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Thomas Ayres
Thomas Ayres

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UFC 290 predictions

This post will cover the fights on both the UFC 290 main card and prelims taking place on July 9th (UK time zone) with many great matchups taking place on this card.

First up is Jimmy Crute v Alonzo Menifield, which is a great match up for the light heavyweight division, as they are similarly ranked and they recently fought to a draw on UFC 284. Crute will be looking to take this fight to the ground like last time where he had a 50% takedown rate landing 6 out of 12. Menified is a striker, who will not want any of this grappling as shown in his last fight where he was deducted a point for grabbing the fence to avoid a takedown. I believe that Krute will find a late tko in this fight with more grappling and he will be able to hold Menifield down better than last time, however he will not be able to hang on the feet so I expect takedowns to come early and often and he will aim to do more damage on the ground this time around.

The next fight is in the womens straw weight division between the undefeated Yazmin Jauregui and Denise Gomes. These two competitors are unranked, however Jauregui is electrifying on the feet as shown in her fight with Iasmin Lucindo on the Vera v Cruz card. She has really fast hands as expected and can also take a punch better than most. Gomes is one and one in the UFC and will also be looking to stand and bang, so this fight should actually be quite entertaining. I expect Jauregui to score a 2nd round tko with her pressure proving to be too much for Gomes to handle.

The next fight is between two welterweight prospects with Sean Brady taking on Jack Della Maddalena, and personally, I am a big fan of Jack Della Maddalena, and would love to see him contend for the title one day. Sean Brady will no doubt be the toughest test of his UFC career yet and probably the best fighter he has ever fought. He is coming off of a 14 fight win streak and 4 in the UFC with three performance bonuses, so it isn't hard to see why he is a fan favourite. He is a great striker, and has crisp boxing, whereas Brady is a wrestler, who was just finished by Belal Muhammad in his last fight on the feet which was a very unexpected result to many. Brady will have been working on striking defence for this fight, as otherwise he will go down in the early stages of the fight. I believe that Jack will have worked on his take down defence which was a possible weakness as he has yet to fight a wrestler with the ability of Brady to get the fight to the floor. I am going to pick Jack to score a 2nd round ko, however there are definite routes for Brady to take here to score a finish or a decision victory. This is a really close one to call.

The final pre-lim of the fight is between Robbie Lawler and Niko Price, proving UFC 290 to be more than worth the long night as a UK fan. Robbie Lawler is one of the most exciting welterweights of all time and it will be really sad to see him go. I think that the UFC have done an incredible job in matching him up against Niko Price, who will not back down and this will be a great fight, just like the previous two discussed. These two will put on a show and there will be great respect at the end of the fight. I believe that this fight will take place on the feet and I favour Robbie's power and good striking to guide him to a unanimous decision victory on his final fight in the UFC.

Now onto the main card. I believe that not much really needs to be said about these next three fights and believe that the predictions are relatively straight forward.

First up is Bo Nickal v Tresean Gore. I think that Bo Nickal in this fight will have improved his striking from the Jamie Pickett fight and will be able to avoid any threat from Tresean and will be able to score a 1st round finish either by ground strikes or a submission, which if I had to say I'd go with ground strikes.

Next is the fight between two strikers in Jalin Turner and Dan Hooker in the lightweight division. Dan Hooker was an incredible striker, however I believe that the Dustin Poirier fight took a monumental toll on him. I think that he still has good striking, however the Puelles fight more disgraced the name of BJJ (I am a big fan of BJJ I am not hating on it in any way shape or form) than showed Dan Hooker's striking skills, and he has lost to top strikers in the past such as Barboza and Poirier. Jalin Turner recently fought Mateusz Gamrot, one of the best wrestlers in the lightweight division, with good striking also, and was able to hurt Gamrot on several occasions having been prepared for a striker in Hooker all along. I believe that Turner will just be too powerful and too much for Dan in this one and will score a second round tko.

Then it is one of the most unlucky men in MMA history Robert Whittaker versus a South African on the rise in Dricus Du Plessis. Whittaker has disposed of everyone apart from Adesanya with ease and the majority of those he put a worse beating on than Adesanya did. Whittaker is very well rounded also as he has shown his wrestling to be top tier against the likes of Romero and Derek Brunson, and his striking is the second best in the division by some distance. Dricus has good power and a good bit of grappling skill, however he was less than impressive against a very old Brunson and Darren Till, who's takedown defence isn't good enough. Even with his nose surgery I expect Whittaker to win this fight with relative ease in what in my opinion is a big mismatch in skill. Whittaker will coast to a decision but don't be surprised if he scores a late finish via headkick and ground and pound.

Then we move on to the two title fights. The first one of which is the fight between Brandon Moreno and

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