Who’s ready for some more MMA, to help them get rid of the terrible and gutwrenching taste left behind by Bellator’s main event? Well, tonight’s card has a shot of being a damn good one, even though this prelim slate feels like it has more unknowns than a European Fight Pass card! It’s still got the potential to be damn fun though, so without further ado, here are my predictions for tonight’s prelim card.
Fight Pass Prelims (5/4c, UFC Fight Pass)
Alex Ricci (10-3) vs. Jeremy Kennedy (8-0)
The first fight on the docket features a pair of UFC debutants, as undefeated Jeremy Kennedy takes on Alex Ricci. Ricci has the worse record, but his losses came against the likes of Darrell Horcher and Jesse Ronson, a pair of UFC veterans. He’s never been finished and tends to go the distance, but also has five knockouts to his credit. Kennedy hasn’t fought the best competition, and has some finishes to his credit, but also has some decision wins. This fight is basically guaranteed to go the distance, and I’ll guess it’ll go in Kennedy’s favor. Prediction: Kennedy via decision.
Chad Laprise (10-2) vs. Thibault Gouti (11-2)
The final Fight Pass bout features a pair of Welterweights who are on two-fight losing streaks, and need a win badly. While Gouti has six submissions to his credit,he has lost both of those fights in that manner. Laprise began his career 10-0 and won the TUF: Nations Welterweight tournament a few years ago, as well as his first three UFC bouts. He’s not great by any means, but he is better than Gouti, and I believe that will show tonight. Prediction: Laprise via submission, round 2.
Televised prelims (6/5c, FOX)
Shane Campbell (12-5) vs. Felipe Silva (7-0)
The first FOX bout is easy pickings. Silva is 7-0 with five first round knockout wins. Campbell is 1-3 in his last four. It feels like a foregone conclusion that this will end in the first, in favor of the Brazilian. Prediction: Silva via knockout, round 1.
Garreth McLellan (13-4) vs. Alessio Di Chirico (9-1)
Di Chirico is one of the brightest Italian prospects in MMA today, with eight of his nine wins coming via stoppage, the first five of which were first rounders. He lost his UFC debut against Bojan Velickovic in April, so while a loss won’t necessarily result in a release, it’s still very important for him to win this fight. That said, McLellan is being vastly underestimated here. He may be 1-2 inside the octagon, but he is tough as nails, and has nine submissions to his credit. I’ll go with the South African here in a mild upset. Prediction: McLellan via submission, round 3.
Enrique Barzola (11-2-1) vs. Kyle Bochniak (6-1)
A pair of guys looking to win their second UFC bouts are up next. Bochniak is the better athlete, and has two wins via knockout, submission and decision apiece. He also acted like a jackass at the weigh-ins and lost his UFC debut, but it is what it is. Meanwhile, Barzola is a finisher with eight of them to his credit, and he won his UFC debut. While I may be rooting for him, I think Bochniak has the edge, and I just hope it’s not a boring fight. Prediction: Bochniak via decision.
Sam Alvey (27-8, 1NC) vs. Kevin Casey (9-4-1, 2NC)
For the first time all night, a fight where both competitors are well known will take place. Alvey is a knockout artist with 17 of them to his credit, and has gone 4-3 since being brought back to the UFC. He’s lost two of his last three though, so a win is needed for him to stay out of the cutting woodwork.
Casey is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and former TUF: 17 cast member. He’s got three knockout, submission and decision wins a piece, as well as one of the oddest records in the UFC to date. Oh, and all of his losses have come via knockout. A knockout artist facing someone who’s seen every loss come via knockout? I have to go with Smilin’ Sam for this one. Prediction: Alvey via knockout, round 2.