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UFC Fight Night: Silva vs. Bisping - Idiot's Guide Preview to the Fight Pass Prelims

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Lots and lots of Europeans round out the prelims for UFC Fight Pass this weekend in London for UFC Fight Night: Silva vs. Bisping.

Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

The usual assortment of European prospects and veterans round out the Fight Pass prelims this February 27, 2016 at the O2 Arena in London, United Kingdom.

The Line Up

Featherweight Mike Wilkinson vs. Makwan Amirkhani
Bantamweight Davey Grant vs. Marlon Vera
Middleweight Scott Askham vs. Chris Dempsey
Featherweight Arnold Allen vs. Yaotzin Meza
Middleweight Brad Scott vs. Krzysztof Jotko
Lightweight Norman Parke vs. Rustam Khabilov
Heavyweight Daniel Omielańczuk vs. Jarjis Danho
Lightweight Teemu Packalén vs. Thibault Gouti
Lightweight David Teymur vs. Martin Svensson

The Odds

Makwan Amirkhani -190 Mike Wilkinson +165 
Davey Grant -175 Marlon Vera +155 
Chris Dempsey +275 Scott Askham -335 
Arnold Allen -320 Yaotzin Meza +260 
Brad Scott +140 Krzysztof Jotko -160 
Norman Parke +215 Rustam Khabilov -255 
Daniel Omielanczuk -110 Jarjis Danho -110
Teemu Packalen +115 Thibault Gouti -135
David Teymur -130 Martin Svensson +110

The Rundown

Featherweight Mike Wilkinson vs. Makwan Amirkhani

Amirkhani, who has finally forgotten Joe Rogan's rude interruption, will be getting a crack at the crackerjack striker Mike Wilkinson, fresh off a knockout over the once sort of hyped Niklas Backstrom. It's an interesting fight for both men as Wilkinson's striking will be the x-factor assuming he lands with the kind of pinpoint accuracy that could fell a small horse. Wilkinson is not a great bet. I feel like quick, abrupt knockouts rarely end up telling a full fight story, and I'm not sure I'd pick Wilkinson in a rematch with Backstrom. Mainly because Wilkinson is not a big time power puncher. He's been successful on the feet because of his technique, and calm cage demeanor. But Amirkhani is the bigger fighter, and he'll be able to fight big, using his size and strength to smother Wilkinson on the ground with his positional awareness and sound fundamentals.

Bantamweight Davey Grant vs. Marlon Vera

Grant was a part of the Ultimate Fighter 18 show, and lost to Chris Holdsworth for all the marbles in the Finale. 'Marbles' isn't all that figurative either when you consider what a "six figure contract" is really worth. And after a lengthy hiatus, he's up against the man who executed a show all timer by going Mousasi vs. Jacare on Henry Briones. Other than upkicks, Vera is pretty limited. His lack of rhythm has a tangible effect on his overal game, as his kickboxing struggles on its own just by failing to meet expectations in other areas. Grant won't make short work of Vera. Grant's striking defense needs work. But he'll be able to whip Vera onto the ground where he'll have the advantage.

Middleweight Scott Askham vs. Chris Dempsey

Askham will have the hometown at his back when he takes on Dempsey, the American looking to ensure that his move down to Middleweight after some crushing LHW losses will pay dividends. Dempsey is aggressive enough with his striking, whether at range or in close, to make the night difficult for most opponents, but he doesn't have the kind of power to truly exploit his philosophy. Askham reminds me a bit of Luke Barnatt, not always using his frame to great advantage, but at least fights with enough spatial awareness to take advantage of it by accident. He's a no frills fighter who likes to capitalize on opportunities at range, and in close. He really shouldn't have much trouble.

Featherweight Arnold Allen vs. Yaotzin Meza

Allen is solid UK prospect. He's a little like a fixed micro machine version of Paul Taylor. If you've never seen him, here he is beating on Tobias Hunter as Tobias clings to Allen's ankles like some halfway to roadkill lawn gnome.

He sifts his strikes rather than merely throwing them, threading the knuckle needle with expert precision. He has good movement, and keeps his head off the centerline just enough to avoid punches with economy rather than reaction. However, he's not some defensive wizard either, as his movement is fairly rote, however quick, and he can be caught with that straight right.

Meza isn't a unique threat either on the feet, or on the ground, but the blend of things he can do could prove to be difficult for Allen. Thankfully for Allen, he's actually quite good everywhere else, which makes him the heavy favorite for more than one good reason.

Middleweight Brad Scott vs. Krzysztof Jotko

Strange matchup between two guys who are just there. They're good fighters with decent skills on the feet, but there's no real sense of immediate danger from either end. Both guys operate on different wavelengths on the feet, with Jotko the more deliberate type, sometimes thinking a little too much. But he's better at range and I don't think Scott's combinations and movement are enough to dictate Jotko out of his comfort zone.

Lightweight Norman Parke vs. Rustam Khabilov

This feels like a comedown for Parke, who has managed to score the odd main card slot despite some horrific performances as far as entertainment goes. But Parke isn't anyone's monkey, and so he keeps on trucking with his crowd displeasing style. Parke has a good jab, and has really begun to put a little more mustard on those knuckle burgers of his. It shouldn't shock anyone if ends up taking Khabilov out with a decision, as his ground game is pretty stout, and he's strung together success in the UFC by being defensively sound and as poised as they come. I'm not confident in picking Khabilov for this reason, but I do think Parke's own inability to really threaten will make Khabilov's forward offense look better than it us. In other words, I could easily see Parke getting screwed out of a decision in awkward fashion.

Heavyweight Daniel Omielańczuk vs. Jarjis Danho

Danho will be making his UFC debut, and you kind of see what he's about here. He's just a big guy with a lot of core strength whose momentum acts as pressure enough. He's not an action packed fighter so expect the usual heavyweight slop as Danho just kind of bullrushes himself into victory against the sharp fisted, and takedown prone Omielanczuk.

Lightweight Teemu Packalén vs. Thibault Gouti

Teamu Not Selanne enters the weekend bout an underdog against the swift striping Frenchmen Thibault (what a name) Gouti. Gouti, despite making his UFC debut, has a win over a UFC fighter in Anton Kuivanen. Gouti is pretty fun to watch when he's putting together his chain link boxing. His movement is active, though stiff. But he lets his hands go a lot like Alessio Sakara. Unfortunately he has Sakara's other traits in common, as he's ineffective backing up. His counters kind of happen "by committee", as he just wings strikes in close. I really like his chances here, but Packalen has the strength to back him up with sporadic right hands and top control.

Lightweight David Teymur vs. Martin Svensson

It's a Scandinavian showdown in the land of colored rubber fish. Svensson is a plodding lightweight who likes to Fitch his way into victory. Teymur is no Hendricks, but he chambers lightning fast head kicks from his southpaw stance, displays excellent range with his pawing jab and swift straight left, and is every bit the athlete that Svensson isn't. No seriously: