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GENNADY GOLOVKIN GGG vs DANIEL JACOBS



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GENNADY GOLOVKIN GGG vs DANIEL JACOBS FIGHT

Joseph Duffy vs. Reza Madadi



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Joseph Duffy vs. Reza Madadi FIGHT

Francimar Barroso vs. Darren Stewart



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Francimar Barroso vs. Darren Stewart FIGHT

Scott Askham vs Brad Scott



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Scott Askham vs Brad Scott FIGHT

Leon Edwards vs. Vicente Luque



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Leon Edwards vs. Vicente Luque FIGHT

Daniel Omielanczuk vs Timothy Johnson



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Daniel Omielanczuk vs Timothy Johnson FIGHT

MANUWA vs ANDERSON



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This contest is getting a bum rap due to it being the main event of a lackluster card. It isn’t a bad fight, it just doesn’t have any business being the headliner. Nonetheless, it does represent good matchmaking as there isn’t a clear cut favorite. Manuwa has shown that he can’t be counted out at any time, scoring an impressive come-from-behind finish of Ovince Saint Preux in his last contest. However, he was able to score the victory thanks to OSP gassing himself using a wrestle-heavy strategy. The strategy was working before OSP got tired. Anderson has a great gas tank and a better wrestling attack. I admit I still have no idea how Anderson will be able to do over 25 minutes, but I’m still going with the youngster to get the biggest win of his career. Corey Anderson via decision MANUWA vs ANDERSON FIGHT

Brad Pickett vs. Marlon Vera



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Brad Pickett vs. Marlon Vera FIGHT

Marc Diakiese vs. Teemu Packalen



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Marc Diakiese vs. Teemu Packalen FIGHT

Arnold Allen vs. Makwan Amirkhani



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Arnold Allen vs. Makwan Amirkhani FIGHT

Alan Jouban vs. Gunnar Nelson



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I can’t think of a recent Jouban fight that I haven’t been excited for going into the card. Sure, his last contest against Mike Perry didn’t produce the usual fireworks as he utilized a methodical strategy to pick apart the inexperienced Perry, but I don’t see him using that approach here. Nelson is a very controlled fighter who starts fast before fading. Given this is a three-round affair, Jouban will need to weather the early storm and I can see him trying to turn the fight into a brawl -- an environment in which he has thrived -- if he falls too far behind on the cards. At least that is what I’m hoping happens for the sake of my entertainment. Nelson’s chin has held up against some hard hitters, so I’m leaning on him to hold up, maybe crack Jouban at some point, and sink in a sub after hurting the former model ala Brandon Thatch at UFC 189. Nelson via submission of RD2 Alan Jouban vs. Gunnar Nelson FIGHT

VITOR BELFORT vs KELVIN GASTELUM



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Belfort is a true celebrity in his homeland, like GSP in Canada or Demetrious Johnson in Madisonville, Kentucky. So a lot of Brazilian fans aren’t going to be very happy late Saturday night, but they’re usually a calm and quiet bunch so no worries there. Let’s be honest, whatever the reasons, his last truly impressive win was Luke Rockhold almost 4 years ago; and before that, now in hindsight, against Bisping and Anthony Johnson. Ever since Bisping, he only has those two on Dan Henderson; and catching good old Henderson is very different than cutting the Octagon on a very dynamic Kelvin Gastelum. The 25-year-old Gastelum employs enough movements to frustrate a housefly, so forget about a turning 40 Vitor Belfort. Gastelum’s a boxer/wrestler fella who can intercept a kick into a butt-drop, and as a grappler, he shouldn’t get dragged into too deep waters for his comfort. When Belfort was Gastelum’s age, he was beating Heath Herring at heavy, and losing to Chuck Liddell at Light-heavy, relying foremostly on his natural gifts, and those have expiration dates – just ask Chuck Liddell and many others. In my mind Belfort is always going to be fighting Tank Abbott this one night in 1997 in St. Louis. Now it looks like Belfort wants to move on to something of the sorts of a ‘League of Legends.’ If final, unfortunately he’ll end this part, like so many others, with a loss. Kelvin Gastelum by KO/TKO, round 3. VITOR BELFORT vs KELVIN GASTELUM FIGHT

Mauricio Shogun Rua vs. Gian Villante



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Before anyone comes in chiming “PRIDE NEVER DIE”, I’d like to politely remind you all that PRIDE is dead, and it needs to stay dead. After the OSP loss, I thought Shogun was done, but there’s so many IQ lapses in Villante’s game that make it possible for Shogun to pull out another big finish. Not that Villante can shut his lights off, but it’s a matter of who you can trust the least, and the odd man out is gonna be Gian. Sorry dude. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua by KO, round 2. Mauricio Shogun Rua vs. Gian Villante FIGHT

Alex Oliveira vs Tim Means



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This one seems pretty straightforward. Means is a much better technical fighter than Oliveira, so the question in their last fight was whether Oliveira's sheer physical power would be able to overwhelm him. The answer was looking like a pronounced: "nope", as Oliveira's best chance was to blow Means away early, and instead he got the snot beaten out of him before Means landed those ill-advised knees. Short of a low-variance early finish or sudden and surprising technical improvements from Oliveira, Tim Means by TKO, round 2. Alex Oliveira vs Tim Means FIGHT

Edson Barboza vs Beneil Dariush



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Barboza struggles with pressure fighters and anyone with the power to dent his chin. Dariush possesses both things, has terrific jiu-jitsu, and Barboza is prone to getting submitted. That said, for as much as Dariush has made serious strides on the feet, Barboza has improved his takedown defense considerably, his boxing looks better than ever, and he is a more advanced striker than Dariush is. The longer this fight stays on the outside, where Barboza can fire off those absurdly quick and powerful leg kicks, the worse it gets for Dariush. I love this stylistic clash and am a fan of both fighters, but I have to favor Barboza here based on how well he’s performed in his last few fights. Edson Barboza by TKO, round 2. Edson Barboza vs Beneil Dariush FIGHT

Bethe Correia vs Marion Reneau



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I picked Reneau over Correia on this week’s Three Amigos Podcast … it’s time to hedge my bets! Reneau isn’t active enough to consistently win fights, while Correia isn’t athletic or powerful enough to convincingly win fights. Correia has the edge in volume, which should make up for her lack of athleticism, and I predict she wins by just doing more on the feet and stopping Reneau from taking her down. Bethe Correia by unanimous decision. Bethe Correia vs Marion Reneau FIGHT

Jussier Formiga vs Ray Borg



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Formiga hasn’t really declined anywhere, so this is all about Ray Borg. Perhaps his win over Smolka was partially due to Smolka himself being overrated, but Borg made tangible improvements in his stand-up and looked leagues faster on the feet and on the mat. This is a fight where I cannot imagine Borg consistently outgrapples Formiga, so Borg’s best chance to win is to outstrike him and at least break even when (and I do mean when) this fight hits the mat. Even then, Formiga is a functionally good kickboxer without being great. If only partially because I want a new flyweight contender in a division, I think Borg gets the upset. Ray Borg by split decision. Jussier Formiga vs Ray Borg FIGHT

Garreth McLellan vs Paulo Borrachinha



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Garreth McLellan vs Paulo Borrachinha FIGHT

Sergio Moraes vs Davi Ramos



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Sergio Moraes vs Davi Ramos FIGHT

Rony Jason vs Jeremy Kennedy



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I've never really been impressed with Jason's physicality. He's a classic crafty finisher, but I think I put his success down to commitment rather than brute physical power. In longer grappling battles he's struggled, and is generally something of a glass cannon (win early or don't win). Debatably his not-great physicality has been fading recently, and Kennedy is the bigger fighter and should be able to hit takedowns- being able to fight back off bottom is a hard thing to do against a power and youth advantage. Jeremy Kennedy by unanimous decision. Rony Jason vs Jeremy Kennedy FIGHT