UFC 204 Preliminary Predictions
145lbs- Mirsad Bektic (10-0-0) vs Russell Doane (14-6-0)
In a fight plagued by injury, Mirsad Bektic opens the UFC 204 PPV against late notice injury replacement Russell Doane in the Featherweight division. Doane has lost 3-consecutive bouts after back to back wins to start his Octagon career. Bektic debuted in the UFC undefeated and has yet to taste defeat wit a trio of UFC victories- most recently stopping Lucas Martins.
Doane steps in with less than a week to prep, this bout was originally scheduled to feature British standout, Arnold Allen. While they are very similar in height and reach, Doane is moving up from Bantamweight to take this fight. Bektic is the younger man by 5-years.
Bektic has struggled to remain active since coming to the UFC. He debuted in 2014, but has only fought 3-times and comes into this fight off of a 17-month layoff. The Bosnia-born fighter has been an absolute monster on the mat- combining a strong takedown game an unrelenting work rate once he hits the floor. Doane is a capable fighter on the mat, but at times he makes poor decisions that put him in some bad spots. Against Jerrod Sanders, he was routinely getting out-positioned and once put on his back he struggled to mount much offense. Doane has been taken down at least once in each of his UFC appearances and has given up 10-takedowns overall. He has been subbed 3-times during his career. Against a natural Featherweight, Doane is going to struggle with the heavy top game that Mirsad presents. Doane would be best suited to keep this fight standing, but that will prove too difficult- Bektic grounds him early and unloads with a barrage of strikes until the referee pulls him off- my prediction is Mirsad Bektic to defeat Russell Doane by TKO
145lbs- Mirsad Bektic (10-0-0) vs Russell Doane (14-6-0)
- Mirsad Bektic -588 (83%, 30 Votes)
- Russell Doane +587 (17%, 6 Votes)
Total Votes: 36
135lbs- BRAD PICKETT (26-11-0) vs IURI ALCANTARA (32-7-0 1NC)
Capping off the undercard, a pair formerly Top 15 ranked fighters go head to head as the UK’s Brad “One Punch” Pickett throws down with Iuri “Marajo” Alcantara in the Bantamweight division. Pickett is coming off of a controversial split-decision win over Francisco Rivera that ended a 3-fight losing skid. Alcantara suffered a hard-fought loss to the fast rising Jimmie Rivera in his last outing- he has alternated wins and losses over his last 4 fights.
At 5’9″, Alcantara is 3 inches taller than his opponent and will have a 3″ reach advantage. The Brazilian, who formerly competed at 145-pounds is 2-years younger than Pickett- who had a recent and unsuccessful run in the Flyweight division.
Pickett is coming off a fight where many felt he was gifted a decision in front of his hometown. The numbers support that logic, with Rivera landing 69 significant strikes compared to just 39 for “One Punch”. Statistically, Pickett gets hit 1.36 times more per minute than he hits his opponents and he has been out-landed in 8 of his last 9 fights. This is largely due to the fact that the Brit is willing to take a punch to land and he has confidence in his chin. That being said, Alcantara should have the edge in power with 14-career knockouts. Iuri’s output is far from overwhelming and unless “Marajo” is able to score the knockout, he is going to struggle to match Pickett’s output on the feet. Additionally, the Brazilian has had issues with his TDD and the Brit has scored 15 takedowns over his last 5 victories. Alcantara is dangerous off his back, but just like his striking output- it is a detrimental position if he can’t get the finish. The activity rate of Pickett on the feet combined with a couple of crucial takedowns, especially as Alcantara slows down in the second half of the fight, will be the difference- my prediction is Brad Pickett to defeat Iuri Alcantara by decision.
135lbs- Brad Pickett (26-11-0) vs Iuri Alcantara (32-7-0 1NC)
- Iuri Alcantara -158 (71%, 32 Votes)
- Brad Pickett +148 (29%, 13 Votes)
Total Votes: 45
185lbs- C. Michael Bisping (30-7-0) vs #13 Dan Henderson (32-14-0)
- Michael Bisping -210 (76%, 39 Votes)
- Dan Henderson +210 (24%, 12 Votes)
Total Votes: 51
135lbs- IAN ENTWISTLE (9-3-0) vs ROB FONT (12-2-0)
In the second of 3 Bantamweight bouts on the card, England’s Ian “The Locksmith” Entwistle takes on Team Sityodtong product Rob Font. Entwistle is coming off a TKO loss to Alejandro Perez last April, to drop his Octagon record to 1-2. Font’s 11-fight winning streak came to an abrupt halt at the heavy hands of John Lineker- Font dropped a decision to the Brazilian at UFC 198.
This will be Entwistle’s third bout at 135 pounds, dating back to his submission victory over Anthony Birchak. Font is 3 inches taller and will have a sizeable 7″ reach advantage. The American is the younger man by a year.
This fight will most likely be decided in the opening 2-3 minutes, possibly sooner. Entwistle is known for his aggressive leg lock oriented grappling attack- 8 of his 9 wins have come by first-round submission. The Brit has never seen the second round. He is the definition of a submission over position fighter and Font will need to be defensively strong early. When Entwistle attacks, he either forces the tap out or puts himself in a position to take a lot of damage and ultimately get finished. While this fight will almost certainly be decided on the floor, if Font can maintain separation he will have a marked advantage on the feet based on his technical skill and large reach. Font has demonstrated good composure under pressure and strong defensive front that will force the Brit to take some risks to get to the mat. After Font defends the early submission tries, he should be in control from top position. Entwistle won’t divert from his traditional game plan and Font has the power to make him pay for it- my prediction is Rob Font to defeat Ian Entwistle by TKO.
135lbs- Ian Entwistle (9-3-0) vs Rob Font (12-2-0)
- Rob Font -295 (93%, 25 Votes)
- Ian Entwistle +274 (7%, 2 Votes)
Total Votes: 27
185lbs- #5 Vitor Belfort (25-12-0) vs #9 Gegard Mousasi (39-6-2)
- Gegard Mousasi- 321 (74%, 28 Votes)
- Vitor Belfort +294 (26%, 10 Votes)
Total Votes: 38
135lbs- DAVEY GRANT (10-2-0) vs DAMIAN STASIAK (10-2-0)
Making his second appearance of 2016, “Dangerous” Davey Grant faces off with Poland’s Damian “Webster” Stasiak” in the Bantamweight division. After Grant TUF tournament finals loss to Chris Holdsworth he was finally able to return to action last February with a decision win over Marlon Vera. Stasiak is also coming off of his inaugural UFC victory, submitting Filip Pejic and suffering a wide decision loss to Yaotzin Meza.
The Brit is 3 inches taller, but will give up an inch of reach. Stasiak is 5-years younger.
It is hard to believe that Grant debuted back in 2013 and didn’t fight again until earlier this year. He carries a submission heavy record, tapping out 8 of his 10 victims- 7 by either rear-naked choke or guillotine. Stasiak picked up his sixth career submission win in his last fight, the fifth time he has won by RNC. Both men are capable ground fighters, but both have also lost fights on the mat. Grant was subbed by Holdsworth at the TUF Finale and “Webster” gave up a couple of takedowns against Meza and spent the majority of the fight on his back. Meza routinely out-scrambled Damian to gain the better position throughout the contest. Both men are capable of competing on the feet, but Grant does a better job of melding the different aspects of his offense together. Davey has some pop in his hands and can pile up the damage, landing 72-significant strikes against Vera. While Stasiak comes from a karate background and offers a decent kicking arsenal, he isn’t nearly as active and attacks mainly with single strikes. The aggressive forward pressure that “Dangerous” Davey puts forth should shut down the kicking arsenal of Stasiak. Once Grant closes the gap, he will find success changing levels and dragging Stasiak to the mat. Grant’s transitional grappling game and strong top control will be too much for Stasiak to deal with. The Pole has never been finished, but he is 2-3 on the scorecards- my prediction is Davey Grant to defeat Damian Stasiak by decision
135lbs- Davey Grant (10-2-0) vs Damian Stasiak (10-2-0)
- Davey Grant -175 (67%, 22 Votes)
- Damian Stasiak +164 (33%, 11 Votes)
Total Votes: 33
205lbs- #5 Ovince Saint Preux (19-8-0) vs #8 Jimi Manuwa (2-0-0)
- Ovince Saint Preux -148 (74%, 31 Votes)
- Jimi Manuwa +147 (26%, 11 Votes)
Total Votes: 42
170lbs- LEON EDWARDS (11-3-0) vs #14 ALBERT TUMENOV (17-3-0)
In the Welterweight division, British fighter Leon “Rocky” Edwards takes on Russia’s Albert “Einstein” Tumenov to open the televised prelims. Edwards is coming off a win over Dom Waters, to help him to rebound from a tough loss to Kamaru Usman- he is 3-2 in the UFC. Last May, Tumenov was upset by Icelandic grappling machine Gunnar Nelson for the first stoppage loss of his career ending his 5-fight winning streak.
Tumenov is 1″ taller and will have a slight 1″ reach advantage.
Edwards biggest downfall during his UFC stint has been his takedown defense. Opponents have found success putting “Rocky” on his back with regularity, including 10 completions given up over his last 2 -fights. Similarily, Tumenov has given up multiple takedowns in each of his defeats. Both fighters should benefit from facing an opponent that won’t be looking for an early takedown. It wouldn’t be inconceivable to see either man attempt to drag the fight to the mat at some point, but this contest should be decided on the feet. While Tumenov (11) has more than double Edward’s number of wins by knockout (5), Leon’s power can not be ignored- as shown in the 8-second stoppage of Seth Baczynski. Additionally, Edwards is a southpaw which can create some issues for his opponent. Statistically, Tumenov has a vastly superior work rate, landing just over 2 strikes more per minute than Edwards. “Einstein” has also compiled these numbers against better competition. Edwards has a decent kicking arsenal, but he throws a lot of single strikes. The Russian will also cut his output back when he is looking to counter strike, but he is far more aggressive overall. When faced with other striking-based opposition, the impact of Tumenov’s techniques have been the difference maker- especially his kicks. Look for him to a land the more devastating strikes and to do it more often- my prediction is Albert Tumenov to defeat Leon Edwards by knockout
170lbs- Leon Edwards (11-3-0) vs #14 Albert Tumenov (17-3-0)
- Albert Tumenov -230 (97%, 32 Votes)
- Leon Edwards +226 (3%, 1 Votes)
Total Votes: 33
265lbs- #12 Stefan Struve (31-8-0) vs #14 Daniel Omielanczuk (19-5-1)
- Stefan Struve -170 (82%, 32 Votes)
- Daniel Omielanczuk +158 (18%, 7 Votes)
Total Votes: 39
170lbs- DANNY ROBERTS (13-1-0) vs MIKE PERRY (8-0-0)
The final fight on Fight Pass prelims, Danny “Hot Chocolate” Roberts puts his perfect UFC record on the line against “Platinum” Mike Perry. Roberts has defeated Nathan Coy and Dominique Steele during his UFC career and has won 7 straight fights. Perry picked up a shocking upset win by knockout over Hyun Gyu Lim at UFC 202 in his UFC debut to remain undefeated.
Roberts is 3 inches taller and will have a 3″ reach advantage as well. The American is the younger man by 4-years.
Perry began his UFC tenure in controversial fashion, with some of the pre and post fight antics surrounding his victory overshadowing a crushing knockout win. All 8 of his wins have ended via KO or TKO- 6 in round 1. He scored multiple knockdowns against Lim before getting the stoppage. Perry throws a lot of single strikes when attacking, using a jab and some hard low kicks when not looking for the kill. Roberts is a much more technically sound striker, throwing his offense behind an active jab and clearly drawing upon his boxing background when attacking. He has 5 knockouts on his record, but his strength lies in his combination striking and ability to pile up damage on his foe. While Perry exploited the major defensive liabilities in Lim’s game, Roberts’s defense is much strong. Perry could opt to use his wrestling to put “Hot Chocolate” on his back, but Danny is a decent grappler and subbed Coy once taken down. Perry relies too much on landing big shots which will create openings for Roberts to use his reach and routinely land the quicker strikes. Danny drags Perry into the second half of the contest and pulls away against a diminished opponent- my prediction is Dany Roberts to defeat Mike Perry by decision.
170lbs- Danny Roberts (13-1-0) vs Mike Perry (8-0-0)
- Mike Perry +123 (65%, 20 Votes)
- Danny Roberts -135 (35%, 11 Votes)
Total Votes: 31
155lbs- LEONARDO SANTOS (15-4-1) vs ADRIANO MARTINS (28-7-0)
In an all-Brazilian affair, TUF Brazil 2 winner Leonardo Santos meets former Jungle Fights Lightweight champion, Adriano Martins. Martins has won 3 in row, including back to back wins over a pair of highly touted Russian fighters- most recently KOing Islam Makhachev. Santos is also riding a 3-fight winning streak, with an upset knockout of Kevin Lee in his last fight- he is undefeated over his last 10-bouts.
Santos is 2 inches taller and will have a similar reach advantage. Martins is the younger man by 2-years, but he has been on the shelf for just over 12-months. Santos hasn’t competed since last December.
Santos has consistently toppled the apple cart during his UFC run, picking up multiple upsets along the way. He is a very good grappler with 9 wins by submission- 2 in the UFC. He has also showcased an improved striking repertoire, most notably stopping Lee in round 1. The biggest hole in his attack has been his wrestling game. Leonardo has struggled to drag his foes to the mat with consistency, completing just 26% of his TDAs. Martins on the other hand as a solid wrestling game, both offensively and defensively in addition to being a capable grappler. The Jungle Fights vet is also a big lightweight that won’t be easily out-muscled. He successfully shut down the wrestling advances of Rustam Khabilov and took him down 3-times. Adriano should be able to keep this fight standing, where he is the superior fighter. Martins has impressive power and very good timing on his strikes. If his opponent gets too aggressive, he is a capable counter striker. Santos will hold his own early, but look for Martins to land better quality shots while shutting down his opponent’s attempts to get the fight to the floor. Either with a single shot or the accumulation of strikes, Martins will find the finish- my prediction is Adriano Martins to defeat Leonardo Santos by TKO
155lbs- Leonardo Santos (15-4-1) vs Adriano Martins (28-7-0)
- Leonardo Santos +200 (52%, 17 Votes)
- Adriano Martins -195 (48%, 16 Votes)
Total Votes: 33
Opening the card, Poland’s Lukasz “Wookie” Sajewski welcomes Marc “Bonecrusher” Diakiese to the UFC. Sajewski is winless inside the Octagon, with losses to Nick Hein and Gilbert Burns in his most recent outing. Diakiese is still undefeated, including a 5-0 run under the BAMMA banner starting back in 2014.
Diakiese is 2 inches taller than Sajewski and will have a 2″ reach advantage. He is also the younger man by 3 years. Sajewski stepped in on roughly a weeks notice to replace the injured Reza Madadi.
“Bonecrusher” is coming off a pair brutal opening minute knockouts against decent regional competition. He is a dangerous striker, packing sizeable power in his right-hand with good speed to help deliver it. The former BAMMA champion will also work in some thudding kicks throughout his attack. Over his recent fights , he has shown signs of an improving defensive game. Sajewski showed his own noticeable improvements in his striking during the early action against Burns, but he got clipped during an exchange and was submitted shortly after. “Wookie” will most likely look to use his clinch and wrestling attack to try and slowdown his adversary. He has 7-wins by sub- 4 by armbar. With a full camp to prep, Lukasz could give the young Brit some trouble, especially if he can drag him into the later stages of the fight. Diakiese will fend off the early a clinch offense of his foe and eventually find a home for his big right hand- my prediction is Marc Diakiese to defeat Lukasz Sajewski by TKO.
155lbs- MARC DIAKIESE (9-0-0) vs Lukasz Sajewski (13-2-0)
- Marc Diakiese -210 (86%, 24 Votes)
- Lukasz Sajewski +210 (14%, 4 Votes)
Total Votes: 28