UFC On FOX 26 takes place tomorrow night in Winnepeg, Canada and you can see our predictions for all the fights below.
Robbie Lawler vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Two former champions at welterweight and lightweight respectively collide here in an intriguing 170lb headliner.
On the feet there’s no question that Lawler has the power advantage and operates well when in toe-to-toe confrontations with tried-and-tested technical striking and good head movement.
Dos Anjos is a significant threat on the feet too though, with his hard leg leg kicks having the potential to cause Lawler problems, while his relentless pressure also set to test Lawler’s resolve and energy reserves if the fight goes beyond the early rounds.
Dos Anjos’ pressure also creates opportunities for takedowns, and though Lawler generally does a good job of staying upright, if he is taken to the mat then I’d expect the former lightweight champion to have a significant edge over him there.
Overall, I’m tempted to pick RDA here, but as talented as he is, it’s hard to ignore the fact Lawler has faced a who’s who of 170lb talent over the past few years, and only fallen short once against the enormous punching power of current champ Tyron Woodley.
I think Dos Anjos will present a significant challenge for Lawler, but his attempts to push the pace will lead to him taking some big counter-strikes that will eventually take their toll, resulting in a TKO victory for ‘Ruthless’.
Robbie Lawler to win by TKO in Rd3.
Ricardo Lamas vs. Josh Emmett
Emmett has shown real potential, but this is a big step up in competition against a savvy veteran in Lamas.
Both fighters come from a wrestling background, but I feel Lamas will still have the edge there and is generally the more well-rounded fighter, working well on the feet from range and also offering up a submission threat on the mat.
I think Emmett is good enough to take Lamas to a decision here, but I don’t think he’ll emerge with his hand raised.
Ricardo Lamas to win by decision.
Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Mike Perry
Perry has been making a bit of a name for himself lately, but he faces a challenging test here against an in-form Ponzinibbio, who is currently riding a five-fight winning streak.
Ponzinibbio is the better technical striker here and should be the one landing more frequently in the contest, but Perry has natural finishing power and so the Argentinian will have to proceed with some level of caution.
Alan Jouban previously showed how using movement and distance to avoid a firefight with Perry can largely shut him down and I believe Ponzinibbio is capable of that too and will emerge with a win on the scorecards.
Santiago Ponzinibbio to win by decision.
Misha Cirkunov vs. Glover Teixeira
Interesting 205lb fight here, particularly at this stage in their careers as Teixeira has been showing some signs of wear and tear lately – albeit against top-flight competition.
The Brazilian remains a dangerous opponent though. In the striking department he is the more potent fighter here and will look to hunt down Cirkunov and he certainly has the power in his hands to stop him.
Cirkunov is capable on the feet, but he’s a grappler at heart with good wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu together with his physical presence and strength making him hard to deal with.
Teixeira is a good grappler himself though and I think he will do a good job of keeping this fight standing, enabling him to pressure Cirkunov on the feet and claim a second round TKO victory.
Glover Teixeira to win by TKO in Rd2.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Jan Blachowicz vs. Jared Cannonier
Julian Marquez vs. Darren Stewart
Galore Bofando vs. Chad Laprise
Tim Elliott vs. Pietro Menga
John Makdessi vs. Abel Trujillo
Oluwale Bamgbose vs. Alessio Di Chirico
Jordan Mein vs. Erick Silva
Nordine Taleb vs. Danny Roberts