UFC Fight Night – McGregor vs. Brando Picks
We have been busy this summer with other projects and haven’t been able to make picks for a bit however we are back and feeling the luck of the Irish on this action packed card.
Josh “The Gremlin” Sampo (11-3) vs. Patrick “The Hooligan” Holohan (9-0-1)
The first fight of the evening is in the flyweight division between submission specialists Josh Sampo against Patrick Holohan. Holohan will be one of many representing Ireland on this card and will be making his official debut with the UFC. Holohan is undefeated with seven wins by submission, however he has not fought since 2012. Sampo is fighting for a third time in the UFC and is 1-1 in the organization, with a loss in his last bout in UFC 170. Sampo also has six submission wins. This will be a technical game on the ground and “The Hooligan” will need the crowd behind him to shake off any ring rust.
George: Patrick Holohan via DEC.
Eric: Josh Sampo via DEC
Cody “Donnybrook” Donovan (8-4) vs. Nikita “Al Capone” Krylov (16-4)
Light heavyweight action between struggling fighters in the UFC. Both fighters have gone 1-2, with Donovan losing back to back via knockout and Krylov being submitted in his last outing. This might be a “loser leaves the UFC” match. The 22 year old Krylov has finished all of his 16 victories (six via tko, 10 via submission). He may have the edge in striking, Donovan is no slouch on the ground as he has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Nathan Marquardt.
George: Nikita Krylov via TKO Rd. 1
Eric: Nikita Krylov via TKO Rd. 2
Tor “The Hammer” Troeng (16-5-1) vs. Trevor “Hotsauce” Smith (11-5)
Both middleweight are coming off of losses and are looking to stay relevant in a stacked division. Troeng is 1-1 in UFC action and Smith 1-2. Both guys have a respectable ground game. This will be a close fight on the ground and the victor will win the take down game and ground control. Smith has a higher success rate in take downs compared to Troeng.
George: Trevor Smith via DEC.
Eric: Tor Troeng via DEC.
Cathal “The Punisher” Pendred (13-2-1) vs. Mike King (5-0)
Pendred will be the second Irish native fighting in front of his home crowd against undefeated Mike King. Both fighters were cast mates on the Ultimate Fighter Season 19. Pendred was a favorite to win the show, a team mate of Conor McGregor however came up short. Pendred has six tko victories and King has finished all of his fights via stoppage (one tko and four submissions). This will be a close fight with both cast mates familiar with one another.
George: Cathal Pendred via DEC.
Eric: Cathal Pendred via DEC.
Neil “2 Tap” Seery (13-10) vs. Phil “Billy” Harris (22-11, 2 NC)
Flyweight action featuring good old “Ireland vs. England” and “BJJ vs Judo” action. Harris has the black belt in judo whilst Seery is a purple belt in bjj. Both have fought in the UFC already and will be ready for a ground battle. Seery looking for a win in the UFC (0-1), Harris to improve (1-2, 1NC)
George: Phil Harris via submission Rd. 2
Eric: Phil Harris via submission Rd. 3
Ilir “The Sledgehammer” Latifi (9-3) vs. Chris Dempsey (10-1)
Latifi was originally scheduled to fight the charismatic Tom Lawlor, who had to withdraw due to injury. The 31 year old Swedish native will now be facing a new comer from the small town of Ambridge, Pa (about 20 miles outside of Pittsburgh) in Chris Dempsey. Latifi has the edge in fighting twice in the UFC already (1-1) losing a decision against top contender Gegard Mousasi. Latifi did just win his last UFC fight against Cyrille Diabate. Dempsey, like Latifi is a solid wrestler with ever improving striking. The 26 year old Irish-American will have the crowd behind him and youth on his side. This will be a tough first test for Dempsey (the former middleweight champion of Gladiators of the Cage), Latifi should not overlook him though as Dempsey used to wrestle as a heavyweight and has fought as a light heavyweight earlier in his career.
George: Chris Dempsey via DEC.
Eric: Ilir Latifi via DEC.
Norman “Stormin” Parke (19-2-1) vs. Naoyuki Kotani (33-10-7)
Lightweight action between two veterans with big winning streaks on the line. Parke is a judo black belt with a 10 fight unbeaten streak (9-0-1, 3-0-1 in the UFC). Kotani makes his second return to the UFC after an unsuccessful 0-2 outing in 2007. Kotani is hot right now, winning 13 straight fights and unbeaten since April 2010 (a close split decision loss to Jorge Masvidal). Parke has 12 of his 19 victories via submission and Kotani has finished 30 of his 33 wins (25 submission wins, five tko). Both guys always go for the finish.
George: Norman Parke via DEC.
Eric: Norman Parke via DEC.
Brad “One Punch” Pickett (24-8) vs. Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall (12-4-1)
A flyweight battle between well balanced fighters in the top 10 UFC flyweight ranks. This fight was supposed to occur in March however McCall had to pull out and Neil Seery stepped in. Both fighters are coming off of wins from the or previous matches and look to get closer to a title shot. McCall (#3 ranked) will look to control the ground and push the pace on Pickett (#10 ranked) and avoid Pickett’s stand up.
George: Ian McCall via DEC.
Eric: Ian McCall via DEC.
Gunnar “Gunni” Nelson (12-0-1) vs Zak Cummings (17-3)
Welterweight battle between bjj specialists. Nelson (#13 welterweight rank) is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu who has yet to taste defeat and is 3-0 in the UFC. Cummings is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and a perfect 2-0 in the UFC, which makes for a fun chess match on the ground. Nelson should crack top 10 with a win here. Cummings would taste UFC top 15 rank with a third consecutive win as well. Great match making yet again.
George: Gunnar Nelson via DEC.
Eric: Gunnar Nelson via TKO Rd. 2
Conor “Notorious” McGregor (14-2) vs. Diego “DB” Brandao (18-9)
The main event of the evening is a featherweight showdown between the charismatic Conor McGregor against BJJ ace Diego Brandao. McGregor will have his country roaring loud and proud for him and will look to continue adding to his 10 fight win streak. McGregor is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but should focus on keeping the fight standing against black belt Brandao. McGregor currently #13 in the UFC welterweight ranks and this win could push him in the top 10.
George: Conor McGregor via TKO Rd. 1
Eric: Conor McGregor via submission Rd. 2