After squeaking out a third consecutive winning week at UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs Dillashaw, I think I can comfortably say I am on a much-needed “heater”. Which means everyone should jump on board and tag along while the going is good. So, let’s dive into my picks for UFC Fight Night: Hall vs Strickland.
This is a very, very weak card. It was weak before a bunch of fights and fighters fell off it, and it’s even weaker now. But does that affect our ability to make money off it? Hell no. Our main event is probably the only “meaningful” fight on the card, pitting ranked middleweights Uriah Hall and Sean Strickland against one another. Both men have identical recent resumes heading into this fight, both owning four-fight winning streaks and 5-1 records over their last six. I’m leaning towards Strickland to be the one stretching his streak to five wins on Saturday night.
While Hall has scary knockout power, Strickland has only been knocked out once in 26 pro fights (and that took a spinning wheel kick and follow up punches from Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos to get the job done). Additionally, he’s got the grappling advantage in this fight, so he can lean on this if the going gets too tough on the feet. ‘Tarzan’ Strickland at
5/12 is my pick.
Mr Perfect to Win Again
The co-main event, after much fight shuffling, is a bantamweight battle between Kyung Ho Kang and Rani Yahya. Once again, I’m going chalk with this one and taking ‘Mr. Perfect’ Kang at
20/27. Yahya is a grappling wizard, but Kang also has very solid wrestling and jiu jitsu, which (hopefully) should allow him to play defense effectively. Kang is also the much larger man (three inches taller and half a foot of reach) and better striker, which I think he can ride to victory.
You know I’m always good for some live underdogs for you, so let’s get into it. I’m liking Gloria de Paula at
7/5 in her women’s strawweight fight against Cheyanne Buys. Both women are looking for their first UFC victory, and I like de Paula’s power striking advantage (three knockouts in five pro wins) and size to make her the one getting her hand raised.
My other underdog pick is also a women’s strawweight fight, this one between Jinh Yu Frey and Ashley Yoder. Frey is the former Invicta FC Atomweight Champion, but since the UFC doesn’t have a 105-pound division she is forced to fight up at 115 pounds. So, she’s used to fighting women bigger than her, which Yoder will be this Saturday. However, Frey is the better striker of the two plus probably the better grappler, so I see her having the advantage wherever this fight heads. Frey at
23/20 sounds good to me.
Bam Bam Barberena the Lock of the Week
As for my lock, I’m going with Bryan ‘Bam Bam’ Barberena at
1/3 for his welterweight fight against Jason Witt. Barberena is the bigger and younger fighter here, plus the more active striker of the two men. And all seven of Witt’s pro losses have come via finish (five knockouts and two submissions), so I like Barberena via knockout as well. ‘Bam Bam’ via finish you can get at
20/23; via KO at
Rafa Garcia at
5/18 against Chris Gruetzemacher at lightweight should also be a safe pick this weekend. ‘Gifted’ Garcia owns a sparkling 11-1 pro record and has never been stopped in a fight, with his one loss coming via decision. His grappling should be too much for Gruetzemacher, who is susceptible to submissions.