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Welterweight Bout: Darren Till (16-0-1) vs. Stephen Thompson (14-2-1)
Luke Irwin: Ohhh yeah, Wonderbore is about to muddy and ugly this fight up tremendously, and he probably escapes with a split-decision. Thompson via SD.
Nolan Howell: While Till has the pressure to trouble Thompson and perhaps the hands, not sure Till has proven himself against someone as effective on the counter as Thompson. Cerrone is likely as capable of a striker overall, but is much too plodding and reliant on his own pace for Till to get too comfortable. Thompson will be able to keep Till at range with his kicks and keep picking him off coming in until it is one strike too many. Stephen Thompson by second-round TKO.
Welterweight Bout: Craig White (14-7) vs. Neil Magny (20-6)
Luke: Unfortunately, this was to be Magny against Gunnar Nelson, which would have been much more interesting. Alas, journeyman Craig White making his UFC debut is also a ground wizard, though not on the level of Nelson. Think Magny is well-rounded enough to last. Magny via SD.
Nolan: While White is a good replacement opponent out of Cage Warriors who will bring the fight to Magny, Magny is much too seasoned at this point to be too troubled. Magny keeps him away, takes him down, ground and pound, rinse, repeat until the finish. Neil Magny by second-round TKO.
Featherweight Bout: Arnold Allen (12-1) vs. Mads Burnell (9-2)
Nolan: Allen’s best chance here is to keep the fight standing against BJJ guy like Burnell and he is capable enough of doing that. On the feet, he should be able to lap Burnell. Arnold Allen by unanimous decision.
Featherweight Bout: Jason Knight (20-4) vs. Makwan Amirkhani (13-3)
Nolan: A coin flip brawl here. Knight has faced tougher grapplers overall though and Amirkhani, despite his abandon on the feet, is more of a grappler. That gives Knight the ability to dictate where the fight takes place and he should be able to take advantage. Jason Knight by unanimous decision.
Luke: This should be a hell of a fun scrap and my pick for Fight of the Night. Think it goes down to the wire and the cards, since they both seem to match up well against each other. Knight via SD.
Welterweight Bout: Claudio Silva (11-1) vs. Nordine Taleb (14-4)
Nolan: Taleb is a decent enough wrestler to keep this standing against Silva, who is coming off nearly four years of injury recovery since his last fight. That is enough time to make any sort of ring rust real, especially when it puts you at 35 (though Taleb himself is 36). Nordine Taleb by first-round TKO.
Luke: Holy freaking ring rust! Nearly four goddamned years later, Silva is back in the octagon. Damn, I don’t care how much training you do, no way can you just step back in after four years away and pick up where you left off. Taleb via UD.
Middleweight Bout: Darren Stewart (7-3) vs. Eric Spicely (10-3)
Nolan: While Spicely is susceptible to getting caught in submissions due to his aggressive grappling and can be exposed on the feet, he is also a good enough grappler to know where his bread is buttered here. Eric Spicely by second-round submission.