Main Event: #1 Thiago Santos vs #3 Glover Texiera
Pick: Thiago Santos
Round: 2nd Round
Breakdown: This fight will likely end up being the #1 contenders fight for the UFC Light Heavyweight belt. As of right now, Current LHW Champ Jan Blachowicz is looking like he will face Israel Adesanya. But if one of these fighters can make some real noise, ending the other one emphatically, they can bring the spotlight to themselves and try to get a shot at Jan. Thiago Santos is coming back off of a torn up knee in his valiant effort in a split decision loss to Jon Jones. Glover Texiera is coming in off of a comeback win against Anthony Smith where he dominated the latter rounds to score a win by TKO. Glover is an excellent technical fighter, he has good stand up, he able to take you down and he can submit you. But at he takes some time to start up, as where Santos comes out explosive at the start. With having advantages in all the striking stats, this one could end quick with the amount of power and explosiveness that he brings. He comes in guns blazing having 15 of his 21 wins come by KO/TKO many in the first and second round. Look for him to come out explosive with Texiera starting slow, and this one may end in spectacular fashion.
Co-Main Event: Andrei ‘Pitbull’ Arlovski vs. Tanner ‘The Bulldozer’ Boser
Pick: Tanner Boser
Breakdown: Looking to have his first 3 fight win streak in the UFC, Tanner ‘The Bulldozer’ Boser is also looking to make a name off the former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei ‘Pitbull’ Arlovski. Tanner has won 3 of his 4 fights in the UFC and if he wins this one, he’s going to crack the top 20 and potentially secure a fight for a ranking. Andrei is coming in having gone 4-9 in his last 13 fights but he is still a great fighter at his age. The problem is that he’s going against someone that averages 1 extra strike per minute (Arlovski: 3.54 Boser:4.54) and who has defense is 5% better. Boser is finding his groove here in the UFC and facing someone like the 41 year old Arlovski who has 11 of his 19 of his losses come by KO/TKO. Look for Boser to come out and wear down the defense of Arlovski early and wear him down later in the fight. Arlovski is no wash with only having been only been KO/TKO’d twice over the last 4 years. The two guys to do it? Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, but who has not been knocked out by those guys? Boser will be able to land some strikes but the veteran sense of Arlovski keeps him alive long enough to see the judges.
Fight #3: Raoni Barcelos vs Khalid Taha
Pick: Raoni Barcelos
Round: 3rd Round
Breakdown: Raoni Barcelos is coming in on an 8 fight win streak and Khalid Taha is coming in off of a 13 month layoff. What we can look to this fight and see right off the top is that Taha might be coming in with some ring rust. He has a disadvantage in striking (2.64 vs 4.79 for Raoni in Landed per Minute) a lot of this comes in as ground and pound. For Barcelos, the easiest path to victory for him will be to continue to do what he has done which is winning 4 of his last 5 with a finish. With only a 64% takedown defense for Taha and 58% takedown accuracy for Raoni, it will only take 2 attempts to get him on the ground. With also having the ability to use that ground game as a weapon, opponents tend to worry about the takedown and forget about the hands. It is very possible that Taha gets caught, but it is more likely that Barcelos takes him down, gets into dominant position, and finishes him via ground and pound.
Fight #4: #15 Ian ‘The Hurricane’ Heinisch vs Brendan ‘All In’ Allen
Pick: Brendan Allen
Breakdown: Both of these guys are extremely well rounded and this is one of the tougher matches on the card. If you’re looking for a parlay, its recommended to stay away from this one. A backstory in this one is that both guys come in having held the LFA Middleweight championship in 2018 and 2019. Getting into the numbers, both guys are willing to take it to the ground. They both average north of a takedown a fight so as well as have a strike differential less than a strike per minute off of each other. This fight could come down where they go shot for shot and whoever is able to get the takedown first will get the win. Allen does have a knockdown and at least takedown in 2 of his 4 fights and is coming in on a 7 fight win streak, a being perfect 3-0 in the UFC. This is an eliminator for the 15th rank in the Middleweight division and if Allen can dominate this fight he can see himself knocking in the Middleweight top 10.
Fight #5: #4 Claudia ‘Claudinha’ Gadelha vs. #8 Xiaonan ‘Fury’ Yan
Pick: Xiaonan Yan
Breakdown: Xiaonan is looking to break into the top 5 with a win over Claudia Gadelha. She comes in having all advantages in all the striking stats while still showing the ability defend and even shoot for the takedown. Gadelha is much more ground game focused and if Yan is able to keep it on the feet, this fight easily goes to Yan. She is coming in on a 5 fight win streak and is looking for more. This fight is unlikely to end in a finish due to the nature of the fighters. It is more likely we will see a round of Claudia able to take Yan down and try to control her, and 2 rounds of Yan boxing Claudias face in. 29-28 Yan.