There’s been a whole lot of disruption to the UFC 223 fight card over the past 24 hours, but we’ve still got our full predictions for the remainder of the line-up for you below.
UFC 223 Main Card (Pay-Per-View)
Max Holloway vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Fight cancelled due to Max Holloway being declared medically unfit to continue cutting weight for the contest by doctors.
Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk
The way the first fight between these two went it’s hard to know exactly what to expect from their rematch. Will Jedrzejczyk be able to make the adjustments necessary to overcome the offensive onslaught that took her out by TKO in the first round last time out, or does ‘Thug’ Rose simply have her number and is going to overpower her for the second time in a row?
Personally, I’m leaning more towards the former than the latter as Jedrzejczyk is a very high level striker who I still believe is the better technician on the feet than Namajunas at this stage in their respective careers, and though there are now concerns about her chin, she has a wealth of experience to draw on and has a knack for getting better as the fight goes on – something she didn’t have a chance to show last time out.
Namajunas still has other talents to showcase too as she is very crafty on the mat and could trouble the former champion with submission attempts, though Jedrzejczyk has proven to have excellent takedown defense, so I think we are still more likely to see a stand-up battle here.
It will be fascinating to see how this fight unfolds as it feels like there is still a lot left to learn about how these two fighters match-up, but I do expect Jedrzejczyk to be better prepared this time around and gain the advantage as the fight goes on, racking up the higher volume of strikes en-route to a tight decision victory.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk to win by decision.
Calvin Kattar vs. Renato Moicano
Both of these fighers have been making a notable impression in the UFC’s featherweight division and so it will be interesting to see who emerges on top on Saturday night.
Kattar is the better boxer of the two and wields the bigger power, but Moicano is no slouch on the feet either and works well from range.
While Kattar is very much a striker, Moicano also likes to work in occasional takedowns into the mix and from their has proven to be capable of pulling off submission finishes in the past.
This is a well matched fight, but I do expect that the majority of the fight will take place on the feet, and with that in mind I do feel that Kattar will have the edge and emerge with a decision victory.
Calvin Kattar to win by decision.
Al Iaquinta vs. Paul Felder
Two highly regarded and relatively evenly matched lightweight strikers square up in the main card opener.
Iaquinta works from a strong boxing base and puts together combinations well in addition to having good power and a solid defense. His lack of activity over the past few years is a real concern though, especially against an opponent who has been consistently competing three times a year in the Octagon.
Felder is less aggressive than Iaquinta, preferring a more measured approach that sees him nicely utilize kicks alongside his punches, and it’s proven to be effective in recent times with his current three fight winning streak having produced three finishes via strikes.
Overall I’m leaning towards Felder here, but only slightly due to the fact that he’s been more active of late and has a more methodical, structured approach to his striking that will lead to him edging out closely fought rounds.
Paul Felder to win by decision.
Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Kyle Bochniak
This fight was moved all the way up from the Fight Pass prelims to the main card at the last minute due to the cancellation of Michael Chiesa Vs Anthony Pettis.
That’s good news for Magomedsharipov, who is one of the most impressive up and coming talents around and given that he has a very well-rounded skill-set, a big height and signicant reach advantage and is riding a wave of momentum, I think he can take out a decent opponent like Bochniak inside of two rounds, potentially via strikes, but more likely thanks to a submission.
Zabit Magomedsharipov to win by submission in Rd2.
Prelims (FOX Sports 1):
Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Felice Herrig
Joe Lauzon vs. Chris Gruetzemacher
Evan Dunham vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier
Bec Rawlings vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith
Prelims (UFC Fight Pass):
Devin Clark vs. Mike Rodriguez