Curtis Blaydes Vs Francis Ngannou
Ngannou has looked like a different fighter in his last couple of Octagon outings, a far cry from the destructive knockout puncher that stopped Blaydes inside of a couple of rounds the last time they locked horns.
On the other hand, while Ngannou suddenly seems to be running low in confidence, Blaydes has been on the rise since their previous encounter and has made genuine improvements to his all-round game.
Undoubtedly Ngannou remains the heavier hitter here though, but he was able to put Blaydes to sleep the last time they fought and if that means he looks to conserve his energy this time around due to fears about his cardio then he could lose some of his striking potency.
Meanwhile, Blaydes striking defense has improved now and he’s well conditioned, which could stand him in good stead here in a five round fight, especially since he also holds the wrestling advantage.
This could well be a fight where Ngannou returns to form with a single strike, but given the way he’s been performing lately and the general negative energy that now seems to have surrounded him, I favor the surging Blaydes to continue his momentum, gradually tiring out his opponent and outgrappling him to find a late ground and pound stoppage.
Prediction: Curtis Blaydes wins by TKO in Round 4 – BET NOW
Alistair Overeem vs Sergey Pavlovich
Overeem has been stopped due to strikes in his last two fights and has finally started entertaining talk of retirement for the first time, which certainly gives food for thought heading into his 61st fight.
However, while Overeem has been facing the best the heavyweight division has to offer, on this occasion he face a newcomer in Pavlovich.
This isn’t just a pushover to get ‘The Reem’ back to winning ways however as Pavlovich is an FNG champion in Russia with an unblemished 12-0 record.
Pavlovich is a good wrestler, but he can also throw heavy leather too and has finished 9 of his 12 career wins by strikes so far, which will be a concern for Overeem, whose chin is compromised.
The Russian’s record flatters to deceive somewhat though as he’s not an all-out killer on the feet and hasn’t been facing fighters of Overeem’s caliber.
If Overeem underestimates him he could be in trouble here, but he’s the more skilled striking technician here and if he stays patient, keeps mindful of his striking defense and avoids getting involved in risky exchanges then I think he’ll be able to step over this potential banana skin and get back to winning ways.
Prediction: Alistair Overeem wins by decision – BET NOW
Vince Morales vs Song Yadong
Song has made a name for himself as one of the rising prospects coming out of China with two wins in the UFC in a row, and now he’s facing a short notice newcomer in Morales.
Morales lost his fight on Dana White’s Contender Series, but he still gave a good account of himself and after a win in Bellator’s undercard he’s been given another chance to prove himself.
This should be a competitive contest on the feet, but I think Song will prove to be the bigger, stronger and harder hitting of the two and will emerge with a decision victory on home soil.
Prediction: Song Yadong to win by decision – BET NOW
Li Jingliang vs David Zawada
Li is a good choice to open up the main card as he’s one of China’s most entertaining fighters with an all-action style that’s sure to please the fans.
Zawada is a solid all-rounder who lost his UFC debut, but has a lot of experience fighting for the likes of KSW and isn’t just here to make up the numbers.
Zawada has the edge in wrestling, but I’d give Li the nod in terms of his striking and think his takedown defense is decent enough that he can keep this one standing more often than not.
Both men are tough with good chins, so I expect this one goes the distance, with li emerging from the scorecards with his hand raised.
Prediction: Li Jingliang to win by decision – BET NOW
(Predicted winners in bold)
Alex Morono vs Song Kenan
Lauren Mueller vs Wu Yanan
Rashad Coulter vs Hu Yaozong J
Jessica Aguilar vs Weili Zhang
Martin Day vs Liu Pingyuan
Syuri Kondo vs Yan Xiaonan
Kevin Holland vs John Phillips
Louis Smolka vs Sumudaerji Sumudaerji