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UFC Fight Island 6: Ortega vs. Korean Zombie staff picks and predictions

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Check out the Bloody Elbow staff’s picks and predictions for Saturday’s UFC FIGHT ISLAND 6: ‘ORTEGA VS KOREAN ZOMBIE card.

Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Bloody Elbow team has made its picks for UFC Fight Island 6, and watch out because we all have the Korean Zombie beating Brian Ortega in the main event. Does the BE curse still hold up? We’ll see, because that’s the only unanimous pick on the main card. In the co-main, only Dayne Fox is going with Katlyn Chookagian to spoil Jessica Andrade’s move up to flyweight.

Brian Ortega vs. Chan Sung Jung

Anton Tabuena: I think Zombie just smokes Ortega here. He’s just significantly better on the feet both with power and technique, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he also won the ground exchanges after getting a couple of shots in. Chan Sung Jung by KO.

Phil Mackenzie: Ortega is a big, long, powerful and diverse puncher. This always makes him a threat, as does the clear progression that he’s shown in his striking. He has developed better footwork, and more active defense. However, these are still not his strengths - his boxing relies on initiating exchanges with a jab, and KZ is fantastic at picking off jab counters. Similarly, Ortega’s defense, as of time of writing, can be broken down into running backwards with the forearm guard up, and KZ can effectively work in blitzing combinations. Chan Sung Jung by TKO, round 2.

Zane Simon: The longer this fight goes the more of a wildcard Ortega becomes. His confidence and sticktoitiveness combine wonderfully with his venomous ground game to pose just the kind of problem where, given a large number of opportunities he can find a way to make something work. And even as a much more polished, stayed modern version of himself, TKZ still gives opponents opportunities. He’s never been a fighter afraid to make mistakes. But, given that Ortega is also the kind of fighter who will never let an opportunity to deliver some kind of offense pass him by, it seems very likely that these two men will clash early, and often, and hard. In those kinds of exchanges, I just think Chan Sung Jung’s power counter game is too dangerous. Chan Sung Jung via TKO.

Staff picking Ortega:
Staff picking TKZ: Anton, Phil, Zane, Stephie, Dayne, Mookie

Katlyn Chookagian vs. Jessica Andrade

Phil Mackenzie: Both have fought approximate analogues: Andrade has gone up against long, movement-heavy fighters in Namajunas and Jedrzejczyk, and Chookagian has fought against a somewhat formless brawler in Maia, and a pure power threat in Carmouche. The difference is that the people that Andrade fought were much more skilled? In general I’m not sure that Chookagian can pick up round-winning moments against the bigger hitter, and nor does she have Jedrzejczyk’s vicious clinch game to bail her out when they crash together. Jessica Andrade by unanimous decision.

Zane Simon: Chookagian’s big adjustment to getting torn apart standing against Valentina Shevchenko was... more wrestling. That just doesn’t seem like the move against Andrade, who not only is a good wrestler herself, but has that low center of gravity that’s gonna make her real hard to take down and keep there. And if this fight is gonna stay standing, I just don’t think she has the footwork to stay away from a faster, high output striker like Andrade. At least not while landing her own significant offense. Just a bad fight for Chookagian all around. Jessica Andrade by decision.

Staff picking Chookagian: Dayne
Staff picking Andrade: Anton, Phil, Zane, Stephie, Mookie

Cláudio Silva vs. James Krause

Anton Tabuena: Respect for Krause for stepping in on late notice yet again. This time, I think he can also pick up a victory. James Krause by decision.

Zane Simon: Krause is definitely going to be in this fight at all times. And given how wild Silva is, he’s got exactly the right kind of veteran savvy to hit sweeps on the ground and land combos standing up. But, he’s also rarely ever the best athlete in the cage when he fights. And I don’t think that changes against Silva. And given Silva’s manic, singularly focused takedown centric attack, I just think Krause is going to end up on the floor, grappling, a lot. Can he do well there? Yeah. Can he actually win this fight and avoid being subbed? I’m not as sure on that. Claudio Silva by decision.

Staff picking Silva: Zane, Stephie, Dayne, Mookie
Staff picking Krause: Anton

Jimmy Crute vs. Modestas Bukauskas

Zane Simon: Bukauskas has a low-output power game, focused on staying long and delivering single moments of good offense. Crute is much more just a hammer looking for nails. Whether he’s striking, wrestling, or grappling he’s always looking to produce instant success. Impressively, he seems to largely be able to keep that energy for multiple rounds. Crute will doubtlessly give Bukauskas some big mistakes to work with, but I think it’s more likely that him pushing the pace on the Lithuanian goes poorly for Bukauskas before anything else. Jim Crute via submission, round 1.

Staff picking Crute: Anton, Zane, Dayne, Mookie
Staff picking Bukauskas: Stephie

Thomas Almeida vs. Jonathan Martinez

Zane Simon: Lots of questions, not that many answers when it comes to Thomas Almeida. To date he’s been the less durable of the two men. But he’s also fought much better competition along the way. Martinez, by comparison, has struggled maintaining control of fights against Andre Soukhamthath and Andre Ewell, themselves not noted for their consistency of form. I expect Martinez will give Almeida a rough time early, but if Almeida can be varied from range and offer something dangerous in the clinch, he has a much better earned reputation for building pressure and creativity as fights go on. For now, I’ll side with that. But with all his time away from MMA there are real questions to answer. Thomas Almedia by decision.

Staff picking Almeida: Zane, Dayne
Staff picking Martinez: Anton, Stephie, Mookie

Rest of the card (no write-ups... in theory)

Mateusz Gamrot vs. Guram Kutateladze

Staff picking Gamrot: Anton, Zane, Stephie, Dayne, Mookie
Staff picking Kutateladze:

Gillian Robertson vs. Poliana Botelho

Staff picking Robertson: Anton, Zane, Stephie, Dayne, Mookie
Staff picking Botelho:

John Phillips vs. Jun Yong Park

Staff picking Phillips:
Staff picking Park: Anton, Zane, Stephie, Dayne, Mookie

Jamie Mullarkey vs. Fares Ziam

Staff picking Mullarkey: Anton, Zane, Stephie, Dayne, Mookie
Staff picking Ziam:

Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs. Maxim Grishin

Staff picking Antigulov:
Staff picking Grishin: Anton, Zane, Stephie, Dayne, Mookie

Mark Striegl vs. Said Nurmagomedov

Anton Tabuena: We’re not supposed to do write ups on this section, but I don’t care, because this is another rare occasion that a Filipino fights in the UFC. Am I also daring to predict that Nurmagomedov gets outwrestled here? Well yes, I am. Mark Striegl by Submission.

Staff picking Striegl: Anton
Staff picking Nurmagomedov: Zane, Stephie, Dayne, Mookie

Poll

Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    Korean Zombie
    (617 votes)
  • 23%
    Brian Ortega
    (187 votes)
804 votes total Vote Now