UFC Fight Night 47 takes place tomorrow night in Maine and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Ryan Bader vs. Ovince St. Preux
OSP has won against a number of solid light-heavyweights over the course of his career, but Bader is a definite step up for him. He should have a speed advantage against Bader on the feet and a more diverse, fluid striking game, but I think he may struggle to implement his wrestling game as much as he normally would against the former TUF champ.
If Bader is smart he will look to turn this into a wrestling match as I believe he’s the better equipped of the two in that department, not to mention the fact that his chin has become questionable, so a prolonged striking battle is not in his best interests. I also believe Bader has the better gas tank, so a grinding strategy should pay dividends for him over the course of five rounds.
It’s a close fight and certainly not hard to see how either man could emerge on top, but I like Bader’s experience and superior wrestling / clinch work to win out on the night.
Ryan Bader to win by decision.
Gray Maynard vs. Ross Pearson
There’s a lot of pressure on Maynard here. He’s coming back after a lengthy layoff, has lost three of his last four fights, and perhaps most worryingly with all three of his defeats coming by way of strikes there’s now serious doubts about his ability to withstand punishment at the age of 35.
Perhaps the time off has helped recharge his batteries, but Maynard’s early career was marked by a dominating, though admittedly at time rather boring, wrestle-heavy approach, and while fans would rather see him slug it out he’d be much better off going back to that strategy for this fight as he’s the better wrestler and would have a very good chance of emerging with his hand raised.
However, like other wrestlers before him, Maynard’s fallen in love with striking, and while his hands have definitely improved over the years I think Pearson’s the crisper, more compact boxer and shows better movement, while his kicking game is also developing. The Brit isn’t the hardest puncher, but a late stoppage could be a possibility here, though I’m erring on the side of caution and taking him to edge a close win on the scorecards.
Ross Pearson to win by decision.
Tim Boetsch vs. Brad Tavares
There was a time not so long ago that Boetsch was piecing together a solid winning streak in the 185lb division, but like Maynard above, he’s now in a precarious spot with just one win in his last four Octagon outings.
Tavares is coming off a loss too, but had five wins on the trot before that and at this stage in their careers he looks like the fresher, hungrier fighter who makes up for his lack of finishing power with a strong work ethic and well-rounded skills which leads me to believe he’ll secure a decision win.
Brad Tavares to win by decision.
Seth Baczynski vs. Alan Jouban
A running theme on this fight card so far is fighters on the edge after losing three of their last four fights, and Backzynski is another one. Unlike Maynard and Boetsch, he has what on paper seems like an easier task in front of him though as he welcomes newcomer Jouban from RFA.
A former RFA champion, Jouban seems like a decent fighter with a BJJ base and improving striking, but nothing earth-shattering so far and yet he’s yet to take a real step up in competition.
Baczynski’s much more experienced and despite his disappointing form of late he did go the full three rounds with fighters like Thiago Alves and Mike Pierce. He too offers up a notable submission game and will have a size advantage on the feet. Dare I say we’re heading to another decision here with Baczynski emerging the victor.
Seth Bacyznski to win by decision.
Shawn Jordan vs. Jack May
This heavyweight fight should offer up the best chance of a decisive finish on the main card, and with Jordan generally pushing a quick pace from the beginning we could well be looking at a first round stoppage here.
May’s has a big height advantage and has got good power in his hands, and with Jordan having been KO’d in his last two fights one clean connection could be all it takes for him.
I actually like Jordan to win though, with the fast pace he sets and combination of striking and wrestling helping to overwhelm his opponent in the early stages of the fight, setting up a ground and pound finish.
Shawn Jordan to win by TKO in Rd1
Thiago Tavares vs. Robbie Peralta
Interesting featherweight match-up here as UFC lightweight veteran Tavares moves down to featherweight to take on Peralta who’s lost just once in his last thirteen fights.
Tavares has struggled to put together a consistent run at 155lbs and only time will tell if stepping down a division will help him in that regard. He should have the size advantage here which will help and is unquestionably the better grappler of the two.
However, Peralta has very good takedown defense and is the more dangerous of the two on the feet, and together with being the more consistent of the two I actually favor the underdog to get his third stoppage win due to strikes in six UFC fights.
Robbie Peralta to win by TKO in Rd2
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Jussier Formiga vs. Zach Makovsky
Sara McMann vs. Lauren Murphy
Tom Watson vs. Sam Alvey
Nolan Ticman vs. Frankie Saenz