Heavyweight Bout: Fedor Emelianenko (38-6) vs. Quinton Jackson (38-13)
Luke Irwin: Can you imagine this happening in either 2003 or 2007?! I think if Rampage would have joined Affliction after Pride went down, they would have made this fight. Alas, here we are in 2019, nearly 2020, and both men are doughy, wealthy, and secure in their legacies. Fedor isn’t interested in wrestling or Sambo these days and Rampage isn’t interested in defending it. These are two men near retirement wanting a Japanese payday and a notch on their post that they put the other away. It’ll be sloppy, boring, and I don’t think either will put the other away. Emelianenko via UD.
160lb Catchweight Bout: Michael Chandler (19-5) vs. Sidney Outlaw (14-3)
Luke: Chandler was supposed to fight Benson Henderson, however, Bendo had to pull out, and we’re left with *checks notes* Sidney Outlaw? Yeah, gonna lay pretty heavy here. Props for Outlaw for stepping up, but a win over Roger Huerta is 2019 doesn’t exactly have much of an impact. Chandler via R1 Submission.
Welterweight Bout: Keita Nakamura (35-10-2) vs. Lorenz Larkin (21-7)
Luke: Nakamura tends to struggle against strikers, and while Larkin hasn’t had a finish in over three years, he can still throw. Larkin via R3 TKO.
Women’s Flyweight Bout: Ilara Joanne (9-4) vs. Kana Watanabe (8-0-1)
Luke: This could be a very, very fun grappling bout if both of these women decide to go that route. If that’s the case, I like Ilara’s game just a little bit better. That being said, I still think this goes to the cards. Watanabe via SD.
Lightweight Bout: Daron Cruickshank (22-12) vs. Goiti Yamauchi (24-4)
Luke: Cruickshank can still bang, but he’s 34, and a much faster opponent like Yamauchi with a lethal submission game like he can give him fits. Yamauchi via R1 Submission.
173lb Catchweight Bout: Michael Page (16-1) vs. Shinsho Anzai (11-3)
Luke: Anzai is the very rare Japanese fighter with an extensive wrestling and grappling background. However, as is always the case with MVP, it’s about getting close enough to implement your gameplan, and Page doesn’t make life easily with his kung fu-esque strikes. Anzai is a smart fighter, and he’s not a can, so I think he wants until he sees an opening to shoot on Page. Problem is, it might not be within fifteen minutes. Expect a light sparring contest with some ill-attempted shots. Page via SD.