It’s that time again ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for Quick Picks
It’s been a while since I’ve done this as I was stinging from getting humiliated with my Fight Night 135 picks. It was an absolute embarrassment. I went 1-5 on the main card, of course, I was perfect on the undercard. Nobody cares about that though. So I’m back now and I’m ready to redeem myself with some great picks ahead of the action tomorrow night in Dallas.
Check out the last episode of Quick Picks here.
Last Event Record – 1-5 UFC Fight Night 135
Total Record – 35-23
Niko Price vs. A. Razak Alhassan
Niko Price (12-1) is on a roll heading into this fight. The guy seems to be able to win a fight at any time from any angle. He won his last fight with hammerfists FROM THE BOTTOM. It was an incredible stoppage and he just seems to be a human highlight reel. He’s won two in a row and has a UFC record of 4-1. Niko is a guy you just don’t want to bet against.
A. Razak Alhassan (9-1) is also entering this fight on a high note. He also has won two in a row and boasts a 3-1 record in the UFC. He has knockout power and his last performance earned him a performance bonus and a knockout of the year contender. He trains in Texas at Team Takedown with a number of UFC caliber fighters.
This is an interesting fight and should kick off the PPV in an exciting fashion. This could definitely be a fight of the night candidate. I’d say Alhassan likely holds an edge striking, but Price is just a wildcard. I think Price will get stung early, but I feel he’ll take the fight to the ground and earn the submission victory. Going with Price, because, he’s just too unpredictable in that cage.
Jimmie Rivera vs. John Dodson
Jimmie Rivera (21-2) is one of the best Bantamweights on the planet. He lost his last fight when he was knocked out by Marlon Moraes. Previous to that he’d won 13 in a row. I think at this point, he’s too talented for Dodson. Jimmie just brings too much to the table for most to deal with. I’d say he’s right at the top of the division with TJ Dillashaw, Dominick Cruz, Marlon Moraes, and Cody Garbrandt.
John Dodson (20-9) is all kinds of fast. The guy is a blur in the cage and his hand speed is blinding. He’s made a long career out of winning big fights but has fallen just short against the elite of the sport. I like Dodson and his skillset. He’s gone win, loss, win, loss, win over his last five fights, so if the pattern holds, he’s in trouble.
Dodson has the skill to make the fight competitive, but he isn’t better in any single category outside of speed. He’s not as a good at standup, wrestling or submissions. I just feel like Rivera will hold advantages in too many areas and will cruise to a dominant decision victory.
Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Brandon Davis
Zabit Magomedsharipov (15-1) hasn’t lost a fight in over five years. He came to the UFC and has won three in a row. He won two of those via submission. Zabit is really good on the ground, and I expect he will want to ply his trade there Saturday night. The Russian was supposed to face Yair Rodriguez but that fight was scrapped and Davis stepped in for Yair.
Brandon Davis (9-5) earned his UFC contract via the Dana White Contender Series. Since earning that contract he’s gone 1-2 in the UFC. He’s a gritty fighter who trains with Alan Belcher and his team. Davis is durable and has grit and toughness. He brings good standup into the fight, and will likely want to keep the fight on his feet.
Zabit is a great wrestler, and also has the ability to throw hands. He prefers to submit his opponents but isn’t afraid to stand and bang. He will most likely look to take Davis down, and once he does, he will submit him. I’m going with Zabit Magomedsharipov via submission inside two rounds.
Jéssica Andrade vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Jessica Andrade (18-6) has won 3 of her last 4 fights. Those victories came against talented fighters Angela Hill, Claudia Gadelha and Tecia Torres. She’s crazy strong, easily the strongest woman in her division. She can lift and slam anyone and has done so over and over during her UFC career. Her only loss in her last 8 bouts was a decision loss to Joanna Jędrzejczyk.
Karolina Kowalkiewicz (12-2) is a striking machine. Special K has the ability to win a fight with her hands. She beat Rose Namajunas and Felice Herrig, showing she’s a top notch fighter. Her two losses are against Claudia Gadelha and Joanna Jędrzejczyk. She will be looking to throw hands Saturday and avoid the takedown and slam.
I love this fight and I am really looking forward to seeing how it plays out. If Karolina can keep it on their feet, she’s got a good chance at winning the fight. However, if she lets Jessica get close and take her down, it could be a long night. I’m betting that Andrade gets her hands on Karolina and takes her down and controls her for a unanimous decision victory.
Tyron Woodley vs. Darren Till
Tryon Woodley (18-3) is a champion for a reason. A lot of people underestimate him and see him as boring. The guy isn’t boring. He’s had great fights in the UFC and is a tough out for anyone. Tyron said Till will have to knock him out to win, and I think that’s exactly what Till is planning. Woodley has elite wrestling and his hands are improved as well. He can stop you in a number of ways. He’s a motivated champion.
Darren Till (17-0) is coming off of a lackluster victory over Stephen Thompson. Of course, anytime you can beat Wonderboy, you’re doing something right. Till basically earned this shot on the back of two victories. He stopped Donald Cerrone and then won a split decision against Thompson in a fight he missed weight for. Outside of those two fights, his wins are against a “who’s that?” of MMA Welterweights.
I like Till, and I feel he certainly has a puncher’s chance. That said, he is facing the stiffest test of his career and I’m not he’s got the skills to get the job done. I think Woodley is too well rounded for Till and too smart to just stand and trade with him. Expect Woodley to feed Till a steady diet of takedowns and ground and pound. Till has too much heart to quit. So the result will likely be a five-round decision victory for Woodley.