UFC Fight Night 41 is the first of two UFC events scheduled to take place this weekend and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.

Main Card:

Mark Munoz vs. Gegard Mousasi

Mousasi is certainly the superior technical striker in this match-up, though Munoz does have power in his hands. That gives him a chance, but if it stays on the feet then it’s likely to be Mousasi’s fight.

However, Munoz has already said he plans to take Mousasi down to the mat and exploit his weakness in the wrestling department. It’s a good strategy and could well prove effective if he can get his opponent down. Mousasi’s takedown defense isn’t great, but despite his wrestling credentials Munoz isn’t particularly fast or explosive when it comes to takedown attempts and he might find it difficult if Mousasi keeps him on the end of his jab.

Munoz has devastating ground and pound, but Mousasi has submissions at his disposal, so it’s clear both men have ways to win. Mousasi hasn’t lived up to his full potential yet, but he is a talented fighter and I think he will be able to keep Munoz at range and outstrike him to earn a decision victory here.

Gegard Mousasi by decision.

Francis Carmont vs. C.B. Dollaway

CB Dollaway did well in his last outing, earning a KO victory, but I can’t lie, I’m still not sold on him. In all fairness I’ve not been bowled over by Carmont either so far.

Dollaway may have a slight edge in the stand-up and better submissions, but I’d give Carmont the wrestling and strength advantage, and since he’s more willing to embrace the grind I think he does just that and will do just enough to scrap together a win on the scorecards.

Francis Carmont to win by decision.

Luke Barnatt vs. Sean Strickland

The very tall, rangey Barnatt will aim to keep this one standing, while Strickland would prefer to plant him on his back and work his effective ground and pound.

It’s quite possible to see either gameplan being effective, but while Strickland might initially find it difficult to get inside on Barnatt I think his tenacity will pay off and he’ll get his fair share of takedowns, leading to either a decision or late TKO stoppage.

Sean Strickland to win by TKO in Rd3.

Tom Niinimaki vs. Niklas Backstrom

Niinimaki looked assured in his UFC debut and we’ll have to see if Backstrom can do the same as he makes his first appearance inside the Octagon.

Backstrom is coming in as a late replacement though, and while he’s got the size advantage and can mix things up with striking and mat work, Niinimaki is the more talented ground fighter and has far more experience. I expect him to emerge with his hand raised here.

Tom Niinimaki to win by decision.

Prelims:

Drew Dober vs. Nick Hein
Magnus Cedenblad vs. Krzysztof Jotko
Iuri Alcantara vs. Vaughan Lee
Pawel Pawlak vs. Peter Sobotta
Maximo Blanco vs. Andy Ogle
Ruslan Magomedov vs. Viktor Pesta

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