With another UFC event taking place this weekend it’s time to bring back an old tradition here at Pro Fighting Fans. One of the best things about sports is trying to figure out who is going to win and who is going to lose. That’s why we are excited to announce the return of…BS Predictions! Write your picks in the comments and we’ll compare after Saturday night!
Bryan Barberena (10-3) vs. Sage Northcutt (7-0)
Judging by the amount of hype the UFC has put behind 19 year old Sage Northcutt it’s safe to say he’s being given winnable fights. It doesn’t mean he’s a guarantee or that his opponents are total bums, but Dana White wouldn’t want the train to fall off the tracks before it has even hit its stride.
That made it even more interesting when Northcutt was tapped to face Andrew Holbrook at UFC on FOX 18. Holbrook is also undefeated as a professional at 11-0 and in his last fight he came away with a split decision victory over Ramsey Nijem. He could have been a solid test for the youngster, so it may have been a blessing in disguise when Holbrook dropped out of the bout due to injury.
Instead Northcutt will face Bryan Barberena on Saturday night. It’s a short notice fight and one that pits the unbeaten Northcutt against a man coming off a loss way back in April of 2015. Northcutt is the busier of the two men and this will no doubt be a factor. He will dazzle early and often, coming away with a TKO victory in the first round.
Prediction: Sage Northcutt via TKO Round One
Iuri Alcantara (33-6-1NC) vs. Jimmie Rivera (18-1)
This fight is cruising under the radar and it’s unfortunate because it promises to be a pretty good scrap. Maybe Jimmie Rivera and Iuri Alcantara are not household names, but that doesn’t mean they won’t put on a show at UFC on FOX 18.
In his last fight Alcantara got back in the win column, after a loss to Frankie Saenz snapped a three fight winning streak, by defeating Leandro Issa. Alcantara has faced some great competition since joining the UFC in 2011, most notably Urijah Faber at UFC Fight Night 26. He’ll need that experience when he meets Jimmie Rivera.
Rivera hasn’t lost in just over 7 years and sports an impressive record of 18-1. He’s coming off a split decision victory over Pedro Munhoz in November 2015 at UFC Fight Night 77. 12 of his 18 victories have gone the distance, so don’t expect a finish from him at UFC on FOX 18.
Iuri Alcantara has a 5 inch height advantage and a 6 inch reach advantage; he’d be smart to utilize these against Rivera. If he can keep the fight at a distance and occasionally threaten with takedowns he’s got a great shot at coming out on top.
Prediction: Iuri Alcantara via Unanimous Decision
Josh Barnett (34-7)vs. Ben Rothwell (35-9)
Call me a skeptic, call me negative but I have not been looking forward to this fight one bit since it was announced. It might be due to the fact that there is a very good chance this fight ends up crawling to the final bell. These are two guys with a lot of wear on their bodies. Although they’ve combined for a total of 12 stoppages in their last 13 victories I still can’t be convinced we’re in for a barnburner at UFC on FOX 18.
Josh Barnett is 2-1 since returning to the UFC in 2013 after an 11 year absence from the sports premier organization. He’s taken out Roy Nelson and Frank Mir respectively. Neither of those guys are anywhere near a title shot so let’s take that into account when we’re discussing Barnett’s most recent wins. He’s a submission ace and his best shot at winning this fight with Rothwell is on the mat, that’s all there is to it.
Rothwell is no slouch on the ground either, 12 of his 35 victories have come by submission. It’s at least a possibility that he could keep Barnett at bay if the fight gets to the ground. That’s where my concerns become valid; I see this fight taking place against the cage. In other words it’s going to be a three round grind.
If it is a three round grind I’m going to have to give it to Josh Barnett. He just might have the better cardio between the two of them.
Prediction: Josh Barnett via Split Decision
Anthony Johnson vs. Ryan Bader
If you’re looking for in depth analysis of this fight you’ll find a bit of that in my Breakdown column from earlier this week on Pro Fighting Fans. Right now I’m just going to call it like I see it.
Ryan Bader wants nothing to do with Anthony Johnson’s striking. Anthony Johnson wants nothing to do with Ryan Bader’s smothering wrestling game.
Bader has been known to charge forward with reckless abandon, watch his UFC on FOX 4 bout with Lyoto Machida. That is a dangerous move against someone with the type of power Anthony Johnson possesses in his fists.
It’s sad because Bader has been on a tear, but this one isn’t getting out of the 1st round. I’m taking Anthony Johnson by way of complete destruction.
Prediction: Anthony Johnson via TKO Round One
Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer