UFC 166 Preliminary Card Predictions

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Tim Boetsch vs C.B. Dollaway

A middleweight contest between 16-6 Tim 'The Barbarian' Boetsch and C.B.Dollaway (13-4) headlines the under card before the PPV.

Boetsch is currently ranked ninth in the UFC Middleweight rankings despite losing his last two fights to Mark Munoz and Costa Philppou. Dollaway on the other hand is riding a two-fight win streak, defeating former Strikeforce Middleweight title contender Jason Miller and most recently Jui-Jitsu artist Daniel Sarafian.

However Boetsch has very much fought a better level of competition since he dropped down from Light Heavyweight. Before his loss to Philppou, 'The Barbarian' was tearing through the division, going 4-0 in his first two fights. This included wins over Yushin Okami, who in his previous fight fought for the 185lbs title.

Boetsch then welcomed Hector Lombard to the UFC, a guy who was regarded the best Middleweight outside of the Zuffa company. Boetsch was competitive in this fight and was rewarded by a split decision victory.

Dollaway holds a decent 7-4 record in the UFC. In his last two wins against Sarifian and Miller he showed maturity and that MMA is not just about his wrestling background. He know mixes up his striking well to set up his takedowns.

The two have a common loss on their résumé - Mark Munoz. The difference is Boetsch went three rounds with Munoz, and put in a decent performance whereas Dollaway lasted just 54 seconds.

Expect Boetsch to dominant in every are of this fight. Since dropping to 185lbs he has looked more relaxed, better conditioned and his strength if phenominal. He seems more aggressive in the division. If Dollaway can get Boetsch down, 'The Barbarian' showed in the Munoz fight he is tough to keep there.

Boetsch 1st round T/KO

Hector Lombard vs Nate Marquart

Two former Middleweights meet here at 170lbs. Former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nate 'The Great' Marquart faces off against Hector Lombard. Both saw themselves as a 'Bridesmaid' in the UFC Middleweight division which caused their drop down in weights.

Marquart, who was banished from the UFC for a short while, saw a successful first weight cut, when he KO'd Tyrone Woodley to capture the Striforce WW title on his 170lbs debut.

However in his first title defense, he was defeated by Tarec Saffeidine sending him down the UFC 170 lbs ladder when the promotions merged. Jake Ellenberger subsequently furthered this by knocking out 'The Great' in the first round of their contest.

The Cuban native Hector Lombard is making his first 170lbs appearance. Lombard went on a 19 fight win streak outside of the UFC and was a dominant Bellator 185lbs champion. However losing on debut to Tim Boetsch in the Zuffa company and also to Yushin Okami, Lombard has decided it is time to drop down in weight.

The step up in competition demonstrated that the Cuban was over-hyped outside of the Zuffa banner. He struggled for range against Boetsch and Okami. His only UFC victory against Rousimar Palhares at MW, who subsequently dropped to 170 lbs,highlights he does better against the shorter men.

Both men are no spring chickens at 34 and 35. If they want a run at the Welterweight title, it needs to be very soon. Marquart seems to do his well fighting on the inside and doesn't utilize his height, as displayed in the Ellenberger fight. Lombard like Marquart loves to fight close up, and this is the reason why it cannot end well for the former Strikeforce WW champion.

Lombard hits as hard as any fighter, finishing 18 of his fights by T/KO. In this fight, Marquart will start out using distance however will be dragged into a dog fight which won't end his way.

Lombard 2nd round T/KO

Sarah Kaufman vs Jessica Eye

The only women's fight on the card, as former Women's Bantamweight title contender Sarah Kaufan welcomes Jessica Eye to the UFC,

Kaufman's last fight in Invicta FC against Leslie Smith was a highly entertaining fight for fifteen minutes and was named 'Fight of the Night'. 

Eye on the other hand is holding a seven fight win streak going into the bout.

However Eye has spent much of her career at Flyweight and this move to 135lbs against such a highly regarded fighter will prove too much. Kaufman showed excellent takedown defense in her fight against Liz Carmouche. She will show this again and be too strong for Eye, picking her off with constant strikes.

Kaufman via Decision

George Sotiropolous vs K.J. Noons

Both of these fighters at one point in their careers had it all at their feet.

The Austrialian Sotiropolous fought on The Ultimate Fighter Finale (after being very unlucky to lose in the house due to a accidental thumb caused him eye problems) submitting fellow housemate Billy Miles.

He then went on a tear in the Lightweight dvision, beating former title contender Joe Stevenson and submitting veteran Joe Lauzon, banging on the door for a title shot. Noons too, at Elite XC: Renegade, stopped UFC veteran Nick Diaz via doctor stoppage at the end of round one and was dubbed for big things.

It now seems both are fighting to save their UFC careers. The Aussie has lost his last three fights, being KO'd by Ross Pearson and Rafael Dos Anjos and defeated by Denis Siver. Noons has lost five of his last six in both Strikeforce and the UFC. 

This fight is a classic striker vs grappler match up. Noons is a former boxer whilst the Aussie holds a BJJ black belt. It comes down to one thing, who can keep the fight where they want it to go. 

Sotiropolous sturggled to get Denis Siver down and was met by a huge number of strikes and dropped multiple times. He doesn't have a great chin.

Noons' boxing background will help him tee off on the Aussie. He's faced high caliber wrestlers in Josh Thompson and Donald Cerrone. The Ryan Couture fight shows his matured takedown defense and his accurate striking. If it hits the mat, it's game over, but I think Noons will have Sotiroplous finished before that happens.

Noons via 2nd T/KO

Adlan Amagov vs TJ Waldburger

A very interesting Welterweight fight here between Russian Adlan Amagov and Jiu-Jitsue wizard TJ Waldburger.

Amagov holds an impressive 12-2-1 record coming into this fight. He impressed on his UFC debut, dominating Chris Sprang for three rounds on the feet. He also has victories over Anthony Smith and Keith Berry in Strikeforce.

Waldburger is on the the lead submission artists in the Welterweight division, finish three of his four UFC victories by tap out. 

Like the Noons and G-Sot fight, it is a striker vs grappler match up. However this time the submission artist takes it. Although Amagov is an awesome striker, his loss to Robbie Lawler conveys he is not a world beater.

Waldburger is a grafter in the octagon and I think his constant pressure he will implement on the Russian will tire him out. TJ will use the cage to his advantage and get Amagov down, and keep him there for fifteen minutes,

Waldburger via decision

Tony Ferguson vs Mike Rio

Two Ultimate Fighter competitors face off as season 13 winner Tony Ferguson challenges season 15 fighter Mike Rio.

Ferguson since winning the competition has went 2-1, beating veterans Aaron Riley and Yves Edwards before losing to Michael Johnson last time. Ferguson has excellent boxing and was an NCAA Division II wrestler

Rio, is 1-1 in the UFC, and fought average opponents.

Rio is not much more than a wrestler, whereas Ferguson has decent boxing. This prediction is brief because the fight will be and very much like when Ferguson beat Ramsey Nijem to win the TUF finale. Ferguson will out strike Rio, causing Rio to shoot for silly takedowns. It'll then be a matter of time before the TUF winner sends Rio home and out of the UFC.

Ferguson via first round T/KO

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Georges St-Pierre

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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