Lightweight Bout: Donald Cerrone (36-12) vs. Justin Gaethje (20-2)
Luke Irwin: I think what this is going to come down to is chin. Both of these dudes are tough as all hell, but Cerrone can be put down with strikes, whereas with Gaethje, you need an army’s worth of firepower. The wildcard here is Cerrone’s submission abilities, which he seldom uses these days, unfortunately. I think he’ll try and stand and bang with Gaethje, content to earn a FOTN bonus rather than a win. Gaethje via R2 KO.
Light Heavyweight Bout: Glover Teixeira (29-7) vs. Nikita Krylov (25-6)
Luke: At 39, the halcyon days of Glover Teixeira’s career are gone, but he’s still a tough motherfucker and a hard-ass out. Krylov is a striker by trade, but the only two fighters that have turned his lights out are Rumble Johnson and Alex Gustafsson, of which Krylov is not their caliber. I think he knocks Glover around for a couple rounds, but he slips up, makes a mistake, and the crafty veteran grits out a win near the buzzer. Teixeira via R3 submission.
Heavyweight Bout: Jeff Hughes (10-2) vs. Todd Duffee (9-3)
Luke: TODDDUFFEEEEEE! The man, the myth, the legend. Nostalgia and Mike Russow-memeing aside, Duffee hasn’t been in the cage since December of 2015 when he got starched by Frank Mir. In terms of ring shape, Hughes has an incredibly edge, AND not only has Hughes had eight fights since Duffee ambled into the cage, he’s gone to the championship rounds in three of them, winning two. If he’s smart here, he makes Duffee last as long as possible in the cage, logging minutes and banking rounds. Hughes via UD.
Middleweight Bout: Antonio Carlos Junior (10-3) vs. Uriah Hall (14-9)
Luke: Classic grappler vs. striker matchup, which means, you guessed it, a whole bunch of nothingness and indecision. Smarter pundits than I have tried and failed to predict how a Uriah Hall fight will shake out. He’s perhaps the most perplexing and stupifying fighter the UFC has ever seen. I think we see a tepid strike or two, maybe a meaningless takedown. Hall via SD.
Light Heavyweight Bout: Jim Crute (10-0) vs. Misha Cirkunov (14-5)
Luke: Cirkunov’s chin has been tested in his past few fights, and it’s, uh, wanting, shall we say. Crute has the power, and the grappling chops to ward off Cirkunov. Crute via R2 TKO.