UFC Fight Night Sandhagen Vs Dillashaw Betting Predictions

109 points

Cory Sandhagen – Decision (The key to Dillashaw’s success on the night will be whether he can consistently work off the front foot. Although possessing slick head movement, Sandhagen’s range and Dillashaw’s un-coordinated backwards footwork will unravel overextended exchanges. Instead, Dillashaw needs to drown Sandhagen in volume and force the taller fighter to the cage. While single or double legs are ill-advised due to Sandhagen’s tendency to immediately latch upon a kimura, Sandhagen has shown weaknesses against the body lock. If Dillashaw can mix his wrestling in with his striking, he can force a gruelling pace that Sandhagen will struggle to survive with by the championship rounds. Of course, Sandhagen’s masterful jab and feints, in addition to the 5″ height and 3″ reach advantage he will enjoy on the night, are tough hurdles for a thirty-five-year-old coming off a two-year layoff. While Dillashaw should still probably be favoured, form is a hugely important factor in fighting and personally, too many questions surround what version of TJ will appear on Saturday to fully trust the former champ’s success)

Kyler Phillips – Decision (Phillips has certainly surprised since entering the UFC. Marketed as a BJJ threat, the American instead laid down a classy back-foot kickboxing display against hot prospect Song YaDong. Liquid footwork and the ability to time difficult head kicks off the back-foot are key to Phillips’ success standing. Paiva, a last-minute replacement and moving up to Bantamweight, will have to rely on his gas tank, experience and durability to find success. Possessing decent TDD, Paiva needs to stalk Phillips with long combinations and break his initial defensive layers. Unfortunately, the size difference will prove too much on the night for the Brazilian)

Darren Elkins – Decision (It was clear that Elkins’ never had a style that was going to age gracefully. Even then, The Damage has fallen off a very steep cliff since his ridiculous run between 2015-2018. Still, Darrick Minner resembles the greatest chance for the CTE king to get back in the win column. Always capable of maintaining fifteen minutes of relentless movement, Elkins is primed to overtake Minner in the later rounds. Minner’s haymakers into high octane grappling pose an early threat, but the potency declines rapidly over the fight)

Miranda Maverick – Decision (Built like a damn fridge, a female Kelvin Gastellum if you will, Maverick looks an excellent prospect. Entering Saturday with a huge technical grappling advantage, a repeat of Modaferri vs Barber could be on the cards. Although a horrible stylistic match-up, Barber still has a path to victory. Showing huge heart in her last two defeats, Barber remains dangerous on the feet till the final round. Maverick’s more simplistic and wild striking leaves Barber with ample opportunity to land powerful counters)

Mickey Gall – Submission Round 2 (Ugh, this isn’t a pretty one to predict. Gall owns one of the worst gas tanks outside of HW/LHW, but his grappling chops cannot be ignored in this match-up. While Gall’s wrestling is lacking, his striking has certainly been refined – putting on a decent display against the coach-less, Mike Perry. Williams is a brawler with power and volume, but he lacks the technical nuance or gas tank to climb. Even with a move to Welterweight, it appears that time is running out fast for Williams)

Brendan Allen – Submission Round 2 (There’s still a lot to learn about the undefeated, Punahele Soriano. With nuclear power in both hands, Soriano’s tendency to throw everything behind his shots won’t be punished by the tame counter-striking of Allen. Instead, Soriano’s wrestling background needs to be called upon. As honest as a fighter as you will find, Allen aims to take opponents down early and grapple them into exhaustion. This match-up isn’t one designed to stick the distance)

Ian Heinisch – Decision (Despite being relatively excited about Imavov’s invitation to the UFC, he has failed to show any grit to work himself off the cage. It’s a shame as the Frenchman is a skyscraper with a decent eye for a counter. With a frame to grow into a solid Middleweight name, Imavov’s style is too easily exploited by the grinding wrestlers that dominate Middleweight – which Heinisch proudly represents. Classic overhand into single/double leg takedowns, massively durable and willing to wade through danger, this should prove a far easier match-up after Kelvin Gastellum)

Adrian Yanez – TKO Round 2 (In a match-up between heavy-hitting prospects, Yanez is the far more well-rounded fighter. While there are still flaws to Yanez’s game, primarily his hands-low style, he is a deadly sniper on the counter. While Costa’s one-shot lights-out power will never write him out of any contest, Yanez needs only to survive the first round to limit Costa’s danger)

Julio Arce – Decision (Dropping down to Bantamweight, Arce’s well-rounded technical skillset means he can handle himself well in any area of a fight. Unfortunately for Arce, he lacks the ability to control the direction of a fight and often fights to an opponent’s tune. Ewell is a rangey powerful striker with a healthy volume behind his 75″ reach but an equal inability to lead fights. Uncomfortable fighting in the pocket, Arce can pepper Ewell with hard shots and stumble into his grappling advantage – whether he directly seeks it or not)

Sijara Eubanks – TKO Round 3 (Dropping down to Flyweight after a mixed bag of performances at Bantamweight, Sijara Eubanks is back baby. Despite the chequered record, Eubanks has taken clear steps to develop her entire game. Already a solid grappler, her boxing has improved considerably, with her jab proving a potent threat if it lands early. Last-minute replacement, Elise Reed, is a durable striker and Cage Fury FC Strawweight Champion. Although Reed is a solid fighter, she will be giving up almost two divisions worth of weight as Eubanks will enter a huge Flyweight on Saturday)

Diana Belbita – Decision (Between two truly awful fighters, you sort of have to pick the fighter with the 7″ reach advantage and willingness to strike. Belbita is a risk-taking brawler with awful risk-taking and game planning (i.e. willingly grappling with Liana Jojua, aka Miss Armbar). Goldy, on the other hand, refuses to engage. A back-foot gameplan for a fighter with a 61″ reach and 5’4″ frame? Gonna be a no from me, Boss)

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