UFC 180 takes place tomorrow night in Mexico and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights for you below.
Fabricio Werdum Vs. Mark Hunt
Hunt always has a chance no matter who he’s facing thanks to his devastating knockout power and battle-proven durability. His takedown defense has improved in recent years and he has shown some flashes of a defensive ground game too – just enough to get himself out of danger from time to time.
Werdum has developed into a very well-rounded heavyweight though, with a much improved striking game that sees him piece together combinations of punches and kicks, while his takedowns are ok and his BJJ is excellent. This is probably why he is the favorite in the moneyline at -530.
If the Brazilian can fight at range and steer clear of the big shots flying his way he could potentially win a five round fight with Hunt on the feet, but it would be a very risky strategy indeed when just one punch could end his night. On the other hand if he takes the fight to the mat and looks for a submission then it should be a relatively easy night’s work for him. I expect that will be his strategy and that he will emerge from the Octagon as the UFC’s new interim heavyweight title holder.
Fabricio Werdum to win by submission in Rd2.
Jake Ellenberger vs. Kelvin Gastelum
The big question heading into this fight is which version of Ellenberger will show up? Ellenberger was a serious contender at 170lbs not so long ago, but lately he’s looked very lackluster. He’s still got big power in his hands and solid wrestling, but he’s just not been performing anywhere near the best of his ability.
If he shows up like that against Gastelum he’s in trouble, because this former TUF winner has been showing the kind of hunger and consistency that Ellenberger has lacked.
He perhaps not as much of a KO threat as his opponent, but he can still throw down and has an excellent work rate, while his bread and butter is his wrestling. So, in some ways these two are quite similar. On his day Ellenberger is more of a threat, but with there being reasons to doubt his mental game and Gastelum having the better work ethic in general, I’m leaning towards the TUF fighter to come out on top here on the scorecards.
Kelvin Gastelum to win by decision.
Dennis Bermudez vs. Ricardo Lamas
This is a good match-up between two talented top 10 featherweights. Of the two Bermudez has been the more impressive of late though, stringing together a seven fight winning streak thanks to his high-energy, well-rounded style that’s fun to watch.
Lamas has a solid set of skills too and they took him to a title shot earlier this year, but Bermudez appears to be a step ahead of him when it comes to his striking, wrestling and together with the torrid pace he pushes I think he can wear down Lamas and get a late stoppage due to strikes.
Dennis Bermudez to win by TKO in Rd3.
Edgar Garcia vs. Hector Urbina
The weaknesses in this PPV really start to show here in a big way. Neither of these two fighters has done anything to justify a prominent spot on the card.
Nonetheless, Garcia has previous experience in the UFC and is coming off a solid winning streak on the regional circuit. On the other hand Urbina is making his UFC debut with only one win in his last three fights and while he’s scrappy, he doesn’t belong here and I think one way or another Garcia finishes him here – my tip would be by submission.
Edgar Garcia to win by submission in Rd2.
Chris Heatherly vs. Augusto Montano
Another dubious main card offering here, though Montano is one of Mexico’s most notable prospects which explains how he secured this spot in his debut.
Heatherly is a somewhat limited fighter who relies on his wrestling, while Montano has proven to be a finisher who’s definitely the better striker and also offers up a submission threat. With the home crowd cheering on Montano I’d expect him to emerge victorious here via strikes.
Augusto Montano to win by TKO in Rd2.
Prelims: (predicted winners in bold)
Alejandro Perez vs. Jose Quinonez
Leonardo Morales vs. Yair Rodriguez
Jessica Eye vs. Leslie Smith
Enruique Briones vs. Guido Cannetti
Marco Beltran vs. Marlon Vera
Masio Fullen vs. Alexander Torres
Freddy Serrano vs. Bentley Syler