll be out of the bantamweight division. Gabriel Silva made his UFC debut against the tough Ray Borg. He dropped a decision loss there because of Borg’s wrestling attack. Kyler Phillips was on DWCS and won via TKO only to lose his next fight. In his most recent bout he did score the first round finish. Both guys like to make the fight exciting. I want Kyler Phillips to win and believe he can if he can control the range. That being said though Gabriel Silva looked impressive against Ray Borg. Which tells me he handles adversity well. I want Kyler but I think Silva wins this one.
Luis Pena (7-2) vs Steve Garcia (11-3)
Steve Garcia is taking this fight on less than 2 weeks notice. He will be facing UFC fan favorite featherweight Luis “Violent Bob Ross” Pena. Pena is going to have the reach advantage here. I honestly think Luis Pena is overrated. He’s got allright striking and Little more than average wrestling. Steve Garcia especially taking this fight on short notice is going to put it on Pena. If Pena isn’t careful he’s going to get slept. Garcia is currently on a 4 fight win streak with 3 of them coming by stoppage. My guess is Pena avoids the damage and squeaks a decision.
Grant Dawson (14-1) vs Darrick Minner (24-10)
To open up the main card we have a featherweight fight between a prospect and a MMA veteran. Grant Dawson is currently on a 5 fight win streak. His most recent fight he won by submission against Mike Trizano who was a TUF winner. He will now be facing Darrick Minner as a massive favorite and rightfully so. Darrick Minner was on the Contender Series this past summer and ended up losing by submission to Herbert Burns. Minner is a underdog for a reason I really don’t see a path to victory for him. He’s gonna most likely get taking down and get TKO’d.
Megan Anderson (9-4) vs Norma Dumont (4-0)
I can’t stand women’s featherweight. Megan Anderson is coming off a submission win against Zarah Fairn. She is now going to fight some random girl they found on the Brazilian scene who hasn’t even had 5 fights. If Megan Anderson loses here it’s going to be by submission. I highly doubt this girl comes in and gets a finish over Anderson though no matter how bad her take down defense really is. Another thing is Norma Dumont hasn’t had a fight in a year and half.
Ion Cutelaba (15-4) vs Magomed Ankalaev (12-1)
This is my co main event. This is going to be great for the light heavyweight division. Magomed Ankalaev is going to be a serious problem if he gets passed this test. Ion Cutelaba looked phenomenal his last fight against Khalil Rountree where he ultimately picked up the stoppage victory. He’s currently 4-3 in the UFC with losses against Cannonier, Cirkunov, and Texeira. Magomed Ankalaev should be undefeated he just got subbed with 1 second left in the 3rd round against Paul Craig. What scares me about Ankalaev is he faced Klidson Abreu and he had a really bad performance. I know for a fact Ion Cutelaba would beat the breaks off Abreu. I expect the fight to play out like this. Ion Cutelaba blitzes the Russian and tries to throw everything and the kitchen sink at him. Ankalaev will weather that storm and in the later rounds he’ll put it on him. T got Ankalaev by decision maybe stoppage. IF he can handle the early attack by Ion.
Felicia Spencer (7-1) vs Zarah Fairn (6-3)
Felicia Spencer as a co main event is so funny to me. The only reason she’s in this slot is because she didn’t get finished by Cris Cyborg. I’m going to keep this one short and sweet. MMA math doesn’t work but sometimes it does. This is one of those time. Megan Anderson’s bumass submitted Zarah Fairn. Felecia Spencer a BJJ specialist submitted Megan Anderson. I fully expect her to finish Zarah Fairn the exact same way whenever she wants.
Joseph Benavidez (28-5) vs Deiveson Figuerido (17-1)
Now for the main event. For the flyweight title and to determine who’s one of the best flyweights ever. Joseph Benavidez is currently on a 3 fight win streak his last defeat was against Sergio Pettis by split decision. Deiveson Figueiredo is currently on a 2 fight win streak but before that he was undefeated. He only lost by unanimous decision against Jussier Formiga, where he was really just held down for 3 rounds. This is going to be an insane was I really like Fig. He has shown he can take a punch defend most takedowns. Both fighters bring a lot to the table. What scares me in this fight for Fig is that he’s never gone 5 rounds. Joey B can get the late finish here once Fig starts to gas. I got Joseph Benavidez but I wouldn’t be surprised if he lost. Fig is TKO/KO or bust here.