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UFC 193 DFS Picks: Holly Night, All is Holm

UFC 193 DFS Picks: Holly Night, All is Holm
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UFC 193 DFS Picks: Holly Night, All is Holm

Hi. With all of the craziness regarding DFS and these darn states trying to limit our action and denying our right to lose billions and billions of cents by rostering Le’Veon Bell during his injury week, I’ve been a little distracted lately as far as giving out quality MMA information. It’s more than likely I will focus on the main PPV cards rather than in addition to the Fight Night cards (UFC on FOX will probably still be in play though), so with that said….let’s get started!

Two fighters are at -2000 odds currently, and they are both badass women! Shows you the true power of both fighters that they are such huge favorites and the rise of women’s MMA in general. Of course, most of you know who Ronda Rousey is by now. The other fighter, Joanna Jedrzejczyk or Joanna Champion for short, may not be as well known, but that’ll soon change on Saturday. The event is being held in Australia, so there are several Aussie born fighters such as Judo Olympian Dan Kelly, a great prospect in Jake Matthews, and one of Australia’s favorite fighters in Mark Hunt (who isn’t technically from there, but he may as well be). Will home field advantage be a true…..advantage? Only time will tell, and I guess the rest of the article too! Let us begin.

Ben Nguyen (-145) vs Ryan Benoit (+125)

Ben Nguyen had a very successful UFC debut, thrashing Alptekin Ozkillic all the way to the last second before getting the TKO win right at the buzzer. The thrilling striker gets an opponent with similar tendencies in young up and comer Ryan Benoit, coming off a huge comeback win over Sergio Pettis. This fight has all the makings of a exciting back and forth striking affair that will be more about volume than technique.



  • Black belt in Taekwondo, purple belt in BJJ – 9 of 14 wins by KO/TKO and 3 by submission
  • Very spry, frenetic fighter who always looks to push the pace and engage his opponent as soon as possible
  • Usually leads with flurries of jab/straights followed by some sort of kick, whether to the head or midsection
  • Also can be in love with his overhands and looping hooks, especially when it’s a full out bar fight against a willing opponent
  • Alternates between the instigator and being a counter-striker, keeping his distance and playing the usual Taekwondo role of spacing and timing
  • Has a pretty good double leg take-down, but otherwise wrestling is more of an tempo thing
  • Very aggressive from top control in hunting for submissions, has the killer instinct to get the finish


  • Aggressive nature also exposes his mediocre striking defense especially when he gets into heated striking exchanges, 4 of 5 career losses by KO/TKO
  • Can be wild and sloppy at times especially when he starts unloading overhands, opens himself to take-down attempts which Nguyen tends to try and escape without thinking of the position that he is in
  • Like almost all Taekwondo martial artists, can struggle if he doesn’t have the space to operate as a counter-striker, doesn’t have the wrestling to keep away strong wrestlers



  • Has a wrestling background but is more of a stand-up boxer, all but 1 of his 8 wins by KO/TKO
  • Quick but powerful boxer who tries to jab his way inside to get position to land his right straight, decent circling out ability
  • Can be frenetic at times as he starts swinging wildly against pressure, but can be surprisingly effective as it was against Sergio Pettis
  • Not much of a counter-striker, more of a paint by numbers guy as far as his striking goes, whatever volume Benoit puts out, he hopes it lands somewhere very hard
  • Wrestling is more about grinding out his opponents than any sort of technique/power, will shoot in for the single/double leg and stay in that position up the cage
  • Not too much of a threat from top control, more of a control guy with limited GnP but it is a tool at his disposal


  • Even though he has a wrestling background, his take-down defense is pretty bad as he can get dominated by stronger wrestlers and controlled on the ground, limited ground defense and stays passive
  • Against pressure, Benoit swings wildly and hopes something hits and while that can work sometimes, that’s a bad habit to have
  • Striking defense is also mediocre at best, eats a ton of sig strikes due to his paint by numbers striking offense and lack of countering ability

This will be more than likely a stand-up war between both flyweights, with the edge going to Nguyen since he has more attacks at his arsenal and has better countering skills. Benoit isn’t an easy opponent by any means due to his willingness to swing at all costs and does have some power in his hands, but swinging wildly against Nguyen is probably a really, really bad idea. Benoit could in theory use his wrestling to stifle Nguyen’s offense and tire him out from the clinch as he tries to soften up for the take-down. Thing is, I’m interested to see if Nguyen has enough talent and skill to be a semi-contender at flyweight. The guy has the power, speed, and striking ability to be a very entertaining and tough out in the division, but he must put away Benoit quickly in order to be taken seriously. I think he can do it.

Nguyen via 2nd round TKO

Daniel Kelly (+230) vs Steve Montgomery (-270)

The Judo specialist had a rough outing in his last appearance, getting flat out knocked out in the 1st round to the smiling assassin that is Sam Alvey. He gets a better match-up against a tall guy with a weird nickname in Steve “The Creepy Weasel” Montgomery, who is also coming off a brutal 1st round knockout loss to Tony Sims and is filling in on short notice for the injured Ricardo Abreu. While Kelly has fantastic judo credentials and is a great judoka in the octagon, his stand up resembles that of an angry old man fending off mosquitoes while sitting in his chair on the front porch. Montgomery at least looks competent on the feet, and that’s why he’s the favorite despite a big disadvantage if it ever goes to the ground. AUSSIE AUSSIE OI OI!



  • Black belt in Judo, purple belt in BJJ, longtime judoka and competed in the Olympics for Australia in Judo – 5 of 9 career wins by submission
  • As you’d expect from a master judoka, his clinch game is excellent, with various trip take-downs and great hip control
  • Strong with his top control, makes smart guard passes and tries to put opponents into 50/50 positions where if they do the wrong move, Kelly pounces on the submission attempt
  • Stand-up isn’t much to write about, but he is left handed and is mostly a counter-striker heavily dependent on landing the left straight


  • Reason why I didn’t talk much about his stand-up is due to Kelly’s lack of any other attack asides from the left straight, has no kicks or any other weapon at his arsenal and doesn’t have the hand speed or coordination to be a sniper
  • For all of his judo credentials and obvious talent in landing any take-down he wants from the clinch, Kelly inexplicably chooses to keep fights standing for far too long, often depending on his opponents to actually run into him in order for Kelly to get the fight to the ground where he has all the advantage in the world
  • No striking defense at all, very limited at movement and no real countering skills



  • Purple belt in BJJ, 8 career wins with 5 by KO/TKO and 2 by submission
  • Tall welterweight (even though fight is at middleweight) at 6’4” inches with 75 inch reach and fights out of southpaw stance
  • Not necessarily an at range striker though he probably should get better at being one, Montgomery paces himself and tries to find the best angles to land the left straight but will use the jab judiciously along with leg kicks
  • More of a counter-striker and will use his height to push forward to either instigate striking exchanges or open up with take-down attempts/get into the clinch and rain down knees
  • Due to his height, Montgomery can be dangerous on the ground if he gets top control as he can get deep body locks or entangle his opponents to keep them on the ground, decent off his back


  • Not great at using his height and reach to keep away opponents against pressure, doesn’t circle out much and tends to leave his chin high – knocked out by Tony Sims and was knocked out in an unofficial fight in Bellator
  • While he’s not awful on his back and can be a threat for triangles/sweeps due to long limbs, it’s not enough of a threat to be afraid about taking Montgomery down and pulverize his face
  • Main issues with the Creepy Weasel is his striking defense versus his lack of long range attacks, vs Dan Kelly that probably won’t even matter so it’s all about his ground defense

While I understand why Montgomery is the favorite despite being short notice and facing against a great judoka that will be fighting behind his home crowd, the odds are a little too high for me to completely agree with. Sam Alvey may have knocked out Kelly all the way back to Melbourne, but Alvey is a pure knockout artist with stones for hands and is a better puncher than Montgomery is/ever was. Kelly’s stand-up may be insufferable, but it’s not like Montgomery is a world beater on the feet. Sure, he can absolutely knock out Kelly on his home field and has the skills to do it, but the odds say it’s a blowout and I disagree with that. Montgomery likes to get into the clinch and maybe Kelly actually decides to get closer than usual to try and get his trip/hip take-down game going. If Kelly gets the fight to the ground, I expect him to quickly dismantle the Creepy Weasel’s ground defense for the submission win. Do I believe in Dan Kelly enough to predict the win? Ehhhhhhhhhhhh.

Montgomery via 3rd round TKO

Richard Walsh (-340) vs Steve Kennedy (+280)

A bunch of Aussies fighting against each other on an Australia card? That seems unpatriotic….but the violence gods demand sacrifices no matter the cost. Richard “Filthy Rich” Walsh is on a 2 fight losing skid, recently getting clobbered against Alan Jouban, but still remains a big favorite over Steve “Steamrolla” Kennedy. Why is that? Kennedy has the better record and seems to be better rounded as a fighter and has a size advantage. The lack of competition faced and no real threats as far as his fighting style goes are negatives in Kennedy’s game, as well as having limited potential. He is what he is, a decent boxer with solid top control but not much else. Walsh can dominate Kennedy on the ground and take over the fight at any time, while Kennedy is likely to be on the defensive for most of the fight. Who will the natives cheer for?



  • Brown belt in BJJ but works primarily as a striker, 8-3 record with 4 KO/TKO wins and 1 submission win
  • Pushes the pace and runs forward at his opponent with liberal use of the liver kick, likes to tie up opponents up the cage and work some dirty clinch work and set up take-downs
  • Not much in his tool belt outside of jab/overhand combination and high usage of mid/high kicks, uses his bulldozing striking style to create pressure and cause cardio issues if tied up near the cage
  • Never really has had to use his grappling so can’t speak on his brown belt but he did look solid with top control against Indich
  • Can pour on the sig strikes since he’s a bullrusher and will constantly land 1 punch combinations, if you can even call them combinations


  • Limited in his usage of attacks and his bullrush mentality opens himself to a ton of punishment, which led to his 1st round KO loss against Alan Jouban
  • Average off his back, let a win against Kunimoto slip away from him due to being unable to get off the ground in the late rounds
  • I wonder how he would fare against a better grappler like Kennedy…..hint hint



  • Black belt in BJJ, Judo, and Shotokan Karate though he’s more of a boxer, 8 of 22 wins by KO/TKO and 9 by submission
  • Has a quick jab and looks to bait opponents into attacking Kennedy’s low left hand and land counter right hands/hooks
  • Will land a headkick as he feints a jab as well as land some low kicks here and there, and will sometimes shoot in for the take-down along with it – decent at double leg take-downs and working out of the clinch
  • Slick grappler who knows what he’s doing from top control, will use GnP to open up submission opportunities but won’t aggressively pursue the submission if it isn’t there right away


  • His fighting style of leaving his left hand low obviously opens up Kennedy’s chin which quicker, more effective strikers can take advantage of
  • Doesn’t really have great wrestling, more so about level changes and grinding out a take-down – not a huge threat by any means
  • Mediocre off his back, can be caught off guard and get his back taken as was the case in his last fight versus Peter Sobotta
  • Seems to struggle against pressure, back pedals a ton and panics a little bit as he tries to strike back with wild swings – got clipped a bunch against Sobotta

Another fight where the odds doesn’t make sense to me. It’s not like Richard Walsh is enough of a talent to victimize Steve Kennedy, limited as he can be. Walsh is a hard nosed, pedal to the metal almost grinding striker who will abuse the leg kicks at every chance he gets. Kennedy does struggle against pressure fighters, but I think he could be able to catch a kick or out-muscle Walsh if they get tied up into the clinch. From there, he can control Walsh on the ground and maybe land some strong GnP that opens up submission opportunities. If that doesn’t happen, Walsh may likely land a ton of sig strikes since neither guy are adept at defending themselves with movement. I’m going with the upset.

Kennedy via unanimous decision

Anton Zafir (+280) vs James Moontasri (-340)

The Moonwalker makes a return! James Moontasri will be making his UFC welterweight debut against a late replacement fighter in Anton Zafir, who replaces Brendan O’Reilly. Good thing for Moontasri, as O’Reilly loves making fights boring as all hell, and Zafir is a relatively inexperienced fighter with an aggressive nature. There isn’t too much to go on with Zafir, so realistically this is Moontasri’s fight to lose. Can the Moonwalker get an early finish against the rookie?



  • Wrestler-striker taking the fight on short notice, 7-1 record with 3 wins by KO/TKO and 3 by submission
  • Prototypical wrestler-striker, using wild lunging strikes to get inside position and push forward/duck into the clinch or a single leg attempt
  • Mainly uses his strong top control to stay heavy on top and doesn’t make many passes, will use elbows as part of his GnP and punish with heavy hands during escape attempts
  • Also uses opponents’ escape attempts to his advantage, turning them into dominant positions for the submission win


  • Short notice fight with a small camp and is relatively inexperienced in MMA, hasn’t faced higher level competition yet
  • Basis of stand-up is to get inside opponent’s range with looping punches, outside of that? Not much else to go on and could get embarrassed by a better striker – sole loss was a TKO
  • Can be a little much of a lay’n’prayer and hasn’t faced too many opponents who can snuff his take-down attempts, so hard to gauge his effectiveness there



  • Black belt in Taekwondo and Muay Thai, purple belt in BJJ – 8 wins with 3 KO/TKOs and 3 submissions
  • Was a big lightweight with enough athletic ability to keep up with the best of them as well as the power
  • Wide stance as is typical for Taekwondo artists, hunt and seek fighting style with the occasional pressure-led flurries
  • Mixes up attacks well with alternating leg kicks and even some flying knees sprinkled in, has a strong right hand and is excellent from clinch especially up the cage
  • I would say he’s more of a counter-striker that doesn’t wait for his opportunities against a defensive fighter, and can be aggressive if he overwhelms his opponent with his high arcing kicks
  • Opportunistic with submission attempts, mostly relying on opponents giving Moontasri a submission attempt on a platter rather than through his own top control


  • Pretty average take-down defense, struggles to stop take-downs from materializing and tends to open himself up to attempts as he lunges forward
  • Not very good off his back, pretty passive for the most part, keeps a closed guard and can be dominated as Kevin Lee did in Moontasri’s last fight
  • A little bit of a cardio issue later in fights but I’ll attribute that to the weight cut, shouldn’t be an issue at a higher weight class
  • That’s most of his weakness as he doesn’t have enough fights with real competition to really ascertain more weaknesses other than struggling versus wrestlers

There’s a decent chance Zafir can use his wrestling to frustrate Moontasri and force him into the clinch where Zafir is at his best. Moontasri may be pretty average at defending take-downs and just being aware of most attempts in general, but I gotta think at a new weight class and a better camp vs a short notice fighter with inexperience, Moontasri shouldn’t have too much trouble punishing Zafir on the feet despite the wrestling disadvantage. This fight reminds me so much of the Moontasri vs Pfister fight, where Moontasri had to defend Pfister’s endless take-down attempts and was still able to embarrass him on the feet with vicious kicks and knees en route to a 2nd round RNC win. Stay cool, Moonwalker.

Moontasri via 1st round KO

Danny Martinez (-115) vs Richie Vaculik (-105)

I honestly don’t know why this fight was made, or that both men aren’t cut from the UFC at this point. Neither fighter is anything special and have their own weaknesses that make them not viable UFC caliber fighters. Still, I guess I gotta break it down. Damn it all.



  • Wrestler-striker with 8 of 16 wins by KO/TKO
  • He is what he is, an annoying grinding wrestler who swings hard and wild with overhands constantly and not much else
  • Shoots in for single/double leg/whatever limb he can grab a hold of majority of the fight and is fine with jockeying for position up the cage for what seems like an eternity
  • Good top control with some GnP sprinkled in but nothing out of the ordinary, majority of his KO/TKO wins were off Martinez swinging wildly or against lesser competition outside of the UFC including wins in Xplode (pathetic organization)


  • No real stand-up game as far as mixing up attacks or showing anything outside of a heavy overhand and wild hooks, no technique or any sort of striking defense as he just wants to get the fight to the ground
  • Has cardio issues later in fights when his take-downs get stuffed and he tires himself out in his fruitless pursuit of getting the fight to the ground, which in turn opens himself up more to punishment on the feet
  • He’s a gremlin with a gremlin chin



  • Purple belt in BJJ with 6 of 10 wins by submission and 3 by KO/TKO
  • Aggressive boxer who can turn on the volume when he gets into a rhythm – held his own against Louis Smolka on the feet
  • Jab/straight combo most common attack of Vaculik’s, with hard kick follow ups and the occasional counter-hook
  • Can string together nice combinations if he’s able to keep square to his opponent and land several leg kicks
  • Goes for the finish if he rocks his opponent and will shoot in for the quick take-down and finish it with a submission
  • If he does get the quick take-down, he will make good ground passes and get into dominant positions, mostly going for their backs to set up the RNC


  • Not very good against wrestlers, gets overpowered and tends to stay stuck on the ground
  • Mediocre striking defense despite having obvious boxing skills and movement, keeps chin too high and often times gets caught into brawls
  • Has been knocked out in 2 of his 4 losses and they weren’t pretty

Danny Martinez will probably win this with some boring wrestling and hold Vaculik on the ground for eons. Martinez does have one hell of a chin, but both guys’ striking defense is pretty underwhelming. Vaculik is clearly the better striker of the two, but his struggles against wrestlers doesn’t bode well for him against Martinez. Whatever.

Martinez via unanimous decision

Anthony Perosh (+335) vs Gian Villante (-420)

THE HIPPO MAKES HIS RETURN TO HIS NATIVE AUSTRALIA! Anthony Perosh is old. He has a black belt in BJJ. He doesn’t have a chin. That’s all you need to know about the Hippo. Gian Villante on the other hand? He’s a big LHW who has improved in every single fight to the point where his stand-up isn’t laughable anymore, even adding in hard low kicks that takes it toll over the length of the fight. He recently received his 1st ever KO loss against Tom Lawlor, a fight he was winning handily before the knockout blow. The former poster boy of zombie chins will be looking to avenge that loss by putting Perosh in a cage. And by cage, I mean the hospital.



  • BJJ Black belt with 10 of 15 career wins by submission
  • Decent stand-up if he gets into a rhythm, has knockout power as 5 of his other wins are by KO/TKO
  • Relies on staying at distance and timing take-downs/getting into the clinch for the quick trip/toss
  • Extremely tough top control with heavy hips and will go for the submission early and often
  • As said before, has the KO power to put people away but striking is predictable with overhands and not much combinations – will throw kicks here and there but don’t expect it


  • No chin to speak of, 6 of 9 career losses by KO/TKO, and most of those are basically one hit deaths
  • He’s also 43 years old with little stamina, so it’s pretty much 1st round or bust for Perosh
  • While all of his wins are finishes, Perosh is extremely predictable in his gameplan and falters against anyone who can either pressure him or stuff his take-down attempts
  • HE’S 43 YEARS OLD!!!!!



  • One of the feared “zombie chins” of the UFC, impossible to knock Villante out without breaking your hands and your soul (unless you’re Tom Lawlor)
  • Big physical LHW at 6’2” with athletic ability as he was a former football player/wrestler who’s been improving his striking over the last year – 8 of 13 wins by KO/TKO
  • Utilizes the low kick early and often, leads with jabs and ends with powerful overhands
  • Combined with his zombie chin and improved striking, Villante lately has been involved in bare knuckle brawls with oodles of sig strikes landed on both sides
  • Has average take-downs, mostly using his strength and size to bulldoze his opponents to the ground, where he can resemble a sloth at times on top but hey it gets the job done
  • Due to his size, his take-down defense is pretty solid most of the time but….well, just scroll down


  • Has had serious gas tank issues, fades badly at the end of fights especially if he tries to wrestle his opponents early
  • Very, very bad off his back and looks lost at times on defending passes
  • Due to his zombie chin, Villante seems to disregard striking defense and head movement in favor of landing whatever the hell he wants – last 3 opponents before Lawlor landed 100+ sig strikes!
  • It does seem to have gotten better, but his striking is nothing special, relies on a fairly quick jab/straight combination with the occasional hook/overhand that’s given me nightmares still to this day (don’t ask why….please don’t), gets countered easily due to being telegraphed
  • Did I mention that Villante is awful off his back? Only way Perosh can get the win is if it goes to the ground

This is a fairly straightforward fight. Villante should either get the knockout win or load up tons of significant strikes and probably the finish anyways if he doesn’t get taken down. If Perosh is successful in landing a take-down attempt, he should be able to either completely gas out Villante for the submission win or render Villante’s power useless due to lack of cardio. Ideally, the fight should end in a finish for either opponent, so I suggest having a healthy dose of Villante and maybe JUST a little bit of Perosh as he is still a formidable top control submission grappler fighting against someone who is deficient in ground defense. Who wins between a zombie and a hippo? You decide.

Villante via 1st round KO

Kyle Noke (+145) vs Peter Sobotta (-165)

The always wily veteran Kyle Noke faces off against rejuvenated Peter Sobotta, who had been cut from the UFC years back before making good on his new deal with a 2 fight win streak. Noke may be a veteran and all, but he is nothing special and is just mainly a solid all around fighter. Peter Sobotta actually shows some real promise with an ever improving stand-up game that’s mostly kick-centric, and an underrated slick grappling game with plenty of submission attempts on the ground. What Sobotta lacks in wrestling, he more than makes up for it with savvy and great instincts on timing take-down attempts. I’m a little surprised that Sobotta isn’t a bigger favorite, but I suppose Noke is still a veteran and all. He’s a native Aussie as well, so there’s that.



  • Longtime UFC veteran with this fight being the 9th fight under the UFC banner, going 5-3 in the last 8 – 21 wins with 7 by KO/TKO and 8 by submission
  • Has alternated between fighting at MW and WW, but the fight is at WW versus Sobotta, so he can match Sobotta’s size
  • Southpaw stance that prefers to strike at a distance with his low kicks opening up opponents to set up the left straight, and even at 35 years of age still has the power to knock out people
  • Will circle around his opponents and continuously land some sort of leg kick and lead in with the jab, picking and prodding his way for the chance at a counter window especially with a quick rise headkick
  • Decent take-downs that’s more about using power blasts and the right timing for a level change, nothing special about his top control or submissions


  • Anyone who knows who Noke is already knows what his biggest weakness is that has continuously plagued Noke’s career, and that’s his take-down defense – versus anyone who can muster some sort of a take-down attempt can manage to get Noke down to the ground
  • From there, Noke isn’t too bad with his ground defense, but he can be controlled and get stuck into disadvantageous positions, something Jonavin Webb successfully did and damn near got the submission win on Noke in the last fight
  • Tends to overpursue on his leg kicks and can be caught into a take-down by either a telegraphed leg kick or an actual caught kick – something Sobotta did show some good ability at doing
  • Not the greatest striking defense as he tends to open himself up against pressure, was rocked several times by Jonavin Webb’s overhands and Webb isn’t exactly an expert on the feet



  • Black belt in BJJ, 10 of 15 wins by submission
  • Has improved in every year of his MMA career, to the point where his stand-up is actually a legitimate part of his fighting game rather than depending on his already very good grappling skills
  • Southpaw with solid power in his hands, pushes the pace with a lead jab and a hard left follow up, has a strong kicking game that helps open up his left straight
  • While his wrestling isn’t the best, as long as he can catch his opponents off guard with a level change or catch a kick for a throw down, that’s where Sobotta shines with his grappling
  • Aggressive with guard passes and will put the pressure on from anywhere on the ground including off his back with threats of reversals and sweeps


  • In the past, Sobotta’s lack of wrestling and take-downs in general were hurt by his average stand-up, and while his stand-up has improved tremendously, his wrestling still isn’t up to par
  • If he gets into a striking battle against a better opponent and needs a take-down to neutralize their offense, he can be predictable and telegraph his take-down attempts which leads to cardio issues
  • Can be overly aggressive on the ground from top to the point where he can lose positional advantage and allow his opponents back up

I’m a fan of Sobotta. I think he’s improved enough to make a run for the top 15 in the welterweight division. His stand-up is no longer a liability, and his grappling was always top notch. If he could learn to get consistent pressure through his take-down attempts and use better hip control, he could be dangerous. Kyle Noke is a wily veteran no doubt, but he’s just nothing special. His weakness will always be a glaring hole in his game, and recent fights show that he’s starting to really decline. I don’t think this will be too tough of a test for Sobotta on the feet, as Noke can be pretty predictable and doesn’t like to be pressured. Sobotta can goad Noke into throwing a telegraphed kick and catch it into the ground, where he can quickly dismantle Noke’s ground defense for the submission win. That’s what I think happens after some early round striking exchange wins for Sobotta.

Sobotta via 1st round RNC

Akbarh Arreola (+700) vs Jake Matthews (-1100)

Whew. -1100? Poor Nipple man. Akbarh Arreola is destined to be a punching bag to the “Celtic Kid’, Jake Matthews, who also happens to be an Aussie boy! I tremble to think about the violence that will descend upon Arreola. What can he do to stop such horrid things from happening upon his soul? Let’s find out.



  • Brown belt in BJJ with 17 of 23 wins by submission
  • His name is Arreola
  • Loves to throw a ton of kicks even if his opponents start to catch on and punish him for it
  • Crux of Arreola’s game is his ground offense if he can get his take-down game going early on, as his top control is great and makes swift, aggressive guard passes for submission attempts
  • Take-downs mostly consists of getting into the clinch and getting trips or level changes into power blasts/single legs


  • Has a pretty mediocre stand-up game and is totally reliant on his grappling to be a real threat to anyone
  • Spams the leg kicks way too much even after opponents catch on, was a major issue against Trinaldo which led to easy take-down opportunities, even though his take-down defense is already bad enough
  • Not much striking defense as well, gets pummeled if his take-downs get stuffed and he can’t adequately defend himself on the feet
  • While he is definitely dangerous off his back if given the chance, he’s also irresponsibly aggressive which opens himself up to more GnP punishment instead of being smart about taking chances



  • Recently lost to James Vick which gave Matthews his 1st professional loss at 9-1, purple belt and has 4 wins by KO/TKO and 4 by submission
  • A real prospect, Matthews is a very energetic guy with a distinct fighting style as he likes to stay at distance then suddenly jump inside with a strong overhand and get back at a safe range afterwards
  • Likes to use jabs and low kicks early on, softening up the lead leg and getting ready to pounce forward with a thundering right hand, which leads to a take-down attempt
  • Not much in the way of take-down offense, as he relies on the element of surprise and cornering opponents for his take-downs
  • While he is a very smooth striker who already looks comfortable keeping it on the feet even at 21 years old, he’s at his best and most dangerous if he gets top control on the ground
  • Very, very aggressive submission hunter who will gladly smash his opponent’s face in with elbows and hammer fists if it means he can get a dominant position, shows excellent positional awareness and great guard passes into a submission set up


  • He’s only 21 years old so I wouldn’t harp too much on his current weakness as he can show some serious growth over the next few years, but here they are anyways
  • His back and forth lunging style can sometimes lead to bad take-down attempts that expose his neck when he shoots in, which is how he lost via guillotine submission to James Vick
  • A little too dependent on that right overhand for his main source of damage on the feet, despite clearly showing advancements in his striking arsenal when he stays at range and picks apart his opponents with jabs and hard kicks
  • Before James Vick took advantage of Matthews’ aggressiveness, Matthews hadn’t shown signs of getting caught in anything he did especially on the ground, but I guess it’s something to keep tabs on as he climbs up the ladder and faces more experienced guys

Jake Matthews is a huge favorite for good reason. He’s a legitimate prospect the UFC can build hype around, as he just looks smooth on the feet and has a very good grappling game. His own aggressive nature cost him the fight against James Vick, so we’ll call it a learning experience for a young 21 year old fighter. He’ll have to learn to dial it back against Arreola if he gets the fight to the ground, as Mr. Nipple himself will be looking for every chance to get a submission or reversal off his back. Jake Matthews probably should keep it standing as he can absolutely dominate Arreola’s basic stand-up and get in a knockout. I wouldn’t be surprised if Matthews just beat up Arreola on the ground with vicious ground and pound. Either way, pick the Celtic Kid in front of his home crowd! VIVA LA….uh AUSSIE AUSSIE OI OI!

Matthews via 2nd round TKO

Jared Rosholt (-105) vs Stefan Struve (-115)

Striker vs wrestler! Rosholt is as grinding of a wrestler as they come in the UFC, while Struve is as tall as they come at 7 feet tall. Both men don’t have a chin, and both men have plenty of ways to finish each other. Struve can knock out Rosholt on the feet with pretty much anything as well as land a triangle on Rosholt if he gets taken down. Rosholt could also knock out Struve with pretty much anything as well, and victimize Struve’s face with vicious ground and pound. Who’s got the better chance at the finish? Who will survive? Will Rosholt ever get the image of Timothy Johnson’s pornstache out of his brain? Probably not.



  • Strong, grinding wrestler who loves to bring the fight to the ground as soon as possible – 6 of 13 wins by decision
  • Uses his speed and athletic ability to shoot for the single/double leg take-downs and swarm up the cage
  • Will make concerted efforts to get into favorable positions for the ground and pound, but won’t put himself at risk if he doesn’t need to
  • Not much in the way of striking, looping right hands and power bombs staples of Rosholt’s
  • Does have some submission ability if opportunity is there, but will mostly depend on GnP and gassing out his opponents


  • He is what he is, a gritty wrestler with an average chin, above average knockout power, and a very basic stand-up game
  • 2 career losses by KO, several close calls in some of his wins especially against his last opponent in Timothy Johnson, who nearly finished Rosholt in the late 3rd round but inexplicably took Rosholt down instead of finishing off a rocked Rosholt for good
  • Mentioned this before, but Rosholt can be tentative at times on making ground passes if he has opponent cornered near the cage or in closed guard – majority of fights are “boring”



  • Black belt in kickboxing along with a brown belt in BJJ – 26 career wins with 16 by submission and 7 by KO/TKO
  • 7 feet tall with an 84.5 inch reach makes Struve a very, very difficult match-up for almost everyone
  • Not a guy that depends on raw knockout power but rather utilizes his kickboxing background, landing quick succession jab/kick combinations – loves to use some sort of push kick as he moves forward
  • As you can imagine, a headkick from Struve would be a thing of beauty, and doesn’t have to be accurate with his placement as even a mid-level kick could still his opponents’ head
  • While his stand-up is obviously Struve’s strongest suit, his length also allows Struve to be active off his back, using his long limbs to set up triangle attempts and reversals – has some tricky submission set-ups thanks to his length


  • For such a tall guy with an absurd reach advantage, Struve is pretty bad at being an at range striker, struggles against any form of pressure and seems to get hit way too often
  • 6 of 7 career losses by KO/TKO due to his inability to intelligently defend himself during striking exchanges, chin is questionable at best but lack of striking defense doesn’t help his cause
  • No real take-down defense of note, but I think Struve knows his own height advantage affords him better opportunities at finishes if he is on his back as he can set up several submissions, but that’s still worrisome against any wrestler
  • Has suffered a ton of damage over his last few fights to the point where he probably should be retired by now, last fight against Big Nog still exposed almost all of his weaknesses, and Big Nog was a shell of himself

I’m a little surprised UFC set this match up against two vastly different fighters. Anyways, if Rosholt can get the fight to the ground and avoid Struve’s long limbs, he should be able to pulverize the Skyscraper’s face for a potential TKO win. If the fight somehow stays on the feet or Struve is able to quickly make work of Rosholt in the early goings, Struve has a real chance at a 1st round knockout due to Rosholt’s bad chin and overall striking defense. Struve’s major liability is his lack of tools against pressure and take-downs in general, which bodes well for Rosholt. Tough to pick against Struve since I personally think Rosholt is nothing special and should have lost to Timothy Johnson, but stylistically, this is a bad match-up for Struve against a competent wrestler who doesn’t put himself at risk of being submitted or reversed.

Rosholt via unanimous decision

Robert Whittaker (+125) vs Uriah Hall (-145)

It’s rare that a late replacement makes a fight go from boring to a great fantastic match-up, but that’s what happened when Michael Bisping got injured and Uriah Hall elected to take his place against Robert Whittaker. Both men are stand-up artists with earth shattering power in their hands. And feet, in Uriah Hall’s case. If you guys didn’t see it before, here’s what happened the last time Hall entered the octagon.


Yikes. And here’s what happened the last time Whittaker also entered the octagon.





  • Black belt in Hapkido and Karate with a purple belt in BJJ – 14 wins with 7 by KO/TKO and 5 by submission
  • Has alternated between welterweight and middleweight, but seems to have found his home at MW after his brutal win over Brad Tavares
  • Keeps a firm stance in front of his opponent and prefers to be a counter-striker with his blistering right hand, but will land some jab/straight combos if needed to engage opponents, good at circling out of trouble
  • Has some great headkick finishers and has the athletic ability to quickly jump into an attack and reverse his position, but mainly focuses on landing the right hand (overhand or straight) at the right time in the right place
  • Decent wrestling, mostly will go for double leg take-downs and is pretty solid from top, opportunistic with his submissions
  • Strong clinch game if gets opponent up the cage, will land uppercuts and knees as he batters his opponents’ body as well


  • Can be entirely too dependent on landing the power right, as powerful as it can be, sometimes bordering on being too predictable in his set ups
  • Has good take-down defense but it’s nothing out of the ordinary and can be taken down then controlled on the ground by a better fighter
  • Quicker, more athletic guys seem to give Whittaker some issues on the feet, and against pressure Whittaker tends to panic a little bit and back pedal instead of circling out



  • Black belt in Kyokushin Karate, 9 of 12 wins by KO/TKO
  • Extremely gifted counter-striker, has insane speed and athletic ability, almost to the level of Anderson Silva
  • Won’t really use any combinations if at all, purely an one hit kill hunter, and he will use every single tool in his disposal to do that job
  • Every single strike Hall throws is precise and loaded with power/speed, enough to make even a toe kick a deadly one
  • Hall’s quickness allows him to be a difficult person to get down to the ground, as he can anticipate take-down attempts from at range and quickly stuff them or run out of trouble
  • Has some underrated wrestling as he can actually land single/double leg take-downs, but that’s a break in case of emergency thing


  • Biggest issue about Hall is his inactivity, can be very passive on the feet to the point where he would throw 0 strikes for minutes and minutes
  • Speed and quickness allows Hall to stuff take-downs, but if he is unable to see it coming, he can be overpowered and completely controlled on the ground, and while he’s not awful off his back in regards to his ground defense, he isn’t very active either
  • Risks of rostering Hall lies in his ability to finish fights quickly as he won’t land much sig strikes even if it goes the full 3 rounds – must focus on the match-up and if opponent plays into Hall’s strengths

While I fully expect Whittaker to appease Hall’s urges of engaging in various acts of sheer violence, there’s this nagging feeling I get whenever I think about the fight. Whittaker does have some decent wrestling and probably wants to avoid the one hit snipe shots from Hall, so conceivably, Whittaker could take it upon himself to get the fight to the ground where he has the advantage and grind out a win. If this fight does stay standing, boy, oh boy. That will be fun. I would lean towards Hall in the stand-up war, as Whittaker will be at a speed disadvantage and likely will have to be the main instigator to start the exchanges. I really hope this doesn’t turn into a staring contest, but it’s been known to happen with Uriah Hall. Pick at your own risk.

Hall via 2nd round KO

Antonio Silva (+235) vs Mark Hunt (-275)

It’s the rematch! The last time these big boys fought, it was a Fight Of The Year that ended in a draw. Did I mention that it went FIVE ROUNDS? FIVE!!!!!! These heavy hitters are unlikely to make history repeat itself, but hey, stranger things have happened. Mark Hunt is as good of a boxer as they come with devastating power, while Bigfoot Silva, despite clearly struggling to be a contender while off TRT, still continues to rumble on with his recent KO win over Soa Palelei (who has since retired). Both men will be looking to swing early and often as hard as they possibly can. Will Bigfoot’s troubles while off TRT rear its ugly head against the Super Samoan? Or will he continue to persevere and pull out the upset?



  • Black belt in Shotokan Karate, BJJ, and Judo (ignore all of that), 14 of 19 wins by KO/TKO
  • We will focus on Bigfoot during his time off TRT, rather than looking at his past fights before the ban on TRT exemptions
  • Raw knockout power still exists, and can blow away anyone with his fists, focuses on landing counter-right hands and uppercuts as he stalks his prey
  • Honestly, that’s all I have for his strengths off TRT, sorry


  • Slow, out of shape since being off TRT, to the point where his weight cuts are absolutely awful to watch
  • Chin is just gone at this point, and it was always a weakness for Bigfoot even on TRT, 6 of 7 losses by KO/TKO
  • Cardio issues past the 1st round or so, which isn’t a good thing for a slow, heavy footed heavyweight
  • While his countering skills are still there, his defense is not nor is his hand speed, and since he isn’t a threat for take-downs, it’s all he’s got at this point in his career
  • Just in case Hunt somehow takes down Bigfoot, Silva also has very mediocre take-down defense and is pretty awful off his back as he is very immobile in that position



  • Huge power in his hands with 7 of 10 career wins by KO/TKO
  • Always has been regarded as one of the toughest chins in the business, but as age as caught up with him, Hunt hasn’t looked the same chin wise despite being able to absorb ludicrous amount of damage
  • Surprisingly quick hands for a stout heavyweights, has some of the better boxing skills in the division, though mostly focuses on more one hit quitters than real combinations
  • Has a great uppercut and a bone crushing right hand that he sets up beautifully if he can get inside position on his opponents
  • Willing brawler and will engage at every opportunity, doesn’t back down from anyone


  • No take-down defense at all, no ground defense either as 6 of 10 career losses are by submission
  • As said before, Hunt used to be a part of the zombie chin category, but lately that very same chin has shown signs of weakness as age and damage catches up on Hunt – 3 losses by TKO/KO in the last 5 fights
  • Stamina is also a concern for the 41 year old Hunt, but this fight likely won’t get past the 2nd round
  • Struggles against quicker, more agile heavyweights who can circle away from Hunt’s punishing rights and keep a safe distance away

While Hunt vs Bigfoot the 1st time around was an incredible fight that ended in an amazing draw, I really wouldn’t draw anything from watching that fight. Both men are at different points in their respective careers, with Bigfoot fighting without the aid of TRT (which he actually needs) and Hunt fighting to stay relevant as his chin continues to let him down. Both men are still dangerous when it comes to knockout power, and they are both just as capable of knocking either one out as anyone in the division. Obviously, you have to like Hunt in this scenario as he should be the quicker and more well rounded fighter, as Bigfoot, even after his big win over Soa Palelei, is still a shell of his former self. I expect this fight to finish before it goes to the judges.

Hunt via 1st round KO

Joanna Jedrzejczyk (-2000) vs Valerie Letourneau (+1250)

Well, here we are. The -2000 favorites! Joanna Champion has been a wrecking ball in the strawweight division, dismantling almost every single one of her opponents with her fists. Her sig strikes numbers are out of this world, and in a 5 round fight against a fellow fighter who prefers to stand, it stands to reason that we should expect yet another astounding statistical fight for Joanna Champion. Here’s some quick numbers for you guys to chew on. In her last 2 title fights, Joanna Champion landed 126 sig strikes in 3 rounds and 53 sig in 2 rounds! She is undoubtedly one of the fastest strikers in the UFC, and facing off against another fighter who has no qualms in appeasing Joanna’s requests in keeping it standing, I shudder to think about the final numbers once the fight’s over. SHUDDER! Will her high price pay off though? I wonder…



  • Muay Thai expert with the fastest hands and feet in the division, 4 of 10 wins by KO/TKO
  • Quite simply put, Jedrzejczyk is dazzling on the feet with her hand speed and movement allowing her to utilize any strike in her book liberally and with precision
  • Almost always throws a combination as she comes forward, jab/straight combo with leg finishes and will target the body conspicuously with devastating liver punches
  • Her movement and agility allows Jedrzejczyk to constantly put pressure on and find great striking angles while staying out of harm’s way and defend against take-downs quickly
  • Excellent when cornering opponent near the cage, very conscious of which attacks to use as she applies pressure without getting ahead of herself and allowing opponents to escape
  • Great take-down defense due in part to her own reaction skills and always being ready to use underhooks/staying low – makes them earn their take-downs which gas them out in the end
  • Fantastic cardio, never tires out and her speed never seems to get diminished as the rounds go by, always a dangerous striker and will continuously pile on the sig strikes as her opponents start to fade


  • While she is very hard to take down, once the fight is on the ground she can be vulnerable to strong top control and GnP, which is what Claudia Gadelha tried to do with a little success before eventually gassing out – Lima also was successful in taking Joanna down but couldn’t keep her down long enough to be able to take advantage
  • Only realistic weakness of Jedrzejczyk is her ground defense in general, no weakness that I can see in her stand-up game as it is just flawless



  • Purple belt in BJJ, 4 of 8 career wins by KO/TKO and 1 by submission
  • A little bigger than usual for a strawweight as she’s usually fought at 135 pounds
  • Loves to throw the left hook especially as a counter, lands occasional body kick that helps sets up more combinations
  • Stays at range and uses her length to pick apart her opponents with quick jab/straight successions and great midsection leg kicks/push kicks, can pile on the sig strikes
  • Surprisingly good on the ground with some nice submission set ups and good usage of trip take-downs
  • When she gets into a rhythm and finds her range, her jab combinations can start to add up – landed 104 sig against Elizabeth Phillips and 69 sig against Maryna Moroz despite being gassed and defending Moroz’s guard pulls for most of the fight


  • Weight cut may be too harsh for Letourneau, looked very drawn out and drained during weigh ins her last few fights and cardio were an issue in both fights
  • Doesn’t use her take-downs enough when the match-up is advantageous for her to take it to the ground
  • I feel like I say this about almost every strawweight/bantamweight, but majority of those fighters seem to leave their chin high and get hit way too much
  • May be too entirely dependent on that left hook as a counter, seems to get hit more often when trying to force the hook which is a bad, bad thing against a skilled striker like Jedrzejczyk

I mean, -2000! Joanna Champion is as pure of a striker as they come in the UFC, not just the strawweight division. Her combination of technique and speed along with her ability to constantly mix up her attacks is just simply flawless. She constantly puts the pressure on and finds ways to attack their weaknesses all at the same time. Letourneau is a fine fighter in her own right, with as much talent and skill as anyone in the division, but against an expert like Joanna? She may survive the 5 round war, but at what cost? Letourneau’s best chance to get the HUGE upset is to get the fight to the ground and put her submission game to use. Seems unlikely since Letourneau prefers to keep fights standing. I wouldn’t be surprised if even in a 5 round decision win, Joanna Champion still manages to put up 200+ sig strikes with ease. That’s 100 points right there if you haven’t figured it out. If you’re deciding between Joanna and Rousey, I’d side with Joanna on sites that favor sig strikes and Rousey on sites that favor finishes. #AndStill

Jedrzejczyk via 4th round TKO

Holly Holm (+1250) vs Ronda Rousey (-2000)

The moment you’ve been waiting for! The Ronda Rousey breakdown! Will she win in 30 seconds? 60? 3 minutes? It may surprise some of you that Holly Holm actually may be Rousey’s biggest challenge to date, and could in theory force Ronda Rousey to go into uncharted waters. The last time Rousey went past the 2nd round was in her rematch fight against Miesha Tate, which to be honest, could have ended in the 1st round anyways. Rousey won that fight via 3rd round armbar anyways, but that’s not the point here. Holly Holm has both the camp and the talent/skills to give Rousey an extremely hard time if she sticks to her gameplan and avoids the inevitable. What is the inevitable, you say? Getting bullrushed by Rousey and eventually thrown to the ground, which leads to some sort of submission. Holm’s gameplan will consist of strong take-down defense and forcing Rousey to utilize the worst part of her game: Rousey’s stand-up.

There’s been plenty of discussion when it comes to Rousey’s stand-up, whether or not her boxing is up to snuff or that it’s all a ruse since her judo has absolutely dominated the majority of her opponents. Holm will certainly (and hopefully) force Rousey to have to quiet down her critics, few and far between they may be, and prove that she isn’t a one dimensional champion that everyone loves. So, with that said, let’s delve into their respective strengths and weaknesses and see how each one may come into play as the fight progresses.



  • Undefeated as a professional martial artist at 9-0, 6 by way of KO/TKO, had a successful boxing career with a record of 33-2-3 – longtime kickboxer with excellent boxing credentials
  • Will have a 3 inch reach advantage on Rousey, which might be the most important thing for Holm to take advantage of in her toughest fight to date
  • Southpaw stance and will almost always keep her distance from her opponents, loves the jab/push kick as a starter to set up left straights or follow up headkicks and is a great defensive striker
  • Excellent movement and circling out ability, knows where she is at all times and will pick/prod her way into opening up counter windows
  • Has a great jab/kick game, will continuously batter opponents’ body with midsection kicks and try to land some uppercuts – boxing background really shines through her jab usage
  • Excellent take-down defense, one of the best in the division and in women’s MMA in general, her fighting style helps Holm tremendously in snuffing out take-down attempts and not getting baited into being cornered or get jumped into the clinch
  • Her biggest strength as far as the match-up goes against Rousey is her ability to keep opponents off her and defending against pressure – Holm has all the tools to frustrate Rousey with leg kicks, jabs to keep Rousey off balance, and the movement to constantly stay away from Rousey’s attempts at getting into the clinch


  • Can be too tentative to go for the finish especially when Holm has completely overmatched her opponents, not a risk taker
  • While she does have 6 KO/TKO wins on record, she’s not necessarily a power puncher and mostly depends on her headkicks to do most of the damage
  • Unknown ground defense as she very rarely gets taken down, which could be problematic for Holm if Rousey is able to get the fight to the ground as many expect



  • World class black belt judoka, undefeated record with all wins by some sort of finish, 3 by KO/TKO and 9 submissions by armbar
  • You all know who Ronda Rousey is and what she does/wants to do, so let’s keep it short
  • Uber aggressive nature, rushes forward with reckless abandon and forces opponents into her hands as she quickly gets into the clinch for some sort of throw take-down
  • An absolute expert in notching armbar submissions once it hits the ground, and even if she can’t get the arm she will aggressively pursue dominant positions in an effort to eventually get that dang arm
  • Boxing and stand-up in general is still a question mark despite knockout out Bethe Correia, she does have a decent jab/straight combination and is excellent while posturing up the cage with uppercuts and knees – hurt Sarah McMann badly with a liver knee and got the TKO win
  • I mean, it’s Ronda Rousey! YOU KNOW WHO SHE IS!!!


  • Yes, she’s undefeated and has completely dominated the division, but she DOES have her own weaknesses most notably her lack of any striking defense that can be seen in almost every fight when she tries to get inside position for her clinch game
  • As I said before, her stand-up still has some questions that could get answered against Holm if she is unable to crack Holm’s great take-down defense, supposedly her boxing has gotten better to the point where Rousey continues to tease the boxing community especially after her appearance on Ring magazine’s cover
  • This quite honestly may be Rousey’s worst stylistic match-up in her career as Holm has all the tools to frustrate her and deny Rousey’s need to get into the clinch, which would force Rousey to have to depend on her stand-up and test her own cardio in the process

Boy, what an interesting fight. For once, Rousey gets a competent opponent and likely her toughest test to date before her inevitable showdown against Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino. Holly Holm is also training with some of the very best strategists and gameplanning coaches in the MMA world at the Jackson-Winklejohn camp, and has even gotten some help from Jon Jones on how to better utilize her long range attacks. Of course, it bears repeating that nothing in the world can prepare any fighter against Rousey’s extreme pressure and aggressive mentality, but Holm does have everything leaning in her favor to be the 1st fighter to defeat the seemingly untouchable Ronda Rousey. If Holm is able to stay standing past the 1st round, she has a real chance to pull off the unthinkable, provided that Rousey’s stand-up is still a question mark and struggles against Holm’s defensive fighting style. There’s also been some rumblings of what could happen if Holm decides to use the oblique kicks that Jon Jones loves to use against Rousey, whose knees aren’t exactly in the best shape. If Holm cracks under the pressure of Rousey and eventually gets tossed to the ground, it’s probably all over. You know who I’m picking, don’t you? Screw the odds!

Holm via unanimous decision

(You know I had to do it, but you better still roster Ronda Rousey anyways as she can get the 1st round finish at any time)

See you guys for UFC 194! WHAT A BONANZA!!!!!!!


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