UFC Fight Night 165 takes place tomorrow in South Korea and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Chan Sung Jung vs. Frankie Edgar
Edgar postponed a move down to bantamweight to take this short-notice fight with The Korean Zombie, who he was actually previously scheduled against last year before suffering an injury.
Edgar is 38 now, but he’s always been a consumate professional and has looked after himself well, so he’s aging gracefully and while he might not be at his peak he still has good speed and movement on the feet as he picks his moments to engage and then get back out of danger.
As for TKZ, he will wield the bigger power here in addition to having a 4″ reach advantage and is much more willing to just take the fight to his opponent and risk eating shots as he does so. he’s certainly not as indestructable as he seemed earlier in his career though, but at the same time I’m not convinced Edgar’s volume-based striking will trouble him here.
Edgar does also have very good wrestling and transitions well from his striking and that could be important for him here as he looks to win rounds and emerge with a decision victory, but TKZ is also very capable on the mat with good scrambles and submissions and has a good gas tank, so it’s likely to be competitive wherever the fight goes.
It’s possible Edgar could frustrate Jung with his strategic point-scoring style, but I think TKZ’s pressure, more impactful blows and ability to stay competitive on the mat will serve him well here and I believe there’s a chance he could hurt and finish the former lightweight champion.
The Korean Zombie wins by TKO in Rd3.
Volkan Oezdemir vs. Aleksandar Rakic
This should be an enjoyable battle on the feet between two offensively minded strikers.
Rakic has plenty of confidence derived from a long unbeaten run and a proven ability to finish fights with dangerous kicks and punches, while he’ll also have the comfort of a 3″ height and reach advantage in this fight.
Rakic can be hittable though and that’s a concern against Oezdemir, who has also shown himself to having stopping power, though he’s been a little more measured in his approach recently, rather than going all out for an early finish, which is no bad thing.
It’s also worth noting that Rakic is quite comfortable working for takedowns too and that could give him the edge here as Oezdemir’s takedown defense is not the best.
I expect this to be a relatively close and competitive fight, but I think Rakic has a bit more to offer overall and with a combination of striking and takedowns will secure a decision victory.
Aleksander Rakic wins by decision.
Doo Ho Choi vs. Charles Jourdain
A couple of losses followed by a long absence for compulsary military service in his homeland may have dented ‘The Korean Superboy’s’ momentum, but Choi remains an exciting and talented fighter who is a lot of fun to watch.
Choi is an all-action offensive striker who impresses with his speed and power, but can also ring alarm bells with his defensive lapses as he swings for the fences.
Jourdain also likes to go on the attack, but while he’s a capable fighter he’s not nearly as potent as Choi and I think that will quickly become evident as ‘The Korean Superboy’ makes a triumphant return with a first round knockout victory.
Doo Ho Choi wins by KO in Rd1.
Da Un Jung vs. Mike Rodriguez
While both fighters here are known for putting their opponents away, there’s a marked difference in how the approach doing so.
For Rodriguez it’s all about the early finish, and he’s certainly a physical presence in the Octagon and despite being the same height as Jung has markedly longer reach, but the catch is that his fast start can burn through his energy reserves and leave him more vulnerable in the later rounds.
That may well suit Jung, assuming he doesn’t get caught cold in the first round, as he tends to build up a head of steam in the later rounds and as such I lean towards him surviving the early storm and then taking out a tiring Rodriguez with strikes in the final five minutes.
Da Un Jung wins by decision.
Jun Yong Park vs. Marc-Andre Barriault
After coming unstuck in their early UFC encounters due to being outwrestled, Park and Barriault will be relieved to be facing a like-minded opponent who will be willing to keep the fight on the feet.
Barriault is a very durable fighter and can pack a punch too, while Park may be a little more sound technically, but doesn’t have the same pop to his offensive output.
I don’t expect there to be much to choose between them, but Barriault is better in the clinch and is likely to land the more notable blows here, which should edge him to a decision victory.
Marc-Andre Barriault wins by decision.
Kyung Ho Kang vs. Pingyuan Liu
Like The Korean Zombie, Kang had to take out from fighting in the UFC to serve in the military in recent years, but has come back and continued to make a good impressive since with a 3-1 run in the promotion.
Meanwhile Liu is hoping to get back on track after a knockout in his last outing, and though Kang has improving striking along with a size and reach advantage, its the Chinese fighter who has the better chance to find a finish on the feet here.
However, the problem for Liu is that Kang is the better all-rounder here and I think it’s his wrestling and submission that will be the difference-maker here, leading to a third round submission stoppage.
Kyung Ho Kang wins by submission in Rd3.
Prelims (Predicted winners in bold)
Ciryl Gane vs. Tanner Boser
Suman Mokhtarian vs. Seung Woo Choi
Omar Morales vs. Dong Hyun Ma
Alexandre Pantoja vs. Matt Schnell
Said Nurmagomedov vs. Raoni Barcelos
Amanda Lemos vs. Miranda Granger
Heili Alateng vs. Ryan Benoit