Middleweight Bout: Derek Brunson (20-7) vs. Edmen Shahbazyan (11-0)
Luke Irwin: I’ve questioned if Shahbazyan wasn’t managed by Ronda Rousey if he’d be headlining so soon, but there’s no denying the kid has talent. Brunson is exactly the type of hard-nosed veteran that he needs to test himself against (not in the main event, though). Brunson hasn’t had a finish since October of 2017, so the days of him being a fearsome striker are probably past, but he’s still capable of grinding out a win. I’d say Brad Tavares is a lesser-version of Brunson, and Edmen headkicked him to the future at UFC 244. I don’t think he gets a finish against Brunson, but I think he batters him enough to bank three or four rounds. Shahbazyan via UD.
Women’s Flyweight Bout: Jennifer Maia (17-6-1) vs. Joanne Calderwood (14-4)
Luke: BOY, this is going to be ugly. Calderwood is one of my favorite fighters in the world, but wishing she’d go back to her muay thai roots is like wishing Stefan Struve would use his reach. It just won’t happen and you’re a sap for hoping for it. Instead of being a standout, Jojo has become just another wall-and-stall WMMA fighter trying to pull off a one-in-a-million submission. Maia is well-rounded enough to grit out an ugly win. Get ready for fifteen minutes that will feel like thirty. Maia via SD.
Welterweight Bout: Randy Brown (12-3) vs. Vicente Luque (18-7-1)
Luke: Rude Boy seldom puts on a boring fight, and Luque is a ready-made violence machine, who even got a FOTN out of Stephen Thompson. Brown’s tendancy to go for it could be disasterous for a finisher in Luque, who only needs a small opening to deliver. Luque via R2 KO.
Lightweight Bout: Bobby Green (25-10-1) vs. Lando Vannata (11-4-2)
Luke: This is a rematch from UFC 216 in October of 2017 that ended in a split-draw, where Vannata was deducted a point from an illegal knee. Most onlookers thought Vannata would have won if that point wasn’t deducted, and in fact, many thought he won the fight regardless of the deduction. Since then, Vannata has gone 2-2-1 and Green has gone 2-2, so they’re both right about where they left off. This is likely going to the cards, since eight of their nine fights since have gone to the decision, so expect it here. Vannata keeps his knee where it should be this time and finish what he started. Vannata via UD.
Middleweight Bout: Kevin Holland (17-5) vs. Trevin Giles (12-2)
Luke: Holland is a striker by trade at this stage in his career, which is unfortunate because Giles has been getting caught with guillotines lately. Early in his career, Holland actually won numerous bouts with the guillotine, so if he feels like using it, it’ll be there. Holland via R1 Submission.
Light Heavyweight Bout: Gerald Meerschaert (31-13) vs. Ed Herman (25-14)
Luke: Herman via UD.
2020 Picks Record: 99-46