The UFC keeps the action going this weekend with another Middleweight main event between veteran Jack Hermansson +225 and exciting finisher Joe Pyfer -265. I went over every fight on this card and gave my predictions and best bets, so let's get into it.
Odds provided by BetOnline.ag accurate as of 2/8/2024 12.:45 PM EST
The main event at Middleweight features a big test for an intriguing prospect looking to jump into contention. Jack Hermansson gets back in action after missing last year; he is a veteran with a tricky style that mixes fast-paced striking and grappling. Joe Pyfer has received a lot of hype since his big win on Dana White's Contender Series, and he has lived up to it so far with three UFC wins all inside the distance, showing knockout power and a good submission attack.
I'm going with Hermansson in this one as I believe he can use his movement and leg kicks to avoid the big power early and takeover late, as Pyfer doesn't have the late-fight experience.
Pick: Hermansson O/U: Over 2.5 +125
Veteran Featherweights known for fun fights go head to head in this exciting co-main event. Dan Ige has been a solid fixture in the rankings for some time, showing fight-ending power and a granite chin. Andre Fili is a slick striker coming off a big knockout win; over his time with the UFC, he has had some tremendous showings, but he can be inconsistent at times, not fighting as well as he has proven he can.
I lean toward Ige here as I give him the finishing upside and think he can land the harder shots.
Pick: Ige O/U: Over 2.5 -185
Middleweight strikers who like to end the fight early square off in this one. Ihor Potieria has shown some flashes of power in his UFC run, although after nearly finishing his last fight against Rodolfo Bellato, he was finished for the third time in four UFC fights, which is not very inspiring. Robert Bryczek debuts here, and he does so on a streak of five consecutive first-round knockouts showing devastating power.
I'll pick Bryczek here, as he seems like a problem, and I don't believe Potieria is at this level of competition.
Pick: Bryczek O/U: Under 1.5 -260
Middleweights who have given us plenty of memorable fights matchup here in this fantastic clash. Brad Tavares is a tough kickboxer with good straight punches and a phenomenal defensive wrestling game. Gregory Rodrigues is a dominant force in his attack as he has pace striking with crazy power and a very high-level ground game, although he has been hurt and knocked out several times, which is a reason for concern with his reckless style.
I like Rodrigues to get this one inside the distance, although his chin is a concern at this price tag, so the under may be the better play.
Pick: Rodrigues O/U: Under 2.5 -115
Lightweight finishers face off in this exciting matchup. Michael Johnson is somewhat known for his inconsistency as, at times, he will zone out and be finished in fights he can win, but when he is on, he is a fast and dangerous striker with the power to hurt anyone. Darrius Flowers gets to fight at his proper weight for the first time here in the UFC. He is a hard puncher with decent boxing, but he doesn't have a great gas tank and can be hurt on the feet.
I've got Johnson here as, despite some concerns about his durability, he is the much faster, cleaner, and more experienced fighter here, and Flowers isn't very durable either.
Pick: Johnson O/U: Over 1.5 -120
A clash of styles here at Middleweight will see the classic striker vs. grappler story told again. Rodolfo Viera is a world-class submission artist who has improved his game since joining the UFC to adapt to high-level MMA, although his striking and cardio are still not great. Armen Petrosyan is a solid kickboxer who has had a good run in the UFC, although, after his fight with Caio Borralho, there is concern about his grappling defense.
I'll pick Viera here as I think he can use his grappling to submit or control Petrosyan enough to get the win, although I also think the over may be a smart play with each of these two being very familiar with the third round in their UFC careers.
Pick: Viera O/U: Over 1.5 -170
It's an interesting matchup here that features a fresh prospect at Welterweight. Trevin Giles is a battle-tested veteran with a fantastic jab, although he has been finished brutally several times in his UFC run. Carlos Prates is a debuting striker on a streak of six straight knockout wins; he is as powerful as his record would suggest, although he has yet to show that against top-level competition.
I'll go with Giles at these odds, as his experience against high-level competition will serve him well against the much less experienced opponent.
Pick: Giles O/U: Over 1.5 -135
Short notice clash of Lightweights who fought on the same Dana White's Contender Series not long ago. Timothy Cuamba steps in here as a good boxer with an active lead hand and good footwork, although he can sometimes be pushed backward and has questionable grappling. Bolaji Oki debuts here off an impressive finish where he showed off his quick hands to get the stoppage in round one.
I lean with Oki here as I give him the power and finishing edge.
Pick: Oki O/U: Under 2.5 -165
Strawweights looking to build momentum will go head-to-head here, each coming off a win. Loma Lookboonmee is a well-rounded fighter with a strong clinch game; she is coming off her first UFC finish, where she scored a submission over Elise Reed. Bruna Brasil is a tall and long kickboxer with a decent clinch game as well; she has been finished by knockout three times in her career, which is cause for some concern.
I see Lookboonmee being too strong in the grappling exchanges for Brasil and dominating there to win the fight.
Pick: Lookboonmee O/U: Under 2.5 +175
Experienced clash of styles here at Light Heavyweight. Devin Clark is a very strong wrestler with a grinding style. Marcin Prachnio is a kickboxer with solid movement, and a good leg kick that he used against William Knight.
Clark should take this one as he will have an advantage as the wrestler and likely be the higher-output fighter.
Pick: Clark O/U: Over 2.5 -175
It's a fantastic matchup between veteran Welterweights here early on the card. Jeremiah Wells is an explosive wrestler with big power in his hooks, although his stand-up is not very polished. Max Griffin is a hard-hitting veteran with plenty of experience and big moments in his last few fights, proving he still has it.
I'll go with Griffin here as the underdog, as he can defend the wrestling enough to force a striking match and hurt Wells in the striking.
Pick: Griffin O/U: Over 1.5 -260
Light Heavyweight banger here as two hard hitters go head to head. Zac Pauga has made a successful move down in weight since his season of The Ultimate Fighter, where he eventually came short of Mohammed Usman in the finale; despite that, he has shown good hand speed and a solid clinch game that can win him fights. Bogdan Guskov returns here after a rough debut where he was finished by Volkan Oezdemir early. There were concerns about his durability going into that fight, and they still loom large here, although he still carries dangerous power early in fights.
I've got Pauga, as I give him the advantage in speed and durability, which should prove crucial in this matchup.
Pick: Pauga O/U: Under 1.5 -120
An unbeaten prospect debuts here against a struggling foe at Featherweight. Hyder Amil debuts here as an undefeated prospect with a good ability to find finishes on the feet or by submission, although his cardio is slightly questionable as he does not have the same success in fights that go longer. Fernie Garcia comes into this on a tough run, losing his last three, although he has proven tough to finish even in brutal matchups, and he did show knockout power on the Contender Series.
I'm picking Garcia here as, despite his struggles, he has proven to be a fighter who will survive and keep fighting, which I believe will give Amil issues.
Pick: Garcia O/U: Over 2.5 -225
Hard-hitting Featherweights open the card with this one. Daniel Marcos is an undefeated striker who, despite some controversy over the decision in his last fight against Davey Grant, has shown great potential with good boxing and kicks. Aoriqileng has had a decent run in the UFC, although it has notably not been against the strongest of competition, and he has still struggled to separate himself at times.
I like Marcos in this one, and I see him getting a knockout finish to start the night off.
Pick: Marcos O/U: Under 2.5 +155
Jack Hermansson +225
Michael Johnson -138
Zac Pauga -123