UFC Fight Night 170 Predictions
Kevin Lee vs. Charles Oliveira
This should be a fun one with Lee coming off a big KO win over the previously undefeated Gregor Gillespie in his return to lightweight last time out, while Oliveira has an astonishing finishing rate, including a KO, TKO and four submission wins during his current six-fight winning streak.
Oliveira is very skilled offensively, particularly on the mat, where he is something of a wizard with a wide array of submissions at his disposal and the killer instinct to apply them in the heat of the battle.
‘Do Bronx’ is a former featherweight though, while Lee has recently had a stint competing as welterweight, and I think ‘The Motown Phenom’s’ size and strength could be an important factor for him here if he looks to use his wrestling to impose his will.
Striking wise Lee seems to be adopting a less pressure-heavy style lately and it’ll be interesting to see if that continues here, as that may just give Oliveira the time he needs to build up a head of steam.
I think this is finely balanced match-up with both fighters having ways to win, but while Lee does have the capability to overpower him, I think Oliveira will find openings to go for a finish and eventually emerge with a fourth round submission victory as Lee tires.
Prediction: Charles Oliveira to win by submission in Rd4 – Bet Now
Demian Maia vs. Gilbert Burns
This fight could be a treat for grappling fans as two Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu wizards in Maia and Burns lock horns in the Octagon.
That being said, the fight starts on the feet and though Maia is a functional striker and has only been stopped once in his entire career, he’s never been particularly dangerous and at 42 is even less sharp than he used to be.
Burns striking isn’t his strong suit either, but he is comfortable there and is more active and has more pop in his punches and kicks than his Brazilian counterpart.
As for the grappling, there Maia’s age is less of a concern and his years of experience as one of the best-of-the-best may actually be to his benefit. Aside from elite-level wrestlers who can stop him getting the fight to the mat in the first place, he’s almost always been able to gain the upperhand.
Burns is operating at such a high level too however that I don’t believe Maia would be able to submit him, so it could end up being a bit uneventful, but with the veteran managing to take control for the most part.
It’ll be interesting to see how this one unfolds and I think much may depend on how Burns approaches this, as if he’s eager to test himself on the mat against Maia then it might not go his way, but I’ll take him to try to keep this standing for the most part and establish himself as the better striker to emerge with a decision victory.
Prediction: Gilbert Burns to win by decision – Bet Now
Renato Moicano vs. Damir Hadzovic
After an impressive start to his UFC run, Moicano has suffered in recent times with back-to-back TKO losses to tough opponents in Jose Aldo and The Korean Zombie, prompting a move up in weight to 155lbs for this next fight.
Despite his losses to strikes, Moicano is actually still a very capable striker and should be the more technical operator here, and despite moving up a division will actually have a slight reach advantage here, which will suit his style.
He’s going up against somewhat of a jack-of-all-trades in Hadzovic, who has gone 3-3 during his UFC campaign so far and has more power in his punches and can also wrestle too.
Moicano is very good on the mat though and will threaten with submissions if the fight does go there, and together with his cleaner striking from range I think he’ll get a decision victory here.
Prediction: Renato Moicano to win by decision – Bet Now
Johnny Walker vs. Nikita Krylov
This should be an entertaining scrap between two fighters intent who will dispense with slowly easing their way into the fight and instead focus on delivering plenty of violence from the opening bell.
In fact both men’s records are littered with first round finishes, so this could be a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it affair.
Walker will be looking to keep this one standing and he’ll have a 3” height and 4.5” reach advantage to put to good use for his varied selection of punches and kicks together with flying knees and other dynamic attacks.
Krylov can match that intensity and is something of a wildman at times, but he’s also arguably even more dangerous on the mat and that could be a big factor in this fight.
Anything could happen on the feet here, though I would give Walker an edge in that department, but I think Krylov can make use of his superior ground skills to get an early submission victory here.
Prediction: Nikita Krylov to win by submission in Rd1 – Bet Now
Francisco Trinaldo vs. John Makdessi
Both of these fighters are certainly capable of producing fireworks on the feet, but it remains to be seen if it’ll prove to be a thriller or not.
Makdessi is a talented striker with a range of flashy techniques at his disposal, but he can tend to fight quite cautiously, pacing himself and picking his moments to strike on the counter, which has led to a fair number of his fights heading to a decision over the years.
Trinaldo is a dangerous striker with unusual speed and athleticism for a 41-year-old together with good power, but is also happy operating as a counter-striker, which might not make for the most exciting fight in this particular instance if both men are hesitant to throw first.
Trinaldo is also a good wrestler and that could well be to his benefit in this match-up, and together with landing the bigger blows on the feet I think that’ll be enough to earn him a decision victory.
Prediction: Francisco Trinaldo to win by decision – Bet Now
UFC Fight Night 168 Prelims
(Predicted winners in bold)
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Aleksei Kunchenko
Enrique Barzola vs. Rani Yahya
Jussier Formiga vs. Brandon Moreno
Amanda Ribas vs. Randa Markos
Mayra Bueno Silva vs. Maryna Moroz
Veronica Macedo vs. Bea Malecki
Bruno Silva vs. David Dvorak
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.