As always the staff at MMASucka.com will make their predictions for the entire main card. As you can see from our overall running scores, some of us are much better than others. But without further ado, check out the MMASucka Staff Predictions.
Below are the scores after our UFC 179 picks.
Jeremy – 58-30
Allen – 50-25
Justin – 57-35
Suraj – 49-19
Thinesh – 23-15
Nick – 19-13
Mike – 18-14
Mma Staff Predictions: UFC 180
Fabricio Werdum vs. Mark Hunt for interim Heavyweight title
Jeremy: I don’t think this fight will be as one sided as everyone else does. We’ve seen what Mark Hunt has done to some of the top heavyweights in the world. Even with that said, I do think Werdum will get his hand raised. Hunt will manage to get himself out of the first round. Fabricio Werdum via Round 3 Submission.
Nick: If you just briefly glance at this matchup, you might even say Mark Hunt has a decent chance at getting a walk off knockout. If you look at the fight a little closer, you realize Fabricio Werdum should dominant this fight. Werdum has shown he has improved greatly on the feet, and when the fight goes down to the mat, anyone is dead meat. I think on the feet Werdum might decision him, but if the fight goes to the ground, which I think it will, I think Werdum will get a quick submission win. Fabricio Werdum via Submission, Round 2
Justin: It’s easy to talk about how Fabricio Werdum has the submission skills to dominate Mark Hunt on the ground. True, “Vai Cavalo” is a wizard there. However, when it comes to actually getting it to the ground, he’s less of a wizard than the sorcerer’s apprentice. We’re talking sub-40% takedown accuracy and defense statistics, as per the good people at Fight Metric. So this could very well be a stand-up war, and with Werdum lacking in striking defense as well, this could be Mark Hunt’s big night. Mark Hunt via KO, Round 1.
Allen: A full training camp without the brutal weight cut would make me believe in Hunt. He’s proven that his cardio has improved to an extent in his battles against Junior Dos Santos and Antonio Silva. It was evident that he was drained, but never fully checked out like he did against Ben Rothwell. I’m just completely convinced that Werdum being in top shape will be the difference maker. Also, people tend to forget how good Werdum’s striking is. His clinch has proven to be devastating, particularly if you watch his beating of Roy Nelson. Then we saw in his win over Travis Browne at how good his foot work is and how he keeps distance through body kicks. This is too tough of a matchup for Hunt to overcome, despite having jaw-dropping punching power. This will be another thrilling Mark Hunt fight, where everyone applauds his determination and ability to survive. Fabricio Werdum via Unanimous Decision
Mike: I know I’m in the majority here, but I truly believe that Werdum is better than Hunt just about everywhere. Even on the feet. I think Werdum is a much smarter striker. His muay thai has improved so much. His punches, knees, kicks. Everything. Werdum has been training for the altitude in Mexico and Mark Hunt really hasn’t been able to being a late notice replacement. I don’t think Hunt’s game of plodding forward looking for the knockout will win him this fight. He will head hunt early, and as long as Werdum can avoid any big shot in the first 1 or 2 rounds, I believe Werdum takes this with little to know struggle. Werdum has shown a bit of weakness in his striking defense, but if that is on point here, I don’t think Hunt has much of a chance. I expect Werdum to get a gassed Mark Hunt to the mat and submit him. Fabricio Werdum via Submission Round 3.
Suraj: Both on a personal and unbiased standpoint, I can’t help but love Mark Hunt in this fight. Fabricio Werdum has proven himself over the last few years but hunger and drive is a serious motivator. If you follow Hunt, there is something about his level of commitment that makes you wonder how good he can be. He put up an unbelievable fight against a top heavyweight in Junior dos Santos, and seems to be looking more and more athletic with every fight. His chin of stone almost nullifies Werdum’s striking ability and his takedown defense is not bad either. If Hunt can keep the fight standing, it should be only a matter of time. I believe his cardio will surprise a few which will help him win this fight. Mark Hunt via Round 3 TKO.
Jake Ellenberger vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Jeremy: Oddsmakers are saying Kelvin Gastelum is the favorite in this and I’m actually quite surprised with the competition he has faced in comparison to Ellenberger. Of course we have seen Ellenberger lay bricks when up against top talent, but I don’t think Gastelum is truly ready for this step up in competition. Jake Ellenberger via Unanimous Decision.
Nick: This fight is a very close matchup, to me. I really have had a tough time to decide on the winner, but I think it’ll be a decent fight, that’ll be a close decision. It’s hard to say if Ellenberger will come out as a ‘Juggernaut’, or if he’ll crumble like he did against Lawler. Kelvin Gastelum via Split Decision
Justin: As I said with Jeremy on this week’s Sucka Radio, Jake Ellenberger has a tendency to lay waste to the best laid plans of mice and men. Kelvin Gastelum is certainly a talented fighter, but he’s still developing. I don’t think that the Alliance MMA newcomer is ready for Ellenberger, and I don’t think the result will be pretty. Jake Ellenberger via TKO, Round 3
Allen: I’m surprised that Gastelum is actually listed as a favorite. That may be from riding his undefeated record or the odd makers vastly overlooking Ellenberger’s track record. Do people forget who he looked bad against? The current number one contender and the next contender to get a title shot. His new style relying on combinations and timing has proven to be a bit questionable. I’d like to see him use his wrestling more, although not in this particular matchup. Gastelum’s wrestling and ground credentials are well documented. Speed will be the difference maker in this fight and Ellenberger has that attribute. Gastelum is a solid prospect, but he seems to be thrown into the wolves here. He just so happened to get one of the more desperate wolves. Jake Ellenberger via TKO Round 2
Mike: Kelvin Gastelum is undefeated and has proven to be a young up-and-comer, but when I saw he was the favorite here, I’d be lying if I said I was not a little shocked. Jake Ellenberger has fought some of the best in the world. The same can’t really be said about Gastelum. I guess the worry people have is that Ellenberger doesn’t always show up to fight. Sometimes he is just off of his game, for whatever reason. See his fights with Lawler and MacDonald. Then again, Lawler and MacDonald are two of the best welterweights on the planet. One of them is fighting for the title next and the other is waiting on the sidelines waiting for that results to play out and will likely fight the winner. They are the cream of the crop at welterweight, and Gastelum is not right now. He’s young and talented, but I don’t believe he is ready for Jake Ellenberger. Jake Ellenberger via TKO Round 1.
Suraj: Is Kelvin Gastelum the real deal? If he is, this is the perfect fight to prove it. He has fought tough competition but has not broken the top 15 mold just yet. Jake Ellenberger is an elite level fighter who just happened to lose to the best in the world. He was inches away from a title shot and should have all the skills to get back to that glory. This has the potential to be the fight of the night and it really is anyone’s game. Gastelum is a good wrestler and has improved striking since his debut. On the other hand, Ellenberger has incredible punching power for the weight class. I’m going with the puncher’s chance in this one. Jake Ellenberger via Round 3 TKO.
Dennis Bermudez vs. Ricardo Lamas
Jeremy: This fight will put the spotlight on Bermudez and rightfully so. He has won seven in a row and has yet to crack a top-10 opponent. With a win over a top fighter like Lamas, contender status is only a arms length away. Dennis Bermudez via Unanimous Decision.
Nick: I actually am really looking forward to this fight. Lamas hasn’t looked great lately, barely getting past Hacran Dias most recently. Bermudez, on the other hand, has been on a tear, launching through the stacked featherweight division. I think he could give a top fighter a run for his money, maybe even Aldo. Dennis Bermudez via Submission, Round 3
Allen: An easy choice as top contender for fight of the night. Both fighters compete at a fast pace and like to be relentless. Bermudez seems to have tempered down in relying on his striking. After the epic slugfest with Matt Grice, he seems to be persistent with his wrestling and looking for submissions. That’ll be tough to accomplish against one of the true complete featherweights in the UFC in Lamas. We saw Lamas get the better of high-level black belt Harcan Dias last June. He’s well prepared for any challenges on the road involving jiu-jistu. The fight could very well be determined on who has more top position first. I’m feeling another underdog pick here. Ricardo Lamas via unanimous decision.
Mike: My pick for fight of the night. I think Ricardo Lamas is grossly underrated, but I believe Dennis Bermudez is just too strong physically to lose this fight. A lot of people sort of looked past his win over Clay Guida, well, I didn’t. That really impressed me. It’s hard to dominate Clay Guida, and Dennis Bermudez did that. Dennis Bermudez via Unanimous Decision.
Suraj: As my buddy Allen pointed out, Ricardo Lamas truly is one of the most complete featherweights in the UFC. He has been completely overlooked in this fight and he is surely Dennis Bermudez’s toughest opponent. Clay Guida is very much over the hill but finishing him is still an accomplishment. On the other hand, Lamas was completely overlooked against champion Jose Aldo but he stood his own and tried his absolute best to make it a fight. In my opinion, he did quite well. With that said, it’s very difficult to the give the edge to the overconfident Burmudez when Lamas has already proven his worth. Ricardo Lamas via unanimous decision.
Augusto Montano vs. Chris Heatherly
Jeremy: Well, since these guys are basically preliminary card names, I’m simply going to toss a coin, as I know neither of them. Chris Heatherly via Unanimous Decision.
Nick: I think Heatherly will be just too much for Montano. Chris Heatherly via Unanimous Decision
Justin: Who? Why isn’t this Leslie Smith vs. Jessica Eye? Well, since “In Corruptis Extremis” is the unofficial motto of the Mexican government, I’ll just say no matter what, Augusto Montano will likely get the decision victory. Augusto Montano via Unanimous Decision
Strk: I’ve yet to see either of these fighters square off to make a valid prediction. From what I’ve read, I’ll lean towards Montano. He seems to be more relaxed and technical compared to Heatherly.
Mike: Montano is a pretty solid fight. He can finish you with strikes, he can submit you. I expect an early finish for ‘The Dodger’. Augusto Montano via TKO Round 1.
Suraj: Augusto Montano has demonstrated a great pace in his 14 career bouts and has only lost via decision. Unless Chris Heatherly can hold off the attack, the Mexican should be able to finish. Augusto Montano via Round 2 Submission.
Edgar Garcia vs. Hector Urbina
Jeremy: See above. Edgar Garcia via Unanimous Decision.
Nick: I don’t know either of these guys too well, but I’m going Edgar Garcia. Edgar Garcia via Unanimous Decision
Justin: Like the last fight, I had to Sherdog these guys to see who they are and what they can do. So, yeah. Edgar Garcia via TKO, Round 2
Allen: Another matchup where it’s hard to remember anything memorable from a particular moment. Garcia has a decent background from his wrestling to working on Jiu-Jitsu. I’ll lean towards him in a jack of all decisions.
Mike: Edgar Garcia is the stronger of the two, so I’ll go with him. Edgar Garcia via Unanimous Decision.
Suraj: What should be a fast-paced fight, I’m giving the edge to the more experienced fighter. Hector Urbina via Round 1 TKO.
Leonardo Morales vs. Yair Rodriguez for TUF: “Latin America” featherweight final
Jeremy: Leonardo Morales
Nick: Leonardo Morales
Justin: Leonardo Morales
Allen: Leonardo Morales
Mike: Leonardo Morales
Suraj: Leonardo Morales
Alejandro Perez vs. Jose Quinonez for TUF: “Latin America” bantamweight final
Jeremy: Alejandro Perez
Nick: Alejandro Perez
Justin: Alejandro Perez
Allen: Alejandro Perez
Mike: Alejandro Perez
Suraj: Alejandro Perez
Jessica Eye vs. Leslie Smith
Jeremy: Jessica Eye
Nick: Jessica Eye
Justin: Leslie Smith
Allen: Jessica Eye
Mike: Jessica Eye
Suraj: Leslie Smith
Humberto Brown vs. Gabriel Benitez
Jeremy: Humberto Brown
Nick: Humberto Brown
Justin: Humberto Brown
Allen: Humberto Brown
Mike: Gabriel Benitez
Suraj: Gabriel Benitez
Henry Briones vs. Guido Cannetti
Jeremy: Henry Briones
Nick: Guido Cannetti
Justin: Henry Briones
Allen: Guido Canneti
Mike: Enrique Briones
Suraj: Enrique Briones
Marco Beltran vs. Marlon Vera
Jeremy: Marlon Vera
Nick: Marlon Vera
.Justin: Marco Beltran
Allen: Marlon Vera
Mike: Marco Antonio Beltran
Suraj: Marlon Vera