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UFC on FOX 30: Alvarez vs. Poirier 2 staff picks and predictions

Check out the Bloody Elbow staff’s picks and predictions for Saturday’s UFC on FOX 30: Alvarez vs. Poirier 2 card in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The Bloody Elbow staff has made its predictions for UFC on FOX 30, and the majority of us have picked Dustin Poirier to get the better of Eddie Alvarez in their highly anticipated rematch. Meanwhile, only Stephie Haynes is backing Jeremy Stephens to beat Jose Aldo in the co-main event, while Phil Mackenzie, Tim Bissell, and Fraser Coffeen are going with Tecia Torres to upset Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the other featured main card bout.

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.

Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier

Anton Tabuena: If they continue where they left off and bring another fun back-and-forth war, I think neither of them would truly be losers, and the major winners would be us, the viewers. But this is still a sport and only one of them will take a step forward towards getting a title shot, and I think the fighter with a higher chance of doing that is Poirier. Alvarez always always has a chance to win any bout he’s in, but Poirier is younger, longer, and has the more varied offensive arsenal. Alvarez hasn’t shown much decline despite all the wars he’s been in, but Poirier has also shown considerable improvements and poise as of late. I could be wrong, but to me it’s much more likely to see Poirier continue on that path, while Alvarez could trend towards the opposite direction soon. Dustin Poirier by TKO.

Mookie Alexander: I’ve never picked Eddie Alvarez to win any of his UFC fights, so part of the reason why I’m picking Eddie is it feels weird to be a fan of his yet repeatedly pick against him. I keep thinking the wars will catch up with him and he’ll look old and past his prime, yet that doesn’t happen. Sure he’s lost a couple of times, but Conor McGregor is an exceptional fighter and 2014 Donald Cerrone was great. It’s easy to fall back on picking Alvarez because he was steadily turning their first fight around prior to the illegal knee, especially since Poirier was piecing him up beforehand, but I think the Alvarez that beat Justin Gaethje was one of his best performances in his entire UFC career. He committed to a hard jab, excellent body work, and flustered Gaethje more than Poirier did, although Poirier’s performance was brilliant in its own right. Head-to-head of course, Alvarez struggles with southpaws, and Poirier’s boxing is among the tops in the division. Poirier is also willing to kick more than Alvarez, and Eddie straight up won’t check kicks ever. On the flip side, Alvarez still hits harder than Poirier, and Dustin’s chin may be good, but he’s had his lights turned out before and as recently as Michael Johnson in September 2016. Oh man I don’t want either of these guys to lose, but you know what? Here’s what will happen - Poirier hurts Alvarez first, but Alvarez rallies to knock him out. Eddie Alvarez by TKO, round 2

Victor Rodriguez: I’m always worried about Eddie. Always. Dude has taken so much damage and has gotten dropped so often that it’s always a concern that he’ll be slurping his meals out of a straw in his 50s. He had an equal parts smart and savage fight against Justin Gaethje, which let him hang loose and not take as much damage while putting away a guy that had never been stopped before. Can he do it again? Absolutely, but this ain’t Gaethje. We saw in the first fight that Dustin has become an absolute terror for someone that fights and moves the way that Eddie does, but just as Eddie was preparing to turn the tables and really take over, the illegal knees ruined it all. As the still-resident leader of the Eddie Alvarez BE Fan Club™, I refuse to pick against the man. But that doesn’t mean I’m oblivious to the possibility that Dustin can box him up again and use his footwork to close the distance and land heavier shots inside. Alvarez can be a slow starter, and Poirier is gonna look to take his head off immediately. Still gonna go with Eddie using his wrestling to get him out of tight spots and working ground strikes, but barely. He might get slept, but I ran out of f--ks to give. Eddie Alvarez by TKO, round 3.

Zane Simon: Poirier’s sustained, consistent performances against both Pettis and especially Gaethje are enough to convince me that he’s no longer quite the breakable talent that he used to be. And that being the case, his fight with Alvarez has to be looked at as one of sustained dominance, punctuated by a remarkable comeback (and foul). That’s something Alvarez has done before and CAN do again. But, if Poirier has become more and more poised over time, as it seems, I’m not willing to bet on Alvarez making another remarkable comeback to steal a fight he’s clearly losing. Dustin Poirier via KO, round 3.

Staff picking Alvarez: Mookie, Bissell, Dayne, Victor
Staff picking Poirier: Nick, Harry, Phil, Tim, Stephie, Zane, Fraser

Jose Aldo vs. Jeremy Stephens

Anton Tabuena: Jose Aldo has lost back to back bouts to the best featherweight in the world right now, but it baffles me why he is the current betting underdog here. Until Aldo loses to someone outside the very best fighters in Holloway and McGregor, I will not automatically assume he is that far over the hill that he drops these bouts against those outside the best of the best. Stephens is dangerous and has improved a lot, but while there’s a chance this may be that very fight that clearly shows Aldo’s decline, I will not pick against him without sufficient proof of that. Jose Aldo by Unanimous Decision.

Mookie Alexander: Yeah, part of this pick is me not wanting to believe that Aldo is so washed that he’d lose to (an admittedly improved) Jeremy Stephens. Considering the damage he’s taken dating back to the second Mendes fight, there’s every bit the possibility that Stephens lands something big and changes the outcome completely. Beyond that, Stephens is a little more than a year removed from getting outstruck by Renato Moicano. How much can we take away from him beating up a faded Gilbert Melendez, defensively deficient and willing brawler Doo Ho Choi, and Josh Emmett (who dropped him in round 1)? Aldo is the far more technical striker and can likely pick Stephens apart methodically as he did vs. Frankie Edgar. The other aspect that’s interesting is that this is a three-rounder, and it’s been ages since Aldo has trained and fought in one. I want to see how he paces himself accordingly, and whether or not Stephens is capable of basically wearing Aldo out the way Max Holloway did. Chances are that won’t be the case, and I’m still going with Jose Aldo by decision.

Zane Simon: This is absolutely a winnable fight for Stephens if he sticks to his jab and his leg kicks and waits for the right counter opportunities to throw with power. Especially if Aldo is indeed a significantly diminished version of himself. However, losses to Max Holloway and Conor McGregor simply do not prove that to me. Holloway especially relied on toughness and a high volume approach to take over fights in which Aldo was doing especially well early. Stephens has the chin, but if he can’t put constant output on Aldo, I don’t see him being crafty or nuanced enough in his striking to find the cracks in Aldo’s game and stop him from coasting. Jose Aldo by decision.

Victor Rodriguez: I remain unconvinced that Aldo has lost that much off his fastball to get wrecked here. Stephens has done wonderful work and earned the opportunity to face an all-time great, but I’m thinking Aldo lets loose a little here and manages to have a performance similar to the one he had against Frankie Edgar at UFC 200 and against a guy with less wrestling skills but more openings to be hit hard. Jose Aldo by decision.

Staff picking Aldo: Nick, Harry, Phil, Mookie, Tim, Bissell, Dayne, Zane, Victor, Aldo, Anton
Staff picking Stephens: Stephie

Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Tecia Torres

Anton Tabuena: Torres has developed her game well, especially with her hands, but she won’t have control of that range and distance that gave Joanna fits against Rose. I don’t think grappling will play too much into this bout, and I think Joanna will still be the much better striker overall. And unless her chin has been affected by all those wars (and bad weight cuts) I don’t think Torres will have enough punching power to turn that tide either. Joanna Jedrzejczyk by decision.

Mookie Alexander: Hmm… I think Joanna Jedrzejczyk wins this, but it won’t be easy. Tecia Torres gave Jessica Andrade a hell of a fight, it’s just that she’s undersized and Andrade is a physical monster. Torres doesn’t sit on her punches very well, but her boxing has come along nicely and she might give Joanna something to think about in that department. That said, she’s not a finisher and I don’t think she’ll be able to use her striking to set up her wrestling, especially with Joanna showing exemplary takedown defense. This leaves a likely volume kickboxing match, plus we know who’s the better clinch fighter, and that should result in a win for Joanna Ex-Champion. Joanna Jedrzejczyk by unanimous decision.

Phil Mackenzie: Yeah I’m picking Torres. What of it? In case you’re thinking this is a “Joanna is declined / getting too big for the weightclass” pick, it actually isn’t. The one thing that the Namajunas fight made me think is that I’m really not sure how well Joanna does against people who aren’t constantly coming forward on her. Given someone who feints at mid range and mixes up their timing, she consistently struggled to keep a bead on Namajunas. That part (and that part alone really) of Torres’ game is perhaps even better than Namajunas’. JJ also historically starts slow, and Torres does not, which likely puts the former champ in a one round hole off the bat, which counts against her far more than it used to when she held the belt. That being said, Torres also tends to empty out her tricks over time, particularly if she can’t really get her wrestling rolling, so I suspect the fight starts to go downhill for her as it progresses. She can just about scrape a second round until losing the third for a contentious decision that makes everyone mad. Please don’t bully me Polish readers. Tecia Torres by split decision.

Zane Simon: I think Phil’s crazy. I can’t see Torres having any of the range to make Joanna pay for her reliance on jabs and high output kicking. And when Torres does come forward she tends to jump into the clinch, where I have to feel like Joanna is more skilled and more dangerous. Joanna Jedrzejczyk by decision.

Victor Rodriguez: Torres isn’t a stranger to in-and-out offense to pick away at an opponent and oblique kick setups to limit an opponent’s mobility. I just think she’ll struggle to do so against an opponent that moves the way Joanna does and that hits as hard and as consistently as she does. I doubt this hits the ground, that makes it Joanna’s fight to win or lose. Joanna Not-quite-champion-right-now by decision.

Staff picking Jedrzejczyk: Nick, Harry, Mookie, Tim, Stephie, Dayne, Zane, Victor, Anton
Staff picking Torres: Phil, Bissell, Fraser

Alexander Hernandez vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier

Anton Tabuena: Rule #1: You do not pick against The Canadian Gangster. OAM by decision.

Mookie Alexander: Well this fight is probably a lot more about “Is Alex Hernandez for real?” than anything about Canada’s most dangerous gangsta’, Olivier Aubin-Mercier. I think OAM raised some eyebrows by just crushing Evan Dunham with that knee to the body, and he’s been performing at a consistent level for quite some time. The story is Hernandez building off a short notice thumping of Beneil Dariush, and whether his aggression and power-punching can trouble OAM straight off the bat. OAM knows Hernandez is going to get off to a fast start, and I think he weathers that storm and reverts to his wrestling and grappling to get the job done. Olivier Aubin-Mercier by unanimous decision.

Phil Mackenzie: This is a fascinating one. Hernandez looked like a blue-chip prospect against Dariush, fighting with utter confidence and aggression while cutting angles and laying down big shots. That makes him a scary proposition for Aubin-Mercier, who (KO of Dunham notwithstanding) has not been the most dynamic fighter around. However, OAM does have at least two gears he can fight in: he can handle himself on the feet with the typical Tristar jab and footwork, but he also has a relentless clinch and bodylock wrestling game. Hernandez has a wrestling background, but it’s highschool only and I’m not sure how long that dynamic style holds up against someone who just never lets go. Olivier Aubin-Mercier by submission, round 3.

Zane Simon: I still have no idea how Hernandez does against elite competition, beyond the obvious that he has a ton of confidence, and faith in his speed and power. I like his basic power wrestling, power striking game, but OAM is a much more practiced fighter at the elite levels, with more experience conserving energy and executing a layered, striking, wrestling, and grappling game. Hernandez will likely start fast, but if he can’t get it done right out of the gate, I figure OAM will take over, and put his pot shotting and grind grappling into action. Olivier Aubin-Mercier by submission, round 3.

Staff picking Hernandez: Nick, Victor
Staff picking Aubin-Mercier: Harry, Phil, Mookie, Tim, Bissell, Stephie, Dayne, Zane, Fraser, Anton

Jordan Mein vs. Alex Morono

Anton Tabuena: More often than not, I will pick technical ability over toughness and grit. I Mein, I’m not always right, but this is why I’m picking against Morono. Jordan Mein by decision.

Mookie Alexander: Yeah I’m pretty much picking Morono because I still don’t trust Jordan Mein to not completely crumble once there’s some pushback from his opponent. Morono’s striking is still an absolute mess and he essentially gave away the Keita Nakamura fight, but he is tough and doesn’t fight conservatively, and that legitimately might be enough to instantly nullify the actual skill advantage that Mein clearly has. Alex Morono by unanimous decision.

Phil Mackenzie: OK, time for the rubber to hit the road on a new heuristic inspired by Brown-Price, Anderson-OSP, Lamas-Bermudez etc. Namely: “pick the guy who surprises you by winning when they shouldn’t, over the guy who surprises you by losing when they shouldn’t” Mein is an infinitely better striker, a better wrestler, a better athlete, but I remain unconvinced that he likes MMA in any meaningful way. His achievements in his recent run have been winning in cardio and gameplan over Erick Silva and somehow getting outwrestled by Emil Weber Meek(!). Morono is tough and determined as hell. That’s it. Alex Morono by unanimous decision.

Zane SImon: I can’t help myself. I’m gonna make the foolhardy pick and go with Jordan Mein. Morono clearly likes fighting a lot more than Mein, but Mein is so, so much more skilled, and most of his problems with focus have come against either very skilled or very athletic opponents. Morono is neither. He’s tough and aggressive, but if Mein can stifle his offense early, I have my doubts that Morono is good enough to work himself back into the fight and break Mein’s confidence. Jordan Mein by decision.

Victor Rodriguez: All these years since the Woodley fight, and I still don’t know that I can pick Mein against a strong wrestler in a fight like this. Morono doesn’t fight as smart as Woodley and is still green, but he may have made the adjustments necessary with the tools he already possesses to make this happen. Alex Morono by Decision.

Staff picking Mein: Nick, Harry, Bissell, Dayne, Zane
Staff picking Morono: Tim, Phil, Stephie, Mookie, Victor, Fraser

Kajan Johnson vs. Islam Makhachev

Mookie Alexander: Makhachev is likely going to grind out Kajan, although Johnson has looked a lot better in recent outings and fighting in more composed fashion. He can certainly KO Makhachev, who still looks stiff and kind of uncomfortable on the feet, even with the Tibau win happening recently. I reckon the UFC can’t wait to cut Kajan once he loses, as he’s involved with Project Spearhead. Islam Makhachev by unanimous decision.

Phil Mackenzie: What to take from Makhachev knocking out Gleison Tibau (apart from the deepest and most brutal sadness)? Makhachev is athletic and hits hard, but his striking game remains a question mark aside from that. His knockout loss to Adriano Martins is similar to Martins’ own loss to Johnson, so it feels possible that his aggression could get him into trouble. But it also feels more likely to insulate him, because Martins allowed Kajan to get into his groove by (rather typically) spending lots of time doing nothing. On balance have to favour Makhachev to get his takedowns going, but worth keeping an eye on the increasingly resurgent Ragin’ Kajan. Islam Makhachev by TKO, round 3.

Zane Simon: Johnson’s love of a cautious counter punching game while backing himself to the fence and circling off it should be absolutely the wrong way to fight Islam Makhachev. Give him space and time to set up his entry and Makhachev will get to the body lock and chain takedowns until he has his opponent on the mat. I think Johnson’s good enough to hang with him there and not get run over. But I still think that means he’ll lose. Islam Makhachev by decision.

Staff picking Johnson: Bissell, Victor
Staff picking Makhachev: Nick, Harry, Phil, Mookie, Tim, Stephie, Dayne, Zane, Fraser, Anton

Austin Arnett vs. Hakeem Dawodu

Mookie Alexander: Ahhhh yes. Dangerous striker (admittedly coming off a club-and-sub loss) vs. Sikjitsu fighter coming off a body shot KO loss. I wonder how this ends. Hakeem Dawodu by TKO, round 1.

Phil Mackenzie: Again, difficult to know what to take from a very fast loss in Dawodu’s last fight. He literally almost got finished by the first punch thrown, and then subsequently got choked. I’m not sure Arnett has either the power or the aggression to replicate what Henry did, being a somewhat low-pace outside striker. This is one where you have to be very concerned for Dawodu if he loses it. Hakeem Dawodu by TKO, round 2.

Zane Simon: Arnett has the ability to surprise on offense with sharp, accurate combination kickboxing. But, he’s not a huge power threat, and defensively he’s about as wide open as a fighter can get. Arnett tends to move back to the fence in straight lines, flinch and turn while getting hit, and to keep his head on line as he throws (plus the noted lackadaisical Sikjitsu attitude toward checking kicks or defending body punches). That should be too much ground to give to a more athletic, more powerful, and more creative offensive striker like Dawodu, even if Dawodu is there to be hit more than he should be. Hakeem Dawodu via KO round 2.

Victor Rodriguez: Y’all thought I’d pick against Dawodu? Never before, and absolutely not today. Hakeem Dawodu by violence, round 2.

Staff picking Arnett:
Staff picking Dawodu: Nick, Harry, Mookie, Tim, Bissell, Stephie, Dayne, Phil, Zane, Victor, Fraser, Anton

Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs. Ion Cutelaba

Phil Mackenzie: A rare matchup between two promising and non-ancient light heavyweights. Cutelaba seemed like an unstoppable powerhouse of a fighter, but his P4P Lineker rating has taken a bit of a hit as he’s gone up against more powerful athletes. Antigulov has himself not really fought any notable competition thus far, even following two UFC wins, so we haven’t really seen that check for him. I’m not so concerned by Cutelaba’s wrestling defense as I have been by his complete inability to fight even the most basic defensive footwork. Of all the many “plants and throws as hard as possible” fighters on this card, he is by far the worst offender, and Antigulov is fairly light on his feet and throws accurate shots. Should this fight go deep (or should Cutelaba have learned how to move and throw) things could get interesting, but Gadzhimurad Antigulov by unanimous decision.

Zane Simon: Cutelaba is surprisingly deft at defending upper-body takedowns, but the one shot that Cirkunov got in around his hips did not look good. Cutelaba kinda tipped over and immediately looked to rely on an active guard against a much better top grappler. He got subbed shortly thereafter. Albeit it took two whole rounds for Cirkunov to get there, and I don’t know that I trust Antigulov to hang around in this fight for that long. But, I also trust Antigulov to push a chain wrestling game much much quicker to better results. Gadzhimurad Antigulov by submission, round 1.

Staff picking Antigulov: Nick, Phil, Mookie, Tim, Stephie, Dayne, Zane, Fraser, Anton
Staff picking Cutelaba: Harry, Bissell, Victor

John Makdessi vs. Ross Pearson

Phil Mackenzie: Likely to be a bit of an odd one. Pearson had an argument for beating Chad Laprise, who is a not dissimilar fighter to Makdessi (for obvious Tristarry and Canuckley reasons). The prime difference is in speed: Makdessi is shorter and less rangy than Laprise, but more defensively responsible and harder to hit. Pearson has become particularly footslow in recent years, and I’m not sure that his general approach against Laprise of countering jabs with leg kicks will work as well against Makdessi. John Makdessi by unanimous decision.

Zane Simon: Makdessi’s relatively low output counter game seems tailor made to walk Pearson into shots that will get him hurt. However, if Makdessi can’t take Pearson out, then there’s a very good chance that Pearson out-hustles him for a points win. I’ll bet on the finish. John Makdessi via TKO, round 2.

Victor Rodriguez: Guh. Pearson’s washed, guys. Makdessi’s clearly declined as well, but not on Ross’ level. I fully expect Makdessi’s kickboxing game to fluster Pearson early, only to have the inside power punches make the difference as the fight goes on and Pearson finds a way to negate the distance. John Makdessi by TKO, round 3.

Staff picking Makdessi: Nick, Phil, Mookie, Tim, Bissell, Stephie, Dayne, Zane, Victor, Anton
Staff picking Pearson: Harry, Fraser

Katlyn Chookagian vs. Alexis Davis

Phil Mackenzie: Uhm. Chookagian is sort of becoming the Holly Holm of this division, but not in the “turning the division upside down, shocking the world” kind of way, more in the “hitting lots and lots of air and being very noisy” kind of way. She is quite hard to take down though. And Davis had a relatively competitive striking match with Cindy Dandois. Katlyn Chookagian by unanimous decision.

Zane SImon: I’m not as sure that Chookagian has been as hard to take down as she is hard to keep down, and tends to get opponents drawn into and flustered by a high-output low impact kickboxing match. She could really really easily do that to Davis, who is just a bit too slow and clunky standing to be more than a pressure threat as she looks to work her way inside. Still, that’s something that Davis has made work for years. If she can walk through Chookagian’s offense, get to the clinch and repeatedly find ways to drag this down, she can take it. If she just ends up at range following Chookagian around the cage, then she loses. Alexis Davis by decision.

Victor Rodriguez: As much as I enjoy Davis’ fights, Chookagian might be able to avoid enough early takedowns to set the pace and beat Davis’ legs and midsection up with leg and body kicks. After that, it’s push kicks when she sees something she doesn’t like, and punching flurries that end with her disengaging when she feels she’s thrown enough strikes. Katlyn Chookagian by decision.

Staff picking Chookagian: Tim, Phil, Victor, Fraser
Staff picking Davis: Nick, Harry, Mookie, Bissell, Stephie, Dayne, Zane, Anton

Matheus Nicolau vs. Dustin Ortiz

Phil Mackenzie: This should be a fun matchup. The question for Ortiz is: does his aggression overload Nicolau’s counterpunching game, or just feed it? Nicolau likes a very defined pace, and should Ortiz really be able to get his boxing, clinching, takedowns and scrambles, it’s easy to see Nicolau struggling to pull the rhythm back to where he wants it. That being said, it’s hard not to look at fights like Ortiz-Reis and Nicolau-Smolka without two takeaways: Nicolau has decent takedown defense and distance management, and Ortiz really struggles if he’s stranded at mid to long range. Matheus Nicolau by unanimous decision.

Zane Simon: I get the distinct feeling that this will be a fight of two halves. In the first half, Ortiz will struggle to close Nicolau down and get hit hard several times by counters as he gets caught in the pocket out of position. In the second half, Ortiz’s relentless pressure and willingness to initiate scrambles will leave Nicolau fading and looking for safety valves where Ortiz can take over. I’m picking Nicolau to do enough damage early to win, but get the feeling it’ll be extremely close. Matheus NIcolau by split decision.

Victor Rodriguez: Ortiz has such a gritty wrestling style, that it’s hard for me to pick against him unless you have something that really sets you apart, like hard enough strikes to deter the takedowns for a while, or the ability to offset his takedown entries with movement and speed. Nicolau’s talented, but I’m not sure he offers anything that Ortiz hasn’t seen yet. That should make this fight very close, but Ortiz fights in such a judge-friendly manner that I can’t pull myself to pick against him here. Dustin Ortiz by decision.

Staff picking Nicolau: Harry, Phil, Mookie, Tim, Bissell, Stephie, Dayne, Zane, Fraser, Anton
Staff picking Ortiz: Nick, Victor

Nina Ansaroff vs. Randa Markos

Phil Mackenzie: Randa Markos is a strange all-rounder, who is both more and less than the sum of her parts. She feels vaguely Covington-esque, in that there’s a lot of aggression and willingness to strike which does some heavy lifting in compensating for the fact that she’s not all that skilled as a striker. Unlike Covington, she doesn’t have a deep technical wrestling game to back it up, and is aggressive in the clinch moreso than having an actual structured strike-to-takedown phase shift game. Ansaroff has shown some fairly impressive development as a fighter since her underwhelming performances against Kish and Lima. In particular, she’s become a powerful and fairly consistent boxer, and I think that Markos’ tendency to lose herself in striking and lack of functional takedown game comes back to bite her here. Nina Ansaroff by unanimous decision.

Zane Simon: Markos has a chance to take this fight if she is just relentless in her pressuring of Ansaroff. Classically, when forced onto her back foot, Ansaroff’s game has totally gone off the rails. She would default to spinning backfists, give up underhooks and just generally get overwhelmed. It seems like she’s fixed a lot of that, however, and has looked much more composed lately. If that’s the case, and if Markos opts to box with her for extended periods and/or can’t do enough in the clinch to take over the fight or take her down, then I have to lean on Ansaroff’s power and diverse kickboxing offense to take the decision. Nina Ansaroff by decision.

Victor Rodriguez: Ansaroff has gotten way better over the course of her career. Markos has been a wrestler first, MMA fighter second. It’s hard to shake the feeling that Markos will press Ansaroff against the cage after being flustered with takedown attempts being denied. As accurate and varied as Ansaroff’s striking has gotten, I’m not sure she’s going to be able to prevent Markos just taking over large portions of the second and third rounds with enough strikes to prevent standups after a shaky first. Randa Markos by decision.

Staff picking Ansaroff: Nick, Phil, Stephie, Zane, Fraser, Anton
Staff picking Markos: Harry, Mookie, Tim, Bissell, Victor

Devin Powell vs. Alvaro Herrera

Zane SImon: Powell seems like the athletic low end of the lightweight division. And doesn’t have much structure to his game beyond, be tough, be wild, and never stop throwing punches and kicks. It makes him fun to watch, but not a great winner against anyone composed enough to take consistent advantage of the huge holes in his game. Alvaro Herrera seems like a power brawler who can’t control where his fight is taking place in any way shape or form. If Powell stays tough and doesn’t get KO’d immediately, I’ll take his wild output over Herrera’s tendency to shoot himself in the foot at any/every opportunity. Devin Powell via submission, round 1.

Phil Mackenzie: Neither of these guys are going to set the world on fire any time soon. Herrera isn’t a terrible athlete, and is absolutely humongous for lightweight. I expect that he may actually just toss Powell around a bit on pure physicality for at least a round. However, even at welterweight his gas tank was poor and if Powell is nothing else (spoiler: he kind of isn’t) he is incredibly tough. Herrera’s ability to stop shot takedowns is OK, but his mat grappling is dismal. In some ways I wouldn’t be surprised to see him hulk Powell for the whole fight with such a strength advantage that Powell can’t make him work enough to tire him out, but Devin Powell by submission, round 3.

Staff picking Powell: Nick, Mookie, Tim, Bissell, Stephie, Dayne, Zane, Phil, Fraser, Anton
Staff picking Herrera: Harry, Victor


Who wins the main and co-main events at UFC on FOX 30?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Poirier and Aldo
    (230 votes)
  • 27%
    Poirier and Stephens
    (160 votes)
  • 24%
    Alvarez and Aldo
    (143 votes)
  • 9%
    Alvarez and Stephens
    (57 votes)
590 votes total Vote Now

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