UFC Fight Night 30 goes down in Manchester, England tomorrow night and we’ve got all our predictions for you below.
Lyoto Machida vs. Mark Munoz
Middleweight looks like being a natural fit for Machida so I don’t think the cut will play a factor in this fight, so it’s purely going to be down to who the better fighter is and how their skills match-up on the night.
In that regard I think ‘The Dragon’ has a good chance to come out on top as his strengths play well against Munoz’s weaknesses. For instance, Munoz doesn’t have great movement, struggles with finding his range and while he’s certainly heavy-handed his striking is a little predictable and slow-paced. Machida’s already quick, and may be even moreso at 185lbs, plus he’s a gifted counter-striker so I expect him to have a lot of success darting in-and-out with punches and kicks here.
Ideally Munoz would like to take this fight to the mat, and he does possess some of the most devastating ground and pound in the sport, but the trouble is, for all he has good wrestling credentials, he doesn’t have the fastest shot and doesn’t transition from striking to the takedown efficiently. Machida’s elusiveness is only going to make life more difficult for him and I see it being a frustrating night for the ‘Wrecking Machine.’
While Munoz will have trouble laying hands on the Brazilian, there’ll be no such problem for Machida and I see him slowly wearing down his opponent with strikes and turning up the heat in the later rounds as Munoz tires to get the stoppage win.
Lyoto Machida to win by TKO in Rd4.
Ross Pearson vs. Melvin Guillard
Guillard’s been through a bit of a rough patch lately, but this could be a fight that will help steady the ship for him.
Pearson is a solid enough boxer, but he lacks Guillard’s speed and devastating punching power so there’s a good chance he’s going to have a rough night if he goes toe-to-toe with ‘The Young Assassin.’
The former TUF winner’s best bet is to play spoiler, getting into the clinch and looking for takedowns, but I think he’s going to struggle to get in close without getting caught with something thrown with bad intentions, and I think he may well end up getting finished here.
Melvin Guillard to win by KO in Rd2.
Jimi Manuwa vs. Ryan Jimmo
This could well play out as a classic striker vs grappler match-up. That’s not to say Jimmo can’t strike – he’s certainly capable in that regard, but Manuwa is a very dangerous prospect on the feet and has the kind of killer instinct that he’d do well to avoid.
That’s why it’s most likely he’ll look to utilize his wrestling here to get this fight to the mat where Manuwa is far less comfortable. From there he’d focus largely on ground and pound and try to work to a decision or late stoppage.
I think there’s definitely a time when Manuwa’s ground game could prove to be his downfall, and it may come against Jimmo, but I’m going to throw a little caution to the wind and suggest that with the UK crowd behind him he’ll come out with all guns blazing and put his opponent on the back foot before finding a finish in the second round.
Jimi Manuwa to win by TKO in Rd2.
Norman Parke vs. Jon Tuck
These two former TUF competitors haven’t quite stood out from the crowd yet in the UFC’s lightweight division so tomorrow is as good a time as any for them to make a lasting impression.
I’m not expecting to see anything too eye-catching here though, with TUF: Smashes winner Parke probably dictating where the fight takes place with takedowns, which won’t necessarily disappoint Tuck who’s comfortable there and will look for submission and sweeps from his back.
Parke should be good enough to stave off those attempts though and put in a workmanlike shift to earn a decision win.
Norman Parke to win by decision
Alessio Sakara vs. Nicholas Musoke
Sakara comes back after a fairly long layoff and has a relatively favorable match-up here to ease himself back into action against the newcomer Musoke.
Musoke comes in as a short notice replacement having previously fought mainly on the Swedish scene, so it’s a tough ask for him to go up against a grizzled veteran like Sakara.
Sakara will come out looking for the finish from the opening bell as he always does, giving Musoke no time to get his bearings and shake off the infamous ‘Octagon jitters’. I don’t see it ending well for him, and a first round finish looks like a good possibility here.
Alessio Sakara to win by TKO in Rd1.
John Lineker vs. Phil Harris
This has the makings of a competitive featherweight fight between two men with opposing styles.
Lineker’s ‘Hands Of Stone’ moniker is apt as he’s displayed genuine knockout power so far in the Octagon and is relentless in his pursuit of the finish. Harris on the other hand excels on the mat and poses a submission threat, though he might struggle to get the fight there in the first place.
I’d favor Lineker to keep this one on the feet and extend his unbeaten run to four fights with a second round stoppage, though I wonder how much longer we’ll be seeing him at 145lbs given that he’s again failed to make weight today – the third time he’s done so during his stint in the UFC which won’t go down well with Dana White.
John Lineker to win by TKO in Rd2.
Al Iaquinta vs. Piotr Hallmann
Luke Barnatt vs. Andrew Craig
Rosi Sexton vs. Jessica Andrade
Andy Ogle vs. Cole Miller
Jim Hettes vs. Robert Whiteford
Bradley Scott vs. Michael Kuiper