UFC Fight Night 79 takes place tomorrow morning in South Korea and we’ve got predictions for all the fights below.
Ben Henderson vs. Jorge Masvidal
Interesting match-up here from two lightweights looking to make an impact in the welterewight division. Striking wise Masvidal is technically the better of the two with good accuracy and is excellent on the counter, though that means he has a habit of waiting too long for his opponent to attack rather than pushing the action himself.
Henderson on the other hand will stay busy throughout the course of the round, and while his offense may not find the mark as much or be as effective as Masvidal’s when it does land, his volume and work rate will play well to the judges.
Henderson is at his best when he mixes up his approach with frequent mat work, though he’ll find his opponent here difficult to take down, and indeed keep there as though he’s a striker at heart, Masvidal is a well rounded veteran.
Still, Henderson is as determined and tenacious as they come so I believe he will be able to get Masvidal down at times during this five round fight and nd together with his higher work rate I think that’ll lead the former lightweight champion to a decision victory here.
Ben Henderson to win by decision.
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Dominic Waters
You’ve got to feel for Waters who’s coming off a loss in his debut and is now being thrown into a short notice co-main event with a veteran like Kim who’s got an added advantage, as if one was needed, of fighting on home soil.
Kim has successfully embraced the grind for many years in the Octagon and is one of the most stifling grapplers around, though in more recent times he has shown a willingness to stand and trade, leading to some wild finishes both for and against him.
Waters simply isn’t ready for this level of competition yet and I expect Kim to control the fight and earn a convincing decision win.
Dong Hyun Kim to win by decision.
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Alberto Mina
At the age of 40 Akiyama has now become something of a novelty act who only gets wheeled out every now and again for Asian based shows. After over a year out he returns here with a notable decrease in the level of opposition, though Mina is 1-0 in the UFC so far.
It appears that the UFC have tried to hand Akiyama a potentially ‘winnable’ fight, but I’m not so sure. The Japanese fighters abilities are eroding and with cardio having frequently been an issue for him, having fought just once in almost 4 years sets alarm bells ringing.
Mina may not be a world-beater, but I think he can get the better of a brawl on the feet with Akiyama, while his black belt in judo will help him match up to Akiyama’s biggest strength and he’s equally capable of producing submissions on the mat into the bargain. That should be enough to gain him a victory in the second half of the fight as Akiyama tires.
Alberto Mina to win by submission in Rd3.
Doo Ho Choi vs. Sam Sicilia
South Korea has a potential star in the making with Doo Ho Choi, aka ‘The Korean Superboy’, but Sicilia presents a significant threat to his 10 fight unbeaten run.
Sicilia has big, fight-ending power in his right hand, but it’s a weapon he relies on a little too much, while Choi can also be destructive with a more versatile approach.
There’s a risk Choi gets sucked into a brawl here, but overall I like his dynamic, accurate striking here to overcome Sicilia.
Doo Ho Choi to win by TKO in Rd2.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Jake Collier vs. Dongi Yang
Yui Chul Nam vs. Mike De La Torre
Tae Hyun Bang vs. Leo Kuntz
Cortney Casey vs. Seo Hee Ham
Fredy Serrano vs. Yao Zhikui
Marco Beltran vs. Ning Guangyou
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Dominique Steele