UFC Fight Night 118 takes place tomorrow in Poland and we’ve got our predictions for all the bouts below.
Donald Cerrone vs. Darren Till
Till might not be a big name yet, but this is definitely a fighter on the rise and so this is by no means an easy fight for ‘Cowboy’, especially as he himself is coming off two losses – albeit to top-fight talents.
Like Cerrone, Till has a background in muay thai, though he’s more of a counter-fighter and favors his blistering straight-left, while ‘Cowboy’ offers more versatility with his knees and kicks.
Till is no slouch on the mat either and has solid ground and pound, but I do favor Cerrone overall in this regard as he’s got a dangerous knack for pouncing on submission finishes.
Cerrone doesn’t like to watch footage on his opponents, so he might be taken aback by how good his considerably younger opponent is, but while I wouldn’t be completely shocked if Till could produce the biggest win of his career here, I do think that over the course of five rounds Cerrone’s experience, more consistent offense on the feet and threat on the mat will give him the edge and lead to a finish at some stage in the second half of the fight.
Donald Cerrone to win by submission in Rd4.
Jodie Esquibel vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Kowalkiewicz is coming off two losses, but that was against two of the very best the division has to offer, and beyond that she is herself still one of the leading contenders at 115lbs.
Now she’s fighting a newcomer in Esquibel, who makes the leap over from Invicta FC, and in front of her home fans this looks like the kind of fight that can get Kowlakiewicz back on track, winning the striking battle with a particular advantage when it comes to roughing up her opponent from the clinch, to earn a decision victory.
Karolina Kowalkiewicz to win by decision.
Jan Blachowicz vs. Devin Clark
Poland’s own Blachowicz has been having a rough time of it in the UFC of late, with just one win from his last five fights, so he has to snap out of this uninspired run and put on a good showing on Saturday against the up-and-coming Clark, who’s only tasted defeat once in his nine fight career.
This could well turn out to be a bit of a grind-heavy match-up and I think the fresher, more energetic Clark’s striking game has come on enough that together with his wrestling he will get the better of an increasingly lethargic blachowicz over the course of three rounds.
Devin Clark to win by decision.
Oskar Piechota vs. Jonathan Wilson
Undefeated Polish middleweight Pichota makes his UFC debut tomorrow and he’s certainly one to watch with an excellent BJJ pedigree being fortified by a rapidly improving stand-up game.
Wilson is still trying to find his feet in the UFC, having initially moved down from heavyweight to make his debut, before two losses in a row has him now trying to turn over a new leaf at 185lbs. He’s got power in his hands and is competent in other areas, but there’s more spark to Piechota and I think he’ll have an opportunity to show off his submission skills here.
Oskar Piechota to win by submission in Rd2.
Prelims: (Predicted winner in bold)
Nasrat Haqparast vs. Marcin Held
Anthony Hamilton vs. Adam Wieczorek
Brian Kelleher vs. Damian Stasiak
Sam Alvey vs. Ramazan Emeev
Andre Fili vs. Artem Lobov
Warlley Alves vs. Salim Touahri
Aspen Ladd vs. Lina Lansberg
Felipe Arantes vs. Josh Emmett