UFC Fight Night: Song vs. Gutiérrez Predictions

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UFC Fight Night: Song vs. Gutiérrez takes place this weekend at the UFC Apex facility in Enterprise, Nevada – and we’ve got our UFC predictions for all the fights below.

UFC Fight Night: Song vs. Gutiérrez Predictions


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Song Yadong vs. Chris Gutierrez Prediction

A TKO win over Ricky Simon last time out leaves Song Yadong with four wins from his last five fights as he now prepares to take on Chris Gutierrez, who coincidentally is also 4-1 in his last five Octagon outings.

Yadong has six-years experience in the UFC under his belt, yet he’s still only just turned 26-years-old.  He’s an athletic, well-rounded fighter who is particularly sharp on the feet with skilled technical boxing, fast hands and good power, while he also utilizes kicks effectively too.  Meanwhile he’s a capable wrestler and grappler when required and has good cardio.

Like Yadong, the 32-year-old Gutierrez is a high-volume striker, mixing up his strikes well and has punishing legs kicks to go alongside his solid punches.  He’s also durable and quite sound defensively on the feet, and though he’d prefer to keep the fight upright he’s not a fish out of water on the mat either.

I think this will be quite competitive, but I believe Yadong will have the edge in speed and technique on the feet and may also mix in some mat work too if required to help win rounds, leading him to a decision victory.

Prediction: Song Yadong to win by decision.

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Anthony Smith vs. Khalil Rountree Prediction

Anthony Smith picked up a split-decision win over Ryan Spann last time out and has now agreed to step in on two-weeks notice to fight Khalil Rountree Jr, who is on a four-fight winning streak.

Smith is a vastly experienced technical muay thai striker who makes effective use of all eight limbs, with his elbows and knees being as dangerous as his punches and kicks.  He also benefits from having a sharp submission game on the mat too, and between that and strikes he’s won an impressive 34 of his 37 career wins inside the distance.

Smith is no stranger to getting hit though, is surprisingly vulnerable to low kicks and has a lot of miles on the clock, being 55 fights into his MMA career.  During that time he’s actually been either KO’d or TKO’d 10 times, and has suffered numerous injuries along the way, so while he’s still a tough fighter, there are signs that the 35-year-old may be in decline.

On the other hand, at 33, Rountree still seems to be improving and is on a good run.  He’s also a sound muay thai striker and generates big power in his punches and kicks.  Heavy leg kicks are one of his specialities, and that’s bound to be an important part of his gameplan here given Smith’s defensive issues in that regard.  However, Rountree’s ground game is weak and so he’ll constantly have to be cautious about being taken down.

If Smith commits to getting this fight to the mat then a submission win is a real possibility.  He does prefer to stand and trade though and I think Rountree will present him serious problems there with those chopping leg kicks and bigger overall power and so I’m taking him to win by TKO in the 2nd round.

Prediction: Khalil Rountree Jr to win by TKO in Rd2.

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Sumudaerji vs. Tim Elliott Prediction

With Allan Nascimento having pulled out injured during fight week, Tim Elliott now steps in on just a few days notice to take on Sumudaerji instead.

As far as hasty matchmaking goes this has worked out well given that Elliott is currently ranked No.10 at flyweight, while Sumudaerji is No.11, and both are coming off a loss last time out after a few wins beforehand.

Sumudaerji is a talented striker who will have a 3″ height and 4″ reach advantage here.  He’s fast and accurate with his punches, has versatile kicks and possesses finishing power.  He’s not the best wrestler though and has real problems with his submission defense, having been tapped out twice in the UFC and three times on the regional scene in China.

Elliott can be a tricky and somewhat awkward fighter to deal with.  He’s unorthodox on the feet, keeping his hands low and striking from unexpected angles and along with an unusual rhythm to his work that can throw some opponents off.  He’s durable too, but he’s more effective when it come to his wrestling game.  He’s quite relentless with takedowns and can control on top, while he also enjoys scrambles and can find finishes via submission.  He has been susceptible to being submitted himself on several occasions though, but that’s unlikely to be a big issue against Sumudaerji.

This is a fight that could go either way, with Sumudaerji having significant advantages on the feet, but I think that even on short notice Elliott’s conditioning should be good enough to take control of the fight using his wrestling, and I like his chances of finding a submission finish by the second round if not earlier.

Prediction: Tim Elliott to win by submission in Rd2.

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Nasrat Haqparast vs. Jamie Mullarkey Prediction

Nasrat Haqparast looks to extend his winning streak to three fights when he fights Jamie Mullarkey, who has gone 2-1 in his 2023 campaign so far.

The 28-year-old Haqparast is a high-volume, nimble striker with good speed and movement.  He was a finisher too on the regional circuit, but we’ve rarely seen that kind of stopping power during his time in the UFC.  Haqparast can operate on the mat if needed, but he’d prefer to use his takedown defense to keep the action standing.

The 29-year-old Mullarkey is a rugged fighter whose not going to dazzle opponents with his athleticism and speed, but thanks to his grit and determination he’s shown he can impose his will and gameplan on his opponents.  He’ll have a 2″ height and reach advantage here and will use that to strike from range with decent power, while also wisely mixing in some takedowns too.  He’s mentally strong, but Mullarkey does appear to suffer from a weaker than average chin and has been TKO’d twice in the past couple of years.

I’d expect a solid back-and-forth battle here, but in the end I think Haqparast’s speed advantage will be a key factor in helping him to win out in the striking battle and keep the fight upright to earn the nod from the judges.

Prediction: Nasrat Haqparast to win by decision.

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Jun Yong Park vs. Andre Muniz Prediction

Jun Yong Park is carrying a four-fight winning streak into his fight against Andre Muniz, who came into 2023 on a five-fight unbeaten stretch, but has since suffered two losses in a row.

The 32-year-old Park is a solid all-rounder who has performed well in the UFC, though he hasn’t been facing the highest level of opposition and has faltered when he’s taken a step up.  He’s shifted his focus to making good use of his wrestling and grappling chops in recent years, and it’s been working out for him nicely of late with his last three wins all coming via submission.  Meanwhile on the feet he pushes a good pace, has a good jab, can operate on the counter and has proven to be very durable.

The 33-year-old Muniz made a very good impression when he joined the UFC, with his BJJ prowess being on full display as he went on a five-fight winning streak and submitted three opponents, including none other than Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza.  That’s been a trend throughout his career, having now amassed 15 submission finishes from 23 career victories.  He’s also a big middleweight with a sizeable 3″ height and 6″ reach advantage here, but while he can throw with power he doesn’t tend to focus too much on the striking aspect of his game.

The problem for Muniz though is that his performances this year have left question marks, being submitted by Brendan Allen and TKO’d by Paul Craig and there’s lingering doubts about his cardio and how well he copes when the fight’s not going his way.  It’s also worth noting that during his lengthy stint on the regional circuit he was also finished via strikes four times.

Park would be wise to steer clear of mat work and keep this one on the feet as there’s a good chance he can outstrike and outlast Muniz in a stand-up battle as well as having a big advantage in durability.  I’m not 100% convinced that he’ll be able to control his instincts to go for a takedown and as a result could potentially find himself trapped in a Muniz submission, but nonetheless I’ll take Park to win by decision.

Prediction: Jun Yong Park to win by decision.

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UFC Fight Night: Song vs. Gutiérrez Prelims

(Predicted winners in bold)

Song Kenan vs. Kevin Jousset

Hyun Sung Park vs. Shannon Ross

Steve Garcia vs. Melquizael Costa

Luana Santos vs. Stephanie Egger

Tatsuro Taira vs. Carlos Hernandez

Rayanne Amanda vs. Talita Alencar

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About Ross Cole

Ross Cole is one of the most prolific mixed martial arts writers in the world, having written more than 17,000 MMA news stories for MMA Insight, which he founded in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts, and reaching millions of die-hard MMA fans in the process. You can read more of Ross's work at MMAInsight.com.