Middleweight Bout: Derek Brunson (17-5) vs. Lyoto Machida (22-7)
Nolan Howell: While Machida has struggled in the past with competent wrestlers who can strike and he is now pushing 40 off a two-year absence, Brunson’s wild striking should be enough of a hole in his game to exploit if Machida maintained any of the quick reflexes and intangibles that allowed him to be so great in the first place. Lyoto Machida by first-round KO.
Welterweight Bout: Colby Covington (12-1) vs. Demian Maia (25-7)
Nolan: Maia has defeated better wrestlers than Covington in the past. Though he could be troubled on the feet and against the cage if Covington sticks to an ugly gameplan, Maia can get it to the ground and it shouldn’t be long from there. Demian Maia by second-round submission.
Bantamweight Bout: Pedro Munhoz (14-2) vs. Rob Font (14-2)
Nolan: Munhoz will hold the grappling advantage, but Font has been crisp on the feet and using his sizable reach advantage should allow him to dictate where the fight takes place. Font picks his spots and chips away at Munhoz for a late finish. Rob Font by third-round TKO.
Lightweight Bout: Francisco Trinaldo (21-5) vs. Jim Miller (28-10)
Nolan: While Miller hasn’t been his best this year, Trinaldo is ripe for the type of fight Miller enjoys and he can exploit that sort of brawling to take it to the mat where he will have an advantage. Miller gets it there and pulls off an upset. Jim Miller by second-round submission.
Middleweight Bout: Jack Hermansson (16-3) vs. Thiago Santos (15-5)
Nolan: Santos is a very good striker who tends to be outstruck by great strikers. Hermansson hasn’t proved quite that capable yet. Thiago Santos by second-round TKO.
Bantamweight Bout: John Lineker (29-8) vs. Marlon Vera (10-3-1)
Nolan: Expect your typical performance from Lineker here. Pressure, body punches, Terminator walk while windmilling, repeat. John Lineker by unanimous decision.