UFC Fight Night 119 takes place tomorrow night in Sao Paulo, Brazil and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Derek Brunson vs. Lyoto Machida
After serving a two-year suspension, the now 39-year-old Lyoto Machida returns to action at last to fight Derek Brunson in the main event of the show.
Even before his layoff Machida seemed to be fading, although in fairness to him the three losses he’s endured in his last four fights all came to top-tier middleweights.
Still, it does give food for though heading into this fight with Brunson, who is a sloppy striker and leaves gaping holes in his defense that a counter-striker like Machida could exploit, but does have heavy hands and a significant wrestling advantage here.
Machida is hard to get hold of and take down though and I think he will be able to pick Brunson apart on the feet, so even though I have my reservations given his long absence and age, I’ll take ‘The Dragon’ to win by TKO in the second half of the fight.
Lyoto Machida to win by TKO in Rd4.
Demian Maia vs. Colby Covington
This is a very intriguing bout as Jiu-Jitsu master Maia faces up against Covington, a dominant wrestler and rising force in the division.
Covington always has his foot on the throttle, pushing a hard pace, giving his opponents very little room to operate and consistently lands big takedowns.
Maia’s almost 40-years-old now so it remains to be seen if he can cope with that kind of pace, but what we do know is that he’s come up against a number of strong wrestlers over the years at 170lbs, and aside from Jake Shields, nobody who has tested him on the mat has found an answer for his BJJ skills.
I’m tempted to pick Covington here as he has impressed in his UFC tenure so far, but unless he’s able to wear Maia out on the feet first I think he’ll have difficulty with him on the mat and his aggression will play against him and lead to a submission finish.
Demian Maia to win by submission in Rd2.
Rob Font vs. Pedro Munhoz
Both fighters head into this bout off some solid victories in the UFC and this is a fight that could see either man taking a significant step up the bantamweight ladder.
Munhoz’s biggest threat is by submissions and he’s extremely dangerous with guillotine chokes in particular, but Font should have a solid edge in the striking department, which I believe will enable him to hurt his opponent and claim a late TKO victory.
Rob Font to win by TKO in Rd3.
Jim Miller vs. Francisco Trinaldo
Miller and Trinaldo are two battle-hardened veterans who still have a lot to offer in the lightweight ranks, so it’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top here.
Trinaldo is the older of the two at 39, but he’s been on the better run of form overall with seven wins in his last eight fights. He’s a real handful to deal with on the feet, particularly in the first half of the fight and I think that could be the key in this bout as they are both talented enough on the mat to cancel each other out.
I think this one will play out mostly standing and Trinaldo’s power and explosive athleticism will lead him to a decision victory.
Francisco Trinaldo to win by decision.
Jack Hermansson vs. Thiago Santos
A natural finisher, Santos is a terror on the feet and has the power in his kicks and punches to back up his ambition.
However, Hermansson could potentially have the antidote to that as he has good wrestling and works effectively with ground and pound, while Santos doesn’t have the best takedown defense.
That being said, Santos is good at getting back to his feet, and I think that in what should be a close fight it’ll be his striking that catches the judges eyes enough to edge his way to a decision victory.
Thiago Santos to win by decision.
John Lineker vs. Marlon Vera
Lineker has some of the most fearsome power in the lower weight classes, so it’s very likely that Vera will be looking to find a way to get this fight to the mat as soon as possible in order to showcase his submission skills.
Lineker isn’t easy to get down though and if Vera does have to contend with the Brazilian on the feet then I think he’ll struggle to deal with ‘Hands Of Stone’s’ pressure and concussive striking, leading to a stoppage inside of a round and a half.
John Lineker to win by TKO in Rd2.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Vicente Luque vs. Niko Price
Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Jack Marshman
Hacran Dias vs. Jared Gordon
Max Griffin vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos
Jarred Brooks vs. Delveson Figueiredo
Christian Colombo vs. Marcelo Golm