UFC Fight Night 95 takes place tomrrow night in Brasilia, Brazil and you can check out our predictions for all the fights below.
Cris Cyborg vs. Lina Lansberg
Cyborg’s fight week hasn’t exactly gone smoothly as she battles to shed 25lbs to make the 140lb catchweight limit, but while her weight-cutting strategy may be questioned, there’s no doubting her talents as a fighter.
Unbeaten in her past 17 fights, Cyborg is the most feared woman in all of mixed martial arts, and rightly so with her knockout power, strength, grappling and all-round technical ability delivering a potent mix that no one has yet had an answer for.
It’s unlikely that UFC newcomer Lansberg will be able to buck the trend, though she is actually a seasoned muay thai fighter, who’s compiled a 6-1 record in MMA so far.
The Swede hasn’t been facing a meaningful level of opposition in the cage so far though, and certainly hasn’t faced anything like the ferocious competitor that she’ll go up against on Saturday night.
I think Cyborg can get the better of the striking, but even if Lansberg does make it close in that regard, the Brazilian holds a major advantage in the grappling department and is going to be significantly bigger and stronger than her opponent, so a TKO stoppage at some stage in the fight seems almost inevitable.
Cris Cyborg to win by TKO in Rd2.
Renan Barao vs. Phillipe Nover
Once one of the most dominant fighters in the sport, former bantamweight champion Barao is currently in the midst of an unfamiliar losing streak that’s seen him lose three of his last four fights, including dropping a decision to Jeremy Stephens in his featherweight debut last time out.
With that in mind the UFC appear to have given him a more manageable task this time out, taking on former TUF fighter Nover, who over two separate stints in the promotion has mustered only a 1-4 record.
Nover is not as bad as that record suggests, but this is a fight where Barao should be able to shine on his feet and I think he’ll steadily pick his opponent apart with his technical striking and find a finish late in the fight.
Renan Barao to win by TKO in Rd3.
Roy Nelson vs. Antonio Silva
Two grizzled heavyweight veterans collide in this main card match-up, and to say that they are past their best might be underselling it, with the two having a combined record of just three wins in their last 12 fights.
Nevertheless, I feel fairly confident picking Nelson to win by knockout here as the fact that Silva’s ability to take a shot has gone is so painfully apparent that it’s become uncomfortable to see him still get booked to fight.
On the other hand, Nelson can still withstand knuckle sandwiches to the head all day, and while his own output has declined, he still wields massive power that should lead to a violent ending to this fight sooner rather than later.
Roy Nelson to win by KO in Rd1.
Paul Felder vs. Francisco Trinaldo
Though Trinaldo has a vastly superior recent record here, having won his last six fights in a row, compared to just two wins in his last four for Felder, this is still a close fight.
That’s because Felder is a very sound technical striker and has better fundamentals than Trinaldo. That being said, the Brazilian is very capable in that regard too, and as well as being more fluid on his feet he is also more aggressive, which, added to the fact that Trinaldo has the home advantage, may just be the difference between the two in what should be a closely fought battle over 15 minutes.
Francisco Trinaldo to win by decision.
Thiago Santos vs. Eric Spicely
Santos may have lost his last fight, but he’d already proved he’s a talented fighter with four victories in the UFC before that, so it was something of a surprise to see him matched up with Spicely, who has lost his only bout in the Octagon so far.
With that in mind it doesn’t take a genius to see the UFC’s motiviations here, and I fully expect Santos to put his striking skills to good use and put Spicely away in the opening five minutes of the fight.
Thiago Santos to win by TKO in Rd1.
Mike De La Torre vs. Godofredo Pepey
Pepey is the type of fighter that likes to go all out for a finish, often throwing caution to the wind in the process, and due to his unpredictability and submission prowess that can often work out in his favor.
De La Torre is the better striker of the two, but he’s outmatched on the mat, and I think that will be his undoing as Pepey’s chaotic approach leads to opportunities to get his opponent down and pull off a submission finish.
Godofredo Pepey to win by submission in Rd1.
Prelims: (predicted winners in bold)
Gilbert Burns vs. Michel Prazeres
Michinori Tanaka vs. Rani Yahya
Jussier Formiga vs. Dustin Ortiz
Vicente Luque vs. Hector Urbina
Alan Patrick vs. Stevie Ray
Luan Chagas vs. Erick Silva
Glaico Franca vs. Gregor Gillespie