Vacant UFC Flyweight Championship: Deiveson Figueiredo (18-1) vs. Joseph Benavidez (28-6)
Luke Irwin: I mean, Fig already did it once. Toss in Joe B’s record in title fights and the fact that he’ll be turning 36 in a week and change and it doesn’t look up for him. Figueiredo via R2 TKO.
Middleweight Bout: Kelvin Gastelum (15-5) vs. Jack Hermansson (20-5)
Luke: Whether it was the Adesanya fight or if Gastelum has just reached his Best By date, the energy and intensity we’re expecting to see in Gastelum was G-O-N-E- GONE against Darren Till, and he got gifted a split-decision loss, Dave Tirelli was watching another fight. Meanwhile, Hermansson was breaking away from the pack in middleweight until he ran into Jared Cannonier. I think this goes the distance, and it’s worth betting on the underdog, here. Hermansson via SD.
Lightweight Bout: Marc Diakiese (14-3) vs. Rafael Fiziev (7-1)
Luke: Diakiese has softened his style a bit since becoming a UFC veteran, and isn’t the fearsome striking machine he was in BAMMA and his early UFC days. In Fiziev, he’s looking at someone like his former self, a versatile, dangerous striker who can end fights any number of ways. However, Fiziev’s height and reach are going to work against him dearly, as Diakiese’s freakish wingspan and length is going to keep Fiziev at bay over fifteen minutes. Diakiese via UD.
Women’s Flyweight Bout: Ariane Lipski (12-5) vs. Luana Carolina (6-1)
Luke: Two up-and-coming young Brazilian ladies meet on Fight Island, and while logic dictates, for two fighters roughly evenly-matched, you go with the one with more Octagon time if one is much lesser-experienced, I really like Carolina’s game lately. I like what I’m seeing from her striking and Lipski looks a little gunshy in her UFC run compared to what she showed in KSW. Carolina via R3 TKO.
Flyweight Bout: Alexandre Pantoja (22-4) vs. Askar Askarov (11-0-1)
Luke: Going with an upset here and picking the Dagestani here. Pantoja is a great fighter and can end the fight any number of ways, and although he’s never been finished, I see Askarov getting control of the fight and muscling his way to an ugly victory, here. Askarov via SD.
2020 Picks Record: 96-44