The Bloody Elbow staff has made its picks for Saturday’s UFC Vegas 48 card in Las Vegas, and we’re almost unanimously picking Jamahal Hill over Johnny Walker in the main event. Ditto for the co-main between Kyle Daukaus and Jamie Pickett, which wasn’t supposed to be the co-main but obviously fights were bumped up a spot after Rafael dos Anjos vs. Rafael Fiziev was moved to UFC 272.To see the latest betting lines for these fights, head over to DraftKings Sportsbook.
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 Zane Simon 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.
Johnny Walker vs. Jamahal Hill
Mookie Alexander: This is a tough fight to pick because I don’t know if we’re getting “technical, defensively responsible” Johnny Walker again or the crazy, offensive machine Johnny Walker who will risk getting walloped to deliver a devastating KO. I think the Walker we saw in the Santos fight is a worse fighter in large part because it strips away his best attributes. Tentative Walker either creates a bad fight against a fellow counterstriker or a potentially more dangerous one where a more aggressive Hill just finds his range and lands the more impactful strikes quicker. Walker 1.0 may get KO’d anyway just off of Hill’s power and Johnny’s very shaky chin, but he drastically increases his chances of ending the fight early. Hopefully Hill has learned his lesson from the Paul Craig fight not to be overconfident to the point of reckless, as I like his upside and believe he has a higher ceiling than Walker. Early signs are encouraging with the way he wrecked Jimmy Crute. Assuming this is mostly a striking match, edge goes to Walker if this is predominantly outfighting given Walker’s kicks, but otherwise I like Hill’s speed and timing to prevail in this one. Jamahal Hill by TKO, round 2.
Zane Simon: Hopefully Walker hasn’t just worked himself entirely out of the kind of violent offense that made him such a fun and fascinating talent in the first place. But, given the fact that Hill is an extremely willing puncher, I get the feeling that he’ll force a firefight out of Walker whatever the now SBG Ireland fighter’s intentions may be. If Santos was content to stick at kicking range and make their fight a battle of singular offensive moments, Hill is much more a fighter who will try and impose himself on opposition given the chance. Given that, I’m going to take Walker’s immense size and power to see him through to another wild win. But if he’s truly withdrawn the initiative from his style, then he’s giving Hill a great chance to strike first. And given Hill’s own size and power, that just might lead to another Walker KO loss. Johnny Walker via KO, round 1.
Staff picking Walker: Zane
Staff picking Hill: Mookie, Stephie, Dayne, Victor, Connor
Kyle Daukaus vs. Jamie Pickett
Mookie Alexander: This sure is a co-main. This sure is a fight Daukaus better win. Kyle Daukaus by submission, round 2.
Zane Simon: Maybe Pickett will just realize that he’s a whole athletic class better than Daukaus. But if he doesn’t, Daukaus is a more technical and aggressive fighter everywhere with a style made to pick up rounds against inactive opponents. Kyle Daukaus via TKO, round 3.
Staff picking Daukaus: Mookie, Stephie, Dayne, Zane, Connor
Staff picking Pickett: Victor
Parker Porter vs. Alan Baudot
Mookie Alexander: …I don’t know why this is on the main card other than the internal metrics suggesting that we’ll watch any heavyweight fight. Baudot is on the cusp of being cut and he’s been stopped twice (albeit one overturned due to a drug test failure) in as many UFC appearances. Porter has pretty good cardio, an impressive workrate (to make up in part for his lack of big heavyweight power), and he’s probably going to test Baudot’s chin and/or put Alan on his back with takedowns. Parker Porter by TKO, round 3.
Zane Simon: A part of me thinks this could be a bit of a trap fight for Porter. Baudot doesn’t have a UFC win to his name yet, but he’s also a sharper striking talent than that record might indicate. If Porter wades in behind volume, as he likes to, he could be on the wrong side of something big in a hurry. That said, we’ve also seen Baudot flag hard after starting well, and we’ve also seen his confidence seem to break, even in fights he’s winning. If Porter can come out of an early firefight with his consciousness intact, I think he’ll be able to turn up the pressure on Baudot on his way to victory. Parker Porter via TKO, round 2.
Staff picking Porter: Mookie, Stephie, Dayne, Victor, Zane, Connor
Staff picking Baudot:
Jim Miller vs. Nikolas Motta
Mookie Alexander: Motta is the better athlete and he may just physically overwhelm and overpower Miller on the feet, but Jim Miller has shown that he can still hang with this level of competition and give inexperienced UFC competition that work. One of these days that won’t be the case but he’s coming off a great KO of Erick Gonzalez, so why not keep the good times rolling? WAR JIM MILLER! Jim Miller by submission, round 2.
Zane Simon: I’ve been a fan of Motta’s game for a while now. He’s got a nice, brawling power-muay thai style reminiscent of the Chute Boxe glory days. And if he can scare Miller out of being too aggressive, this could turn into a pretty rough outing for ‘A-10’ down the stretch. That said, there may just be a little too much brawl in Motta. Even when he is the much better striker, he gets drawn into a lot of equal exchanges, and has a couple first round stoppage losses to show for it. And while Miller may not have the best cardio for a 3 round fight, he’s still incredibly dangerous in a one-round war. Jim Miller via submission, round 1.
Staff picking Miller: Mookie, Stephie, Victor, Zane
Staff picking Motta: Dayne
Joaquin Buckley vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan
Mookie Alexander: While this fight is nothing like Derrick Lewis vs. Tai Tuivasa, it kinda is. Two dudes who are going to try and hit each other as hard as possible and one of them is going to fall down and not get up. I’m backing Abdul Razak Alhassan by KO, round 1.
Zane Simon: Both men tend to fight on straight lines. Both have huge power, and the arsenal to surprise opponents with variety. This fight will almost definitely be a car crash. And while either man may win that fight in the first round, if it goes past that, Alhassan has never won even once. I’ll take Buckley, just because he keeps his form better over the full run of a fight. Joaquin Buckley via KO, round 2.
Staff picking Buckley: Stephie, Zane, Connor
Staff picking Alhassan: Mookie, Dayne, Victor
This poll is closed