Fight Night Adelaide sounds like the name of some indie band, but it’s the next UFC event on the calendar. And you might have to put down the beer and put on a pot of coffee to make it to the main event. The fists don’t start flying until 11ET, and you’ll also need UFC Fight Pass to see them. Let’s break down the fights.
Stipe Miocic ($10800) vs Mark Hunt ($8900)
Back at UFC 161, Stipe Miocic dissected Roy Nelson. He got in and out quickly, repeatedly landed combinations and basically battered Nelson for all three rounds. He did an excellent job of avoiding the big power shot from Nelson, and his gas tank is unending. Yes, Hunt has thunder in his hands. But if Miocic applies that strategy with Hunt, he will wear down Hunt and get the TKO win.
Brad Tavares ($10300) vs Robert Whittaker ($9100)
Tavares may have saved his job earlier this year with an upset win over Nate Marquardt. Whittaker is coming off an exciting KO win over Clint Hester. Statistically, there really isn’t much difference in these two fighters. But Whittaker works behind a stiff jab, mixes up his strikes well and has great head movement. He’s the type of guy that really is improving with each fight in the Octagon. Tavares is as tough as they come, so I don’t expect Whittaker to finish, but he will win the fight.
Anthony Perosh ($9900) vs Sean O’Connell ($9600)
Perosh continues to defeat opponents, including Father Time. Now in his second UFC stint, Perosh has two spectacular finishes in his last three bouts. He scored a first round KO of Vinny Magalhaes at UFC 163 and he choked out Guto Inocente in the first round last November. O’Connell registers a gaudy 6.01 significant strikes per minute, but he also absorbs 6.73 per minute. I believe this will be a close battle, but Perosh is crafty, experienced and a solid all-around fighter. He’ll take it via decision.
Jake Matthews ($10500) vs James Vick ($9000)
This is a battle of two undefeated fighters. Matthews, just 20, is indeed for real. His ground game is incredibly polished for someone so young. In his last fight he literally put Wagner Rocha to sleep. In his debut, he put on a ground and pound clinic then finished Dashon Johnson with a choke. His standup is no joke either. He is light on his feet, very fluid and has fast hands. He is the real deal. And while he will be at a disadvantage in both reach and height, his speed will more than make up for it. Whether off a scramble or by takedown, Matthews will get Vick to the ground. From there he will pound away, ultimately locking in a fight-ending choke.
Hatsu Hioki ($11000) vs Dan Hooker ($8500)
There was great hype surrounding Hioki when he came to the UFC, and he’s been a major disappointment so far, dropping four of his last five UFC bouts. Hooker was very impressive back in his UFC debut, battling through a heel hook attempt from Ian Entwistle and splitting open his head with vicious elbows. He showed the poise of a much more seasoned fighter. He can also work behind his long jab, and he’ll have a five-inch reach advantage on Hioki, which should deter Hioki from getting Hooker to the ground. Props to Hioki for a fine career, but it’s a new day. I’ll take Hooker in an upset.
Kyle Noke ($10000) vs Jonavin Webb ($9400)
Noke isn’t getting any younger and he’s been in a free fall of late, losing three of his last four fights. Enter Jonavin Webb, a young, fast, undefeated fighter who also holds the CFFC welterweight title. Noke’s strength is his ground game, but Webb is also a BJJ Black Belt and trains under Renzo Gracie. I look for Webb to win this fight on the ground, making his UFC debut victorious.
Sam Alvey ($11200) vs Dan Kelly ($8200)
Smilin’ Sam Alvey just knocks people out. There’s not a lot of deception or frills to his game. He has great power and is able to find his target, connect, and put them down. Kelly is undefeated but is coming off a snoozer win over Patrick Walsh. Kelly is an outstanding Judoka, but he will have to get inside to take Alvey down, something I don’t see happening. Alvey has a solid reach advatage, and he will lay those hands on Kelly and knock him out.
Bec Rawlings ($10600) vs Lisa Ellis ($8800)
I’m calling for another upset in this one, at least according to DK salaries and the oddsmakers. Ellis is an exceptional submission specialist who is also very experienced. She lost her last fight to Felice Herrig, but was very close to finishing that fight with a guillotine in the first round. Rawlings is tough and durable, but I think overrated to an extent. I see Ellis being able to finish Rawlings with a submission. That will be a surprise to some, but not to those who have watched Ellis throughout her career.
Dylan Andrews ($10100) vs Bradley Scott ($9300)
After winning his first two UFC fights, Andrews has had a rough ride, getting KO’d in his last two bouts by Clint Hester and Sam Alvey. Scott hasn’t been too impressive in his first three UFC fights, going 1-2. The New Zealander Andrews gets to fight close to home in Australia, and I think Scott is the type of fighter that he matches up well against. I think he can win this fight on his feet or on the ground, but I think it’s the speed and power of his strikes that will eventually do in Scott.
Kailin Curran ($10700) vs Alex Chambers ($8700)
Kailin Curran has a ton of momentum after her amazing UFC debut against Paige VanZant. While Curran lost the fight, no one was left unimpressed. Her tenacity was front and center in that fight, and she took VanZant down five times. Chambers is now 36, and I don;t think she will be able to handle the speed or takedowns from Curran. Curran will eventually get top position and pound on Chambers until the ref steps in to wave it off.
Vik Grujic ($9800) vs Brendan O’ Reilly ($9500)
Both fighters competed on “The Ultimate Fighter: Nations,” and both are off to terrible starts in their UFC careers. This could be a “Save your job” bout, with the loser getting served his walking papers. What it should come down to is who has the edge in Jiu Jitsu and grappling. That would be Grujic. But I don’t sense there will be a finish in this fight, and neither fighter throws strikes in volume. At those price points, this is a fight I will stay away from if possible when crafting my lineups. Still, I think Grujic will get his hand raised.
Alptekin Ozkilic ($10900) vs Ben Nguyen ($8400)
Ozkilic has fallen on hard times after winning his UFC debut over Darren Uyenoyama, dropping his last two fights. “The Turkish Delight” is a gritty fighter who averages over four takedowns per 15 minutes. Nguyen is the new kid in town making his UFC debut, and is known for his powerful left hand. Ozkilic represents a huge leap in talent for Nguyen, and Ozkilic will likely grind out a win with takedowns, top poisition and clinch work. It might not be your favorite performance of the night, but “The Turkish Delight” will be the victor.