UFC Fight Night 167 Predictions
Corey Anderson vs. Jan Blachowicz
These two headliners have fought once before, with Anderson having earned a unanimous decision over Blachowicz back in 2015 in what was admittedly a fairly uneventful encounter.
Since then both men have had their ups-and-downs in the 205lb division, but are enjoying a rich vein of form heading into this rematch, with Anderson riding a four-fight winning streak, while Blachowicz has won six of his last seven fights.
On the feet neither man would fall under the banner of being a knockout artist, but they both have solid enough striking and Blachowicz in particular isn’t as plodding as he once was, though Anderson remains the quicker of the two.
Blachowicz has also improved his ground game over the years, but nevertheless I still believe that Anderson should be the better wrestler and in an otherwise close fight I believe that will be enough to help him swing the decision verdict in his favour.
Prediction: Corey Anderson to win by decision – Bet Now
Diego Sanchez vs. Michel Pereira
Sanchez return to welterweight against Michael Chiesa last time out didn’t go well at all as he was easily outgrappled by the bigger man, not helped by the fact that the grizzled veteran didn’t even have a proper corner team other than a “self-awareness coach” who was essentially useless.
Thankfully this time Sanchez has spent some time training at the UFC’s Performance Institute instead as he prepares to face a significantly younger opponent in the 26-year-old Pereira, yet one who has actually already amassed 33 career fights, including10 losses.
Pereira is first and foremost a striker, and a flashy one at that, which is something Sanchez will have to be wary of as his chin is not what it once was, so he can’t afford to just hope to walk through anything his opponent throws at him.
However, at 38-years-old, one thing Sanchez does still have is crafty grappling skills and good cardio, which may not have been enough against Chiesa and in the longer term seems like it would serve him better in the lightweight division, but I think could well pay dividends against Pereira and earn him a submission victory to preserve his career for a little longer.
Prediction: Diego Sanchez to win by submission in Rd2 – Bet Now
Montana De La Rosa vs. Mara Romero Borella
Two grapplers on display here and that means it might just end up being a fairly uninspiring match-up on the feet as neither are particularly comfortable in terms of striking.
Borella might be particularly wary given that she was TKO’d last time out, but at the same time she might actually have a little more to offer upright than De La Rosa.
On the other hand, De La Rosa has proven her submission skills with three finishes in four UFC fights to date, though Borella figures to be a more stern test than most of those previous opponents, other than Andrea Lee.
Nevertheless, De La Rosa is likely to be the more active fighter in terms of takedowns and submission attempts, which I think will either lead to a tap-out or win on the scorecards.
Prediction: Montana De La Rosa to win by submission in Rd2 – Bet Now
Brok Weaver vs. Kazula Vargas
Brok Weaver finally makes his official UFC debut after putting together a seven-fight winning streak that included a victory in the contender series last year.
Weaver isn’t a world-beater, but he’s an action fighter who is at his best on the feet and will have a 5” height and 1.5” reach advantage here, but can also handle himself on the mat too.
Vargas has similar attributes and so this is likely to be a competitive fight, but I see Weaver imposing his will and being the more aggressive of the two as he battles his way to a decision victory.
Prediction: Brok Weaver to win by decision – Bet Now
Rogerio Bontorin vs. Ray Borg
This should be a good fight, with Borg being a former title contender at flyweight, while Bontorin has only lost once in 17 career fights.
Both men are talented grapplers who are proven finishers by submission. Bontorin also is somewhat of a threat on the feet and will enjoy a 4” reach advantage too.
Borg has more experience at a higher level than Bontorin, but his opponent’s UFC debut win over the respected Magomedov Bibulatov suggests he may well be able to handle himself against some of the divisions best fighters.
There’s likely not going to be too much to choose between these two, but I feel Bontorin can be competitive on the mat with Borg while having a slight edge in the stand-up action to sway the judges into awarding him the decision win.
Prediction: Rogerio Bontorin to win by decision – Bet Now
Lando Vannata vs. Yancy Medeiros
This has all the makings of an action-packed fight to kick off the main card between two entertaining strikers.
That style of fighting has sometimes been to both men’s detriment though as they eat as many strikes as they throw, and that’s led to Vannata only having one win from his last six fights (includes two draws), while Medeiros is coming off back-to-back losses.
Medeiros likely wields the bigger power of the two and has a 4.5” reach advantage, but though he’s known for his toughness, he has been TKO’d in his last two outings and it could be all the wars he’s had are starting to catch up with him.
Vannata does have the better wrestling here, so it would be smart for him to try and utilize that, but I’m not convinced he will and so Medeiros will make use of his longer reach to land more frequently on the feet over three rounds to win by decision.
Prediction: Yancy Medeiros to win by decision – Bet Now
UFC Fight Night 167 Prelims
(Predicted winners in bold)
Tim Means vs. Daniel Rodriguez
John Dodson vs. Nathaniel Wood
Jim Miller vs. Scott Holtzman
Devin Clark vs. Dequan Townsend
Rogerio Bontorin vs. Ray Borg
Casey Kenney vs. Merab Dvalishvili
Macy Chiasson vs. Stacey Young
Mark De La Rosa vs. Raulian Paiva