Welterweight Bout: Gilbert Burns (18-3) vs. Tyron Woodley (19-4-1)
Luke Irwin: Burns is one of the most decorated BJJ player in the UFC, but Woodley’s defensive wrestling game will keep that at bay. Woodley doesn’t fight off of his back very often for a reason. Burns is also the grappler who has found his hands late in his career and falls in love with them. Woodley, for all his faults, has an iron chin and hasn’t gotten knocked out in eight years. Basically, everything Burns excels at, Woodley will have an answer, and will Woodley the fight up, bank some rounds, and grind out a win. Woodley via UD.
Heavyweight Bout: Augusto Sakai (14-1-1) vs. Blagoy Ivanov (18-3)
Luke: The only blemish on Sakai’s record was an ugly split-decision against Cheick Kongo. Well, what do we have here? A heavyweight in Ivanov who is perfectly capable of uglying up a fight and not let his opponent get his offense going. Sakai is a hell of a striker, but I don’t think he’ll have much of an answer for Ivanov’s ground and grappling work. This is going to be capital “U” ugly. Ivanov via SD.
150lb Catchweight Bout: Billy Quarantillo (13-2) vs. Spike Carlyle (9-1)
Luke: Quarantillo was like many fighters in that he was a deft submission artist who fell in love with his hands later. He’s gotten away from it as he started to rack up the TKOs. Meanwhile, Carlyle’s hands are his main weapon, and can use them in a variety of punishing ways. This was my pick for most underrated fight of the weekend, and I think it’ll deliver. This should be a barnburner with a few different knockdowns, but they have excellent chins. This will go the distance and both guys should be wealthier after it. Carlyle via SD.
Lightweight Bout: Brok Weaver (15-4) vs. Roosevelt Roberts (9-1)
Luke: Weaver’s an odd case because I don’t think we’ve seen what he’s truly capable of. Two of his last three fights were a win by disqualification, and only a few fights ago, he escaped by split-decision over the ghost of Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett. Roberts, while never going to be anyone’s favorite fighter, at least we know who he is. This is going to the judges, and as long as Roosevelt can avoid giving Weaver yet another DQ win, I think he squeaks it out. Roberts via SD.
Women’s Strawweight Bout: Hannah Cifers (10-4) vs. Mackenzie Dern (7-1)
Luke: Per usual, the biggest challenge Dern will face here will be the scale. Dern via R1 Submission.