UFC Fight Night 123 takes place tomorrow night in Fresno, California and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega
Ortega is a hotly tipped prospect, but he has a real challenge on his hands here against Swanson.
‘T-City’ is best known for his high-level grappling and his submission prowess could be a major factor in this fight as Swanson has been vulnerable to being finished on the mat against top-flight opposition in the past.
However, Ortega is also not afraid to mix it up on the feet and is a threat in that regard too, but he’ll need to be very careful not to get too reckless as Swanson is a seasoned striker who has a multitude of weapons that he can use to exploit weaknesses in his opponent’s defense.
Swanson can be lured into getting a bit overzealous himself at times though, and that could help Ortega find ways to initiate the kind of scrambling game that he thrives on and so in a fight that could go either way I do slightly favor him to get Swanson down at some stage over the course of five rounds and find a submission finish.
Brian Ortega to win by submission in Rd4.
Jason Knight vs. Gabriel Benítez
There was a little bit of buzz building about Jason Knight, aka ‘Hick Diaz’ up until Ricardo Lamas derailed his hype-train last time out, but this match-up against Benitez looks like one that could get him back on track.
Knight would appear to have the edge in terms of both striking and grappling here, and I like his chances of being able to manufacture a submission finish in the second round.
Jason Knight to win by submission in Rd2.
Marlon Moraes vs. Aljamain Sterling
This is a very intriguing fight between former long-time WSOF champ Moraes and a rising UFC star in Sterling.
Moraes is the more well-rounded of the two here and certainly the better striker, so he’ll be looking to keep this fight standing as much as possible in order to avoid Sterling’s strong wrestling game, but he won’t be out-of-his-depth if it does go to ground.
The fact Moraes took this fight on only four weeks notice since his last Octagon outing is a concern as Sterling is not a man to take lightly, but I do still think htat Moraes’ superior stand-up will help him take a competitive decision win here.
Marlon Moraes to win by decision.
Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher
There’s not a whole lot to choose between these two, with Horcher having a little more impact in the striking department, but I think Holtzman will be able to outpace him in the later rounds to edge out a decision win.
Scott Holtzman to win by decision.
Eryk Anders vs. Markus Perez
Anders is a notable prospect and made a good start in his UFC debut back in July, knocking out Rafael Natal in the first round.
Perez is unbeaten, but will be making his UFC debut tomorrow night and has only had a month to prepare. I think he’ll find it tough to keep with Anders pace and athleticism, leading to a ground and pound stoppage inside of 10 minutes.
Eryk Anders to win by TKO in Rd2.
Albert Morales vs. Benito Lopez
Lopez makes his debut after landing a contract on Dana White’s Tuesday night Contenders Series and he’s got some flashy strikes in his arsenal, but it remains to be seen if his all-round game is good enough to make an impact in the UFC.
Morales is still just a fringe-level player in the promotion though and should indulge him in a striking battle, so I’ll take Lopez to rise to the occasion in his first Octagon fight and win on the scorecards.
Benito Lopez to win by decision.
Alexis Davis vs. Liz Carmouche
Luke Sanders vs. Andre Soukhamthath
Carls John de Tomas vs. Alex Perez
Frankie Saenz vs. Merab Dvalishvili
Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Davi Ramos
Alejandro Pérez vs. Iuri Alcântara
Antônio Braga Neto vs. Trevin Giles