Description of my predictions for the main card fights below.
Alexander Gustafsson vs Thiago Silva
What a great main event, especially for the fans as they have a high profile rising star in the making in Alexander Gustafsson. A tough test though in Thiago Silva who is one of the meanest fighters I have ever seen in the cage. The guy is relentless and absolutely enjoys beating down people. BUT, he hasn’t fought in a year plus since being suspended after failing a drug test. So, will ring rust be a factor? Gustafsson will be 4 inches taller, and will only have a 1 1/2 inch reach advantage but I see him using that to advantage. Especially with lots of leg kicks, as he will try to fight safe in my opinion. If he does engage with Silva, it should be a war but I’m not sure of Gustafsson’s chin, which is a reason why I think he will fight on the outside. I’m going with the phenom, using leg kicks, and staying out of the pocket to take a decision victory of Thiago Silva.
Brian Stann vs Alessio Sakara
Boy do I love this fights, 2 Strikers, 2 warriors….one Knockout. This will be the Marine vs the Roman Soldier, which just sounds like one those deadliest warrior episodes. Sakara has had the most up and down UFC career I think I have ever seen but is an exciting fighter, hence still being around. Stann rose to fame after putting away the zombie Chris Leben in the first round, and rode a 3 fight win streak into his biggest fight against Chael Sonnen in which he lost. I expect both these guys to throw bombs at each other, but I see Stann putting away Sakara in the 2nd round.
Paulo Thiago vs Siyar Bahadurzada
This fight should be a good one as the UFC Vet Paulo Thiago takes on Siyar Bahadurzada who will be making his UFC debut. A tough debut fight for Bahadurzada but he is very seasoned with 25 fights under his belt. Thiago will look to build off his win in Brazil over David Mitchell. Thiago has been up and down lately but a win here will help him get back into the welterweight picture. Thiago will certainly be looking to submit Bahadurzada because of the power in the hands Bahadurzada beholds. If Thiago obliges, we might be in for an early exit for one of these men. I think this will be a technical fight, and I see Bahadurzada earning a decision victory in his debut.
Dennis Siver vs Deigo Nunes
An awesome fight as Siver will be making his featherweight debut, and Nunes will look to build off his win over Manvel Gamburyan. The question that I ponder here is if Nunes will oblige and strike with Siver who is very dangerous on the feet. OR, will Nunes choose to wrestle and grapple with Siver who since beating Sotiropoulos has shown impressive takedown defense. I like Siver height wise better in this division, as well his crazy upper body strength so I expect him to throw Nunes off of him every time Nunes shoots. With that said, I like Siver to put away Nunes in the first round.
DaMarques Johnson vs John Maguire
I expect this one to be decided by cardio, and right off the bat I like John Maguire. DaMarques Johnson has great power in those hands, and is decent on the ground. BUT, his cardio seems to always fade as the fight goes on. Maguire has only been stopped once in 20 fights. I see Maguire wearing Johnson out, and finishing him by submission in the second round.
Brad Pickett vs Damacio Page
A fun fight to start off the main card between two of the better bantamweights in the division. Both fighters have heavy hands and for the most part are well rounded. Pickett is 0-1 in the UFC since the WEC merger, and will seek get back on the winning track. Page is also 0-1 in the UFC since the WEC merger, succumbing to Brian Bowles in the same exact fashion as he did in WEC 35. I expect a War in this fight but I see Pickett stopping this one in the 3rd round. This could very well be the Fight of the Night.