UFC Fight Night 160 takes place tomorrow in Copenhagen, Denmark and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Jack Hermansson vs. Jared Cannonier
Hermansson has been on a great run at middleweight recently and is getting ever closer to a title shot as he goes up against former heavyweight Cannonier, who has began to hit his stride at 185lbs.
Hermansson has the better all round skill set here, but there’s no doubt that Cannonier hits very hard and is very strong for the weight class.
I think he’ll have a hard time with the quicker, more technical Hermansson on the feet, but it’s the mat where Hermansson has the biggest advantage and I believe using his striking to set up takedowns should lead to a submission finish inside of two rounds.
Jack Hermansson wins by submission in Rd2.
Mark Madsen vs. Danilo Belluardo
Madsen in a big deal in Denmark thanks to being a former Olympic wrestling silver medalist who has gone on to compile an 8-0 record in MMA so far.
That explains how he lands co-main event duties in his UFC debut against Italy’s Belluardo, who has something to offer both on the feet and on the mat, but I believe will simply be outclassed by Madsen here as he uses his superior wrestling to take down and control his opponent for much of the three round fight.
Mark Madsen to win by decision.
Gunnar Nelson vs. Gilbert Burns
Burns comes in on a couple of weeks notice for a highly competitive fight with Nelson, who is hoping to return to winning ways after losing two of his last three bouts.
The grappling aspect of this match-up is the most interesting part, with Nelson being very agile and possessing nasty submissions, though Burns is the stronger of the two and may well have the more polished jiu-jitsu ability too.
On the feet Burns is less effective and not particularly cohesive, though he does have some power, while Nelson is the more capable of the two, and though his Karate-based style can result in him being overly hesitant on the outside at times, he can be effective when he picks his moments to burst forward on the attack.
Burns has never had the best cardio and the fact this is a short notice fight doesn’t help him in that regard, so I’m leaning towards Nelson here to somewhat disappoint fans by not engaging to often in the grappling battle and instead using his striking edge to earn a decision victory.
Gunnar Nelson to win by decision.
Ion Cutelaba vs. Khalil Rountree
Rountree’s kicking game in particular looked much improved last time out and it’s already known that he punches very hard, so this should be a fun match-up against Cutelaba, who is extremely aggressive in his approach on the feet.
It would actually be in Cutelaba’s best interests to take this fight straight to the mat as he’s got a distinct advantage in that area, but I’m not sure he’ll be able to resist engaging in the stand-up battle early in the fight.
Along with that being dangerous because of Rountree’s striking and power, it also tends to leave Cutelaba running out of gas later in the fight and I think Rountree will exploit that in the second round to TKO him.
Khalil Rountree wins by decision.
Michal Oleksiejczuk vs. Ovince Saint Preux
A rising prospect in Oleksiejczuk meets a veteran in OSP who is perhaps already past his best, but wil still provide a good step up in competition for the younger man looking to make a name for himself.
Oleksiejczuk has proven to be a talented striker with genuine knockout power so far and I think he can find success here against Saint Preux, who for all his athletic potential and glimpses of good work on the feet at times, has never really put it all together in a consistently effective manner.
On the other hand OSP’s ground game has developed better over time and if he can bring OleksieJczuk to the mat then his submissions could pose problems for the Polish fighter.
I like Oleksiejczuk’s chances of making an impact on the feet in this fight though and that will lead him to a second round TKO stoppage.
Michal Oleksiejczuk wins by TKO in Rd2.
Nicolas Dalby vs. Alex Oliveira
Dalby gets another chance in the UFC in front of his home fans in a tough fight against ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira.
Dalby was worth another shot in the UFC as he’s had some good wins in the past and is a well-rounded enough fighter who gives his all from the first minute to the last.
Oliveira style can be a bit erratic, but he is the better athlete here though, hits harder, and can operate from the clinch and make effective use of submissions on the mat.
Dalby’s cardio could work in his favor the longer this fight goes, but I think ‘Cowboy’ will have the better moments offensively here in the opening couple of rounds to help him edge out a win on the scorecards.
Alex Oliveira to win by decision.
Prelims (predicted winners in bold)
Alen Amedovski vs. John Phillips
Alessio Di Chirico vs. Makmud Muradov
Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Ismail Naurdiev
Brandon Davis vs. Giga Chikadze
Macy Chiasson vs. Lina Lansberg
Marc Diakiese vs. Lando Vannata
Nohelin Hernandez vs. Jack Shore