The UFC is heading back to London this Saturday with another stacked card, hoping to recreate their last London visit.
Fight One: Nicolas Dalby (19-4-1) (-280) vs Claudio Silva (14-3) (+210)
Winner: Nicolas Dalby by Decision
To start UFC Fight Night London, we have a welterweight matchup between two fighters looking for a bounceback win. Nicolas Dalby comes into this fight as a heavy favorite, and I can understand why. Dalby holds the striking advantage over Claudio Silva in both speed and power and should have no problem using that to control the pace of each round. The only way Silva can win this fight is by getting Dalby to the ground early and getting him into a submission, but Dalby has solid takedown defense and should use his length to keep distance and keep the fight standing to take home a decision win.
Fight Two: Mandy Bohm (7-1) (-122) vs Victoria Leonardo (-104)
Winner: Mandy Bohm by Decision
In the next bout, we have a matchup of two UFC prospects looking to get their first win since entering the UFC. A critical factor in this fight will be the six-inch reach advantage Mandy Bohm holds over Victoria Leonardo. Bohm has a speed advantage in the striking department, but with this added six-inch reach advantage, she should be able to keep Leonardo at range throughout the fight. Due to Leonardo’s tendency to rush in, Bohm would be best suited to use her jabs, and leg kicks to keep Leonardo at a distance and throw more powerful counter shots when Leonardo rushes in to pick up her first UFC win.
Fight Three: Jai Herbert (11-4) (-310) vs. Kyle Nelson (+230)
Winner: Jai Herbet by KO/TKO
In the Lightweight division, two competitors are looking to bounce back after losing three of their last five fights. Like Mandy Bohm in the previous fight, Jai Herbert holds a six-inch reach advantage over his opponent that, paired with his superior striking, should get him the victory. This also feels like a layup fight for Herbert after coming off a competitive loss to the undefeated Illia Topuria, as Kyle Nelson is a big step down in talent. If Herbert can avoid any takedown attack from Nelson, Herbert should piece Nelson apart on the feet before setting up a powerful shot to earn a quick knockout victory.
Fight Four: Muhammad Mokaev (6-0) (-520) vs. Charles Johnson (+350) (11-2)
Winner: Muhammad Mokaev by Submission
This is a matchup between two highly ranked UFC prospects, the undefeated Muhammad Mokaev and Charles Johnson, who is coming into his UFC debut on a four-fight win streak. Though I believe that Muhammad Mokaev wins this fight, I think it’s closer than the odds say. Johnson has been impressive during his time in the LFA, and I believe he holds the striking advantage, which should keep this fight relatively close. I have to say that Mokaev holds the grappling advantage, which is precisely how he will win this fight. After withstanding Johnson’s striking attack, Mokaev will wear Johnson down until finding the opening for a submission in round two or three.
Fight Five: Makwan Amirkhani (17-7) (+162) vs. Jonathan Pearce (12-4) (-210)
Winner: Makwan Amirkhani by Submission
In the next bout, we have two Featherweights coming off a win in their last fight and looking to climb the division’s ranks. This fight was a tough pick, as I think both of these guys are pretty even in most areas. To make this pick, I went with who I thought would be most likely to get a finish over their opponent, and I believe that is Makwan Amirkhani. Jonathan Pearce will most likely try to take this fight to the ground due to how even the striking battle would probably be and because wrestling is the strongest part of his game. If Amirkhani is patient and Pearce comes in aggressive with his takedown attempts, Amirkhani should be able to grab hold of Pearce’s neck and extend his winning streak to two with a submission win.
Fight Six: Nathaniel Wood (17-5) (-620) vs Charles Rosa (14-7) (+400)
Winner: Nathaniel Wood by Decision
Moving from one of the most challenging fights to predict on the card to one of the easiest, Nathaniel Wood returns from almost a two-year hiatus against Charles Rosa. This fight seems very set up for Wood as he returns to his home country of England and is fighting a low-ranked fighter in the division. Wood has proved himself as a potent striker in the division, and I don’t think Rosa’s can compete with that of Wood’s. Wood has also looked impressive on the ground in his UFC days, as he won three straight fights by submission to start his UFC career. Even if Rosa tries to take this fight to the ground, Wood still threatens him with his submission skills which doesn’t give Rosa much chance to win this fight. If Wood combines his clear, striking advantage with his submission skills on the ground, he should be able to dominate this fight anywhere it goes and take home the victory.
Fight Seven: Marc Diakiese (15-5) (-400) vs Damir Hadzovic (14-6) (+285)
Winner: Marc Diakiese by Decision
In the next bout, two Lightweights coming off of a win in their last fight go at it looking to extend their winning streak to two. Another heavily favored English fighter that I believe will win is Marc Diakiese. Diakiese is a much better striker than Hadzovic and should use that to his advantage to control how the fight goes. He also holds a three-inch reach advantage over Hadzovic, allowing Diakiese to use his jabs and strong kicking arsenal to keep the fight at a distance. Even if the striking fails, Diakiese can try to take the fight to the ground as he averages over three takedowns per 15 minutes of fight time, and Hadzovic struggles to stop takedowns as he is only able to stop takedowns 37 percent of the time successfully. Since Diakiese has a variety of ways that he can win this fight, I feel confident that England will take home another with Marc Diakiese coming out on top.