UFC Fight Night 105 takes place on Sunday night and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Derrick Lewis vs. Travis Browne
Flawless technique is not something that either of these two heavyweight headliners have in their locker, but Lewis and Browne both wield fight-ending power.
Lewis’ biggest advantage in this fight is simply momentum – he’s racked up a five-fight winning streak that means he’s riding high on confidence coming into this fight, whereas Browne’s own form has derailed over the past few years to the point where he’s only registered two wins in his last six fights.
Lewis is also very strong and if he can get into the clinch and muscle his way to the mat then his mauling ground and pound provides a good route to victory here.
As for Browne, at his best he’s an awkward, but nonetheless dangerous striker who has more weapons at his disposal on the feet than Lewis.
In some ways his janky style was an asset in his early fights, making him unpredictable, but under the tutelage of Edmond Tarverdyan he’s become a more watered down version of his former self.
There’s still plenty of holes in ‘The Black Beasts’ game, particularly defensively, so Browne has a real chance here, but it’s just hard to pick him the way he’s been fighting lately, so I’m taking Lewis to win by ground and pound in the second round.
Derrick Lewis to win by TKO in Rd2.
Johny Hendricks vs. Hector Lombard
This is a tricky fight to predict given that Hendricks is attempting to put his weight-cutting issues and three-fight losing streak behind him by starting afresh at middleweight, while the 39 year-old Lombard is coming off back-to-back losses due to strikes.
Size wise the UFC matchmakers have done Hendricks a favor here as his 5ft 9″ frame and 69″ reach would generally be a big disadvantage at 185lbs, but Lombard is similarly short and stocky at 5ft 9″ with a 71″ reach.
Lombard is very strong for his size though and has a vast amount of experience in this weight class, while his excellent takedown defense will limit Hendricks ability to utilize his wrestling.
In his heyday not so long ago, Hendricks packed fearsome power at 170lbs and was a real threat on the feet, but brutal back-to-back wars with Robbie Lawler and the physical effects of his weight-cutting woes seem to have taken the fire out of his belly and left him looking like a shadow of his former self in the cage of late.
Still, perhaps not having to deal with such a big weight-cut might give Hendricks the boost he needs to get his head back in the game, and with Lombard being a fighter that tends to fade as the fight goes on and suffering from his own slump in form I’m hesitantly going to pick ‘Bigg Rigg’ to get back to winning ways on the scorecards. That being said, I’m not convinced 185lbs is going to work out for him in the longer term.
Johny Hendricks to win by decision.
Sam Sicilia vs. Gavin Tucker
Tucker brings a 9-0 record to the Octagon for his UFC debut, but while there’s promising signs he’s still somewhat of an unknown quantity at this stage.
Sicilia’s game on the other hand is well established at this stage, being a hard-hitting brawler who can also mix in takedowns, but is lacking defensively on the feet and on the mat, which has led him to a 5-6 record in the UFC to date.
Tucker has finishes by strikes and submission on his record, and looks to be relatively fast and fluid on his feet, so I’m leaning towards thinking he may just be edge out Sicilia here to hand him his third loss in a row.
Gavin Tucker to win by decision.
Elias Theodorou vs. Cezar Ferreira
Theodorou is a solid all-rounder, but doesn’t excel in any particular area, other than the fact he’s a very good athlete.
Ferreira is more of a livewire, bringing a bigger offensive threat with strikes and submissions, but at the same time he’s vulnerable defensively and has proven to be inconsistent in his UFC run to date.
Theodorou is the more reliable, consistent fighter here and I think over the course of 15 minutes that will earn him a win on the scorecards.
Elias Thedeorou to win by decision.
Sara McMann vs. Gina Mazany
Stepping in on short notice to replace the injured liz Carmouche, the 4-0 Mazany gets a tough UFC debut match-up against former title challenger, McMann.
Mazany is likely in way over her head here, having her four pro-fights to date being spread over a period dating back as far as 2008 and I expect McMann to show off her Olympic silver medal wrestling skills here as she methodically takes down and controls the newcomer on the mat before finishing her with ground and pound in the second round.
Sara McMann to win by decision.
Alessandro Ricci vs. Paul Felder
Felder hasn’t lived up to his early promise in the UFC, but this looks like a fight to give him a confidence-boosting win against a fellow striker in Ricci who’s likely to be put on the back foot and come off second best in the striking exchanges over three rounds of fighting.
Paul Felder to win by decision.
Prelims: (predicted winners in bold)
Nordine Taleb vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
Carla Esparza vs. Randa Markos
Aiemann Zahabi vs. Reginaldo Vieira
Jack Marshman vs. Thiago Santos
Gerald Meerschaert vs. Ryan Janes