UFC On FOX 14 takes place tomorrow night in Sweden and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights for you below.
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Anthony Johnson
Very interesting match-up here between two of the best strikers in the light-heavyweight division who’re within touching distance of a title shot.
In terms of raw power Johnson is undoubtedly the bigger puncher here, somehow managing to maintain the KO ability 35lbs up from the weight class he originally fought at. He’s no slouch technically either, but overall I’d say Gustafsson is the slicker, crisper striker and uses his range and movement better.
Both men are capable wrestlers too, though I’d expect that opportunities to display that will be few and far between as they’d likely prefer to remain standing and both are adept at doing just that.
If there’s an early finish in this fight I’d favor it to come at the hands of Johnson, but if it moves into the later rounds Johnson has cardio issues and I’d expect Gustafsson to capitalize on that to emerge victorious. With 30,000 Swedish fans cheering him on I think the latter scenario is most likely and the Swedish fighter will earn either a late stoppage or decision victory to book a rematch with Jon Jones.
Alexander Gustafsson to win by decision.
Dan Henderson vs. Gegard Mousasi
Power is the last thing to go so they say and ‘Hendo’ is clinging on tight to that old adage as, at 44 year of age, there’s not a whole lot else left to his game. Still, the ‘H-Bomb’ is still a deadly weapon when he can find a home for it to get himself out of trouble like he did against Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua in their rematch last year.
In four out of his last five fights it’s not been enough though and I believe Mousasi could add to that record. Mousasi is a very sound striker, even competing at a good level in K-1 a few years ago, and is at least as good defensively as he is on offense, so I’d expect he’ll do a good job of steering clear of the occasional big power punch that’s going to be heading his way.
Mousasi’s movement and speed advantage will stand him in good stead here and he’s more than capable of mixing it up in the clinch and on the mat if necessary. He has made heavy weather of some fights he should have more convincingly won in the past and he might struggle to put away the granite chinned Henderson, but on volume alone I think he gets his hand raised here on the scorecards.
Gegard Mousasi to win by decision.
Phil Davis vs. Ryan Bader
This could prove to be a fairly close fight between two light-heavyweights with a strong wrestling base.
Neither fighter here is a world beater on the feet, though Bader has proven himself more effective in the past thanks largely to his punching power. He lacks finesse and offers few surprises, but that might not prove to be too concerning against Davis who’s somewhat ineffectual at striking range and often just resorts to leg kicks and punches without any pop behind them.
On the other hand, when it comes to wrestling – both fighters strong suit- I’d have to give the edge to Davis. There’s not a great difference between them though and if they do look to grapple it could well end up being something of a stalemate against the cage.
Overall I think we’re likely to be heading to a tight decision here and I think Bader might actually do enough on the feet to just edge it in his favor.
Ryan Bader to win by decision.
Akira Corassani vs. Sam Sicilia
What’s likely to be a striking battle opens up the main card in Stockholm and we’ve got two fighters with a different style meeting in the Octagon.
Essentially this one is all about Corassani’s speed and combinations versus Sicilia’s raw power and aggression.
Corassani has been taken out with strikes a couple of times recently and Sicilia definitely has the dynamite in his hands to make this a third straight defeat for the Swedish fighter.
Sam Sicilia to win by TKO in Rd2.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Nico Musoke vs. Albert Tumenov
Kenny Robertson vs. Sultan Aliev
Andy Ogle vs. Makwan Amirkhani
Nikita Krylov vs. Stanislav Nedkov
Mairbek Taisumov vs. Anthony Christodoulou
Mirsad Bektic vs. Paul Redmond
Viktor Pesta vs. Konstantin Erokhin
Neil Seery vs. Chris Beal