UFC Fight Night 170 takes place tomorrow night in Brasilia, Brazil and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Kevin Lee vs. Charles Oliveira
Lee marked his return to lightweight with a big KO win over Gregor Gillespie, while Oliveira has been setting the division alight during a six fight winning streak that’s included four submission wins and two by way of strikes.
Lee should have a size and strength advantage here and could look to take advantage of that by using his wrestling, but of course that would be a dangerous proposition against the man who has the most submission wins in UFC history.
Oliveira’s ground game is certainly where he’s at his most deadly, but as he’s proved in his last couple of fights, he’s also a finisher on the feet and has good creativity. Lee is an assured striker too and adopting a more patient approach in his last fight paid off for him, but failing to apply pressure to ‘Do Bronx’ may spell trouble as he can thrive when given space and time.
Lee’s recent record is patchy, but he remains a very good fighter and has a real chance to win here. However, this is likely to be an action-packed fight and I think his cardio may wane in the later rounds, and Oliveira will be there to pounce on any opportunity, leading to a fourth round submission finish.
Charles Oliveira wins by decision.
Demian Maia vs. Gilbert Burns
This is something of a dream match-up for fans of grappling as these are two of the most elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialists in the sport.
However, it remains to be seen if they will actually test themselves there or will instead engage on the feet. Maia is a capable striker, but he’s never been much of a finisher and at 42 is even slower than he used to be.
Burns striking isn’t as good as his grappling either, but he does throw with power and I think will have the edge in the stand-up exchanges overall if that is how the fight plays out, while he does have some wrestling chops to fend off Maia’s takedowns.
If we are treated to the fight hitting the mat then I still believe Maia will have the advantage, and his age isn’t such a concern there, and may even be an advantage given his vast level of experience dealing with other top grapplers over the years.
Burns may want to test himself there though, and he is good enough that while he may come off second best, I don’t see him getting tapped out and it may actually prove to be somewhat uneventful.
However, I think on the night Burns will opt to try to keep the fight standing and outstrike Maia, which will lead him to a decision victory.
Gilbert Burns to win by decision.
Renato Moicano vs. Damir Hadzovic
Moicano got off to a promising start in the UFC and the fact that he did go on to lose a couple of fights after that shouldn’t be held against him too much given that his opponents were Jose Aldo and The Korean Zombie.
Though both of those losses were to strikes, Moicano remains a good technical striker who will make use of his slight reach advantage, and though he’s not known for being a concussive striker, it’ll be interesting to see how a move up to 155lbs will affect his power output.
Meanwhile, Moicano’s ground game is very good and he’ll pose a big threat with submissions here against Hadzovic, who is a decent all-rounder and may have more pop in his punches and can also wrestle.
Overall I think Moicano will just prove to be the better fighter wherever the fight goes here and his superior ground game and cleaner striking should earn him a win on the scorecards.
Renato Moicano to win by decision.
Johnny Walker vs. Nikita Krylov
With both of these fighters records being filled with first round finishes this should be a thriller for as long as it lasts.
Walker is a lanky fighter and will utilize his 3″ height and 4.5″ reach advantage to good effect with kicks and punches from range, not to mention flying knees when he gets into closer quarters, amongst other potentially fight-ending techniques.
Krylov won’t be put off though as has a similarly offensive approach and can get involved in wild exchanges, but he also even more dangerous on the mat and he could have a sizeable advantage here if he does look to take Walker down.
This is a fight that could go either way and may end at any second, but while I feel Walker could have the edge if they opt to just strike, I believe Krylov’s submission threat could be the key to him emerging with a first round finish.
Nikita Krylov to win by submission in Rd1.
Francisco Trinaldo vs. John Makdessi
Two veteran lightweight’s battling it out here and they have the striking skills to make this a fun fight, but it remains to be seen if their strategic approaches will produce fireworks.
The problem is that both men are at heart counter-strikers, and there’s always the risk in that situation that they could just find themselves in a staring contest waiting for the other to throw something.
Despite now being 42, Trinaldo still has good speed and athleticism on his side, and he will throw with big power when he does let his strikes go.
Makdessi is very technical on the feet and also has a nice selection of eye-catching spinning attacks in his arsenal, though his cautious approach at times does tend to lead to his fights going to the judges scorecards.
Trinaldo is the better wrestler here and I think that, together with landing the bigger, more meaningful strikes on the feet when they do engage will secure him the decision victory on Saturday night.
Francisco Trinaldo to win by decision.
Prelims (Predicted winners in bold)
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Aleksei Kunchenko
Amanda Ribas vs. Randa Markos
Enrique Barzola vs. Rani Yahya
Jussier Formiga vs. Brandon Moreno
Bruno Silva vs. David Dvorak
Mayra Bueno Silva vs. Maryna Moroz
Veronica Macedo vs. Bea Malecki