Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier
The first encounter between these two was a thriller for as long as it lasted, with Poirier having the best of it for the most part and hurting Alvarez badly several times, before the former champion rallied, only to then land illegal knees to his grounded opponent that led to a no-contest ruling.
Now they are back to do it again and I still think Poirier can getting the better of Alvarez in the striking battle if he avoids simply being dragged into a toe-to-toe brawl.
Poirier is the better technician at range and can use his 3” reach advantage to help land straight punches, connect on the counter and he has the kind of power that’s already been proven to take a toll on Alvarez.
That’s not to say Alvarez isn’t a dangerous striker in his own right though – he absolutely is, but to be at his most effective he has to pull Poirier into more of a slug-fest, where his remarkable resilience and durability would give him a good chance of emerging victorious.
The concern is that Poirier can absolutely fall into that trap at times, looking to prove his toughness by just standing and trading, but after letting Alvarez back into the fight last time and getting hurt as a result, I think he’ll be a little more wary about overcommitting this time around, and will still be able to hurt his opponent and this time put him away.
Prediction: Dustin Poirier wins by TKO in Rd3 – BET NOW
Jose Aldo vs. Jeremy Stephens
Aldo has had a rough time of it of late, suffering two TKO stoppage against Max Holloway, not to mention his swift knockout loss to Conor McGregor, and that does lead to questions about how much he still has left heading into this fight against another dangerous opponent in Stephens.
That being said, Aldo is still an extremely high-level, technical striker and that should serve him well against Stephens, even though ‘Lil Heathen’ has improved his own stand-up game and is a fight-finisher that can test the Brazilian’s degrading chin.
Aldo should be able to work effectively from range here, will have superior footwork and movement, is generally far less hittable than Stephens and is simply far more refined with both his offensive output and defensive capabilities.
Aldo’s cardio does tend to limit him a little as the fight goes on and that could give Stephens some hope, but overall I think the former champion will prove to be the more savvy fighter here and get back to winning ways via a judges decision.
Prediction: Jose Aldo wins by decision – BET NOW
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Tecia Torres
Rose Namajunas has proved that Jedrzejczyk isn’t as unbeatable as she once seemed, but does that mean that the likes of Torres now has a chance against her?
I’m not so sure. Torres is good on the feet, moving well and putting together quick striking combinations when she gets into range, but she lacks the kind of power that’s going to trouble the former champ and will have to deal with a significant height and reach disadvantage.
‘Thug Rose’ aside, Jedrzejczyk’s stand-up skills have always been on another level to her opponents and I see that being the case again here, outstriking Torres with clinical combinations of punches and kicks to secure a convincing decision victory.
Prediction: Joanna Jedrzejczyk wins by decision – BET NOW
Alexander Hernandez vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier
Hermandez burst onto the UFC scene with a 42 second KO of Beneil Dariush, but time will tell whether that was just a one-off or a sign of things to come.
His record certainly doesn’t suggest that he’s quite as heavy-handed as that usually and it won’t be easy to replicate against Aubin-Mercier, who has never been finished in his 13-fight career to date.
I’d expect Aubin-Mercier to use his superior grappling here to bully Hernandez in the clinch and on the mat to emerge with a win on the scorecards.
Prediction: Olivier Aubin-Mercier wins by decision – BET NOW
(Predicted winners in bold)
Jordan Mein vs. Alex Morono
Kajan Johnson vs. Islam Makhachev
Austin Arnett vs. Hakeem Dawodu
Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs. Ion Cutelaba
UFC Fight Pass Prelims
John Makdessi vs. Ross Pearson
Katlyn Chookagian vs. Alexis Davis
Matheus Nicolau vs. Dustin Ortiz
Nina Ansaroff vs. Randa Markos
Devin Powell vs. Alvaro Herrera