UFC Fight Night 142 takes place on Saturday night in Adelaide, Australia and you can see our predictions for all the fights below.
Junior dos Santos vs. Tai Tuivasa
UFC Fight Night 142 has a number of veteran vs up-and-comer match-up and that includes the main event of the evening as former heavyweight champion Dos Santos squares off against Australia’s own Tuivasa.
JDS has been going back and forth between wins and losses for years now and he’s suffered some tough TKO losses during that period, but he still remains a very good technical boxer who these days seems to rely more on being able to consistently outstrike his opponents on the feet rather than look for that one big knockout blow.
Tuivasa is undefeated in his 8-fight career to date and his mix of heavy hands and stout chin has served him well so far, but he’s not as refined a striker as JDS by any means, so unless he does land that big KO punch (and that’s not out of the question) I think Dos Santos will pick him apart with superior footwork and range management being key to his decision victory.
Junior dos Santos wins by decision.
Mark Hunt vs. Justin Willis
It’s another similarly styled match-up in the co-main event with Hunt likely fighting for the last time in his UFC career against Willis, who is comparitively only in the fledgling stages of his heavyweight run in the Octagon.
That being said, Willis has three wins under the UFC banner to date and while he’s stocky like Hunt he also has a huge reach advantage that he’ll be looking to put to good use. On the other hand, his striking can be a little wild and he’s not yet faced anyone with ‘The Super Samoan’s’ kickboxing capabilities yet.
Hunt’s not quite as much of a tank durability wise as he has been in the past so this is a risky fight, but he still hits like a truck and I think he’s going to eventually land that big punch that will afford him one final walk-off knockout victory to end our his time in the UFC.
Mark Hunt wins by KO in Rd2.
Mauricio Rua vs. Tyson Pedro
Continuing the theme of the evening in the 205lb division, another grizzled veteran ‘Shogun’ faces one of Australia’s most popular fighters, Pedro.
Rua has been in decline for some time and that caught up with him last time out when Anthony Smith KO’d him inside of two minutes. He can still be dangerous offensively, but he’s not as sharp or as deadly as he once was and he’s certainly considerably weakened in terms of his punch resistance.
Pedro is going to be the bigger man here, physically in his prime and while he’s not a skilled as ‘Shogun’ he works well with a kick based stand-up game, good power and his physicality in the clinch and crafty top game on the mat can all be problematic for the past-his-best Brazilian.
Pedro can take a shot too and I think he’ll prove too much for ‘Shogun’ as with the Australian crowd cheering him on he romps to a TKO victory in the second round.
Tyson Pedro wins by TKO in Rd2.
Jake Matthews vs. Tony Martin
Two fighters here who showed promise at lightweight and are now looking better than ever after moving up to welterweight.
Both are talented wrestlers which should make this an interesting contest on the mat, but I think it’s on the feet that this fight could be lost or win, and in that regard I believe Martin has the edge as he’s the better striker at this stage in his career, though Matthews is young enough that he still has time to add more strings to his bow and become more comfortable and effective on his feet.
For the time being though I think Martin may just have enough in his all-round game to edge out Matthews by decision in a close, competitive fight.
Tony Martin wins by decision.
Suman Mokhtarian vs. Sodiq Yusuff
Yusuff made his mark in Dana White’s Contender Series and he’s shown promise with his raw athleticism being backed up by decent wrestling and heavy hands.
That’s not going to be enough to get him far in the UFC just yet so he still has to continue developing, but I think it’ll be enough to get him by against Mokhtarian, who has a penchant for exotic submission and is fun to watch, but will be outgunned on the feet and put away by TKO in the first or second round.
Sodiq Yusuff wins by TKO in Rd2.
Paul Craig vs. Jim Crute
Crute is also coming off Dana White’s Contender Series and is another example of a fighter with raw potential, but still needs to put flesh on the bones of his current mix of striking and wrestling.
Craig has more experience and has proven numerous times now that he’s exceptionally dangerous on the mat due to his finishing ability with submissions and I think that’s going to be the big difference between the two here as the Scottish fighter locks in a fight-ender on the mat in the first five minutes.
Paul Craig wins by submission in Rd1.
Damir Ismagulov vs. Alex Gorgees
Elias Garcia vs. Kai Kara-France
Wilson Reis vs. Ben Nguyen
Yushin Okami vs. Alexey Kunchenko
Keita Nakamura vs. Salim Touahri
Mizuto Hirota vs. Christos Giagos