2021’s final UFC event emanates from the promotions APEX Centre this Saturday night as a solid fight card brings the curtain down on the year.
Headlined by a heavyweight clash between veteran and prospect, Derrick Lewis will look to return to winning ways as he takes on Chris Daukaus in his first main event.
Supported by a welterweight clash between Stephen Thompson vs. Belal Muhammad and stand out contests like Diego Ferreira vs. Mateusz Gamrot, UFC Fight Night 199 looks to be a fun end to the year.
Derrick Lewis (25-8, 1 NC) vs. Chris Daukaus (12-3)
Derrick Lewis’ resume has remained strong throughout his UFC tenure as ‘The Black Beast’ has only lost to quality competition since the end of 2015. Despite Lewis’ pedigree however, the buck has to end at some point and another loss in a title fight like his last outing could potentially be the tipping point.
Daukaus meanwhile has shown a similar penchant for knockouts but has achieved his feats through his hand speed as opposed to a mythical death touch that Lewis possesses.
This could be the beginning of the end of Lewis’ gatekeeper role but I think with Lewis’ power and Daukaus being KO’d on the regional scene, you still have to have faith in Lewis to find one opening.
Pick: Derrick Lewis
Stephen Thompson (16-5-1) vs. Belal Muhammad (19-3, 1 NC)
Muhammad is coming into this bout on a really underrated win over Demian Maia but that intelligence needed to best Maia is a different approach entirely to the one needed to beat ‘Wonderboy’.
Without an elite takedown game, it’s a really tough ask to get consistent success on the feet against Thompson and for all of Muhammad’s talents, Thompson is just a tricky problem to overcome.
Maybe Muhammad’s output can overwhelm Thompson but his footwork and counter game should see him keep one step ahead of Muhammad.
Pick: Stephen Thompson
Amanda Lemos (10-1-1) vs. Angela Hill (13-10)
I’m a big fan of Angela Hill and her record isn’t reflective of her current quality inside of the octagon.
Despite my partiality for Hill however, she can be defensively suspect and Lemos does pack power at strawweight.
Hill may well mix in takedowns to try and remove Lemos’ power from the equation but I think this bout will primarily take place on the feet and for the Brazilian’s punches to carry that extra weight.
Pick: Amanda Lemos
Raphael Assuncao (27-8) vs. Ricky Simon (18-3)
While Assuncao’s current three-fight skid has come against elite competition, I do think his age and tenure at the top has started to take its toll.
Simon isn’t quite at the level of those that the 39-year old has been losing to but he is aggressive and that could be enough to swing the bout in his favour.
As long as Simon doesn’t get stuck on the mat with Assuncao, I think his output and youthful exuberance on the feet will be enough to get the victory.
Pick: Ricky Simon
Diego Ferreira (17-4) vs. Mateusz Gamrot (19-1, 1 NC)
Ferreira is a well-rounded fighter with elite quality in his submission game but his gas tank is a serious question mark.
Gamrot meanwhile is just as well-rounded but I think he’s got the upside when it comes to his power and technique on the feet.
If Gamrot can keep this standing for the majority of the bout, especially early on, the Polish fighter should continue to show why many are tipping him to a top 10 spot next year.
Pick: Mateusz Gamrot
Cub Swanson (27-12) vs. Darren Elkins (26-9)
Darren Elkins doesn’t know when to give up and that durability of spirit can be a nightmare for his opponents.
While Cub Swanson suffered a quick loss in his last contest, Giga Chikadze is a very different proposition than Elkins and he had been looking decent prior to that bout.
If Elkins can get his grappling game going it could be a tough night for Swanson but I think ‘Killer’ Cub has enough about him on the feet to keep ahead on the judges’ scorecards.
Pick: Cub Swanson
(Last Predictions: 2/5, Total: 124/215, 58% Success Rate)
(Success Rate: 2016: 61%, ’17: 60%, ’18: 58%, 19′: 57%, 20′: 67%)