UFC Fight Night 183 takes place tomorrow night in Las Vegas and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Paul Felder vs. Rafael dos Anjos
On paper this fight makes sense, but the fact that Felder accepted it on just five days notice doesn’t.
It’s a huge risk, but he’s been training for a triathlon recently, so he feels that will stand him in good stead. Nonetheless, there’s a significant difference between being in shape and being in fight shape, and meanwhile he’s having to cut a lot of weight in a short space of time and has even agreed to keep the bout as a five-rounder.
It’s even more problematic given that RDA always pushes a hard pace and applies a lot of pressure, is good on the mat and is returning to the division he once ruled and is most competitive in for the first time in four years.
Still, none of this is to say that Felder can’t win as he is a very good muay thai striker, is effective in the clinch and has very damaging elbow strikes, while he’s also as tough as nails.
He’ll also be heartened by the fact that RDA recent record is underwhelming, having won just one of his last five fights.
However, RDA’s downfall was often due to being continually put up against bigger, stronger wrestlers who were able to dominate him at 170lbs, but that won’t be the case here, and I think his high pace and ability to relentlessly pressure with striking, clinch work and takedowns is going to be tough for Felder to match over five rounds, leading to a decision victory.
Pick: Rafael dos Anjos wins by decision.
Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Khaos Williams
This should be a hard-hitting co-main event, with Alhassan having racked up four wins via punches so far in his UFC run, while Williams took 27 seconds to find a KO in his promotional debut a few months ago.
That latter win may flatter Williams just a little though as though he does have some finishes on his regional scene record, he’s generally not as destructive of a knockout artist as his opponent here.
That said, Williams will have a 2″ height and 4″ reach advantage to work with, and given that Alhassan can fade if his early onslaught doesn’t pay off then he may look to try to work on the outside and take him into deeper waters.
I think Alhassan’s aggressive offense from the opening bell is going to force the issue though and his speed and power are going to serve up a first round TKO finish.
Pick: Abdul Razak Alhassan wins by TKO in Rd1.
Julian Marquez vs. Saparbek Safarov
Safarov is barely clinging onto his spot on the UFC roster after losing three of last four fights, but Marquez has a lot to prove too after initially picking up a win and a loss in the promotion, only to then spend the next two years on the sidelines due to injuries.
There’s been more spark about Marquez’s previous performances than Safarov though and I think he’ll be the quicker, more athletic fighter here, though his all-action approach could come at the expense of his cardio if the fight goes late.
Safarov’s offensive wrestling is perhaps his best route to victory here, but his grappling defense lets him down and I feel that Marquez should have the advantage in most areas here and will come away with a second round TKO stoppage.
Pick: Julian Marquez wins by TKO in Rd3.
Antônio Arroyo vs. Eryk Anders
Once under contract with the Cleveland Browns, Anders athletic potential hasn’t quite translated into MMA success so far, posting a 5-5 record in the Octagon to date.
Anders has a functional stand-up game that’s bolstered by possessing good power and explosiveness, but hampered by a disappointingly slow tempo at times, while he’s also a decent wrestler and has only been stopped once in 18 fights.
Meanwhile, Arroyo’s only fight in the UFC so far ended in a decision loss and he’s been out of action for a year since.
The Brazilian has good kicks and has shown an ability to find a finish either on the feet or on the mat via submission, but his wrestling is a weak point and overall I feel he has a lower ceiling than Anders in terms of his potential.
As such I like Anders here to get the better of Arroyo with a mixture of fundamental striking and wrestling to earn a decision victory.
Pick: Eryk Anders wins by decision.
Brendan Allen vs. Sean Strickland
Just a week after his fight with Ian Heinisch was cancelled, Allen now squares up against another challenging opponent in Strickland.
Strickland has stepped back up to the plate just a couple of weeks after he earned a decision victory against Jack Marshman. That might seem a bit hasty, but after a two-year layoff due to a motorcycle accident he’s clearly eager to make up for lost time, though it remains to be seen if that proves to be a wise strategy.
This has all the makings of a very competitive fight. The 24-year-old Allen’s striking is still a work-in-progress, but he is improving all the time and though the more experienced Strickland will likely have an edge there, he’ll at least be able to stay somewhat competitive.
It’s Allen’s grappling that’s his strongest suit however and he’s proven to be very good at locking up submissions, though his takedowns aren’t as reliable.
Strickland has a respectable ground game so it’s going to be intriguing to see how this one plays out. The more I think about the fight the more tempting it is to pick Strickland, but Allen is on a roll at the moment and in a close battle it may only take a a few takedowns over the course of 15 minutes to swing the fight in his favor.
Pick: Brendan Allen wins by decision.
Prelims (Predicted winners in bold)
Kay Hansen vs. Cory McKenna
Don’Tale Mayes vs. Roque Martinez
Ashley Yoder vs. Miranda Granger
Alex Morono vs. Rhys McKee
Louis Smolka vs Jose Alberto Quiñonez
Randa Markos vs. Kanako Murata
Tony Gravely vs. Geraldo de Freitas