UFC Fight Night 165 Edgar vs Korean Zombie | Prelim Predictions

UFC Fight Night 165 Edgar vs Korean Zombie | Prelim Predictions

265lbs- Ciryl Gane (5-0-0) vs Tanner Boser (17-5-1)

In the headlining undercard fight, France’s Ciryl Gane puts his undefeated record on the line against Canadian Heavyweight Tanner “The Bulldozer” Boser. Gane is 2-0 in the UFC, winning both bouts by submission. Boser has won back to back bouts including a successful UFC debut over Daniel Spitz.

Boser is a year younger than Gane and should be roughly 10-pounds heavier. Gane is the taller man by 2-inches to go along with a 6″ reach advantage.

Gane has demonstrated a pair of crucial and arguably unexpected aspects of his game. He can carry his offense deep into a fight with limited cardio issues. He also can grapple and finish on the floor. Boser’s cardio and ability to go the distance was well understood. He has 7 wins by decisions and has fought into the championship rounds on 4 occasions. He landed 94 significant strikes in his debut. Boser is a decent kicker and has finished fights with low kicks, but he is facing a very capable Muay Thai striker in Gane. Boser steady volume-based attack will struggle against the more mobile and impactful Gane- my prediction is Ciryl Gane to defeat Tanner Boser by knockout.

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145lbs- Seungwoo Choi (7-3-0) vs Suman Mokhtarian (8-1-0)

In the Bantamweight division, Australia’s Suman Mokhtarian makes his 2nd UFC walk to take on South Korea’s Seungwoo Choi. Choi is 0-2 in the UFC, most recently suffering a submission loss to Canadian Gavin Tucker. Mokhtarian debuted with an abrupt loss to Sodiq Yusuff- the first loss of his career.

A tall fighter for the division, Choi stands 4-inches taller than Suman to go along with a 2″ reach advantage.

A debut spent almost entirely on the defensive was Mokhtarian’s reward for a career built on defeating extremely low-level opposition. The Aussie was shelling up under fire and protested the stoppage, but he was still getting smashed. Choi is a decent striker, 5 of 7 wins by knockout, but he has spent the majority of his UFC cage time on his back. He has given up 10 takedowns over 2 fights. If Mokhtarian can find some success with his mat game, he could grind out a win. More likely, Choi utilizes his reach and power against an opponent ill-equipt to compete at this level- my prediction is Seungwoo Choi to defeat Suman Mokhtarian by knockout.

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155lbs- Dong Hyun Ma (16-10-3) vs Omar Antonio Morales Ferrer (8-0-0)

Fan friendly fighter “Maestro” Dong Hyun Ma returns home for the first time since 2015 when he battles the debuting Venezuelan Omar Morales in the Lightweight division. Ma has been a streaky fighter in the UFC, back to back knockout defeats gave way to a trio of victories and have since been overtaken by 2 more stoppage loses. For Morales, he made a splash on the Tuesday Night Contender Series with a 2nd round knockout of LFA Champion Harvey Park- he was victorious one fighter earlier in his Bellator debut.

Both fighters are 5’11”, but Ferrer will have a 3″ reach advantage.

Setting up the finish of his Contender’s contest with a series of brutal leg kicks, Morales showcased his finishing skills. He has finished all but 2 of his pro wins inside the opening round. Ma will be more than willing to oblige him in a firefight- trading on the feet with minimal focus on defense. Ma needs to utilize his Judo skills and engage Omar in the clinch, grind him on the cage, and test his cardio. That being said, Ma is too willing to throw hands and Ferrer is the superior striker with dangerous power- my prediction is Omar Morales to defeat Dong Hyun Ma by knockout.

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125lbs- #4 Alexandre Pantoja (21-4-0) vs #9 Matt Schnell (14-4-0)

In a Flyweight bout with title contention on the line, Alexandre Pantoja takes on the streaking Matt “Danger” Schnell. Schnell has won 4 in a row, including back to back submission wins, to rebound from an 0-2 UFC start. Pantoja had won 3 in a row, but most recently fell via decision to Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 240.

The American is the taller man by 3-inches and he will have a similar reach advantage.

Schnell has rounded out his offense nicely, working a solid striking attack in conjunction with opportunistic submission skills. In each of his last 2 wins, he forced his opponent into a grappling exchange, opened with a guillotine, and transitioned to a fight-ending guillotine. Pantoja has also showcased finishing ability in each of his last 2 wins, but the BJJ Black belt was battered on the feet for the majority of his last outing. Schnell has risen to the occasion, but this is another step up. Pantoja is the more durable fighter and offers a little more power. He is also the superior grappler that will capitalize on Schnell’s willingness to go to his back- my prediction is Alexandre Pantoja to defeat Matt Schnell by submission.

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135lbs- Raoni Barcelos (14-1-0) vs Said Nurmagomedov (13-1-0)

In a contest that should be getting more attention than an early morning undercard slot, Raoni Barcelos meets Russia’s Said Nurmagomedov in the Bantamweight division. Barcelos has won 7 in a row since his first career loss- he is 3-0 in the UFC. Nurmagomedov currently rides a 7-fight winning streak himself, including a pair of wins inside the Octagon.

Said is an inch taller and will have a 3″ reach advantage. He is the younger man by 5-years.

Barcelos has looked dangerous in all areas; showcasing heavy hands and solid ground game. Nurmagomedov is coming off an impressive victory over a dangerous opponent that offers a similar skill set to Barcelos. Distance is going to be the key here. Raoni needs to move forward with regularity and land against the longer Russian who offers a better distance striking attack that will keep him on the outside. Said has to limit Raoni’s grappling success to further magnify his advantage on the feet- my prediction is Said Nurmagomedov to defeat Raoni Barcelos by decision.

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125lbs- Miranda Granger (7-0-0) vs Amanda Lemos (6-1-1)

A pair of promotional debutants square off as Miranda “Danger” Granger takes on Brazil’s Amanda Lemos in the Women’s Flyweight division. Granger won her debut over Hannah Goldy by decision to maintain her perfect record. Lemos was undefeated entering the UFC but fell via TKO to Leslie Smith at Fight Night 113.

Granger’s debut was her first fight in this weight class after a career at Strawweight while Lemos started at 135-pounds. The American is 3-inches taller to go along with a 3″ reach advantage. Lemos is the older fighter by 5-years.

Lemos was booked to face Veronica Macedo, but Macedo was removed from the fight and booked for another night.

The Brazilian will be returning after a suspension that kept her out for well over 2-years and she is making the cut to 125-pounds for the first time in the UFC. All but 1 of Lemos’ career wins have come in the first round and in her debut, she gassed early and was finished. Granger may need to weather the storm early from her foe, but look for the more economical and longer Granger to take this fight over in rounds 2 and 3. The American could also utilize her grappling to further slow Amanda down- my prediction is Miranda Granger to defeat Amanda Lemos by decision.

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125lbs- Heili Alateng (13-7-1) vs #13 Ryan Benoit (10-5-0)

Opening the event at 2 am Eastern Time, Heili Alateng looks to build on a successful debut performance when he takes on Ryan “Baby Face” Benoit. Benoit is coming off of a knockout win over Ashkan Mokhtarian- he has alternated wins and losses over his last 9-fights. Alateng secured a decision victory in his debut to extend his current winning streak to 3 straight wins.

Both men are 5’5″, with Benoit holding a slight 2″ reach advantage. Benoit has traditionally competed at Flyweight but he has had issues making weight.

The heavy-handed Benoit has not seen action in over 2-years. Benoit is dangerous and has shown himself capable of finishing a fight with one shot. Conversely, he struggles with consistency and that will be his downfall here. Alanteng can strike and should find success counter the sporadic aggression of his foe. Heili also has his wrestling to fall back on which will counter his foe’s vertical aggression. Benoit’s layoff and questionable cardio coupled with the travel factor and divisional jump make this a tough spot for Benoit- my prediction is Heili Alateng to defeat Ryan Benoit by decision.

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