By: Logan Helfferich
Welterweight: Donald Cerrone vs. Alex Oliveira
“Cowboy” Cerrone is moving up a weight class to take on “Cowboy” Oliveira. While this fight doesn’t hold any title implications or a match-up of top-ten contenders, it should be a great fight. I’d even argue that this is a better match-up than the original one of Cerrone against Tim Means. Cerrone will likely use leg kicks to soften up Oliveira before trying to get the fight to the ground. Oliveira will likely be throwing a lot of power strikes and looking for the knockout.
Prediction: Cerrone defeats Oliveira via Submission
Middleweight: Derek Brunson vs. Roan Carneiro
Brunson is looking for a fourth straight quality win at middleweight. A victory against Carneiro, who defeated Mark Munoz just before his retirement, could potentially propel Brunson into the top-ten. Brunson will be looking to use takedowns and his strength to dictate the fight. If he gets taken down, Carneiro will likely look for a submission. If Brunson keeps it standing, Carneiro will have to keep his chin down, but could out-strike Brunson with technique. If Carneiro looks for a submission from the bottom, he needs to do it early to avoid taking a lot of punishment from Brunson’s ground and pound.
Prediction: Brunson defeats Carneiro via KO/TKO
Bantamweight: Cody Garbrandt vs. Augusto Mendes
In this battle between undefeated fighters, Mendes will be making his UFC debut while Garbrandt will be looking to add another quality win to his resume. This is the classic battle of striker against grappler. Four of Mendes’ five wins have come via submission, while six of Garbrandt’s seven wins have come via knockout or TKO.
Prediction: Garbrandt defeats Mendes via KO/TKO
Featherweight: Dennis Bermudez vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
Both of these fighters have similar styles and like to use their aggressiveness to push the pace of the fight. Bermudez will likely look to grind out a win on top, while Kawajiri will likely be looking for more of a brawl. If they cancel each other out on the ground, expect an entertaining fight.
Prediction: Bermudez defeats Kawajiri via Decision
Middleweight: Chris Camozzi vs. Joe Riggs
Both of these fighters need an impressive win. Camozzi followed a small losing streak with a recent win via decision against Tom Watson. Riggs is coming off of a DQ win after being illegally up-kicked in the head. Prior to that, he lost to Patrick Cote via decision and was submitted by Ben Saunders. Camozzi will likely look to keep the fight standing and use his range. Riggs will likely look for the takedown and use his ground and pound.
Prediction: Camozzi defeats Riggs via Decision
Lightweight: James Krause vs. Shane Campbell
This should be an entertaining, back and forth fight. Krause holds the slight advantage on the ground, but both fighters are pretty evenly matched. Campbell likes to stand and brawl and Krause should be willing to oblige.
Prediction: Krause defeats Campbell via Decision