UFC Fight Night 138 takes place this coming Saturday night in Canada and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Volkan Oezdemir vs. Anthony Smith
Oezdemir and Smith have both managed to rise up to headliner status fairly swiftly with some hard-hitting performances in the Octagon.
Both fighters are offensively minded. Oezdemir is a little unorthadox and certainly not flawless technically, but though he can be reckless there’s no doubting he has big power and his kicks could be important as Smith has been vulnerable to that in the past.
Smith is also a finisher and has shown that even after stepping up to middleweight, though defensively he’s flawed and he has been stopped multiple times via strikes, albeit mostly earlier in his career.
This fight could go either way, but I think Oezdemir’s early pressure and toughness will prove troublesome for Smith and lead to a second round TKO victory.
Volkan Oezdemir to win by TKO in Rd2.
Artem Lobov vs. Michael Johnson
Both of these fighters have had a rough run in the UFC in recent times, but despite his dismal form Johnson is the better all-round fighter here.
Lobov’s a decent striker, but I’d expect Johnson to have the speed and athletic advantage here, plus he’s better at fighting from range and will have the reach advantage. Throw in the fact he’s a better wrestler and I think he should emerge with a decision victory.
Michael Johnson to win by decision.
Misha Cirkunov vs. Patrick Cummins
Despite disappointments in his most recent Octagon outings, Cirkunov is still a solid 205lb’er and he should enjoy a significant advantage when it comes to striking in this fight.
Cummins chin is questionable and though he’s doing his best to shore up his weaknesses it’s coming at a late stage in his career at 38-year-old and I think he’s more likely to be looking to fall back to his wrestling base here to try to get the better of his opponent.
I think Cirkunov can keep this fight standing for the most part and will offer a submission threat if it does go to ground too, en-route to a win on the scorecards.
Misha Cirkunov to win by decision.
Andre Soukhamthath vs. Jonathan Martinez
Soukhamthath is essentially a pure kickboxer and hasn’t fared so well in the UFC thus far, picking up only one win in his last four fights.
He’s not going to have many better opportunities to get in the win column than this though as Martinez is coming in on short notice, hasn’t fought in over a year and is moving up a weight class to get this opportunity to make his UFC debut.
Martinez is a capable striker and offers up a submission threat too though, so it won’t be a walk in the park, but I think Soukhamthath will wear his opponent down on the feet and claim a TKO finish in the final round.
Andre Soukhamthath to win by TKO in Rd3.
Ed Herman vs. Gian Villante
Herman still soldiers on despite being at the tail-end of his career and visibily slowing down – even though he was never remotely fast or athletic to begin with.
Villante isn’t exactly fleet of foot himself, being somewhat plodding and predictable with his offense and showing little regard for defense, but he has a big power advantage here and is known for his toughness.
Herman is a solid grappler and that would be his best route to victory, but I think it’s more likely that his fate will be decided on the feet as Villante lands the power shots to put him away in the second round.
Gian Villante wins by TKO in Rd2.
Court McGee vs. Alex Garcia
McGee is the kind of fighter who manages to use hard work, grit and determination to make up for any limitations in his ability and that could make this a tough fight for Garcia, who has a lot of raw potential and athleticism, but doesn’t always use it to it’s full advantage.
McGee will push the pace here, land at a higher rate and he’s a solid grappler too, but I do think that Garcia should have the edge with his power, speed and strength advantages, and it will be his heavier shots and physicality in the clinch and grappling exchanges that will stand out, enabling him to emerge with his hand raised at the end of 15 minutes.
Alex Garcia wins by decision.
Prelims (Predicted winners in bold)
Nordine Taleb vs. Sean Strickland
Thibault Gouti vs. Nasrat Haqparast
Chris Fishgold vs. Calvin Kattar
Talita Bernardo vs. Sarah Moras
Prelims (Fight Pass)
T’e’Jovan Edwards vs. Don Madge
Arjan Bhullar vs. Marcelo Golm
Stevie Ray vs. Jessin Ayari