UFC Fight Night 168 Predictions
Paul Felder vs. Dan Hooker
Dan Hooker will have the home fans behind him in this fight as he looks to continue an impressive run of form that’s included big wins over James Vick and Al Iaquinta last year, although Felder has enjoyed a similar run of form and has also defeated the aforementioned Vick and Edson Barboza during his 2019 campaign.
Both men are talented strikers, with Felder having good boxing, hard leg kicks and all-round toughness to draw upon, while Hooker will enjoy a 4.5” reach advantage and has the strikes from range and power to make effective use of that.
Felder is capable of being effective from the clinch, but Hooker is the better grappler overall and will threaten with submissions if the fight hits the mat.
This should be a fun one and I expect both men will eat some big shots over the course of the fight, but I see Hooker applying good pressure while controlling the distance and mixing in some grappling to help win rounds and secure a hard-fought decision victory.
Prediction: Dan Hooker wins by decision – Bet Now
Jimmy Crute vs. Michael Oleksiejczuk
Two fighters in their early 20’s face-off here and both are coming off a submission loss against higher level opposition in their last Octagon outings.
Oleksiejczuk is a heavy hitter on the feet, works well to the body and is very durable too, but his tendency to go all out for a big finish could leave him running out of steam later in the fight if he can’t achieve that.
Crute is a threat on the feet too, albeit not wielding quite as much power as his opponent. That means he’d be wise not to get lured into a slugfest early in the fight when Oleksiejczuk will be at his most potent.
Crute has the better ground game of the two and it would seem sensible to use that when he can to wear Oleksiejczuk down in the early rounds and set-up a submission finish late in the fight, but he may have to survive some big shots in the opening round to get the victory.
Prediction: Jimmy Crute to win by decision – Bet Now
Ben Sosoli vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima
Sosoli has knockout power and a durable chin, but he’s certainly not a refined striker and his ground game appears to be a weak point.
De Lima likely can hold his own with Sosoli on the feet for the most part with his muay thai, but he seems to be favoring using his wrestling more often these days and that seems like a wise gameplan here, leading to a ground and pound stoppage in the final round.
Prediction: Marcos Rogerio de Lima to win by TKO in Rd3 – Bet Now
Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Yan Xiaonan
A Former title contender, Kowalkiewicz now finds herself in a tough spot after losing three fights in a row, and this upcoming bout will be a tough one too.
Yan is another stand-out prospect from China who has gone on an unbeaten run lasting almost a full decade, including four victories in the UFC so far.
Yan is an aggressive striker who will be the quicker and more explosive of the two as she brings the fight to Kowalkiewicz.
Despite her recent disappointments, Kowalkiewicz remains a calm and capable striker and will look to give as good as she gets, while she’s also effective in the clinch and could use that to gain an edge in an otherwise close encounter.
Kowalkiewicz is certainly not as bad as her recent record might suggest and will take this one to a decision, but I think Yan’s athleticism, work rate and pressure will help her earn the nod from the judges.
Prediction: Yan Xiaonan to win by decision – Bet Now
Magomed Mustafaev vs. Brad Riddell
Riddell hails from New Zealand and has a noteable background in kickboxing, which he’ll certainly need to draw on in this fight with a very tough customer in Mustafaev.
The Russian has had his injury woes in the past, but came back with a spectacular spinning back kick finish in his last fight, though that was a year ago.
Mustafaev’s kicks are a big part of his game, but the powerfully built fighter is also a capable grappler when it’s called for.
This should be a full-blooded battle and will be fun to watch, but I feel that Mustafaev is the better, stronger all-rounder than Riddell and that will lead him to a decision victory.
Prediction: Magomed Mustafaev to win by decision – Bet Now
Kevin Aguilar vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
Tukhogov is perhaps best known for being part of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s team and being involved in the infamous post-fight brawl with Conor McGregor in 2018.
He is also a talented fighter in his own right though, being an athletic striker who does suffer a bit from not being much of a finisher and has a lot of decisions on his record, but also has good wrestling too.
Aguilar on the other hand used his counter-striking to rack up a lot of stoppages early in his career, but that trend hasn’t continued as the level of opposition has increased since joining the UFC, leading to two wins and one loss by decision so far.
Tukhogov’s cardio is somewhat concerning, but I think he’ll prove to be the more skilled fighter here and adopt a blend of striking and wrestling to emerge victorious on the scorecards.
Prediction: Zubaira Tukhugov wins by decision – Bet Now
UFC Fight Night 168 Prelims
(Predicted winners in bold)
Jake Matthews vs. Emil Weber Meek
Callan Potter vs. Song Kenan
Kai Kara-France vs. Tyson Nam
Maki Pitolo vs. Takashi Sato
Angela Hill vs. Loma Lookboonmee
Jalin Turner vs. Joshua Culibao
Priscila Cachoeira vs. Shana Dobson