UFC Fight Night 70 goes head tomorrow night in Florida despite Visa issues decimating the card earlier in the week, and we’ve got our predictions for you below.
Lyoto Machida vs. Yoel Romero
The rest of this card may be underwhelming, but the main event is a very intriguing battle between two of the best middleweights around who bring contrasting styles to the Octagon.
Machida is a natural counter-striker who likes to keep on the move making him a difficult target to hit, while using his excellent timing to dart in and out with punches and kicks. He should naturally fall into that rhythm against Romero who’ll be the more offensively-minded of the two and will be looking to pressure Machida and perhaps attempt to catch him off-guard with strikes courtesy of his surprisingly explosive speed which seems at odds with his imposing, thickly muscled frame.
Romero does tend to get sucked into a striking battle a little too often for someone with his elite wrestling credentials and he’d be wise not to fall into that trap against ‘The Dragon’. However, even with his speed he’ll struggle to tie Machida up long enough to put him on his back.
I’m in two minds about this fight. I could definitely see Machida keeping this one standing and doing as he’s done many times before and frustrate his opponent with his elusiveness en-route to a decision victory. On the other hand, Romero has big power in his hands and has a knack for finding a road to victory, often leaving it until the third round to do so – and on this occasion he has an extra two rounds to figure it out.
In the end, despite concerns Machida’s showing signs of going past his best I still slightly favor him here as I feel the way Romero fights will suit his counter striking style and lead to the Brazil racking up just enough points along the way to get the nod on the judges scorecards.
Lyoto Machida to win by decision.
Lorenz Larkin vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
These two welterweights get a chance to shine in the co-main event and it could turn out to be a fun striking battle.
Both men have the power to end the others night at a moment’s notice, but while Ponzinibbio is probably the more naturally aggressive of the two, Larkin has more weapons at his disposal on the feet and amidst some entertaining exchanges I’m taking him to deliver a stoppage victory.
Lorenz Larkin to win by TKO in Rd2.
Eddie Gordon vs. Antonio Carlos Junior
Ultimate Fighter winners collide here and of the two Carlos Jr looks to have more potential, with Gordon so far having struggled to make his mark in the Octagon.
Gordon is a workmanlike middleweight who doesn’t stand out in any one particular area, while Carlos Jr stands out with his excellent jiu-jitsu and physical presence (he’s got an 80″ reach and won TUF Brazil 3 as a heavyweight), so I’m taking him to notch up a submission win here.
Antonio Carlos Junior to win by submission in Rd2.
Steve Bosse vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos
Former Hockey enforcer Bosse does, as you might expect, pack a mean punch and is something of a knockout machine, but the 33 year-old isn’t the most polished fighter, hasn’t fought in two years and had one foot in retirement a couple of times before this fight materialized.
Santos has fought four times in the UFC while Bosse has been on the sidelines, and while he’s only compiled a 2-2 record that he’s a solid striker who offers up much more variety in his striking output, particularly with kicks, than his opponent and his Octagon experience will serve him well as he navigates his way to a decision victory.
Thiago Santos to win by decision.
Hacran Dias vs. Levan Makashvili
Dias has had mixed results in the UFC to date, but he’s been fighting tough opponents and for the most part holding his own, while Makashvili has shown promise, but has a lack of experience at the top level.
Makashvili will be looking to grind this one out with his wrestling, but Dias has solid takedown defense and I think he can keep this one upright he can outstrike him and win on points.
Hacran Dias to win by decision.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Joe Merritt vs. Alex Oliveira
Lewis Gonzalez vs. Leandro Silva
Steve Montgomery vs. Tony Sims
Sirwan Kakai vs. Danny Martinez