UFC Fight Night 84 takes place this Saturday in London, England and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Michael Bisping vs. Anderson Silva
When Silva was still king of the hill at middleweight a few years ago I’d have no hesitation in picking him over Bisping, but in 2016 there is some pause for thought given that he’s now approaching 41 years of age, just spent a year out for a steroid suspension, lost two fights against Chris Weidman and seemed to be lacking a bit of the old magic in his last fight with Nick Diaz.
Meanwhile Bisping has been as dependable as ever despite now being 36, winning fights against respectable fighters like Thales Leites, Cung Le and Alan Belcher, while coming up short against those at the very top end of the division like Luke Rockhold and Tim Kennedy.
So, if Silva has gone off the boil there’s a chance that a fired up Bisping in front of his home crowd could produce an upset. However, I do still favor ‘The Spider’ to win.
Bisping gets a lot of wins by just being a bit more technical with his striking than his opponents, and if he had the power to match it he’d probably be a legit title contender. Silva has both better technique and power though, not to mention creativity, so even at this stage in his career I think he’ll prove to be another fighter that Bisping can’t overcome.
The manner of Silva’s victory is up for debate though. Personally I’m leaning towards a decision as the former champ proceeds with caution as he did against Diaz, but Bisping can be hurt and has a bad habit of moving backwards in a straight line which the Brazilian could exploit to find a finish.
Anderson Silva to win by decision.
Thales Leites vs. Gegard Mousasi
This is an interesting co-main event match-up, but I’ll say up-front that I favor Mousasi.
Leites obviously as excellent BJJ, but he’s also really worked hard to bring his striking up to par as well. However, even though he’s come a long way, I don’t believe he’s operating at the same level as a seasoned striker like Mousasi.
While Leites has rounded out his skill-set, Mousasi has always been that way, and though he can be taken down by high-level wrestlers, Leites doesn’t fit the bill.
I think Mousasi will largely win this fight on the feet, but he won’t be out of his depth if it goes to the mat either. I like him to win by decision.
Gegard Mousasi to win by decision.
Tom Breese vs. Keita Nakamura
This looks like a very winnable fight for Breese who’s better than Nakamura in most regards.
Nakamura’s best hope is via a submission which is his forte, but I think Breese will be able to keep this one standing and eventually find a finish>
Tom Breese to win by TKO in Rd2.
Brad Pickett vs. Francisco Rivera
Both of these men could really use a win, but particularly Pickett who at 37 years old has lost his last three fights in a row.
This isn’t an easy fight to get back to winning ways for the Brit. His original opponent Henry Briones seemed like a fight designed for that purpose, but an injury forced him out and I think the fresher Rivera might just edge Pickett out over 15 competitive minutes of fighting.
Francisco Rivera to win by decision.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Makwan Amirkhani vs. Mike Wilkinson
David Grant vs. Marlon Vera
Scott Askham vs. Chris Dempsey
Arnold Allen vs. Yaotzin Meza
Krzysztof Jotko vs. Bradley Scott
Rustam Khabilov vs. Norman Parke
Jarjis Danho vs. Daniel Omielanczuk
Thibault Gouti vs. Teemu Packalen
Martin Svensson vs. David Teymur