UFC Fight Night 71 takes place in San Diego tomorrow night and we’ve got our predictions for all the bouts for you below.
Todd Duffee vs. Frank Mir
Mir has been teetering on the edge of retirement for a while now and a defeat against Duffee might push him over the edge, particularly if it’s decisive.
I think there’s a good chance that could happen as Duffee is a big physical specimen who hits hard and Mir’s chin is fragile. Mir packs a puunch too, but his susceptibility to getting rocked means he’d be better of trying to get the job done of the mat where he’s a serious threat.
He’ll struggle to get Duffee to the mat though and will then pay the price as he gets stopped in his tracks on the feet inside of 10 minutes.
Todd Duffee to win by KO in Rd2.
Tony Ferguson vs. Josh Thomson
Interesting fight in the lightweight division here. Thomson is a wily, well-rounded veteran who’s never out of a fight, but in Ferguson he faces a younger, fresher opponent who’s also got the skills to pay the bills in a number of different facets of the MMA game.
Ferguson will push the pace here and I like his very crisp boxing ability to give Thomson problems, while his wrestling and submission skills means he’ll be comfortable if the fight evolves just a purely striking affair. Thomson will put up a fight, but Ferguson gets a solid win on the scorecards.
Tony Ferguson to win by decision.
Holly Holm vs. Marion Reneau
Holm didn’t set the Octagon on fire in her UFC debut earlier in the year, so it’ll be interesting to see how she performs now that she’s had a bit of time to settle in.
Reneau entered into MMA competition relatively late in life, but still has plenty to offer at the age of 38 with good striking and BJJ. Holm’s takedown defense is good enough to keep this one standing for the most part though and I believe she’ll do enough to edge the stand-up action, but this is a challenging match-up that’ll force her to fall back on boxing fundamentals at range to keep her aggressive opponent at bay.
Holly Holm to win by decision.
Manny Gamburyan vs. Scott Jorgensen
This is a tricky one to pick as while both of these bantamweights have been very capable fighters in their day, they’ve really shown clear signs of decline in recent years and picked up their fair share of defeats along the way, particularly Jorgensen.
I’d expect this to be a fairly close run fight with both being gritty rather than technical in the striking department, while they could well cancel each other out in the wrestling department. This one’s probably headed to a decision and with Jorgensen being down on his luck at the moment I think Gamburyan gets the nod from the judges.
Manny Gamburyan to win by decision.
Kevin Lee vs. James Moontasri
Lee has put together a decent three-fight unbeaten run in the UFC over the course of the past year and I like him to extend that by using his wrestling to nullify Moontasri’s creative striking output.
Kevin Lee to win by decision.
Matt Dwyer vs. Alan Jouban
A potential slugfest could be in store to kick off the main card as both Dwyer and Jouban are proven finishers who’ll look to trade strikes on the feet. Dwyer is the bigger of the two, but I think Jouban has the offensive capabilities to light him up and emerge with a TKO victory.
Alan Jouban to win by TKO in Rd2.
Doo Ho Choi vs. Sam Sicilia
Jessica Andrade vs. Sarah Moras
Masanori Kanehara vs. Rani Yahya
Igor Araujo vs. Sean Strickland
Ildemar Alcantara vs. Kevin Casey
Andrew Craig vs. Lyman Good