Following the absolute madness that was UFC on Fox Poirier vs. Gaethje, I’m here to give you some predictions for the next UFC event, Barboza vs. Lee in Atlantic City. This card looks great so I’m going to look at every fight on the main card as well as a choice few from the undercard.
Main Card: FS1 @ 9PM ET
- Edson Barboza (+125) vs. Kevin Lee (-140) (155 lbs): Good god almighty this is a fantastic fight. On paper this appears to be your standard striker-vs.-grappler matchup, but I’m going to go against the grain and say that this fight stays standing for the majority of it. Kevin Lee’s striking looked much improved against Tony Ferguson, and Khabib’s mauling of Barboza has made everyone forgot how incredible his takedown defense is. Part of why Lee did so well against Ferguson is that he did a great job getting close to Tony and entering boxing range. Barboza is a master at controlling distance with his kicks, so I think this is essentially going to be a kickboxing match wherein Barboza picks Lee apart from afar. Lee could potentially catch one of his kicks and take him down, but Barboza gets them off so fast and times them so well that I don’t foresee this being an issue. Barboza by Round 4 TKO
- Frankie Edgar (-230) vs. Cub Swanson (+190) (145 lbs): Man, I can’t help but feel like this is way too early for Frankie to be back. Coming off the first stoppage loss of his career (a first round KO against Brian Ortega), Frankie is stepping back in the octagon on just seven weeks rest. Despite those worries, he’s facing a fighter that he has beaten once already (soundly, I might add), and he’s still Frankie goddamn Edgar. I believe he’s going to go in there, try to redeem himself, and succeed. Edgar by Decision
- Justin Willis (-360) vs. Chase Sherman (+300) (265 lbs): Why exactly is this fight so high on the card? I guess they’re trying to make meme-lord Chase Sherman a thing. Having watched both of their fights, I’m not sure what’s going on with that betting line, either. For what it’s worth, I think Sherman’s a better striker than Willis and I don’t see this fight spending much time on the ground, but this is the pick that I’m probably least informed about. Sherman by Round 2 KO
- David Branch (+180) vs. Thiago Santos (-220) (185 lbs): Thiago Santos is an absolute monster. His fighting style is gloriously violent and a treat to watch. Unfortunately for him, Branch is an elite wrestler and is perfectly content with wrestefucking his way to a decision if he needs to. Unless Santos can catch him early, Branch will be able to grind him out for the win. Branch by Decision
- Aljamain Sterling (-115) vs. Brett Johns (-105) (135 lbs): This fight is incredibly interesting. Sterling is coming off a devastating loss to Marlon Moraes back in December, but he looked phenomenal in his previous fight against Renan Barao, particularly in the grappling exchanges. Brett Johns has seemingly come out of nowhere after his calf slicer finish of Joe Soto, so it’s kind of difficult to tell whether he’s on Sterling’s level or not. This is a grappler-vs.-grappler matchup, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it stays standing, where I believe Sterling has the advantage. Sterling by Decision
- Jim Miller (+295) vs. Dan Hooker (-355) (155 lbs): This will be Jim Miller’s 29th UFC fight, tying him with Michael Bisping for the most in UFC history. He’s a legend and can still hold his own against anyone, but I think it’s about time he hangs them up. Hooker is younger, bigger, and stronger. It’s going to be sad and I’m not going to like it. Hooker by Round 2 TKO
Prelims: FS1 @ 8PM ET
- Corey Anderson (-120) vs. Patrick Cummins (Even) (205 lbs): Anderson looked fantastic in his fight against OSP until he got head kicked into oblivion. Cummins looks like a walking punching-bag in most of his fights. I like Anderson a lot in this one. Anderson by Round 3 TKO
Early Prelims: Fight Pass @ 6:30PM ET
- Leslie Smith (+130) vs. Aspen Ladd (-150) (135 lbs): Ladd looked good in her UFC debut. Leslie is going to big-sister her. Smith by Decision (This fight has been cancelled since the time of writing after Aspen Ladd missed weight)
That will wrap things up. Tune into the fights this Saturday and laugh at how stupid I am!