The TUF 25 Finale takes place tomorrow night in Las Vegas and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Johnson
This will be a challenging first test for Gaethje, who made a name for himself as WSOF’s lightweight champion and hold a perfect 17-0 record.
Gaethje has a somewhat reckless all-offense, all-action striking style that’s so far paid dividends in his career, with 14 of his wins having come by way of T/KO, and against respectable opposition too.
However, I’d say Johnson is a step up, despite the fact he’s lost three of his last four fights. The reality is that ‘Mack The Menace’ has been mixing it up with the best the UFC’s lightweight division has to offer for years with his mix of solid striking and wrestling together with a good chin.
Gaethje has good takedown defense and is the more potent offensive threat in this fight, but that does leave defensive holes in his game and I think Johnson’s more measured, methodical approach will win out here in the long run.
Michael Johnson to win by decision.
Dhiego Lima vs. Jesse Taylor
The finale of TUF 25 sees two established fighters in Lima and Taylor vying for a chance to make it back to the UFC.
Both men have notable weaknesses, with their being a big question mark over Lima’s chin after being stopped four times by strikes in the past few years, while all but one of Taylor’s 15 career losses have come by way of submission.
Still, despite that submission defense deficiency, Taylor can still be effective when he’s using his wrestling to control opponents and I think he’ll stifle Lima on the mat to earn a decision victory.
Jesse Taylor to win by decision.
Marc Diakiese vs. Drakkar Klose
This should be a fun one as both fighters will be willing to trade blows on the feet lookingi for a finish.
Diakiese has already turned heads with his recent performances in the UFC and I think he’ll do so again here as his power and speed get the better of Klose in the opening round for a TKO stoppage.
Marc Diakiese to win by TKO in Rd1.
Nick Roehrick vs. Jared Cannonier
Roehrick gets a big opportunity to debut in the UFC after compiling a 7-0 record to date, but the catch is he’s only had a few days notice to prepare to fight Cannonier after stepping in for the injured Steve Bosse.
Roehrick wouldn’t be the first late-notice fighter to ever pull off an upset win, but it’s still a tall order for anyone and I so I favor Cannonier to emerge with the win here.
Jared Cannonier to win by TKO in Rd2.
Elias Theodorou vs. Brad Tavares
I’ll say up front that I like Theodorou here.
He’s well-rounded, has excellent cardio and while Tavares may make a competitive showing if they just stand and trade punches, I think Theodorou will opt to mix things up more with grappling and clinch work to claim a competent, if not particularly exciting decision victory.
Elias Theodorou to win by decision.
Jordan Johnson vs. Marcel Fortuna
Both Johnson and Fortuna claimed a win in their Octagon debuts and will now be looking to build on that further torromow night.
Johnson is the bigger man here with a signifcant reach advantage and a stronger wrestling game, which will aid him on his way to a decision victory.
Jordan Johnson to win by decision.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Angela Hill vs. Ashley Yoder
C.B. Dollaway vs. Ed Herman
Jessica Eye vs. Aspen Ladd
James Krause vs. Tom Gallicchio
Gray Maynard vs. Teruto Ishihara
Juliana Lima vs. Tecia Torres