UFC 195, the first event of 2016 takes place on Saturday night in Las Vegas and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights for you below.
Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit
Hard to say who’ll be the winner in the main event, but what’s easy to predict is that this should be a highly entertaining fight between two exciting welterwight talents.
On the feet Lawler is unquestionably the heavier hitter of the two with serious knockout power in his hands. He’s a good boxer who works well in the pocket both offensively and defensively, has a great chin and can mix kicks into the equation too. Despite not having that one punch stopping power Condit is also dangerous with his versatile striking that brings fists, elbows, knees and kicks into play at a moment’s notice. He’s also a hard worker and like his opponent is always on the hunt for a way to finish a fight definitively.
Condit is also the more well-rounded of the two men, essentially being a threat wherever the fight goes. The only real weakness in his game is his takedown defense, but that shouldn’t be an issue here as though Lawler can wrestle he tends to use it just as a way to stay upright. Condit is very crafty either on top or from his back and could give Lawler problems with submissions if they do end up on the mat for extended periods of time.
It’s a fun match-up and could go either way, but I do favor Lawler. Condit could have some success with his constantly high pace as Lawler tends to pick his moments to burst to life in five round fights, but I don’t see him finishing the champion with strikes, whereas I can’t say the same thing in reverse. Condit is extremely tough, but Lawler hits like a truck and with 25 minutes to work I think he could well produce a TKO finish here.
Robbie Lawler to win by TKO in Rd3.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Stipe Miocic
Hats off to Arlovski, he’s done a lot better than many people would have expected since his return to the UFC. Retirement looked like the obvious choice a few years ago, but he never stopped believing and he’s proved himself to be a true warrior with this comeback in the twilight of his career.
Having said all that, I’m still reluctant to pick him, especially against a solid all-rounder like Miocic who’s taken far less damage over the course of his career and is very durable.
Miocic is less potent than Arlovski on the feet, but he’ll still make things competitive with solid fundamental boxing which will test his opponent’s questionable chin, while also holding the wrestling advantage which will bring takedowns and solid ground and pound into play and I think that’ll prove to be enough to earn Miocic a decision victory.
Stipe Miocic to win by decision.
Lorenz Larkin vs. Albert Tumenov
This should be an interesting striking battle pitting Larkin’s swift, flashy and diverse offense and Tumenov’s more predictable, but nonetheless very effective output.
Larkin could undoubtedly produce something unexpected that ends the fight, but Tumenov is the more dependable, less reckless fighter here and I think he’ll capitalize on some of the openings Larkin’s style presents to find a finish via strikes in this one.
Albert Tumenov to win by TKO in Rd2.
Diego Brandao vs. Brian Ortega
Brandao is an offensively minded fighter who can overwhelm opponents with the ferocity of his striking attacks in the early stages of his fights, though if he doesn’t find a finish he has a tendency to fade away in the later rounds.
Ortega takes a different approach with submissions being his biggest weapon, though he can strike too and he’s proven in his career to date that he’s still a threat late on in his fights which I think may just be the most important difference between them as he gets the better of the later rounds to win the fight by decision.
Brian Ortega to win by decision.
Tony Sims vs. Abel Trujillo
This is another fight likely to be won and loss on the feet with Trujillo being an aggressive striker who’s eagerness to swing a homerun hit can leave him exposed, while Sims has more discipline but still brings the kind of power needed to end fights.
With that in mind Sims feels like the safer choice here as he should be able to take advantage of Trujillo’s defensive lapses and I’ll take him to find a late finish here.
Tony Sims to win by TKO in Rd3.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Masanori Kanehara vs. Michael McDonald
Nina Ansaroff vs. Justine Kish
Drew Dober vs. Scott Holtzman
Alex Morono vs. Kyle Noke
Joseph Duffy vs. Dustin Poirier
Joe Soto vs. Michinori Tanaka
Edgar Garcia vs. Sheldon Westcott