Two top Middleweights on four fight winning streaks headline this weekend’s Fight Night card as Uriah Hall and Sean Strickland both look to continue their resurgences to the top of the division. In the co-main Kang Kyung-ho takes on Rani Yahya in a Bantamweight clash and Contender Series duo Cheyanne Buys and Gloria de Paula both look to bounce back from UFC debut defeats. All that and more on this week’s card.
I really believe this is Sean Strickland’s fight unless Uriah Hall pulls out a ridiculous knockout win, to be fair, is always a possibility with Hall. Hall was touted as ‘the next Anderson Silva’ after an inspiring TUF run and some highlight reel finishes. While he had lost quite a bit of his stock after a few losses, he has gone 5-1 since 2017, with his only loss being to title contender Paulo Costa. Sean Strickland I never believe gets the credit he deserves. Strickland entered the UFC a perfect 13-0 and won his first two UFC bouts.
He then moved to Welterweight and while it didn’t work out as planned, he still went 5-3. He had a motorcycle accident that struck him out of action for two years. His return to the Octagon saw his return to Middleweight and has gone 3-0 since making him a perfect 18-0 at Middleweight. While Strickland may not be flashy, he is effective. He has all round solid technique and no glaring flaws in his game. I expect him to work behind his jab, wearing down his foe and likely stopping Hall down the stretch.
Cheyanne Buys was almightily disappointing in her debut as she came into the UFC with a decent wrap on her. She failed to address the one weapon her opponent had, a head and arm throw and was consistently punished for her lack of adjustment. Gloria de Paula also failed in her UFC debut against an average Jinh Yu Frey and I believe de Paul is nothing special.
I see Buys bouncing back big time here. She has a forward pressure style and looks to have the wrestling advantage to keep this on the feet and at boxing range. Buys should press forward and keep de Paula on her heels, racking up plenty of damage from boxing range. She will either stop de Paula late or get a dominant decision victory.
Orion Cosce is one to watch upon entering the UFC. A lot of you might know his brother, Louis Cosce, who entered the UFC as a massive favourite and with immense hype before gassing horridly and being finished in the third by Sasha Palatnikov. Yet unlike his brother, Orion Cosce has no cardio issues and will be able to go a hard three rounds.
Cosce is a perfect 7-0 and he has finished every one of his opponents. He went through adversity in his comeback Contender Series win last time out and that win has given me confidence that he can hang with the best in the Middleweight division. Expect Cosce to swarm Rowe with output and mix up his striking with his wrestling on route to a unanimous decision win.
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Round 23 was an absolute classic round with several dramatic matches and some amazing results. The main Brownlow focus was Friday night's game where the two Brownlow favourites in Ollie Wines and Marcus Bontempelli went head to head! Check out our Round 23 Brownlow vote predictions here! read more
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