Below you’ll find out predictions for all of tomorrow morning’s early morning bouts at UFC Fight Night 141 in Beijing, China.
Main Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Curtis Blaydes vs. Francis Ngannou
The first time these two met they were at the very start of their UFC career’s with Ngannou emerging victorious via a doctor’s stoppage at the end of the second round due to damage he’d inflicted on the feet.
Ngannou has since gone on to make an impressively quick rise to the top, but then seemed to lose his way in his eventual title shot against Stipe Miocic Francis Ngannou and remained out-of-sorts in a subsequent loss to Derrick Lewis last time out.
By way of contrast, Blaydes hasn’t lost since their last encounter and has looked better than ever in his last couple of fights, defeating Mark Hunt and Alistair Overeem.
There’s a real sense now that his losses have taken a toll on Ngannou mentally and that continued concerns over his cardio could leave him fighting overly cautiously, which defuses much of the devastating offensive output that took him to the top in teh first place.
Meanwhile Blaydes is well conditioned, is more sound defensively than he was in their last encounter and can also utilize his wrestling to wear out Ngannou and I think that will start to pay dividends in the later rounds as his opponent tires, eventually leading to a last round TKO stoppage.
Curtis Blaydes wins by TKO in Rd5.
Alistair Overeem vs. Sergey Pavlovich
Coming off a two-fight losing streak, Overeem looks to get back to winning ways against a tough, unbeaten Russian newcomer Pavlovich here.
Overeem has been stopped by strikes in his last two fights against the two men who fight in the main event of the evening, but while there are clear signs that he’s on the downward slope of his career at 38-years-of-age, there’s still life in the old dog yet.
Pavlovich is a good wrestler and has plenty of finishes on his record, but he’s fighting at a higher level here and I think Overeem can use more technically sound striking to his advantage here to emerge victorious on the scorecards, though he’ll want to proceed with caution and avoid getting into a slugfest with the younger man given his increasingly fragile chin.
Alistair Overeem wins by decision.
Vince Morales vs. Song Yadong
Morales comes in on short notice fight China’s own Song, who has made a strong start to his UFC career so far courtesy of back-to-back victories.
Morales is a fairly solid fighter who came up just short on Dana White’s Contender Series, but impressed enough that he’s now been given a chance to fight in the UFC.
He’ll make things competitive with Song, but I think the Chinese fighter has the physical and power advantages here that will serve him well in the stand-up battle and enable him to win by decision.
Song Yadong wins by decision.
Li Jingliang vs. David Zawada
One of China’s most recognised fighters, Jingliang has gone from being a wrestler to an all-action striker that’s always fun to watch.
Zawada is a jack-of-all-trades who has plenty of experience fighting for the likes of KSW and won’t be easy to put away.
Zawada is the one more likely to be initating takedown attempts here, but I think Jingliang will manage to keep this one on the feet and be the more aggressive, effective striker, though with both fighters having good chins he’ll have to settle for a victory on the scorecards.
Li Jingliang wins by decision.
Prelims (Fight Pass) (Predicted winners in bold)
Alex Morono vs. Kenan Song
Lauren Mueller vs. Wu Yanan
Rashad Coulter vs. Hu Yaozong
Jessica Aguilar vs. Weili Zhang
Martin Day vs. Liu Pingyuan
Syuri Kondo vs. Yan Xiaonan
Kevin Holland vs. John Phillips
Louis Smolka vs. Sumudaerji