The Bloody Elbow staff has made its UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Medeiros predictions, and most of us are going with Yancy Medeiros to beat Donald Cerrone in Sunday’s main event. Opinion is a little more split on the co-main between Derrick Lewis and Marcin Tybura, while picks are one-sided in James Vick’s favor vs. Francisco Trinaldo.
Note: Predictions are entered throughout the week and collected the day before the event. Explanations behind each pick are not required and some writers opt not to do so for their own reasons. For example, if Phil Mackenzie entered all of his predictions on Wednesday without adding in any explanations, he has no idea if he’s going to be the only one siding with one fighter for any given fight.
Donald Cerrone vs. Yancy Medeiros
Mookie Alexander: One year ago I’d be confident in picking Cerrone to wipe Medeiros out. He still might, because Medeiros is horrendous defensively, and he’s largely saved by his comical ability to take punishment. On the flip side, Cerrone’s own ability to take damage concerns me. He’s looking more fragile each time he gets hit hard, and Medeiros can crack. I just can’t trust Cowboy anymore, sad as it is to say. His best hope is to get this on the ground and work his superior grappling game, but he’s not done that since the Alex Oliveira fight, and I don’t think he’ll do it tomorrow night. Yancy Medeiros by TKO, round 2.
Fraser Coffeen: The Till fight was the point of no return for me as far as Cowboy goes. I can no longer bring myself to pick him against decent opposition, and Medeiros is just that. Surely Medeiros will have to show off his chin here, but he’s up for that challenge, and when he cracks back, I don’t see Cerrone being able to take it. Yancy Medeiros, KO, R1
Victor Rodriguez: We’ve seen Cerrone get pressured and crushed in the past, and we’ll probably see that happen again here. Medeiros’ fight against Oliveira probably should have been stopped in round 1, but he came back to ruin Brazilian Cowboy’s fun. Should he be able to check leg kicks and use decent movement from side to side before blasting forward, he’ll have a good chance of pulling this off and becoming the Cowboy Killer™. Also, I really don’t know what Donald’s gonna have left in the tank here. Yancy Medeiros by TKO, round 2.
Staff picking Cerrone: Nick, Tim
Staff picking Medeiros: Bissell, Harry, Dayne, Mookie, Fraser, Stephie, Victor
Derrick Lewis vs. Marcin Tybura
Mookie Alexander: Tybura sure as hell isn’t dynamic, but I trust him to get a few takedowns and just take advantage of the fact that, as fun as Lewis may be as a fighter and as a person, he’s not mobile and he’s too limited skill-wise. This could be a dreadful bout, but I hope it isn’t. Marcin Tybura by unanimous decision.
Victor Rodriguez: Lingering back problems aside, Lewis has become a dependable action fighter that you can rely on to brutalize opponents. Tybura is much like Cyril Asker, only a more clever fighter that struggles against more athletic and stronger opponents. Lewis can touch Tybura quickly from the outside and close the distance within a blink of an eye. Tybura won’t take him down, and if he does, Lewis will pop back up. Just like Tuivasa/Asker last week, this fight is going to be an ugly beating where a bigger and more explosive dude makes the other guy question some serious life and career choices. Derrick Lewis by knockout.
Staff picking Lewis: Bissell, Nick, Harry, Tim, Fraser, Victor
Staff picking Tybura: Phil, Dayne, Mookie, Stephie
James Vick vs. Francisco Trinaldo
Phil Mackenzie: James Vick has had a couple of incredibly impressive performances, where he’s shown subtle, nuanced boxing: playing off the rhythm of his jab, countering the opponent’s counters, and rarely over-committing but instead steadily breaking his way inside both Reyes and Duffy’s approach. This is a chance for him to show that he’s learned how to deal with the Dariush matchup: a powerful southpaw kickboxer with nasty offensive wrestling. Trinaldo is somewhat ragged in his punching form, and often tires himself out, but his footwork is genuinely excellent and he can normally fight through his weariness. There are a few options here: play matador against Vick and kick his legs, or try to force him up against the cage and take advantage of his vulnerability to left hands. Both approaches can be seasoned with the occasional takedown. Vick is normally ridiculously tough, however, and he constantly keeps his hands working. I’m just not sure whether Trinaldo can keep up. I obviously hope Massuranduba wins: we’re talking a Team Lloyd Irvin fighter against the guy who threw a party for the kids in his neighborhood with his first UFC bonus and is building a house for his sister. That said, with great sadness, James Vick by submission, round 3
Victor Rodriguez: Trinaldo was riding high with an excellent winning streak before he had his legs cut out from under him against Kevin Lee. That fight showed that he’s getting older and still struggles with guys that can time his offense right and pop him with good punches down the middle. Vick’s boxing game still doesn’t get enough respect, and his submission game is outstanding. Not only that, but he’s got a mean streak going, looking to make a major statement in this one. James Vick by submission, round 2.
Staff picking Vick: Bissell, Nick, Phil, Harry, Dayne, Mookie, Fraser, Stephie, Victor
Staff picking Trinaldo: Tim
Thiago Alves vs. Curtis Millender
Phil Mackenzie: Millender is a tall, powerful welterweight with a vast reach advantage over the stumpy Alves. He’s younger and at this stage in his career, much more athletic. A lot of his offense is predicated on kicking, and I’m not sure that this is a terribly good idea against Alves- the slightly faded Brazilian has a huge depth of skill which is at its best in kicking exchanges where he’s able to cut kicks and throw counters. He does have the tendency to dip into left hooks which could conceivably get him punted upside the noggin, but Thiago Alves by unanimous decision.
Fraser Coffeen: You guys, really? I mean, I love the Pitbull as much as you all seem to, but let’s get real here. One win since 2015, and it came against the retiring Cote. I don’t see this happening. Curtis Millender, Dec
Victor Rodriguez: Damn, son. I love Alves, but I can’t trust him in 2018. Besides, Millender is the younger, faster and more agile fighter here. Seriously, this guy does terrible things to people, and it’s amazing. Especially his last fight just a scant few weeks ago. Going with the steady hand here. Curtis Millender by decision.
Staff picking Alves: Bissell, Nick, Harry, Phil, Dayne, Mookie, Tim
Staff picking Millender: Fraser, Stephie, Victor
Steven Peterson vs. Brandon Davis
Phil Mackenzie: This is a quick turnaround for Brandon Davis, as he got beaten by Kyle Bochniak just a couple of fights ago and is coming in on short notice. He showed some serious vulnerabilities in that fight, namely that if he’s denied the pocket he has very little way to get it back beyond chasing and swinging. This shouldn’t be an issue against Peterson, who is a come-forward swinger, albeit one with a lower pace and less accuracy, but a more functional wrestling game. Brandon Davis by unanimous decision.
Staff picking Peterson: Dayne, Victor
Staff picking Davis: Bissell, Nick, Phil, Harry, Mookie, Tim, Fraser, Stephie
Sage Northcutt vs. Thibault Gouti
Phil Mackenzie: Gouti is not a terrible fighter- an aggressive banger who was unfortunately dependent on power and durability which are not as standout in the UFC as they were on the regionals. A lot of his problems have been around people forcing him backwards with either grappling or precision striking, because he is just not defensively good. That doesn’t spell great things against Northcutt, but Sage is not going to get the kickboxing sparring match he got the last time out. If he doesn’t just get knocked out (a large possibility), Gouti will pressure Northcutt, and that’s not something he’s historically done that well against, despite looking great in his last outing. Still, on balance it’s not a difficult pick to make. Sage Northcutt by TKO, round 1
Victor Rodriguez: I really worry for Northcutt here, because Gouti has a decent set of submissions. Then again, he’s going to have to eat some damage to get to even attempt them in the first place. Northcutt’s got a good striking base, and I hope his cardio has improved. I guess I’ll tentatively go with Northcutt on this one based off of his athleticism and striking chops. Also, it’s probably more wishful thinking since maybe this time around his time at Alpha Male pays off to something substantial.
Staff picking Northcutt: Bissell, Nick, Phil, Harry, Dayne, Mookie, Tim, Fraser, Stephie, Victor
Staff picking Gouti:
Jared Gordon vs. Diego Ferreira
Phil Mackenzie: The question here is really whether Gordon can navigate past Ferreira’s first layer of counterpunching defense without dying. Ferreira has a nasty knack for looking kind of sloppy, but being able to step backwards and land huge shots on careless forward motion. That sounds a lot like Gordon. However, as with many fighters like this, the counter works like a shotgun blast, and they need time to reload and relocate. So if Gordon gets in past it, he’s going to be able to land a lot of volume as Ferreira tries to get away, and I think he’s tough enough to survive a somewhat inevitable early scare. Ferreira’s voracious ground and grappling game is also one to keep an eye on should Gordon try to turn the clinch into takedowns. Jared Gordon by unanimous decision.
Victor Rodriguez: I kind of like Gordon’s chances here based on his wrestling, but also the fact that Diego gets reckless. It hasn’t caught up to him yet, but Jared’s style seems like it’ll be the kind that will change that. Ferreira won’t bully Gordon around, and Gordon’s style will be more suited for winning rounds here. Jared Gordon by decision.
Staff picking Gordon: Nick, Phil, Dayne, Mookie, Stephie, Victor
Staff picking Ferreira: Bissell, Harry, Tim, Fraser
Brian Camozzi vs. Geoffrey Neal
Phil Mackenzie: Difficult to know what to expect from Neal. Sometimes unstructured but excellent athletes get to the UFC, and then decide that now’s the time to really kick it into gear and get going. Sometimes they just realize: oh no. Everyone else is really good here, I don’t like this at all. Camozzi keeps a better pace and is perhaps even the “better” striker, but his defense is poor and he lacks the insane durability of his brother to compensate. There is a significant chance that Neal just brutalizes him early, but I think part of the Laprise and Brown losses was accuracy and technique rather than power, and Neal is a powerful but wild puncher. Maybe this is just a pick because I have a soft spot for Camozzis, but if the younger one can survive the first round then Neal has a tendency to fade which I think will be exacerbated by this being his octagon debut. Brian Camozzi by unanimous decision
Victor Rodriguez: I don’t know that I can trust either Camozzi brother, and I like them. Haven’t even seen Neal fight, but I know who I’d rather side with. Geoffrey Neal by whatever.
Staff picking Camozzi: Harry, Phil, Mookie, Fraser
Staff picking Neal: Bissell, Nick, Dayne, Tim, Stephie, Victor
Joby Sanchez vs. Roberto Sanchez
Phil Mackenzie: Joby Sanchez is sort of like Carlos Condit without the power or incredible chin. He has a ton of weird tricks, and he maintains a consistent level of activity with scrambling and strikes. Roberto is a much more powerful wrestler who is likely to put Joby on his back several times, but Joby was able to stand up out of Wilson Reis’ top control, which likely means he’s not going to get stalled out by Roberto. Joby Sanchez by unanimous decision.
Victor Rodriguez: Joby’s got some weird movement sometimes, but he’s overall a better fighter here. His grappling is extra scrappy, looking for backdoor escapes and has a slick boxing game. His ability to shift from striking to takedowns or from takedown feints to strikes is tricky, and Roberto’s going to have some trouble with it. Roberto will probably defend the first few rather well, but get drawn into Joby’s web as the fight goes on. Joby Sanchez by TKO, round 3.
Staff picking Joby: Bissell, Nick, Phil, Dayne, Mookie, Tim, Fraser, Stephie, Victor
Staff picking Roberto: Harry
Sarah Moras vs. Lucie Pudilova
Phil Mackenzie: Sub-grappler vs striker means that competitive stretches of this fight are likely to be limited. X-factors abound. Pudilova has shown no real weakness towards submissions, but hasn’t really fought anyone good there. Moras took a pretty good wrestler to the mat and tapped her, but how much of that was down to Evans-Smith’s overconfidence? Does Pudilova share that overconfidence? Probably. I guess I’m not confident enough that Moras finishes, and Pudilova keeps such a higher pace. Lucie Pudilova by unanimous decision.
Victor Rodriguez: Sarah Moras has enough going on with her kicking game to work her opponent here. Her submission game will be good enough to keep control and control Pudilova while working ground strikes, but her transitions are so smooth that she may not even need to do too much of that. We might even get a triangle finish here. Sarah Moras by submission.
Staff picking Moras: Bissell, Nick, Tim, Victor
Staff picking Pudilova: Harry, Dayne, Mookie, Fraser, Stephie
Mookie Alexander: Just… no. Alex Morono by depressing destruction, round 1.
Phil Mackenzie: Y tho. Alex Morono by TKO, round 1
Victor Rodriguez: I’m convinced Burkman and Lombard have compromising photos of Dana White in a fireproof safe, conveniently stashed on a yacht off the coast of the Canary Islands. But sure, they gotta cut Will Brooks, huh? What were we talking about again? Oh, this fight? Ugh. Goddamn, I hate this sport sometimes. Alex Morono by purple nurple.
Staff picking Morono: Bissell, Nick, Phil, Harry, Mookie, Dayne, Mookie, Tim, Fraser, Stephie, Victor
Staff picking Burkman:
Oskar Piechota vs. Tim Williams
Phil Mackenzie: Piechota impressed me against Wilson. He’s a classy striker with a solid high-percentage positional BJJ game to back it up, and he put it on a more athletic and UFC-seasoned (but still relatively raw) fighter. Williams is a big grinder / sub-grappler, and it’s feasible that he could just never let Piechota get his technical game rolling by smothering him, but he’s unstructured on the feet and is willing to press forward into counters. Oskar Piechota by unanimous decision.
Victor Rodriguez: Tim Williams trains at an affiliate school and has trained with my instructors. Homer pick inbound… Tim Williams by submission, round 2.
Staff picking Piechota: Nick, Phil, Harry, Dayne, Mookie, Tim, Fraser, Stephie
Staff picking Williams: Bissell, Victor
Who wins the UFC Austin main event?
This poll is closed
Cerrone by stoppage
Medeiros by stoppage
Cerrone by decision
Medeiros by decision