FOX Sports 1 Main Card
Lyoto Machida vs. Erik Anders
Prediction: Boy, oh boy. What happened to Lyoto Machida? I started watching MMA back when it was the “Dragon Era”. He used to be a wrestlers worst nightmare. He had super good takedown defense, flawless counters, and hypnotizing movement. Now he can get bullied, and his chin seems to be shattered. His style revolved around speed and movement. And at 39 years old, he cannot rely on those attributes anymore. Eryk Anders is a hungry up and comer that has a lot of good attributes going for him. He does need some work with his striking defense because he can get a little carried away with over extending himself. His clinch and top control seem to be very strong, but his takedowns might need a little more work. The guy is very green, and that’s scary for the rest of the middleweight division. I think him getting a legend like Machida so quickly isn’t the best think for Anders’ career. If he wins this fight he will be thrown in there with the wolves at the top of the division, and I think he needs a little bit more time to develop his game. It is nice to see that the UFC gave him the opponent that he called out though.
Eryk Anders needs to cautiously pressure Machida in this fight. Yoel Romero did a great job with taking his time, and staying out of danger. Anders normally does a great job at the start of his fights stalking his opponents in a disciplined manner. As he starts to land some punches, he starts to chase his opponents and will over extend with his punches, and will reach for his opponents to clinch with them. He needs to stay patient or Machida will circle and counter with his straight left at a devastating angle. If Anders can pressure Machida, and mix his grappling with his punches then he should be able to tire Machida out. When Machida starts to get tired he keeps his hands very low. Any punch from Anders can put Machida out. His durability to take damage is almost non-existent. In a 5 round fight, I will have to go with the powerful athlete to put the lights out on the “Dragon”. Eryk Anders by KO, Round 2.
John Dodson vs. Pedro Munhoz
Prediction: At first glance, I thought this was a clear-cut victory for John Dodson. I thought he would play matador and use his speed to rush in with counter strikes all the way to a decision. And that is what most likely will happen, but I’m not so sure that it will be easy after looking into Pedro Munhoz. Munhoz is very fast with his strikes, and is very calculated with the strikes that he throws. He keeps his hands up when needed, and mixes in his kicks with his punches very well. His ground game is his bread and butter, but getting Dodson to the ground is not likely to happen. I see Munhoz having success with forward pressure, and chopping Dodson’s lead leg. Dodson should be able to evade most of Munhoz’ strikes with his movement. The hard part for both guys, and it’s the same problem in every Dodson fight, is who will find the openings to make a lasting impression on the judges? It’s something that is not predictable, but I’m going to go with the more experienced man to explode at the right times. John Dodson by Decision.
Valentina Schevchenko vs. Priscilla Cachoeira
Prediction: Coming Soon.
Michel Prazeres vs. Desmond Green
Prediction: This fight is going to be close, but I give the edge to Desmond Green. He is coming off of a very similar match-up where he lost a very close split-decision. But I personally think that Michel Prazeres is a notch down from Rustam Khabilov. Green loves to stay on the outside, and use his range to land big shots. He has good footwork and head movement to avoid his opponent’s offense. In this fight Green will have an eight inch reach advantage over Prazeres. Another factor in this fight is that Prazeres is 36 years old, and he has been having trouble making weight. I see Green defending most of the takedowns, and springing back up like a cat if his does get taken down. He should be able to pepper Prazeres from the outside, and eventually land some big shots as Prazeres loses some steam. I see this as a one sided fight, as long as Green stays active. Desmond Green by TKO, Round 3.
Timothy Johnson vs. Marcelo Golm
Prediction: Coming Soon.
Thiago Santos vs. Anthony Smith
Prediction: The best fight on the card by far. Both guys bring the excitement and it’s bound to end with a finish. Thiago Santos is possibly the scariest guy in the Middleweight division, and he has strung together a nice win streak with all of them being by KO. He is a freak athlete that has powerful kicks. He does a great job using the sprawl and brawl. Anthony Smith is one of my favorite fighters to watch. He has zero quit in him, and he is dangerous everywhere the fight takes place. He is a very well rounded martial artist. The only bad thing about Smith is that he is very hittable. And he comes off a bit slow when he throws his strikes. I think those factors will cost him in this fight. I do think he has the ability and the power to take Santos out at any point in this fight. Smith needs press forward and throw his straight punches down the pipe often. I don’t think he will apply the pressure that he needs to win this fight. Smith has been able to capitalize on guy that tire out by the time the third round starts, and I don't think Santos will gas as bad as the others had. I think Santos is the better athlete and he will land his kicks to the body, and eventually the head. I think Smith is willing to eat punches so he can land his own and that will cost him. Thiago Santos by KO, Round 1.
FOX Sports 1 Prelims
Sergio Moraes vs. Tim Means
Prediction: This is one of those fights that I think the Brazil crowd might make the judges decision closer than it should be if Tim Means does not get the finish. Means is an excellent striker. He is super technical with mixing up his strikes, and he should be able to do a lot of damage in this fight. His only problem with his striking is that he can be a little too cautious. And I think he might be cautious in this fight because Sergio Moraes wants to get this fight to the floor. Means’ footwork and takedown defense should be able to stifle the incoming takedowns from Moraes. As for Moraes, he likes to rush in and throw wild hooks, and flashy kicks. Any time he throws any offense the Brazil crowds cheer. He has some power in his hands, but nothing Means would have to be worried about. Moraes has decent takedowns. He likes to go for the single leg, but Means should be able to anticipate all incoming attempts if he stays patient. I see Means picking Moraes apart by mixing up his strikes, and Moraes will end up frustrated. I then see Moraes rushing in with big looping shots, which might get him-self finished. If Means is not active enough he will lose a decision, even if he is the better fighter that is constantly landing more. Means cannot respect Moraes’ takedowns so much that he does not open up with his strikes. I will have to go with Means on this one, but the home field advantage for Moraes is very real for this fight. Tim Means by Decision.
Alan Patrick vs. Damir Hadzovic
Prediction: Striker vs. Grappler. Alan Patrick has a smothering style when he get his fights to the ground, but he’s not that threatening while he is on top. He knows how to do just enough to ride out the entire round, and it usually sucks out his opponents energy by the time the round is over. His striking his isn’t great at all. It’s wild, and none of it is set up to land. He just throws these wild strikes just to get his opponents to react, then he will shoot for his takedowns. Damir Hadzovic is a very clean striker that can give a lot of people problems if they stand and trade with him. But that’s not going to happen in this match up. Hadzovic had a hard time fighting off takedowns in his last fight. Even worse, he did not get back up to his feet any time that he was taken down. He might have improved, and he might be able to stuff some takedowns from Patrick, but he needs to stuff them all if he wants to have a chance at winning this fight. He can land a devastating knee on a desperate takedown attempt by Patrick, but I’m not going to count on it. I see the first round being close, but as the fight goes on Patrick should be able get a takedown, and he should be able to smother Hadzovic until each bell rings. Patrick does need to be cautious with his takedown attempts. Alan Patrick by Decision.
Douglas Silva de Andrade vs. Marlon Vera
Prediction: I’m a big fan of watching Marlon Vera fight. He is always improving, and he likes to pick his opponents apart. Like a true martial artist, he can end fights on the feet, in the clinch, or on the ground. If he had 5 round fights, then I’d favor him in a lot of match-ups. But does take a round or two to pick up his pace, and he lets his opponents bully him (much like a Carlos Condit). Douglas Silva de Andrade is a tough fighter, but there’s nothing really special about him. He has power in his hands, and has good takedown defense. He only throws one shot at a time, and they are mostly home-run shots. In this fight I see Andrade having success with leg kicks, and occasionally his hands. Vera has a hard time with defending punches, but he should be fine against a guy that is throwing one shot at a time. Vera should be able to have success with his kicks, and knees to the body. If he starts throwing those early in the fight then that will take the gas out of Andrade, as well as set up the head-kick later in the fight. I truly think Vera is the better fighter, but he doesn’t throw enough volume to outclass Andrade like Rob Font was able to do. The fight will take place in Brazil, so Andrade will have the entire arena cheering for every strike he lands. And that does have an effect on the judges scorecards. I do like the fight to fight improvements that Vera is making, and because of that I will pick him to win this one. Marlon Vera by Decision.
Joe Soto vs. Iuri Alcantara
Prediction: This fight is unpredictable. Both guys have been around for years. Both men have had great moments in their careers, and they have also had some extremely bad moments. Iuri Alcantara is the more technical fighter on the feet, but Joe Soto does a great job at making fights ugly with his boxing. Both men have a great ground game, and I expect this to hit the mat at some point in time. This fight could be over in 30 seconds, or it can go the distance. If this fight does play out to go the distance, I would give Soto the edge. He has good cardio, and pushes a high pace that I don’t think Alcantara can keep up with. The first round will be very close, but Soto needs to make Alcantara work in that round to tire him out. KO, Submission, or Decision. Alcantara or Soto. I have no clue. Joe Soto by Decision.
UFC Fight Pass Prelims
Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Joeseph Morales
Prediction: The battle of the “undefeated”. It seems to me that Deiveson Figueiredo is the more seasoned guy that has faced better competition. He is always looking for the finish from any position of the fight, and he will fight hard until the final bell rings. Joeseph Morales is a very young prospect coming out of the Team Alpha Male camp. He seems to be very crafty on the ground with quick transitions, and submission attempts. He doesn’t have a lot of footage, especially against good competition. So it’s hard to judge how good he actually is right now, but this fight should tell us a lot about him. Morales looks to keep it simple on the feet with straight punches, and he has some pop with his fists. I do think Figueiredo will have a hard time at first figuring out Morales, but I see him making the adjustments needed. He will find a hole in Morales’ game, and he will go down that path for the victory. Deiveson Figueiredo by TKO, Round 3.
Maia Stevenson vs. Polyana Viana
Prediction: Coming Soon.