MMA is a sport based on opportunity and split second decision making. The breakdowns that we try to focus on here will be looking at stylistic differences between fighters and how they will impact the card. Although the breakdowns won't usually be long, they'll have info on fighter strengths and weaknesses and how we expect them to be exploited. Towards the end of the article there will be the five best bets on the slate for you to tail!
All my research is from https://fightodds.io/ and https://paydirtdfs.com/mma-ranks-and-leverage-model/
Jinh Yu Frey (Striker) vs Vanessa Demopoulos (Grappler)
Looks like a really bad matchup for Vanessa. She is pretty much a sub or bust and Frey has a 90% takedown defense. I like Frey in this one to start off the night.
Mario Bautista (Striker/Grappler) vs Brian Kelleher (Striker/Grappler)
This is an interesting fight between two veterans in the sport. Mario is going to be the better striker and look to keep this one on the feet, while Brian is going to get nasty and in range for a takedown. I think Brian knows how to get the victory, so he wins via split.
Cody Durden (Striker/Wrestler) vs JP Buys (Wrestler)
Buys is super in need of a win here and will be starting out very strong to try to get a win here. Durden has looked pretty vulnerable with getting submitted, so we may see an early sub here.
Raulian Paiva (Striker/Grappler) vs Sergey Morozov (Striker/Grappler)
This looks like a win or get cut for Morozov. He desperately needs a win here. He should go to his wrestling to try to secure that. Paiva isn’t the best of grapplers, so I think it’s a big advantage for Morozov if he goes to ground.
TJ Brown (Striker/Wrestler) vs Yilan Sha (Striker/Grappler)
This looks like a good time for TJ to get his first win in the UFC. Sha has been destroyed in most of his fights, while getting finished in most of them also. I like to get a finish here.
Tafon Nchukwi (Striker) vs Carlos Ulberg (Striker)
This should be a fun ugly fight. Both of these guys are pretty impatient and just throw big bombs. I have seen Tafon try to grapple strikers and I think he will go to that in this one.
Chris Curtis (Striker) vs Rodolfo Vieira (Grappler)
I am a Chris Curtis lover, so all bais over here. Then I looked at the model and saw he was the #1 fighter there. Nothing else needs to be said.
Umar Nurmagomedov (Striker/Grappler) vs Nathan Maness (Striker)
Maness is really good and I think he will have a nice little future in the UFC. He is just fighting someone with the same last name as Khabib. Good luck.
Christos Giagos (Striker) vs Thiago Moisés (Grappler)
Giagos likes to use his physicality to get an advantage over his opponents. He won’t be able to do that with Thiago. Thiago should be able to get this one to the ground and get a submission.
Josh Parisian (Striker) vs Alan Baudot (Striker)
Coin flip fight between two heavyweight strikers? Fun stuff!! You’ll need the winner of this to win a GPP. I am giving it to Parisian because Baudot usually fades in his fights and that's a death sentence vs heavyweights.
Neil Magny (Striker/Grappler) vs Shavkat Rakhmonov (Well Rounded)
I like some Magny here. I may be the only one in the world, but I think the man just knows how to win. He is the definition of a gatekeeper for this division. Shavkat is really good, so he may just wipe the floor with Magny, but I think he has a real shot.
Arman Tsarukyan (Well Rounded) vs Mateusz Gamrot (Striker/Grappler)
Can we talk about how jacked these dudes are? Holy moly. This should be a really good fight and closer than the line suggests. Arman is never in bad situations because he is such a damn good scrambler and that may be the difference right there. Gamrot is really good though and does everything almost as good as Arman. I’m not making a pick here because I think it’s too close.