Of all the UFC events, this is certainly one of them.
Headlined by a top 15 clash in the middleweight division, Uriah Hall and Sean Strickland are doing the heavy lifting on a fight card that has very little else going for it thanks to late cancellations and replacements.
Uriah Hall (17-9) vs. Sean Strickland (23-3)
Much like the majority of Uriah Hall’s bouts, this feels like it’ll be decided by which version of ‘Primetime’ turns up.
Fortunately from the pre-fight build-up, Hall does seem to be aggressive and he’ll need that characteristic to counter Strickland’s front foot pressure.
Strickland is more than happy consistently pressuring his opponents and putting together combinations on the feet. With ‘Tarzan’ moving forward, Hall will need to initiate collisions on the counter and his power can certainly bring an early close to the bout.
While I do think the smart money would be on Strickland to overwhelm Hall, I’ll side with Hall to capitalise on a lack of head movement.
Pick: Uriah Hall
Kyung Ho Kang (17-8, 1 NC) vs. Rani Yahya (27-10-1, 1 NC)
Kang’s best path to victory is to keep this standing but I doubt he can do that with his own grappling tendencies.
On the mat, Yahya is always a joy to watch and if it hits the mat, I’d expect Yahya to control or find a submission win.
Pick: Rani Yahya
Cheyanne Buys (5-2) vs. Gloria de Paula (5-3)
Both fighters will want to keep this one standing but with Buys the more physical of the two, I think that’ll make all the difference at this early stage in both their careers.
Pick: Cheyanne Buys
Niklas Stolze (12-4) vs. Jared Gooden (17-6)
Gooden is a short-notice replacement so it’ll be interesting whether he can keep up his high output here.
Nevertheless, I think Stolze is more well-rounded as a striker and I’d expect his greater variety and preparation to count.
Pick: Niklas Stolze
Bryan Barberena (15-7) vs. Jason Witt (18-7)
I’d expect Witt to look to ground Barberena but I’m not sure he will be able to do so consistently.
On the feet, I think Barberena will have too much for Witt and potentially get a stoppage victory.
Pick: Bryan Barberena
(Last Predictions: 2/5, Total: 72/128, 56% Success Rate)
(Success Rate: 2016: 61%, ’17: 60%, ’18: 58%, 19′: 57%, 20′: 67%)