UFC Fight Night 116 Branch vs. Rockhold: Main Card Predictions

Here is who I’m picking to walk out of Pittsburgh with victories.

The UFC lands in Pittsburgh this weekend, and they are putting on a pretty darn solid card. In the main event, we will see David Branch take on returning former Middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold.  In this article, I am going to predict the Fight Night 116 main card winners, as well as give a small account of how I think the fights will finish.  Let’s get it started!

Luke Rockhold vs. David Branch

Luke Rockhold is elite, and I’m just not sure Dave Branch falls into that category. Branch is good, very good, but I’m just not sure he’s at that elite level. He was a two weight champion in his previous organization, but the level of competition is nowhere near what he’s facing now. I think Rockhold will keep Branch at distance and land kicks and strikes that pick Branch apart until he finishes him by TKO in the second or third round.

Rockhold by TKO Round 2.

Mike Perry vs. Thiago Alves

Mike Perry may never win an award for congeniality, but if it’s a contest of face-punching, he’s in the hunt. Perry is an absolutely savage, and his heavy hands are dangerous for the entire division. Alves has been around for a long time, and his standup is also quite developed. Alves might have a sharper striking game, with knees, kicks, and clinch work all thrown in.  He might out point Perry early on, but when Perry can put hands on Alves, it might be over quick.  Personally, I like Alves and would love to see him victorious, but I feel he gets finished and finished ugly.

Mike Perry by KO Round 1.

Hector Lombard vs. Anthony Smith

This one is a head-scratcher for me. Hector Lombard looks like he should be a killing machine groomed for destruction on some faraway planet. He’s dropped three fights in a row, two by stoppage. He simply doesn’t bring enough gas to finish the trip. Lombard looks like a star for about 7 minutes. Then it’s a slow fade to crashville. Anthony Smith is 3-1 since joining the UFC and fights above his skill set at times. I think he’ll have to weather an early storm, but if he can, he’ll control the action in the later rounds and win a unanimous decision.

Anthony Smith by Unanimous Decision

Gregor Gillespie  vs.  Jason Gonzalez

Gregor is undefeated and has won his first two UFC fights. In his last fight, he knocked out Andrew Hoolbrok in like 20 seconds. There’s a lot of hype surrounding him right now. Jason Gonzalez would love to play spoiler. Jason has gone, win-loss-win-loss-win in his last five fights. He’s due for a loss, and trust me, those strings are unwritten law. Gregor will get the TKO here, presumably inside of two rounds. 

Gregor Gillespie by TKO Round 1 or 2

Kamaru Usman vs. Sergio Moraes

I love this fight. Usman has looked like a world-beater and has parlayed his wrestling abilities into 9 consecutive victories. He is super strong for the Welterweight division and has been on a tear. Moraes is also a talented fighter and has a UFC record of 7-1 which includes seven straight wins. The winner of this fight will be the fighter who better implements their game plan. I’m going with Usman, by Unanimous Decision here, in a dominant victory.

Kamaru Usman by Unanimous Decision

Justin Ledet vs. Azunna Anyannwu

Ledet is an undefeated fighter who is also 2-0 in the UFC. He defeated Chase Sherman is his UFC debut. Ledet is a talented fighter who is looking to make a name in the heavyweight division. Azunna Anyanwu makes his way onto the card after earning a contract on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. He defeated Greg Rebello via first round KO and will be looking to do the same Saturday night. This should be a fun fight, and likely will not go the distance. Taking a flier here and picking the upset.

Azunna Anyanwu by KO in Round 1.

The Fight Night 116 card is available here.