UFC Fight Night Barboza Vs Chikadze Betting Predictions

106 points

Edson Barboza – Decision (Barboza is a large Featherweight and possibly the first opponent Chikadze won’t be able to weight bully. Not that being of equal size is required for Barboza to stop himself from backing onto the cage. With sharper head movement in the pocket than Chikadze, if the two men find themselves up close, Barboza torques violent liver shots and uppercuts to the solar plexus that take the wind out of an opponent. When taking into account Barboza’s tree chopping leg kicks, his attritional damage appears better suited to MMA than Chikadze’s power striking. Chikadze’s greatest strength stems from his judgement of distance and timing. Barboza has several miles on the clock at this point, and although his chin has looked stellar at Featherweight, Chikadze did just put away a typically durable Cub Swanson in under a round. Chikadze will have to set a harsh pace and prevent Barboza from resetting in between combinations otherwise this could be a painful night for the prospect)

Gilbert Urbina – Decision (Bryan Battle holds a very enjoyable record. Despite almost no wins of quality in his professional career, Battle has accumulated a litany of experience in the amateur ranks. Out-enduring and submitting huge tournament favourite, Andre Petroski, in the semi-final, Battle showcased the mental side of the sport. It’s a limited grinding striking that gets the job done but is so difficult to back. Urbina, however, is a back-take snake with capable enough wrestling to reach that goal. A surprise path to the final, after being knocked out by fellow semi-finalist, Tresean Gore, Urbina can thank his lucky stars for another chance on the big stage. His striking may be sloppy but aggression and activity should beat Battle to the punch regularly)

Ricky Turcios – TKO Round 3 (A high-volume, tough as nails striker with solid wrestling chops, it is difficult to see any result that doesn’t involve Turcios’ hand being raised. With Hiestand likely to shoot from the opening bell, Turcios has the grappling ability and gas tank to drag his young opponent into deep waters. Heistand has outperformed on TUF in regards to his record, yet he carries decent power and a knack for hitting the mat. Turcios’ experience and comfort in any area of the fight makes him the safer pick)

Daniel Rodriguez – Decision (Coming off a double ACL reconstruction, a seventeen month lay-off and a jump up to Welterweight, this feels like a huge ask for Kevin Lee. Regardless, Lee remains a top wrestler capable of delivering huge punishment from above and securing submissions. Lee’s reach and jab are also top-tier weapons, but he always falls away from it when his Plan A doesn’t immediately result in total success. Rodriguez is a huge Welterweight, who aside from sluggish hand speed, has a mean eye for a counter strike. Landing more than 8 significant strikes a minute, Rodriguez’s accuracy should be praised far more than his volume. Rodriguez has worryingly shown weakness early – wobbled by Nicolas Dalby and Dwight Grant just last year. Still, that is Rodriguez’s style. With a beautiful check hook, Rodriguez could find the same success with the shot that Charles Oliveira found a couple years ago)

Andre Petroski – Submission Round 1 (A scarily powerful wrestler, if Petroski is unable to ragdoll his opponent, his gas tank starts to fall apart after the first round. To be unable to take down Gillmore, a fighter who loves to kick and bases TDD around a counter straight, then there is no hope for the thirty-year-old. Petroski has a strong enough chin to walk through a couple of shots, and there has been little shown to suggest that Gilmore can survive on his back against his far larger opponent)

Makmud Muradov – TKO Round 3 (A high-volume, combination striker that dances around the outside, Muradov’s speed differential will be clear on the night against an elderly opponent best renowned for his grappling. Sure Muradov is sacrificing some reach, but his footwork is far crisper and his defensive consistency suggests he won’t be caught lingering in the pocket. Meerschaert is always a tough gatekeeper challenge, but he cannot bank on his chin to buy him time and find an opportunity to grapple)

Alessio Di Chirico – Decision (Hell yeah, this is the perfect fight. Di Chirico finds himself on a surprise turnaround of form, while Alhassan remains a one-note power puncher in decline who still cannot be written off. A hearty brawler at times with a huge chin, the Italian looked far more composed against Buckey – utilising a variety of inside leg kicks, up kicks and the eventual head kick. Alhassan’s nutty power remains in his hands, yet opponents have realised that his 73″ reach and limited outside boxing can be exposed throughout a fight)

Sam Alvey – TKO Round 3 (How on Earth has Alvey got himself into a very winnable match-up? Turman is a huge step down in competition quality, and Alvey has the TDD to prevent the Brazilian accessing his dangerous grappling. Turman appears to be broken goods by this point, so early into his career. Without the power to gain respect on the feet, Turman has been lost at sea when unable to string his wrestling together. Alvey’s single-shot style leaves Turman with greater chances of finding enough time to piece together his offence, but Smilin isn’t as over the hill as his record suggests)

Dustin Jacoby – Decision (Tall, awkward and rangey with a jab, Dustin Jacoby is a talented fighter who could build a strong run if handed the correct fights. Stewart is up against it, sacrificing the success he found at Middleweight based on his raw strength style. A fighter whose success was based on his physical strength at Middleweight has decided to move up to LHW? Strange. Jacoby’s 3″ height and 2″ reach advantage leaves me to believe that Jacoby will be far too large to control, even against the cage, if Stewart can close the distance. The Brit has powerful short hooks on the inside, and the potential speed advantage could see him land, but it would have to be a peach that cracks Jacoby’s chin)

JJ Aldrich – Decision (A decent boxer, Aldrich is typically a far more technical savant than physical beast. Against Demopoulos, however, Aldrich will prove to be far stronger on the feet. Carrying an 8″ reach advantage into the bout, Aldrich possesses a strong Southpaw jab that Demopoulos will be left clueless on how to get inside of. On the mat, Demopoluos has a submission game that could threaten JJ, but it is difficult to see the fight transitioning there even with a stellar chin to back risk-taking)

Mana Martinez – TKO Round 3 (A forty-one-year-old Bantamweight, Cannetti’s naked leg kicks leave him wildly exposed to lead hooks. Worse yet, his smaller stature and wild striking style leave him vulnerable in the later rounds. Cannetti does have the wrestling avenue, exposing Martinez’s almost none existent ground game, but it is a huge task to ask of a fighter with a gas tank hampered by age)

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