UFC On ESPN 12 takes place this coming Saturday night in Las Vegas and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker
This should be an action-packed main event between two very talented lightweights with potent offensive styles.
Primarily both men thrive on the feet and are proven finishers, with Poirier being a very sharp boxer who applies a lot of pressure, strikes in volume with fast and accurate combos and has the cardio to keep the tempo high for the duration of this five-rounder.
Hooker will mix things up more on the feet using all eight limbs and also brings a 3″ height and reach advantage, which he will utilize, while he’s also shown good durability during his UFC run.
Both fighters are well-rounded and can handle themselves on the mat too, but while both have an effective submission game, I do feel like Poirier’s smooth transitions between striking and grappling and overall technique would give him the edge on the mat.
Hooker is dangerous, but I feel Poirier is the quicker, slicker striker here and his pressure and volume of strikes will gradually take a toll, leading to a fourth round TKO stoppage.
Dustin Poirier wins by TKO in Rd4.
Mike Perry vs. Mickey Gall
This looks like being a striker vs. grappler match-up, and of course it’ll be Perry who is looking to keep things standing so he can use his powerful brawling style to try to end Gall’s evening.
Gall’s striking is showing signs of developing, but he would be ill-advised to spend time trading with the clearly much more dangerous Perry here, and so he’ll be looking to get this fight to the mat, where he’s proven to be a capable grappler with solid submissions.
Perry doesn’t have great fight IQ at all, but he should be able to use his wrestling to defend takedowns if required and make Gall pay in the stand-up exchanges, leading to a first round TKO or KO finish.
Mike Perry wins by TKO in Rd1.
Brendan Allen vs. Kyle Daukaus
Daukaus debut’s on just a few days notice as a replacement for Ian Heinisch and he brings a perfect 9-0 record to the Octagon against Allen.
Daukaus will let his hands go on the feet, but without being much of a finishing threat. However, on the regional circuit he’s proven to be an effective submission player, even racking up a number of wins via brabo choke.
Allen’s picked up a couple of wins in the UFC so far and may perhaps have a slight striking advantage here, but really his strong suit is his ground game too and though he’s capable of tapping out opponents too, I think it’ll be his better wrestling that will help him to get the better of Daukaus here and earn a decision victory.
Brendan Allen wins by decision.
Gian Villante vs. Maurice Greene
After a long and patchy run in the UFC’s light-heavyweight division, Villante is now moving up to try his luck at heavyweight.
Villante hasn’t really developed much during his UFC tenure and is still just a somewhat plodding, rugged brawler who will take a punch to land one of his own. He’s a solid, but not especially heavy-hitter at 205lbs and can run out of steam, so that might be accentuated further now that he’s carrying extra weight.
Greene will be the bigger man here, enjoying a 4″ height and 6″ reach advantage, while he also tips the scales at the heavyweight limit. Despite his size he moves reasonably well and will throw kicks and well as punches, while he’s also shown some grappling ability too.
Given the size disparity it’s not going to be easy for Villante to get into range and I think he’s going to lumber into some big shots while doing so, which will eventually lead to him succumbing to a second round TKO stoppage.
Maurice Greene wins by TKO in Rd2.
Sean Woodson vs. Julian Erosa
Erosa is another late replacement, stepping in for Kyle Nelson on a few days notice, and it’s a big ask for him given that he’s coming off three losses in a row inside the Octagon, including two by KO.
Woodson is a lanky fighter, but since Erosa is also fairly tall he’ll not have quite so much real estate to work with on this occasion, having to settle for a still notable 2″ height and 3″ reach advantage.
I think his striking from range should be good enough to get the better of Erosa, and given his durability issues I think ‘The Sniper’ will put him away within the space of 10 minutes.
Sean Woodson wins by TKO in Rd2.
Prelims (Predicted winners in bold)
Luis Peña vs. Khama Worthy
Philipe Lins vs. Tanner Boser
Jordan Griffin vs. Youssef Zalal
Takashi Sato vs. Jason Witt
Jinh Yu Frey vs. Kay Hansen