UFC Fight Night 116 takes place tomorrow night in Pittsburgh and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Luke Rockhold vs. David Branch
Branch has had a great run of form over the past few years, winning WSOF’s middleweight and light-heavyweight titles during an 11-fight winning streak, but he’s not fought anyone close to Rockhold’s level.
Rockhold may have suffered a major upset loss to Michael Bisping last time out, but he remains one of the most well-rounded fighters on the roster with quality striking, including particularly good kicks, being backed up by good grappling and a major submission threat.
I don’t see Branch being able to get Rockhold down and rough him up the way he has past opponents and he’ll find himself coming off second best on the feet too, giving the former UFC champ more than one way to win the fight – but I’ll go with a submission sealing the deal around the mid-way point of the match-up.
Luke Rockhold to win by submission in Rd3.
Alex Reyes vs. Mike Perry
Reyes comes in on short notice to make his UFC debut after a long absence from competition, so I favor the heavy-handed Perry to slug his way to a stoppage victory here.
Mike Perry to win by TKO in Rd2.
Hector Lombard vs. Anthony Smith
Lombard has had a rough run of late, going without a win in his last four fights during a period in which he also tested positive for steroids, not to mention the fact he’s now approaching his 40th birthday.
However, Lombard has been facing high-level opposition during that time, while Smith is more of a mid-tier challenger at this stage, and that’s the kind of opponent that he tends to do well against, though he’ll need to be careful of his opponent’s significant size advantage to claim his decision victory here.
Hector Lombard to win by decision.
Gregor Gillespie vs. Jason Gonzalez
The undefeated Gillespie has looked good in his brief UFC run so far and I don’t see Gonzalez being the man to hand him his first loss.
Gregor Gillespie to win by TKO in Rd2.
Sergio Moraes vs. Kamaru Usman
Somebody’s unbeaten streak has to go here as Moraes, who’s undefeated in his seven UFC bouts, goes up against Usman’s five-fight winning run.
Both fighters are at their best on the mat, but I’d expect Usman to be the stronger wrestler and also have the edge on the feet, which should enable him to carve out a win on the scorecards here.
Kamaru Usman to win by decision.
Justin Ledet vs. Zu Anyanwu
Anyanwu takes this fight with Ledet on less than a weeks notice, and given that the heavyweight packs a solid punch he has to be respected, but Ledet is not the kind of fighter who’s likely to just stand and trade recklessly, so I think he’ll instead focus on emerging with a comfortable decision victory.
Justin Ledet to win by decision.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Tony Martin vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier
Anthony Hamilton vs. Daniel Spitz
Uriah Hall vs. Krzysztof Jotko
Gilbert Burns vs. Jason Saggo