UFC Fight Night 84: Pre-fight Analysis


UFC Fight Night: Silva vs. Bisping will kick off in London, England today and the card is stacked with some amazing fights for MMA fans. While the long-awaited Silva-Bisping bout will finally take place, the UFC has booked 12 other fights on the card.

England-native Brad Pickett will make his return to the octagon in front of his hometown crowd and will hope to avoid a fourth-straight loss in the UFC. Tom Breese is a growing name in the UFC and could make a name for himself in front of his people as well. With more than 10 other European fighters on the card, UFC Fight Night 84 should be great for MMA fans in Europe.


#5 Anderson Silva (34-6-0, 1NC) vs. #7 Michael Bisping (28-7-0)

With both fighters on their last legs, it will be great to see this long-awaited bout take place in London. With a combined age of 76, both Silva and Bisping are seasoned vets and should put on a great show for the English fans. Silva is coming off a disappointing suspension after testing positive for banned substances, rendering his victory of Nick Diaz a no contest. Bisping, on the other hand, is riding a two-fight win streak after defeating Thales Leites and CB Dollaway last year.

Bisping has always had trouble with top-end fighters and top contender fights. He was one fight away from fighting Silva in the past but never reached the number one contender spot. The only fight he has ever won as an underdog came against Denis Kang at UFC 186. Mind you, Bisping was just a slight underdog against Kang but has lost every other bout as an underdog throughout his career. Taking on one of the greatest strikers of all-time may not help his cause, but Bisping looks motivated to get one more chance at a UFC title shot.

The big problem for Bisping will be countering Silva’s speed and technique in the striking department. Primarily a muay thai fighter, Bisping does not have the ground game to match Silva and will rely heavily on his knockout power to end the fight. With Chris Weidman humanizing Silva in their past two fights, Bisping will surely gain some confidence in that regard. Nevertheless, Bisping is entering the toughest fight of his career and will have some issues with Silva’s reach and quickness throughout the fight.

Even though the UFC middleweight division is stacked with competition, the winner of this fight will enter title contention indefinitely. With Yoel Romero out of the picture, the remaining guys in the top five are Lyoto Machida, Vitor Belfort, Jacare Souza and Chris Weidman. Weidman will get another shot at current champion Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 while the winner of this bout will await the UFC’s decision in June.

#9 Gegard Mousasi (37-6-2) vs. #10 Thales Leites (25-5-0)

For true MMA fans, this is a great co-main event. While Mousasi has been fighting all over the world over the last decade, Leites made a name for himself as a BJJ specialist in the early days of the UFC. Today, both fighters have evolved into two of the world’s best middleweights and are extremely well-rounded in terms of skill. They are coming off losses and will look to climb the middleweight ladder  with a win in London.

Mousasi has only lost to Uriah Hall and Ronaldo Souza since 2014 while Leites’ five-fight win streak was stopped by Bisping back in July of last year. Both fighters have good striking but it would not be surprising to see this fight hit the ground. Leites is certainly the most decorated grappler but Mousasi held his own till the third round against a similar fighter in Souza. Despite the slight success, Mousasi’s best chance is to keep this fight standing and trade shots with Leites. Even though Leites has shown some punching power over his last few fights, Mousasi suffered his first knockout loss against Hall and should be able to deal with the Brazilian’s striking.

Tom Breese (9-0-0) vs. Keita Nakamura (31-6-2, 1NC)

Outside of MMA veterans like Brad Pickett and Bisping, Breese should be the big name on British MMA fans’ list. He is an undefeated fighter and has gone 2-0 in the UFC. Both fights were first round knockouts and he earned a performance of the night bonus in his fight against Cathal Pendred. Taking on a veteran in Nakamura, Breese will enter the toughest fight of his career in front of his hometown crowd in London.

Nakamura is coming off a third round submission win against Li Jingliang but had not fought in the UFC since 2008. He had one fight in Dream FC where he defeated Adriano Martins via split decision. In between those fights, Nakamura has been fighting for DEEP, a Japanese promotion where he went 4-0-0 with one no contest in five fights. Known primarily for his submission skills, Nakamura will have a tough time getting Breese to the ground. The Englishman prefers a stand-up fight and should have the edge given his four-inch height advantage. Nevertheless, a veteran like Nakamura is always dangerous which should make this an interesting fight from the start.

#15 Francisco Rivera (11-5-0, 1NC) vs. Brad Pickett (25-11-0)

Pickett will be making his long-awaited return to London but his UFC career could be at stake. Despite being a huge fan favorite, Pickett is riding a three-fight losing streak and will need to right the ship against the scrappy Rivera. The 37-year old Brit must be contemplating retirement and it will be interesting to see if he chooses to do so even with the win. Both fighters are extremely well-rounded and experience will play a huge role in determining a victor.

Rivera lost to John Lineker last September but beat Alex Caceres in 21 seconds of the first round in June. Prior to that, Rivera lost two straight to Urijah Faber and Takeya Mizugaki but has looked good in most of his UFC bouts. Rivera also likes to bang which should make this a very exciting fight. Pickett’s one-punch knockout power holds true to his nickname and the fans will be hoping for nothing less.


Mike Wilkinson (9-1-0) vs. Makwan Amirkhani (12-2-0)

There is certainly some bad blood here after both fighters exchanged words ahead of their fight in London. Wilkinson called Amirkhani a ‘brown noser‘ for going to train at SBG Ireland with Conor McGregor. Amirkhani had a few choice words as well, calling him the same fighter as Andy Ogle and he will finish him just the same.

Both fighters are riding highs in their UFC careers at the moment. Wilkinson is 2-1 in the UFC and finished his last opponent via first round KO in under 2 minutes. Even more impressively, Amirkhani is 2-0 in the UFC, finishing Ogle with a flying knee in eight seconds and Masio Fullen via rear-naked choke in under 2 minutes of the first round. They have well-rounded skills and have excelled as grapplers in  the past. With that said, both fighters are quite talented and a win in London will surely put them on the map moving forward.

Davey Grant (9-2-0) vs. Marlon Vera (7-2-1)

In what could be a great grappling match, Grant and Vera both have tremendous ground games and have won  most of their fights via submission. Grant has eight submission victories compared to Vera’s 5 but the South American has faced slightly tougher competition. He won his last fight against Roman Salazar via triangle armbar in the second round while Grant lost his fight on the TUF 18 finale in 2013.

A well-recognized fighter outside the UFC, Grant has been out of the UFC since 2013 and will make his long-awaited return in his home country. In terms of edge, Grant will be extremely hungry and very motivated to get the win. However, as long as Vera does not give up any dominant positions, this could be a close decision win for either fighter.

Scott Askham (13-2-0) vs. Chris Dempsey (11-3-0)

In another English versus American clash, Askham and Dempsey will be looking to find some consistency in their UFC careers. Both Askham and Dempsey are 1-2 in the UFC and will need a win to stay competitive. They are not the most well-known fighters and are fighting in a very talented middleweight division. They both had impressive careers outside the UFC and will need to bring some of the same to the octagon. Dempsey’s two losses came via first round knockouts but his split decision win against Eddie Gordon has helped his UFC career stay alive. The same can be said for Askham’s KO win over Antonio dos Santos Jr. but both fighters will need a win to avoid the hot seat in the coming months.

Arnold Allen (10-1-0) vs. Yaotzin Meza (21-10-0, INC)

In what should be a prospect versus veteran, Allen will be taking on Meza in his second UFC fight after beating Alan Omer via submission. Meza has fought some very talented UFC featherweights including a loss to Chad Mendes in his debut. Meza lost to Sam Sicilia in his last fight and holds a 2-3-0 record with one no contest in the UFC.

Allen loves to stand and trade and is riding a three fight win streak. His only career loss came against UFC TUF competitor Marcin Wrzosek and Meza should stand as his toughest opponent. Both fighters are well-rounded but the edge in experience must go to Meza. He will be looking to get a win under his belt but the young Englishman will look to kick off his UFC career at 2-0.

Bradley Scott (10-3-0) vs. Krzysztof Jotko (16-1-0)

Another bout with a couple seasoned UFC fighters, middleweights Scott and Jotko will look to continue their winning ways in the octagon. Scott is coming off a win against Dylan Andrews and has a 2-2 UFC record. Jotko, on the other hand, is 3-1 in the UFC and lost via guillotine choke against Magnus Cedenblad. While Scott is a finisher and only lost via decision twice, Jotko is an absolute grinder, winning 10 of his 16 fights via decision. With no difference in size, endurance and experience will be the most important if this fight goes the distance.

Norman Parke (22-4-1) vs. Rustam Khabilov (17-3-0)

Probably one of the more anticipated fights on the card for hardcore MMA fans, Parke and Khabilov are exciting fighters looking to move up the ever-so-stacked lightweight ladder. Both well-seasoned UFC fighters, Khabilov lost his last two fights to Adriano Martins and Benson Henderson while Parke beat Reza Madadi after losing to Francisco Trinaldo and Gleison Tibau.

Khabilov and Parke have good submission skills but have been able to display some knockout power in recent bouts. They have fought very-skilled fighters throughout their careers and have proven abilities at the highest level. Both fighters will be looking for the win with hopes of getting a ranked opponent in their next bout.

Daniel Omielanczuk (17-5-1, 1NC) vs. Jarjis Danho (6-0-0)

In what should be a solid heavyweight bout, Omielanzcuk and Danho are at different junctures of their careers. Omielanzcuk is a 2-2 UFC fighter with wins against Nandor Guelmino and Chris de la Rocha. He lost to Jared Rosholt via decision back in 2014 and Anthony Hamilton in the same way last April. On the other hand, Danho is a heavy-handed Syrian making his UFC debut in London. Both fighters have submission wins under their belt but their last few victories have been exciting knockouts. Hopefully they bring some of the same to the octagon in London.

Teemu Packalen (7-1-0) vs. Thibault Gouti (11-0-0)

Packalen made his UFC debut last July and lost to Mickael Lebout. Prior to that, he was an undefeated fighter on the European circuit, similar to Gouti. Gouti will be making his UFC debut in London and should make this an exciting fight. Both fighters have never been stopped and have shown all-around finishing ability in Europe. With that said, as both fighters enter their prime, it will be intriguing to see who comes out on top.

David Teymur (3-1-0) vs. Martin Svensson (14-5-0)

Two of the well-known fighters from the Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber, both Teymur and Svensson made a name for themselves with impressive performances on the show. While Teymur was a grinder with two decision wins, Svensson had one of the best comebacks in the tournament. He was originally supposed to fight Artem Lobov in the elimination round but pulled out due to a broken elblow. Teymur lost in the opening round to Wrzosek via decision.

In terms of excitement, both fighters like to push the pace and are well-rounded. Svensson showed a lot of heart on TUF and is the more experienced fighter. On the other hand, Teymur has never been finished and has shown solid grit throughout his MMA career.

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My love for MMA, writing, and journalism as a whole, brought me to MMASucka in June of 2013. Jeremy has been a great mentor while covering this sport, and also bestowed the honour of covering UFC 165 at the Air Canada Centre. I graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2012 with a B.A. in Political Science. and have pursued a role in the online sports journalism community ever since.

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