UFC Fight Night 147 Main Card
Darren Till vs. Jorge Masvidal
This is a big fight for Till, who for the first time in his career found himself coming off second best against Tyron Woodley in an unsuccessful title bid back in September of last year and is now looking to regroup against an experienced opponent in Masvidal.
I’m not entirely convinced welterweight is the right fight for Masvidal. His finishing rate has increased at 170lbs, but he’s only gone 4-4 so far and a couple of those wins came against other former lightweights who were also better off at 155lbs. It’s also worth noting he’s coming off a year-and-a-half layoff too.
Still, ‘Gamebred’ is a slick, assured technician on the feet who operates well on the counter, but he can often be too patient for his own good at times, which has cost him on the scorecards several times in his career.
Till is the more likely to be pressing the action and his potent muay thai means he’s got plenty of firepower to back it up, with big punches and powerful kicks leading the way. He’s also better suited to the weight class, and even struggles to stay below 170lbs at times.
Masvidal’s best option might be to try to get this fight to the ground as he’s underrated in that regard. Both of these fighter’s are strikers at heart though, and while I think Masvidal may have some success on the counter, I think Till is going to be landing the bigger blows here and that’s going win him rounds and a decision verdict on the scorecards.
Prediction: Darren Till to win by decision Bet Now
Gunnar Nelson vs. Leon Edwards
This looks like being a well balanced match-up between two talented welterweights on the fringes of the top 10 rankings, but with the potential to go higher.
Both fighters have proven to be at their most effective on the mat, albeit for different reasons. Nelson is a terrific BJJ player with excellent scrambling ability and deadly submissions.
Edwards on the other hand is an effective wrestler who also does well in the clinch too and that’s served him well during his current six-fight winning streak in the division, but he’d need to be exceptionally careful on the mat against someone as technical and crafty as Nelson.
On the feet Nelson has a karate based style that can see him spending too much time on the outside waiting for his moment to dart in with strikes, though he can be dangerous when he does time it well and connect with power.
Edwards was actually considered a striker in the past, but while he’s certainly capable in that regard it’s no longer his strongest suit. Like Nelson he doesn’t have a particularly high output, so it’s not likely to be a thriller on the feet.
It’s tempting to pick Edwards here as he’s the more consistent fighter and is as a solid all-rounder, but while he doesn’t stand out in any particular regard, the same cannot be said of Nelson, who is a standout on the mat and I think his grappling may well lead him to a submission victory here.
Prediction: Gunnar Nelson to win by submission in Rd2 Bet Now
Volkan Oezdemir vs. Dominick Reyes
Oezdemir enjoyed a meteoric rise to title contention at 205lbs in 2017, but he’s since lost two fights in a row, so there’s still some doubt about just how good he really is.
The undefeated Reyes is one of the next fighters at light-heavyweight to be making a move up the rankings with four wins in a row inside the Octagon to date, and he’s looked good doing it.
This fight should produce fireworks on the feet as both men are high-volume strikers with finishing power.
Reyes will have a 2” height and reach advantage here and his speed and his kicks could be a key component here, as will the fact that he has superior grappling to his opponent, giving him another avenue to pursue if he’s coming off second best standing.
These two will start fast so a swift knockout on either side wouldn’t be shocking, but I think Reyes is the more talented fighter overall and claims a second round TKO stoppage victory.
Prediction: Dominick Reyes to win by TKO in Rd2 Bet Now
Nathaniel Wood vs. Jose Alberto Quinonez
This should be a fast paced bantamweight scrap between two fighters on a roll at this moment in time, with Wood having racked up two wins since joining the UFC, while Quinonez is on a four-fight winning streak.
Neither fighter will be looking to back down here, so it should be a competitive clash right from the start and I think Wood will have the edge on the feet as he’s the heavier hitter, can match Quinonez’s pace and is a proven finisher.
Quinonez will also be mixing things up with frequent takedown attempts to keep the pressure on Wood, but his opponent is comfortable there too and again is the more likely to find a finish via submission.
Both fighters have enough skills to compete well here, but I do feel Wood has the edge in most aspects of the match-up and will either find a late finish or claim a win on the scorecards.
Prediction: Nathaniel Wood to win by decision Bet Now
Danny Roberts vs. Claudio Silva
After sitting out for the best part of four years due to injuries, Silva returned and submitted Nordine Taleb back in May of last year.
He hasn’t fought again since, but with his takedowns and razor-sharp submission skills he’s always going to be a threat.
However, on the feet Roberts kickboxing should give him an advantage as Silva’s striking leaves something to be desired and he really does rely on getting the fight to the mat in order to emerge victorious.
So both fighters have a solid route to victory here and it’s not easy to say which will prevail, but Roberts takedown defense isn’t the best and Silva will be testing it often. As such I think he will get the fight to the floor at some stage and lock up a submission victory.
Prediction: Claudio Silva to win by submission in Rd2 Bet Now
Jack Marshman vs. John Phillips
The UFC have managed to put an all-Welsh clash here and both Marshman and Phillips are likeminded strikers, who will be more than happy to slug it out from start to finish on the feet.
That makes it a fun fight for the fans to start off the main card – more of an all-out brawl than a skilled, technical chess match.
With that in mind it could be either man’s fight, but Phillips defense is particularly poor and there’s more variety to Marshman’s output, plus he has the advantage on the mat in the unlikely event that he chooses to go there, so I’ll take him to put a stop to the fight inside of 10 minutes.
Prediction: Jack Marshman to win by TKO in Rd2 Bet Now
UFC Fight Night 147 Prelims
(Predicted winners in bold)
Arnold Allen vs. Jordan Rinaldi
Joseph Duffy vs. Marc Diakiese
Nicolae Negumereanu vs. Saparbek Safarov
Tom Breese vs. Ian Heinisch
Dan Ige vs. Danny Henry
Molly McCann vs. Priscila Cachoeira
Mike Grundy vs. Nad Narimani