UFC Fight Night 73 takes place in Nashville tomorrow night and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Ovince Saint Preux vs. Glover Teixeira
This is a tough fight to call. Striking wise Teixeira is the more dangerous of the two, he’s more aggressive, pushes the pace more and hasn’t been stopped inside the distance in 11 years. On the other hand Saint Preux has the better recent form, is the younger, fresher fighter and has physical advantages in this fight, holding an inch and height and four inches in reach over Teixeira.
That last point could be significant as OSP will be looking to keep this fight at range where he’s most comfortable. It’s going to be tough to keep a marauding striker like Teixeira at bay though and he’s very effective when he does get inside.
When you factor in that OSP tends to fade late in the day I lean towards the Brazilian to keep this fight standing, stay busier throughout and provide the most meaningful moments in the striking exchanges, eventually leading to a TKO stoppage in the final 10 minutes.
Glover Teixeira to win by TKO in Rd4.
Beneil Dariush vs. Michael Johnson
Two talented lightweights on the rise here, so it’ll be a shame to see one of them slide off their respective four fight winning streaks.
Dariush is a terrific jiu-jitsu stylist, but has also been building a solid striking game to go alongside that. In a similar fashion Johnson has broadened out in the same way from his wrestling base and of the two he really seems to have excelled in that regard with a very cohesive kickboxing game that’s enhanced by his natural speed and respectable power.
If the fight is purely a stand-up bout I favor Johnson, but he has shown a vulnerability to submissions in the past which rings alarm bells here if he uses his wrestling to look for takedowns or Dariush manages to put him on his back at any stage. So, I’m a bit torn here, but I’m still going with my initial gut instinct that Johnson can use his striking, movement and takedown defense to stay upright and keep Dariush from unleashing his most dangerous weapons.
Michael Johnson to win by decision.
Sam Alvey vs. Derek Brunson
Alvey doesn’t particularly look like a devastating one-punch KO artist, but he’s proven otherwise in the Octagon with three first round stoppages due to strikes in a row inside the Octagon.
Alvey’s overall striking game isn’t all that impressive though and he has little to offer on the mat, so if Brunson can avoid getting slept by one of those single-shots I think he can strike just enough to set-up his takedowns and use his wrestling to grind out a decision victory.
Derek Brunson to win by decision.
Sara McMann vs. Amanda Nunes
In a late switch to the main card, McMann Vs Nunes is promoted, while Camozzi Vs Watson drops to the prelims. This is a good fight that deserves the main card spotlight, but the fact that Ronda Rousey generated so much buzz last weekend may be the main reason for the move.
If McMann gets here way this isn’t going to provide the excitement and snappy finishes of the division’s champion though as she’ll be looking to stifle the aggressive striking instincts of Nunes with takedowns and long spells of top control. She’s got world class wrestling, so I’d expect her to be able to do just that and notch up a win on the scorecards.
Sara McMann to win by decision.
Timothy Johnson vs. Jared Rosholt
Yet another decision verdict might be on the cards in this heavyweight bout with Johnson having more to offer in the striking department, but not enough to dissuade Rosholt from getting in close and embracing the grind in the clinch and on the mat to emerge victorious.
Jared Rosholt to win by decision.
Ray Borg vs. Geane Herrera
A competitive flyweight tussle kicks off the main card, and while newcomer Herrera has been doing good things on the regional circuit, Borg has been making a real impression in the UFC ranks and I like him to emerge with another submission victory here.
Ray Borg to win by submission in Rd2.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Oluwale Bamgbose vs. Uriah Hall
Chris Camozzi vs. Tom Watson
Willie Gates vs. Dustin Ortiz
Sirwan Kakai vs. Frankie Saenz
Chris Dempsey vs. Jonathan Wilson
Roman Salazar vs. Marlon Vera
Anthony Christodoulou vs. Scott Holtzman