UFC Fight Night 126 takes place tomorrow night in Austin, Texas and you can see our predictions for all the bouts below.
Main Card (FOX Sports 1)
Donald Cerrone vs. Yancy Medeiros
Cerrone is coming off the roughest patch of his career, having lost his last three fights in a row, so this match-up is all about proving he’s still a force to be reckoned with at welterweight.
Medeiros is a hard-hitter, so he could certainly trouble Cerrone if his chin is fragile, but ‘Cowboy’ is the more technical striker and should find it relatively easy to land his punches and kicks as the Hawaiian doesn’t pay much attention to his defensive duties.
Cerrone will have to be careful of Medeiros’ submission attempts if he goes to the mat with him, but he has tapped out many opponents himself over the years, and I think he can hurt Medeiros on the feet here and then end the fight on the canvas inside of 10 minutes.
Donald Cerrone to win by submission in Rd2.
Derrick Lewis vs. Marcin Tybura
Lewis has earned a number of notable wins in a relatively short space of time during his UFC run to date thanks to his crushing punching power, but there’s not a whole lot of finesse to his game.
His major weakness though is his cardio, and couple that with back pain issues that’s been an ongoing problem that’s visibly hampered his performance in the Octagon at times and even left him contemplating hanging up his gloves for good.
On the other hand, Tybura doesn’t have quite the same fight-ending potential in his fists, but his striking has become more refined over time and he has a bigger gas-tank, enabling him to push the pace more.
Tybura is also the better grappler and could well use that to tire out Lewis in the clinch and on the mat to take away his offensive threat and tire him out.
Lewis could finish the fight at any moment with a single punch, but I’ll lean towards the durable Tybura to stifle him and grind out a decision win.
Marcin Tybura to win by decision.
James Vick vs. Francisco Trinaldo
They might not be the biggest names in the division, but both Vick and Trinaldo have compiled impressive runs at 170lbs over the past few years, making this a very intriguing match-up.
Vick is a giant in the lightweight division and uses his height and reach advantages well by using distance effectively and his ever-improving boxing can be difficult for opponents to circumnavigate.
Trinaldo will be comfortable wherever the fight goes, but he will be the significantly smaller man so it might be in his best interests to get inside and look for takedowns, though he’ll have to be wary of Vick’s submissions if he does so.
This is certainly a fight that could go either way, but I think Vick will do a good job of keeping Trinaldo at bay with his punches from range and that will eventually lead to a TKO stoppage in the final round of the fight.
James Vick to win by TKO in Rd3.
Thiago Alves vs. Curtis Millender
This should be a fun battle between two talented strikers, with Millender having produced some highlight reel KO’s in the LFA promotion to earn his call-up to the UFC, while Alves is a well-established welterweight veteran.
High kicks have been the tall, lanky Millender’s most dangerous weapon lately and he goes to that often, but he’s fighting a very savvy muay thai fighter in Alves, so it will be tricky to catch him off-guard with that.
Meanwhile, he’ll have to worry about the fact that Alves will be punishing his legs with vicious kicks, and is also dangerous on the counter, not to mention the fact that though he prefers to stay upright, ‘Pitbull’ should have the advantage on the mat here if he finds himself in trouble.
I think Millender will throw the more eye-catching techniques in this encounter, but it will be Alves more technical, methodical work that will help him to emerge with the decision victory.
Thiago Alves to win by decision.
Steven Peterson vs. Brandon Davis
Thanks to one of the main card fights falling through on short notice, Peterson and Davis get called up from the Fight Pass prelims to a more visible spot on the televised portion of the card.
Peterson has a tendancy to just try to wade through strikes in order to land his own or get into range for takedowns, and that doesn’t feel like the kind of strategy that’s going to play out too well against a striker like Davis, who has solid takedown defense and will happily land punches from range en-route to a decision victory.
Brandon Davis to win by decision.
Sage Northcutt vs. Thibault Gouti
At 21, Northcutt is still a work-in-progress, but having now become a settled member of the Team Alpha Male camp it seems like he’s in a good spot to work on rounding out his game.
He’s also remained at lightweight for this fight, which is where his best performances have taken place so far, and I think he matches up fairly well with Gouti here, who has pop in his punches, but will likely find that Northcutt’s striking game is a step ahead of his own.
There could also be opportunities for Northcutt to mix things up and land a takedown here and there to ensure the judges call the fight in his favor when it comes down to the scorecards to decide the winner.
Sage Northcutt to win by decision.
Prelims (FOX Sports 1) (Predicted winners in bold)
Jared Gordon vs. Diego Ferreira
Brian Camozzi vs. Geoffrey Neal
Joby Sanchez vs. Roberto Sanchez
Sarah Moras vs. Lucie Pudilova
UFC Fight Pass
Alex Morono vs. Josh Burkman
Oskar Piechota vs. Tim Williams