‘UFC On FX 7’ goes down on Saturday night in Brazil and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights for you below.
Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping
Since his infamous KO loss to ‘Hendo’, Michael Bisping has proven that he can handle himself against a succession of heavy-hitters, and often-times I’ve backed him to do so, but I must admit I’ve always thought that Belfort might be a step to far for him.
Despite displaying very good footwork and defense at times Bisping tends to freeze a little when fighters burst forward with aggressive combinations of strikes. That’s pretty much Belfort’s MO, plus he hit’s like a truck and has the killer instinct when he senses he has his opponents hurt which all sounds like bad news for the Brit.
Bisping is right though – Belfort tends to start strong, but is less so as the fight progresses, and given ‘The Count’s’ excellent cardio, if he can survive the opening onslaught then in a five round fight like this he could turn the screw later on and emerge the winner.
Nevertheless, I’m going with my gut instinct on this one that Belfort’s going to finish this one decisively with punches before the championship rounds.
Vitor Belfort to win by KO in Rd2.
Daniel Sarafian vs. C.B. Dollaway
Still scratching my head about this one being the co-main event to be honest. Anyway, Dollaway’s struggled to rise above the mediocre in the UFC thus far, while Sarafian’s more of an unknown quantity having come through the TUF: Brazil ranks but not actually having fought in the UFC officially yet due to an injury keeping him out of the finale.
In fact Sarafian’s not fought since July of 2011 so this is a tough test for him. The Brazilian is at his best with submission and that could well come in handy against Dollaway who may well be looking to use his wrestling advantage to grind out a win here.
I think Sarafian has more of a spark about him, but the long layoff bothers me and so I’m going for Dollaway to plod on to a decision win here.
CB Dollaway to win by decision.
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Ben Rothwell
Not so long ago both of these guys were looking like they were very much on the downside of their careers, but each displayed renewed vigour in their last outings in the Octagon.
Gonzaga appears to have finally accepted that he needs to get back to his submission roots, while Rothwell got in much better shape than we’ve seen from him before after a few sluggish performances.
We’ll have to wait and see whether they both are able to continue that on into this fight, but assuming they do it could be a pretty competitive fight. On the feet it’s fairly even, but I think Rothwell hits a little harder and has the better chin. On the mat however Gonzaga is the great threat.
Tough one to call, but given his durability and willingness to make the fight ugly if it gets him a win I’m slightly favoring Rothwell. I’ll be a little bold and say Rothwell TKO’s Gonzaga during a back-and-forth exchange late in the second round.
Ben Rothwell to win by TKO in Rd2.
Thiago Tavares vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Nurmagomedov has already passed some tough challenges in his brief UFC career against Gleison Tibau and Kamal Shalorus, and he’s right back into another one now against Tavares.
Both of these fighters like to compete at a fast pace and are capable of mixing it up on the feet and on the mat. Nurmagomedov is the more likely to make an impact on the feet in my opinion, but really these two are probably at their best when it comes to grappling, with Tavares having a slight edge with submissions while Nurmagomedov has the better positional control and should have a size advantage.
I see this one being competitive with Nurmagomedov dictating where the fight goes more often and emerging with a decision win.
Khabib Nurmagomedov to win by decision.
Godofredo Pepey vs. Milton Vieira
Diego Nunes vs. Nik Lentz
Ronny Markes vs. Andrew Craig
Edson Barboza vs. Lucas Martins
Yuri Alcantara vs. Pedro Nobre
Wagner Prado vs. Ildemar Alcantara
Francisco Trinaldo vs. C.J. Keith