UFC Fight Night Smith Vs Spann Betting Predictions

101 points

Ryan Spann – Decision (It so difficult to gauge just how strong Spann is. Spann’s telegraphed combinations are crisply thrown, but there is no creativity or ability to adapt to what is in front of him. Aleksandar Rakic and Glover Texeira both showcased the key game plan to beat Smith – with Lionheart adopting a policy of damage limitation when forced onto his back. Under the imposing weight of Ryan Spann, it would be foolish not to argue that a similar mental capitulation could occur again. Knowing Spann’s terrible fight IQ, though, Smith could once again showcase his ridiculous grit on the feet. Overall, an incredibly difficult fight to predict due to each fighter’s limitations. Smith savvier striking and early-fight power could shock Spann if he is too willing to trade on the feet, but Superman’s wrestling has to be backed)


Ion Cutelaba – TKO Round 1 (The scariest first round fighter has started to lose stock over the past couple of years. In large part, it is the Moldovan’s immaturity that bites him. 11 takedowns in round 1 and an additional 7 in round 2 against Dustin Jacoby highlight Cutelaba’s ego as he chased a stoppage and set an unreasonable pace. Clark’s solid TDD may well force Cutelaba to flag earlier than usual, yet a lack of technical cuteness on the back-foot will fail to punish Cutelaba’s all-out aggression. Another major issue is that Clark has often folded under finishing pressure during his time in the UFC, often falling in the first round)


Ariane Lipski – Decision (Lipski is the superior athlete and even if she finds herself caught in a single-shot sniping war on the outside, her power could easily bail her out against an unproven fighter. It won’t be an easy ask against Mandy Bohm, however. The jab isn’t a strike often used outside of the top five of the Women’s divisions, but Bohm secures entire rounds behind the shot. Bohm’s issue will prove her willingness to brawl in the clinch. Not only is Bohm wide open to damage in the clinch, Lipski has shown cute trips before that will find her assuming top position)


Arman Tsarukyan – Submission Round 3 (At the risk of sounding harsh, Arman Tsarukyan is the only fighter on Saturday that has a realistic chance of climbing to the upper echelons. A liquid grappler, the Armenian appears to have made huge strides on the feet to round his game. Central is the jab, used to keep busy while also dictating positioning within the octagon. Giagos is a solid grappler, but if he cannot get his wrestling going, he is lost. Full-power striking papers over technical limitations, but it does leave him with a slight punchers chance)


Nate Maness – Decision (With a 5″ height and 3″ reach advantage on Saturday, Maness could find the same success he enjoyed in the regionals. A durable, relentless striker, Maness can expose Gravely’s leaky striking defence. Banking on Maness landing his power early is just as big a gamble, however. Gravely’s path to success revolves around his power wrestling from where he can search for a submission. Trading in the pocket is Gravely’s typical path to finding the takedown, though, which could leave him in serious trouble if Maness times a speculative intercepting knee)

Joaquin Buckley – TKO Round 2 (Buckley’s stocky build and desire to chase finishes immediately leaves the power-puncher wading into danger to close the distance. Thankfully Arroyo is not an educated counter-puncher. and Buckley shouldn’t have much issue working inside Arroyo’s length. Sure, Arroyo has a nice jab, but he would favour a head kick as a range-finder. As a result, Arroyo not only fails to produce enough volume on the feet, but he is also extremely susceptible to the takedown)

Tafon Nchukwi – TKO Round 2 (Moving up to LHW, and skipping a brutal weight cut, will likely see Nchukwi resolve his questionable gas tank. If Rodriguez is hell-bent on closing distance to lock up the clinch, Nchukwi will find frequent opportunities to land on his lumbering opponent. Rodriguez remains a threat, though. A massive LHW, Rodriguez’s 82.5″ reach will is a problem for most at 205lbs. Heavy hands and excellent clinch work are let down by painfully slow movement and hand speed. Moreover, an inability to maintain pressure through a fight indicates Nchukwi will find the finishing shot during a lull in Rodriguez’s mental)

Pannie Kianzad – Decision (A solid grappler, Kianzad opted to stay on the feet last time against Alexis Davis and almost threw away an easy-ish fight. Telegraphed combinations meant that Davis could tie the Swede up regularly, and this will not end positively against the larger and fresher Raquel Pennington. The long-time UFC veteran is a fine gatekeeper, with janky kickboxing to stifle Kianzad and natural strength to out-wrestle her way to an ugly decision)

Zhu Rong – Decision (A horribly negative fighter on the feet, Zhu is awkward when forced to fight off the back-foot. The Tibet native found great success on the regional scene when he was able to maintain pressure on the front foot and piece together combinations. Jenkins represents a last-minute replacement, a promotional journeyman with a menacing record of stoppages. Frequent low kicks, one-shot power and exotic spinning strikes could overcome Zhu’s drearily patient, single-shot counter punching. Of course, with only a few days of preparation, Jenkins is already climbing a mountain on his UFC debut)

Montel Jackson – TKO Round 2 (Despite hitting a speed bump in Brett Johns, Montel Jackson remains one of the hottest prospects in the UFC. A massive 5’10” frame, 75.5″ reach and fighting out of the Southpaw stance all combine with Jackson’s elite athleticism. Buys shouldn’t have moved up to 125, he was physically incapable of dealing with Bruno Silva. Buys won’t be able to cope with Jackson’s power on the feet, while he cannot out-grapple the American due to the natural strength differential)

Erin Blanchfield – Decision (Only twenty-two years old, Blanchfield is a stocky, technical striker that belies the initial appearance of a barrel-shaped brawler. Linking striking to wrestling is central behind Blanchfield’s hype, an educated approach that often sees the prospect find her way to top position. Alpar may be the underdog, but she is a live body for a debutant. A grinding wrestler, Alpar could create an ugly fight that leaves Blanchfield dropping insurmountable early rounds)

Impa Kasanganay – TKO Round 3 (Impa’s ground game was vastly improved against Sasha Palatnikov, but against Harris, it would be best advised to stay standing. If Kasanganay can force Harris to initiate exchanges on the feet, his natural comfort in counter-striking will eventually crack the Guyanan’s chin. If Kasanganay smothers his work, lingers in the pocket or disrespects Harris’ grappling, Harris could easily expose Kasanganay on the mat. Owning a diverse arsenal of submissions, it was only back in 2016 that Harris secured a first-round submission over another green UFC prospect in Wellington Turman)

Heili Alateng – Decision (An incredibly ugly brawler on the feet, the American is one of the more fun, older fighters to watch. Lopez’s key path to victory in every fight is snapping up an opponent’s back and working through a submission. Unfortunately for Lopez, he is neither strong nor technical enough to out-wrestle opponents in the UFC. Deathly slow on his feet, Alateng’s reactive power-striking fails when facing a fighter willing to stick and move. Although Heili’s wrestling is thoroughly average for the division, it should be enough to get Lopez to the mat. This will be a scrappy affair leaving one of the fighters unhappy with the result)

Hannah Goldy – Decision (A cumbersome fighter, Whitmire is far more mentally solid than Goldy. Striking deficiencies are covered up by a solid enough ground game, evidenced by a first-round submission over Aleksandra Albu. Goldy may well be built like a tank, but her strange decision to wait on the back-foot in search for the counter fails due to her 61″ reach. Decent enough wrestling will likely see Goldy pip the scorecards)

Feeling Lucky?

Emily Whitmire by Submission (+600)

Carlston Harris by Submission (+340)

Antonio Arroyo by KO/TKO (+500)

Arman Tsarukyan by Submission (+420)

Ariane Lipski by Finish (+340)

Ion Cutelaba Round 1 (+290)

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