UFC Fight Night: Mousasi vs. Munoz staff picks and predictions

Boris Streubel

Check out who the Bloody Elbow staff is picking for each and every UFC Fight Night: Berlin bout.

Mark Munoz vs. Gegard Mousasi

Anton Tabuena: This is a tough match up for Munoz, as I think he will not have a decent chance on the feet, and he might have trouble holding Mousasi down. I will never pick against the Filipino though, so hopefully he gets that takedown and unleashes that scary ground and pound. Mark Munoz by TKO.

Mookie Alexander: Munoz can win this with takedowns and his brutal ground-and-pound, but Mousasi is more than capable of fending for himself off of his back, and the striking is all Mousasi. If Mousasi loses this then we can write him off as a contender for the long-term, because Munoz isn't one, either. Gegard Mousasi, KO, head kick, round 3.

Patrick Wyman: Munoz probably has the wrestling to win this - Mousasi's takedown defense, while improved, still isn't outstanding - but I don't think he can do that for five rounds without eating serious shots to his subpar chin on the feet. Even if he does manage to consistently work his takedowns and get to top position, Mousasi's bottom game is no joke. At best, I think the ground is a wash, and Mousasi should have a massive advantage at range. Mousasi, KO (upkick), round 2.

Fraser Coffeen: Last time out, I picked Munoz over Lyoto. What was I thinking? No idea. But I'm tempted to pick him again here because of the way Mo smothered Mousasi to a win. Mousasi has great talent, but his laziness gets the better of him at times. I'll go with him, because I don't want Munoz to screw me over a 2nd time, but I am not confident. Gegard Mousasi by KO round 2.

Staff picking Munoz: Anton
Staff picking Mousasi: Patrick, Karim, Mookie, DSM, Fraser, Tim, Dallas, Zane, Mousasi, Stephie

Francis Carmont vs. C.B. Dollaway

Mookie Alexander: Oh forget it. Patrick has convinced me that Carmont wins this fight and I won't put the time and effort to try and construct an argument that Dollaway has what it takes to be a top 10 fighter. I can't stand watching Carmont but he's a top 10 middleweight, and Dollaway just feels like he's still a gatekeeper, but an improving gatekeeper. Francis Carmont by decision.

Patrick Wyman: I know Dollaway's been on a roll lately, but the mass hatred for Carmont has obscured the fact that he's made real improvements to his game over the last couple of years. His striking, especially his kicks and control of the range, have gotten dramatically better, while his clinch and top games remain just as stifling as ever. Both guys have the takedown defense (over 80 percent) to keep this on the feet, and aside from a slight advantage to Dollaway in punching range, I think this is all Carmont. Carmont, unanimous decision.

Staff picking Carmont: Patrick, Mookie, Fraser, Tim, Anton
Staff picking Dollaway: Karim, DSM, Dallas, Zane, Stephie

Luke Barnatt vs. Sean Strickland

Anton Tabuena: If you didn't believe me during his first fight, believe me now. Strickland is a legit prospect, and while Barnatt has the tools to give him some issues, I think he will be able to land decent shots and get top control to win this handily. Sean Strickland by Decision.

Patrick Wyman: I like Barnatt quite a bit. He pushes a great pace, has shown solid takedown defense, and has surprising power for such a long, lanky guy. He has all the ingredients to be a fun and marketable action fighter in the UK market for years to come. With that said, I think Strickland could be something special. He has a ton of experience against good opposition, possesses excellent physical tools, and packs real power in his strikes. I think he'll beat up the extremely hittable Barnatt on the feet before cracking his takedown defense and working his top game for an eventual stoppage. Strickland, KO, round 2.

Staff picking Barnatt: DSM, Fraser, Dallas, Zane
Staff picking Strickland: Patrick, Karim, Mookie, Tim, Anton, Stephie

Niklas Backstrom vs. Tom Niinimaki

Patrick Wyman: I had Backstrom, a product of Sweden's Allstars camp along with Alexander Gustafsson, Reza Madadi, and Nico Musoke, as the eleventh-ranked fighter on my Searching for Future Champions list. He's something of a dark horse, not having fought more than twice per year since beginning his career, but he's also a fascinating prospect with absurd upside. Backstrom has deceptive speed and athleticism for such a big, rangy featherweight (6'0), and his top game features a brutal arsenal of punches and elbows, which he seamlessly integrates into his smooth passes. He's also a fine wrestler and in-fighter; while his striking at range needs some work, it's coming along nicely. Niinimaki is a fine featherweight in his own right, but if he tries to engage Backstrom in the clinch or grapple with him - and I think he'll be more than willing - he's going to be in for a real surprise. Backstrom, unanimous decision.

Staff picking Backstrom: Patrick, Karim, Tim
Staff picking Niinimaki: Mookie, DSM, Fraser, Anton, Dallas, Zane, Stephie

Drew Dober vs. Nick Hein

Patrick Wyman: Hein is an accomplished, nearly world-class judoka with a predictably brutal clinch game and excellent work from top position. Dober has the advantage at range, but lacks the pop in his strikes to make Hein think twice about closing the distance. Hein, unanimous decision.

Staff picking Dober: Tim
Staff picking Hein: Patrick, Karim, Mookie, DSM, Fraser, Anton, Dallas, Zane, Stephie

Magnus Cedenblad vs. Krzysztof Jotko

Anton Tabuena: I'm sorry, I honestly don't know enough about both these guys, so uhh, tails it is! Jotko by Decision.

Staff picking Cedenblad: Mookie, DSM, Tim, Dallas, Zane
Staff picking Jotko: Patrick, Karim, Fraser, Anton, Stephie

Iuri Alcantara vs. Vaughan Lee

Anton Tabuena: Yes, Alcantara has had better competition, but Lee has been improving leaps and bounds and I think he can score an upset here. Vaughan Lee by Decision.

Mookie Alexander: Lee's game looked very improved in his beatdown of Nam Phan ... but this is not Nam Phan. Alcantara is the superior fighter and has been better against a higher level of opposition and I include his loss to Urijah Faber. Iuri Alcantara, submission, round 2.

Patrick Wyman: Squash match. Alcantara is a legit, top-10 bantamweight, and Lee is...not that guy. Alcantara, submission, round 1.

Staff picking Alcantara: Patrick, Karim, Mookie, DSM, Fraser, Tim, Dallas, Stephie
Staff picking Lee: Anton, Zane

Pawel Pawlak vs. Peter Sobotta

Staff picking Pawlak: Patrick, Karim, Mookie, DSM, Fraser, Tim, Stephie
Staff picking Sobotta: Anton, Zane

Maximo Blanco vs. Andy Ogle

Mookie Alexander: Ogle is scrappy but not particularly proficient in any specific skill, so Blanco should beat the tar out of him. Except Blanco will do something stupid to lose this fight. Andy Ogle by DQ (punch to the spine).

Patrick Wyman: I am and will always be a sucker for fighters with ridiculous athleticism/power and zero fight IQ, which means Maximo Blanco is exactly my cup of tea. Blanco, KO, round 2.

Fraser Coffeen: I love watching Maximo Blanco fights, and I hate picking them. Seriously, anything at all could happen, and it's so hard to predict. He SHOULD win this, but, well, Blanco gonna Blanco. Maximo Blanco by KO round 1

Staff picking Blanco: Patrick, Karim, DSM, Fraser, Tim, Anton, Dallas, Stephie
Staff picking Ogle: Mookie, Zane

Ruslan Magomedov vs. Viktor Pesta

Mookie Alexander: Wait, this isn't the same guy who is on the TUF card? Okay. Ruslan Magomedov by TKO, round 1.

Fraser Coffeen: Fun fact, Mago has wins over TWO former UFC HW champs. Granted it's Tim Sylvia in 2013 and Ricco Rodriguez in 2012, but expect to hear that fact touting his credentials a few times this weekend. Just wanted to get in there first. Two Champs! Ruslan Magomedov, KO, round 1

Staff picking Magomedov: Patrick, Karim, Mookie, DSM, Fraser, Tim, Anton, Dallas, Zane, Stephie
Staff picking Pesta:

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