Welterweight Bout: Colby Covington (14-1) vs. Robbie Lawler (28-13)
Luke Irwin: Covington’s relentless pressure is going to be problems for Lawler. I think this ends up looking like the Askren fight. Covington withstands Lawler’s early striking, then drags him out to the championship rounds, wearing him down, but I don’t think he has the submission game to put Lawler away. Covington via UD.
Lightweight Bout: Clay Guida (35-18) vs. Jim Miller (30-13)
Luke: Even in his prime, Clay was never the most technically gifted fighter. He would just sort of come at you until you fell. Both Guida and Miller are far past their best days, but Miller’s grappling and jiu-jitsu is going to neutralize Guida’s zombie-style. Miller via R2 Submission.
Lightweight Bout: Joaquim Silva (11-1) vs. Nasrat Haqparast (10-2)
Luke: Haqparast has the striking chops to throw with anyone, but seems to struggle a bit against grapplers. Despite some highlight-reel knockouts since joining the UFC, Silva has a submission game he hasn’t needed to bust out yet, but I think he’ll need to against Haqparast. Silva via R1 Submission.
Middleweight Bout: Gerald Meerschaert (28-11) vs. Trevin Giles (11-1)
Luke: Zak Cummings is squirrly enough and dangerous enough that a loss against him isn’t a scarlet letter or anything, and Giles has enough weapons to get the best of Meerschaert. Giles via UD.
Lightweight Bout: Dong Hyun Ma (16-9-3) vs. Scott Holtzman (12-3)
Luke: Holtzman’s only losses were to Drew Dober, Josh Emmett, and Nik Lentz, all by decision. There isn’t a fighter alive who would enjoy being matched up with either of those three gents. That’s a lot of hustle, tough, and tenacity. You end up, at best, really goddamned sore from fighting those three. Holtzman via R1 TKO.
Light Heavyweight Bout: Darko Stosic (13-2) vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu (6-1)
Luke: Striker vs. Striker, and both can creatively used kicks to set up knockouts. I think Stosic uses his leg kicks to wear down Nzechukwu, then uses feints to land a big one. Stosic via R3 KO.