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UFC Austin: Kattar vs. Emmett staff picks and predictions

Check out the Bloody Elbow staff’s picks and predictions for UFC Austin.

UFC featherweight contender Calvin Kattar.
UFC featherweight contender Calvin Kattar.
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The Bloody Elbow staff has made its picks for Saturday’s UFC Austin event, and only Stephie Haynes is picking Josh Emmett to beat Calvin Kattar in Saturday’s main event. As for the co-main, we’re all picking Joe Lauzon over Donald Cerrone. Hey, maybe the BE curse can give Cerrone one more win?

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.

Calvin Kattar vs. Josh Emmett

Mookie Alexander: This is a very tough fight to pick. Kattar is the better striker who works in volume and really can just pick Emmett apart at will. But he also puts himself in harm’s way a ton and his toughness has prevented him from getting stopped by Max Holloway and Renato Moicano. Hell, he beat up Giga Chikadze and still took a considerable amount of punishment. The more he mixes it up with Emmett the greater chance Emmett, who’s knocked down all seven of his featherweight foes, will land that vaunted right hand and at least shake him up. Emmett’s pretty damn tough too and only Jeremy Stephens has been able to seriously hurt him (by breaking his face). I expect this to be thrilling and intense to watch, but I lean Calvin Kattar by unanimous decision.

Dayne Fox (from preview): Emmett only has one avenue to victory. Don’t get me wrong, that is a very wide avenue. But there are multiple paths to victory for Kattar. While Kattar doesn’t come to mind when talking about the heaviest-handed 145ers, it’s not like he’s lacking in that department. Just ask Jeremy Stephens. I could even see Kattar securing a GnP stoppage. Sure, Emmett has been traditionally tough to take down. But it comes back to the five rounds again. If Kattar operates at his typical high pace, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Emmett fade down the stretch, Kattar securing the available takedown, and pounding him out. After all, Kattar’s GnP may be the most underrated part of his game. A bet on Emmett to win via KO isn’t crazy, but any other bet on him would be unlikely to cash. Kattar’s volume and stamina should give him the victory. Kattar via TKO of RD5

Staff picking Kattar: Mookie, Dayne, Victor, Zane, Connor
Staff picking Emmett: Stephie

Donald Cerrone vs. Joe Lauzon

Mookie Alexander: I originally picked Cerrone but giving it some though I cannot confidently pick Cowboy to win any UFC fights anymore. Joe Lauzon by TKO, round 1.

Dayne Fox (from preview): If Cerrone can survive the inevitable early onslaught from Lauzon, the fight should be his. Being the larger fighter and far superior striker should make it easy for him to pick off a fading Lauzon. However, that’s a big if, especially given the fight is taking place at lightweight. There’s no guarantee Cerrone can make the weight comfortably as he edges up on his 40th birthday. There’s even more reason to worry given the day of cancellation of their fight. It very well may have been a case of food poisoning that sidelined Cerrone. That also could have been a cover…. Lauzon via submission of RD1

Staff picking Cerrone:
Staff picking Lauzon: Mookie, Dayne, Stephie, Victor, Zane, Connor

Kevin Holland vs. Tim Means

Mookie Alexander: I thought about picking Means. You’ve got someone with a very good jab, punishing clinchwork, and the type of disciplined striking that could trouble Holland. But he also doesn’t wrestle all that much (Holland’s clear weakness) and Holland is the faster, more athletic fighter. Add in that Means’ chin has shown signs of cracking lately and I think we get Kevin Holland by TKO, round 2.

Dayne Fox (from preview): Possessing a long reach when he made his bones at middleweight, Holland’s 81” reach at welterweight is utterly insane. If given enough time to get a feel for his opponent’s movement and timing, Holland can land with pinpoint accuracy. What has always been the Achilles heel of Holland is his wrestling, but Means doesn’t have the pedigree or size that has troubled Holland in the past. Throw in Holland’s impressive durability and overall edge in athleticism and it’s hard to see how the experienced Means extends his win streak, even if he has defied the odds several times in his career. Holland via TKO of RD2

Staff picking Holland: Mookie, Dayne, Stephie, Victor, Zane
Staff picking Means: Connor

Joaquin Buckley vs. Albert Duraev

Mookie Alexander: Buckley can probably knock Duraev out if Albert doesn’t tighten up his form, but if that doesn’t materialize then he’s at a considerable disadvantage on the mat I suspect. Buckley has reached the point where I feel like he’s too inconsistent to trust. Albert Duraev by TKO, round 2.

Dayne Fox (from preview): If Alhassan can take Buckley down, it’s impossible to believe Duraev wouldn’t be able to do the same. I get the feeling Duraev can end the contest too if he gets the appropriate positioning on the mat. The question is whether it’s via GnP or a submission. Duraev via submission of RD1

Staff picking Buckley: Zane, Connor
Staff picking Duraev: Mookie, Dayne, Stephie

Damir Ismagulov vs. Guram Kutateladze

Mookie Alexander: Toss-up fight and probably the one most likely to be a grind. Damir Ismagulov by decision.

Dayne Fox (from preview): If I didn’t have the concerns about Ismagulov’s ability to make weight – his last contest was cancelled due to him missing weight by eight pounds – I’d be confident in picking him. Instead, I don’t feel like I can count on him to be in fighting shape. It’s not like cutting weight gets easier as one gets older. Kutateladze via decision

Staff picking Ismagulov: Mookie, Zane, Connor
Staff picking Kutateladze: Dayne, Stephie

Julian Marquez vs. Gregory Rodrigues

Mookie Alexander: Thought this one over and just am too worried that Rodrigues is going to get drawn into the type of firefight where Marquez can thrive. And he’s not got the chin to withstand a flurry from Marquez. Julian Marquez by TKO, round 1.

Dayne Fox (from preview): Given Rodrigues’ chin doesn’t have the reputation of Marquez’s, spamming takedowns might be the wise thing for him to do. Unfortunately, I don’t trust Rodrigues will do that, leaving a fair amount of doubt in my pick. I’m still going with Rodrigues as he has the deeper toolbox, but that isn’t always the difference maker at the end of the day. Rodrigues via decision

Staff picking Marquez: Zane, Connor, Mookie
Staff picking Rodrigues: Dayne, Stephie

Poll

Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 78%
    Calvin Kattar
    (536 votes)
  • 21%
    Josh Emmett
    (151 votes)
687 votes total Vote Now