UFC

UFC Fight Night 30: Preliminary card predictions

Lyoto Machida (right) makes his middleweight debut against Mark Munoz (©GettyImages)
Lyoto Machida (right) makes his middleweight debut against Mark Munoz (©GettyImages).

A look at the under-card headlined by Machida vs Munoz...

Brad Scott vs Muchael Kuiper

TUF: Smashes finalist Brad Scott makes his second appearance in the Octagon since losing to to Robert Whittaker.

In the TUF house, Scott fought to two hard decision wins before losing in the final.

Kuiper, although 1-2 in the UFC, has fought established opponents. He lost to a back and forth match against Rafael Natal (who headlines a UFC card in 2014) and Tom Lawlor, and has a TKO win over Jared Hamman.

Despite Scott moving back to his natural 185 lbs, Kuiper has far too much class. Scott has fought TUF level opponents and none of the UFC calibre like the Fin.

Kuiper will give Scott a very rude awakening. He is extremely well rounded and, despite Scott having the crowd on his side, will beat the Brit up for 15 minutes and send him fighting on the next BAMMA card.

Prediction: Kuiper via decision

Jimmy Hettes vs Robert Whiteford

Scotland has it's first ever UFC fighter and Whiteford makes his debut on a week's notice. However, they will have to wait a while longer before they have their first victory.

Hettes is an absolute wizard on the ground, submitting nine of his ten victims. As talented as Whiteford is, it is difficult to win a fight with only a week to prepare.

Whiteford usually prepares for fights at American Top Team which conveys the level he can compete at. Yet, you have to take into consideration how much the weight cut will take on him and how fit he is.

However I just don't see Whiteford possessing the right tools to beat Hettes. It should be another straight forward submission victory.

Prediction: Hettes via first first round submission

Andy Ogle vs Cole Miller

Youngster vs veteran takes place in this Featherweight fight.

When Miller dropped to 145 lbs, many thought he could cement his place as a top ten fighter. However, he is 1-2 and a loss to Ogle could very well see him not fighting under the Zuffa banner any more.

Ogle showed great heart in his TUF house win over early favourite Mike Rio. However, he still has a lot of maturing to do as a fighter, swinging wildly and leaving his chin up at times.

Ogle reminds me a lot of a young Ross Pearson. Miller submitted a young Ross Pearson. I expect his to happen to the apprentice.

Prediction: Miller via second round submission (Sub of the Night)

Rosie Sexton vs Jessica Andrade

This will be the first UFC women's fight that both fighters are coming off a loss.

Sexton, Britain's best women's fighter, and Andrade both fought top class opponents last time out in Alexis Davis and Liz Carmouche.

This fight could very well end up as Fight of the Night. Both have excellent stand up and are great on the mat.

I just feel due to Sexton's experience she'll get the nod. She's been around for a while and has fought high class opponents like Davis, Gina Carano and others.

She'll be a tiny bit better in every round, beating the Brazilian to the punch and taking her down when she needs to. 

Expect fireworks like in every women's fight. These girls love to stand up and will trade blows, however it will be the Brit who has her hand raised.

Preditcion: Sexton via decision

Luke Barnatt vs Andrew Craig

Craig was brought in as nothing but a whipping boy to Kyle Noke on the Australia card in 2012. Since then he has gone 3-1 in the UFC. 

Barnatt was Team Sonnen's number one pick on TUF. He stands at a giant 6ft6in for middleweight. However, a lot like Stefan Struve, he really doesn't use his height to his advantage.

Craig is very much a grafter. He's no Anderson Silva with his striking or Demian Maia on the mat, but he puts in decent performances. He has an excellent gas tank and is constantly in his opponent's face. 

Barnatt is going to rely on his long jab and right straight. Craig will walk through his, and grapple Barnatt by whatever means necessary. Craig has fought a lot better calibre of opponents than the Brit.

This fight will be ugly and there will be constant boos by the Manchester crowd, but Craig will upset home fighter and have his arm raised.

Prediction: Craig via decision

Al Iquinta vs Piotr Hallman

TUF 15 finalist Iquinta looked good in his fights during the competition, beating Myles Jury and Andy Ogle. In his last fight against Ryan Couture he controlled the fight on the feet and stuffed all of his takedowns

Hallman in his only UFC fight had very crisp strikes and good top control. However it was due to a failed takedown of his opponent he gained the control.

Iquinta, who trains as Serra-Longo, will have an effective game plan going into this one, using his jab well and will defend any attempted takedowns.

Prediction: Iquinta via decision

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