UFC returns to Manchester, England Saturday Oct 8th for a middleweight championship fight with some good action in the heavy, light-heavy and bantamweight divisions.

Michael Bisping vs Dan Henderson

Championship Fight

Stepping up on super short notice, Bisping became the middleweight champion after flooring Luke Rockhold in just 3 minutes and 33 seconds in the first round. Despite being known for not having power, Bisping showed that this old dog can still learn new tricks. His striking has looked noticeably better over his past few fights.

Keys to staying champ:

  • Avoid the “H-Bomb” (move to the right)
  • Push the pace
  • Stay off the cage

Dan Henderson is one of the oldest fighters in the UFC and seems to have made a deal with father time. Win or lose, Dan has state several time he plans on retiring after this fight. Dan’s last fight was a win over Hector Lombard. Holy shit was it super impressive. Not because of his technical superiority or anything as he was almost finished in the first. He seemed to have broken the laws of physics. Dan knocked Hector out cold on one leg defending a takedown with a back elbow. You can’t play around with power like that!

Keys to retire as a champ:

  • H-Bomb
  • H-Bomb
  • H-Bomb

Prediction: Bisping by 5th TKO

Vitor Belfort vs Gegard Mousasi

Note: My dislike for Vitor’s crazy Jesus rants when he wins has be a little biased in this fight. Now that Vitor is rocking the TRT free dad body, he just isn’t that same guy who spinning head kicked Luke Rockhold’s head off. Still a hungry lion but Belfort is definitely on the down side of his career.

Keys to victory:

  • Stay passive and counter punch
  • Be unpredictable while striking
  • Try to put him away early

Mousasi is on a 2 fight win streak but is still trying to shake off the loss to Uriah Hall in 2015. This is a good fight for Mousasi to try get another signature win against a big name to stay relevant. Gegard stays very composed and has tons of experience against elite striker and grapplers having competed in K-1 Dynamite, Dream Middleweight Champ, Dream and Strikeforce light heavyweight belts.

Keys to victory:

  • Prepare for the blitz
  • Control pace and distance
  • Try takedowns if they clinch up

Prediction: Gegard by TKO 3rd round

Ovince Saint Preux vs Jimi Manuwa

OSP is a former college football player that couldn’t make it pro so he transitioned into MMA. OSP developed on the Strikeforce Challengers series before the UFC bought them. He is very athletic with dynamite in this legs and hands.

Keys to win:

  • Mix it up with takedowns
  • Throw kicks after punches

Jimi the “Poster Boy” has beaten every won he should with his only 2 losses coming to the 205 division’s elite, Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson. He started this sport late in life but that hasn’t slowed him down at all. This will be an interest test to see if Manuwa can be a 10 fighter or not.

Keys to win:

  • Avoid the clinch, cage, ground
  • Strike first, strike hard, show no mercy!

Prediction: OSP by decision

Rulsan Magomedov vs Stefan Stuve

Rulsan is a typical fighter from Dagestan, Russia; a good wrestler, good power, and above average boxing. He has won all of his fights in the UFC by grinding decision. I wouldn’t expect him to change it up now.

Key to victory

  • Close the distance
  • Takedowns
  • Submission defense & good base

Struve was a very interesting prospect when we started his UFC career. He came in with a gigantic 7 foot frame, a slick ground game & trains at a top Dutch MMA team. After beating current heavyweight champ, Stipe Miocic, Struve has gone 2-3. He was almost forced to retire due to a heart issue but has been cleared to fight again. He is coming into this fight beating Bigfoot in 16 seconds.

Key to win:

  • Jab and front kicks
  • Avoid the clinch
  • Sweep or threaten with submission if on your back

 Prediction: Struve by 1st round submission

Iuri Alcantara vs Brad Pickett

Alcantara was once a hot prospect but his shine has faded after losses to Jimmie Rivera and Frankie Saenz in the last couple of years. He is still a very exciting fighter that has finished as many people on the feet as on the ground. He should have the speed and athletic advantage going into this fight.

Keys to win:

  • Avoid standing in the pocket for banging it out
  • Use a wide variety of strikes to keep him guessing
  • Go for takedowns in the 2 and 3rd rounds

Brad Pickett last win mostly likely meant he got to keep his job by ending a 3 fight loss streak with a split decision against Franciso Rivera. He showed a lot of heart to win in his hometown with a tough and exciting match up. He is a tough guy boxer from the UK that is getting too old, too slow, and too chinny to keep fighting bu Dana loves him anyways.

Key to win:

  • Walk him down
  • Throw bombs
  • Avoid grappling exchanges
Prediction: Iuri by 2nd round submission

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