The UFC’s whirlwind return to action continues tomorrow night, Wednesday 13th May with UFC Fight Night 171 and we’ve got our quick picks for all the fights below.
Main Card (ESPN)
Anthony Smith vs. Glover Teixeira
Over the past few years Teixeira has become visibly slower and less durable, but to his credit the 40-year-old has used his strong wrestling and submissions in more recent fights to adjust for his weakening stand-up game and as such has delivered three wins in a row.
However, in Smith he’s facing a significantly younger, faster opponent who has the striking weapons to cause him trouble on the feet, and can also handle himself on the mat with his submission threat.
A few years ago it could have been a different fight, but in the present day I feel Smith will have the edge on the feet and will come on strong in the later rounds to claim a TKO victory.
Anthony Smith wins by TKO in Rd4.
Ovince St. Preux vs. Ben Rothwell
OSP’s decision to move up to heavyweight is a curious one. He should have a speed advantage here, but he’s never been a particularly refined or powerful striker, will be giving up a significant amount of size and weight to Rothwell and has had cardio issues in the past that may be accentuated with the extra pounds that he’s now packed on.
Rothwell is very plodding, particularly at this stage in his career, but he’s the harder hitter of the two and his sheer size could shut down OSP’s best chance of a finish, which would be to get him to the ground and work a submission.
As such I think this may be a relatively slow paced fight in which Rothwell marches down his opponent and lands the more significant blows to earn a decision victory.
Ben Rothwell wins by decision.
Drew Dober vs. Alexander Hernandez
Always a tough customer, Dober deserves credit for his steady improvements during his UFC tenure and that’s reaped rewards recently with two quick finishes in a row by way of strikes.
Dober will be the harder-hitting, more aggressive and durable fighter here, but he will have to watch out for Hernandez’s athleticism on the feet and well versed ground skills.
This isn’t an especially confident pick, but with the momentum he’s carrying into this fight I’m going to lean towards Dober to largely keep this one standing, apply lots of pressure to stifle Hernandez’s rangier offense and find a second round TKO finish.
Drew Dober wins by TKO in Rd2.
Ray Borg vs. Ricky Simón
Simon may have lost his last two Octagon outings but he’s still a good fighter who should have the advantage on the feet here against Borg with his significant size, reach and strength advantage as well as being the more active and aggressive of the two.
Borg has good grappling and is slick in scrambles, but Simon has solid wrestling skills too, so I just feel he has the tools to get the better of Borg here and return to winning ways with a decision victory.
Ricky Simon wins by decision.
Karl Roberson vs. Marvin Vettori
Roberson comes from a kickboxing background, but actually tends to find finishes with submissions more than anything else during his MMA career so far.
Vettori is a fairly solid, durable all-rounder who will have a higher workrate with his striking offense and I think will also be able to get the better of Roberson on the mat on his way to a win on the scorecards.
Marvin Vettori wins by decision.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Philipe Lins
Sijara Eubanks vs. Sarah Moras
Michael Johnson vs. Thiago Moisés
Hunter Azure vs. Brian Kelleher
Chase Sherman vs. Ike Villanueva
Gabriel Benítez vs. Omar Morales