The time continues now!
After a mixed bag of MMA action last week, including one from each of the top three MMA promotions, there is only one event this weekend. And, it is the first foreign card to ever air on FOX. As a result, locals in Stockholm will have to wait until 10 p.m. local time for the fights to start, and the main card will not kick off until 2 a.m. Sunday morning!
Alas, this is still the most foreign loaded card in FOX history, with 18 of the 24 participants representing countries other than the United States. While there are quite a few high-level prospects on the card, and many of the fights seem fun on paper. So, I will make picks for that section first, and will add a main card article later today.
As far as my picks go, I went 3-1 in last week’s main card, and a solid 9-3 overall record for the Boston card. That, combined with my 8-3 UFC 182 record, has me flying high at 17-6. Let’s see if the magic carpet ride continues.
FIght Pass Prelims (4/3c, UFC FIght Pass)
Neil Seery (14-10) vs. Chris Beal (10-0)
The first fight of the night (it kicks off at 10p.m. Stockholm time) will be an interesting Flyweight tilt. The Irish Seery might be 35-years-old, and his record is not great, but he has won five of his last six fights, with the lone loss coming to Brad Pickett in his UFC debut last March. He is a solid boxer, and can grapple some.
Beal is younger than Seery. But, the TUF 18 castmate is not as experienced. Granted, he put forth one of the most memorable knockouts in recent MMA history against Patrick Williams last April, but I see him falling in a close contest today. Prediction: Seery via unanimous decision.
Viktor Pesta (9-1) vs. Kostantin Erokhin (9-1)
A pair of Heavyweight take each other on in the final Fight Pass bout, and quite frankly, it pisses me off. You see, this fight could be epic. It could be the beginning of Erokhin’s potentially legendary ride in the UFC’s Heavyweight division. He is a knockout artist who has won his last nine fights, all but one coming via first round knockout.
Here’s a link to his finishes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR1-tiV67iI
But what does the UFC do? Instead of putting his fight on tv, the promotion has instead opted to put loser of four of his last five, Andy Ogle, on television, while burying Erokhin on Fight Pass.
Alas, Erokhin’s opponent, Viktor Pesta, entered the UFC with an undefeated mark. However, he lost his UFC debut to Ruslan Magomedov last May, and everybody has forgotten about him. I see him putting up more of a fight than others do, but the result will not go his way. Prediction: Erokhin via tko, round 2.
Televised Prelims (5/4c, FS1)
Mirsad Bektic (8-0) vs. Paul Redmond (10-4)
A catchweight bout kicks off the televised portion of the prelim card, as Irishman Paul Redmond steps in on short notice to take on undefeated Featherweight Mirsad Bektic. Redmond is actually a Lightweight, but stepped in on short notice just two weeks ago. He normally takes five weeks to drop to Featherweight, according to him, but almost pulled off the feat in two weeks. He fell short by three pounds, hence the catchweight bout.
Redmond is known for pouncing onto weird submissions, much like Ian Entwhistle. However, Bektic is has more potential, and I see his wrestling earning him the hard-earned decision. Prediction: Bektic via decision.
Mairbek Taisumov (21-5) vs. Anthony Christodoulou (12-4)
The next fight is, well, a squash match. Mairbek Taisumov is someone that many, along with myself, are very high on. He’s only 26-yerars-old, but has 26 fights already under his belt. He has won eleven times via knockout, as well as ten times via submissions. He has won at least four fights in a row after losing a fight on three occasions, barring his first loss, and lis most recent one: a decision to Michel Prazeres last March.
Meanwhile, Christodoulou is on a streak of his own. He has won seven straight, and twelve of thirteen, after beginning his career 0-3. His rise has been solid, and he’ll compete hard, but I do not see him faring well in this fight. He deserves to be in the UFC, but will fall short against Taisumov. Prediction: Taisumov via tko, round 2.
Nikita Krylov (17-4) vs. Stanislav Nedkov (12-1, 1NC)
The next fight is an intriguing Light Heavyweight bout between European finishers. First off, welcome back Stanislav Nedkov. Having been away since February of 2013, the Bulgarian Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt is coming off knee surgury to repair ACL and PCL injuries. It is one of three instances where the fighter has failed to fight between 17 month spans. He is 1-1 with a no contest in the UFC, with the no contest originally being a submission loss to Thiago Silva. He has only gone the distance twice in his pro career, and is in desperate need of a victory.
Unfortunately for Nedkov, Krylov is a beast. He has never gone the distance, has won seven times via knockout, owns ten submission victories, and has a boatload of credentials. He is a Mastoer of Sport in Ukranie for Submission Fighting, hand-to-hand combat, and Kyokushin Karate, while also boasting a balck belt in the latter.
Unlike Nedkov, Krylov has been very active of late. He has gone 2-2 in the UFC, alternating wins with losses. After getting pounded in his UFC debut against gigantic Heavyweight Soa Palelei in each man’s August 2013 UFC debut (the second for Palelei), he has finished Walt Harris, gotten submitted by Ovince St. Preux, and finished Cody Donovan in his latest bout. I see him getting the victory here. in a fun fight. Prediction: Krylov via tko, round 2.
Andy Ogle (9-5) vs. Makwan Amirkhani (10-2)
Honestly, I cannot stand Andy Ogle. I get that he got injured in the TUF: Live season, but that was nearly three years ago! He’s 1-4 since then, all inside the octagon, with the lone “victory” coming against domestically violent scumbag Josh Grispi nearly two years ago. He should have been cut already, having lost to the likes of Maximo Blanco. However, he’s still lurking, while better and more veteran fighters have been let go. While Amirkhani has only fought once since November 2013, and I’m not too sold on him, he does have a good submission game. He’s a good wrestler, and has two heel hooks, as well as six choke victories to his credit. So, I thing he will get the choke. Also, I simply cannot pick Ogle to win inside the octagon. Prediction: Amirkhani via submission, round 2.
Kenny Robertson (14-3) vs. Sultan Aliev (13-1)
The next prelim fight is also entertaining, as former Bellator fighter Sultan Aliev takes on Kenny Robertson. Aliev, an International Master of Sports in Sambo (making him one of the best ever in the sport of Sambo), has won the fights via knockout. Since his controversial split decision loss to Dough Marshall at Bellator 92 in March 2013 (could have won the tournament), the only one of his career, he has finished four straight fights, three in the very first round.
As for Robertson, he’s a pure wrestler. He’s won six fights via knockout, and six via submission. He has won three of his last four fights to get his UFC record to 3-3, but he’s not as good as Aliev. Both are good boxers, but Aliev is the better striker. I believe that will get him the victory. Prediction: Aliev via unanimous decision.
Nico Musoke (13-3, 1 NC) vs. Albert Tumenov (14-2)
The final prelim fight of the evening probably should be the main card opener. However, this is the UFC, and they’ve been known for some controversial card placement over the years. Musoke is an exciting fighter who has never had a losing streak, and has gone 3-1 in the UFC. His lone loss came to TUF 17 winner and current Welterweight contender Kelvin Gastelum, via decision. He has finished nine of his fights, and is fighting on home soil.
But Tumenov is no slouch. In fact, he’s viewed by many as a future contender. His lone losses have come via decision, and his last seven wins have come via first round knockout. The lone loss during his 2-1 UFC stretch came in his debut against Ildemar Alcantara last February. He excels in Boxing and hand-to-hand combat.
I see this fight being a burner that can go either way. But if I had to pick somebody, it would have to be the Russian. He has knocked out ten opponents, but he’ll go the distance tonight. Prediction: Tumenov via decision.