UFC Fight Night 29 goes down in Brazil tomorrow night and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights for you.
Demian Maia vs. Jake Shields
Two talented grapplers here, but I don’t think Shields has ever faced anybody quite on Maia’s level before when it comes to BJJ.
After watching how dominant Maia was against Jon Fitch, I think he should have enough to get the better of Shields, though he may struggle to find a finish on the mat and it might devolve into a bit of a stalemate at times.
Of course it’s always possible that they’ll look to engage on the feet too, though I must admit I hope not as neither man is a particularly good striker. I’d also give Maia the advantage here though, so wherever this one goes I see Maia emerging victorious.
Demian Maia to win by decision.
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Erick Silva
I’m generally very impressed with Silva, but this is a tough stylistic match-up for him. If he can keep this fight standing then things look good for him as he’s undoubtedly the better striker and he could give Kim a lot of problems.
However, Kim’s unlikely to let him do that and instead will be looking to close the distance looking for the clinch and takedowns. Silva was controlled on the mat by Jon Fitch a year ago, and if gets the opportunity Kim will be just as stifling from top control.
It’s unfortunate, Silva’s an exciting and entertaining fighter to watch, but this is unlikely to be a fight where he gets a chance to shine and I’m taking Kim to grind out the win here.
Dong Hyun Kim to win by decision.
Matt Hamill vs. Thiago Silva
A couple of seasoned 205lb veterans here and I must say I favor Silva quite strongly here. Hamill looked rather uninspired and underwhelming in the latter part of his UFC career, then retired and came back a year later looking pretty much exactly the same.
It’s now been another year since he last fought and I don’t hold out much hope that he’s reinvented himself during that period. Silva’s had his struggles too, but there’s always been more upside to his game and I think he’ll fight at a higher tempo with more mobility and aggression, gradually beating up Hamill over the best part of three rounds before claiming a late TKO stoppage.
Thiago Silva to win by TKO in Rd3.
Joey Beltran vs. Fabio Maldonado
These two light-heavyweight’s are tough as old boots and like to throw heavy leather so this could turn into a bit of a bruising encounter.
I favor Maldonado here as I think he’s the more skilled boxer and should be able to pick holes in Beltran’s dubious defense and work in his excellent body shots into the bargain. Beltran’s proven to be very durable in the past, but I’m not entirely convinced by his reinvention at 205lbs and I think if he really goes for it Maldonado can get the third round stoppage here.
Fabio Maldonado to win by TKO in Rd3.
Raphael Assuncao vs. T.J. Dillashaw
This should be a competitive bantamweight match-up between two fighters currently on significant winning streaks in the division.
I see this being a reasonably close, competitive match-up, but for my money there’s more spark to Dillashaw’s game on the feet and he’ll be able to land some point-scoring takedowns along the way while steering clear of the Brazilian’s submissions to claim a decision victory and continue his progress up the 135lb ladder.
TJ Dillashaw to win by decision.
Rousimar Palhares vs. Mike Pierce
Pierce has proven to be a solid, dependable but rarely spectacular fighter who’s tough to beat. Palhares is the opposite in several regards, being somewhat unreliable and erratic other than the fact that if he’s on the ground and he’s got a hold of one of your legs in which case the odds are that a spectacular, jaw-dropping submission is about to take place.
I think Pierce is smart enough and skilled enough to shut down his opponent’s opportunities to go for his favored submission moves and can slightly edge him on the feet while also controlling the grappling action through careful clinch work and periods of top control. It’s unlikely to be particularly exciting to watch, but it should be enough to earn him the victory.
Mike Pierce to win by decision.
Prelims: (Predicted winner in bold)
Igor Araujo vs. Ildemar Alcantara
Yan Cabral vs. David Mitchell
Chris Cariaso vs. Iliarde Santos
Alan Patrick vs. Garett Whiteley