As the third UFC event in a week, I once again won’t be able to write individual fight previews for UFC Fight Night 28. It’s a good thing because there are a lot of fighters making their debut on this card and I simply wouldn’t be able to give great analysis for a lot of the fights. For this event I’m simply going to produce my FPR-based predictions and give some brief commentary on the fights.
–Ryan Bader actually has a slightly higher “official” FPR than his opponent, Glover Teixeira. However, when I supplement Teixeira’s FPR with some tape study he becomes a heavy favorite to win. Teixeira is a true mixed martial artist – he’s very good at every aspect of MMA: striking, takedowns, and submissions. He also has excellent knockout power. If Teixeira has a weakness, it’s striking defense, as his head movement and evasion are not terrific. Despite that he’s clearly an outstanding fighter and might just be the second-best light-heavyweight in MMA behind Jon Jones.
-Against Bader I expect Teixeira to be the more aggressive striker and have a fairly high chance of winning by knockout. Teixeira might also prove to be the better wrestler even though Bader has more clearly defined amateur wrestling credentials. Bader is a good, underrated light-heavyweight, but he’s run into a buzzsaw in Teixeira.
–Yushin Okami hasn’t had a very impressive performance in quite a while… but he keeps coming out on top. I thought Hector Lombard would be the guy to take out Okami but that proved not to be the case. Finally I think Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will be too much for him. Souza should have the striking skills to remain competitive on the feet and the top-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to out-maneuver Okami on the ground.
-Part of the reason Brazilians have such a good record in Brazil is that they’ve been getting very favorable matchups in the UFC. That won’t be the case when Jussier Formiga takes on Joseph Benavidez. Benavidez fought a somewhat similar fighter in Darren Uyenoyama and Uyenoyama had nothing for him. Formiga is a better version of Uyenoyama – a very good grappler, but without effective striking or takedowns, it’s hard to see how he applies his grappling in this match.
-The one debuting fighter I was able to watch on tape a bit was Piotr Hallmann. In the first fight I watched, Hallmann was knocked down, taken down, and had a submission attempted against him all in one round. Hallmann was still the better fighter because he landed a lot more strikes, but it wasn’t the kind of dominating performance I like to see from an aspiring contender in the UFC. I certainly didn’t get the impression that Hallmann is prepared to defeat the talented Francisco Trinaldo.
-Even though FPR doesn’t have much confidence in its picks for this event, I am going to agree with all the picks listed above. FPR is picking three underdogs to win, and they’re all very narrow underdogs: Junior Hernandez is +125, Joao Zeferino is +100, and Yuri Villefort is +100.
Enjoy the fights!