3 Picks For Saturday’s UFC Fight Night Card From Hollywood, Florida
It’s not quite as glam as duking it out in Hollywood, California, but UFC Fight Night from Hollywood, Florida features some interesting tilts with fighters clashing in the Octagon for Ws, paydays and traction on title shots. We’ve taken a look at three fights on the June 27 main card and are offering up our fearless predictions. Anything can happen in the world of MMA, but here’s how we see it going down.
#3 Lyoto Machida (-170) vs. #6 Yoel Romero (+140) – Middleweight (five rounds)
Former light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida has experienced mixed results since switching divisions, going 3-2 with losses to Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold hanging over his head. Things won’t be any easier when Cuban Strikeforce alum Yoel Romero brings his combination of wrestling acumen and KO/TKO capabilities into the Octagon. Machida hasn’t been knocked out since 2010 (thanks Maurico Rua) but Romero is the sort of fighter that can absorb punishment at a steady clip and keep his glameplan rolling on. One thing in Machida’s favour is experience in the five round format. The Dragon went the full five in two bouts last year, while Romero’s pro MMA career can’t boast that. Still, we like Romeo’s chances to score the underdog victory. He’s been undefeated in the UFC, can finish fights with fists and elbows and is taking this fight with loads of rest. As long as his knee issues from April will just a blip, we’re siding with the Soldier of God.
Santiago Ponzinibbio (+130) vs. Lorenz Larkin (-170) – Welterweight (three rounds)
A pair of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practioners square off in this Saturday clash that features Lorenz Larkin and Santiago Ponzinibbio looking to fight their way up the welterweight rankings. Larkin’s comes in as the favourite and he’ll be looking to continue his career revival after beating John Howard earlier in 2015 to snap an ugly three fight losing streak. The California fighter has nine knockout finishes and could make it ten if Ponzinibbio gets caught by the kickboxing tools in Larkin’s arsenal. We expect a strong showing for Ponzinibbio in his first contest on North American soil, but we don’t think Larkin’s “performance of the night” showing at Fight Night 59 ranks as a one-off. Larkin’s taking this.
Antonio Carlos Junior (-230) vs. Eddie Gordon (+170) – Middleweight (three rounds)
It’s not too much of a surprise that Antonio Carlos Junior is the strong favourite heading into this bout. He’s big (a former TUF heavyweight tourney victor) and he has heavy hands that will make life rough for Eddie Gordon. Gordon’s excellent takedown defense is a positive, but Carlos Junior still has standing strikes like a man of a heavier weight class. If the strikes don’t get Gordon, Carlos Junior’s submission skills will.
Pick: Carlos Junior
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