UFC Fight Night Poirier vs Hooker Prelim Predictions

By Christopher Carpenter

As a preface, tons of bouts have been cancelled, so if this list is outdated by the time the card happens, I apologize.

Welcome back everyone, this past weekend was Fight Night Blaydes vs Volkov, and it was filled with great fights, finishes, and slugfests (especially Emett vs Burgos). My predictions for the prelims didn’t go as planned, but thankfully, it’s a new week with more fights and a chance to redeem myself.

This weekend we have the highly anticipated Fight Night Poirier vs Hooker, which I’ve been looking forward to since the fight was announced- and later rescheduled due to the pandemic- back in March. The card is extremely solid from top to bottom, with fighters like Mickey Gall, Mike Perry, and Luis Pena. The main card has got some stars, but there’s some solid prospects on the undercard so let’s get into my prelim predictions.

Jinh Yu Frey vs Kay Hansen

Kicking off the night, we have a women’s strawweight bout between Frey and Hansen. Both of these fighters are making their octagon debuts, and Hansen is now officially the youngest woman on the roster. Both of these women train out of Jiu Jitsu gyms, so it’s very likely that this fight plays out on the ground. Both of these women are coming out of Invicta Fighting Championships (IFC) so I was curious if these two were ever close to fighting in their previous promotion. Tangent aside, Hansen seems much more comfortable on the ground and finishes most of her fights while Frey typically goes the distance. As stated before, I see this fight playing out on the ground and I think that will play to Hansen’s strengths more than Frey’s.

My pick: Hansen by submission

Jordan Griffin vs Youssef Zalal

For the second bout of night we have a featherweight bout between Jordan Griffin (2-1 in the UFC) vs Youssef Zalal (1-0 in the UFC). On paper this match is almost even, as both have similar heights, reaches, and striking output. There is a difference, however, between Griffin’s takedown defense and Youssef’s takedowns attempted. In his debut, Zalal had 6 successful takedowns and Griffin’s overall takedown defense is a lackluster 35%. But Griffin is nobody’s fool on the ground, as he has 8 submission wins in his professional career. I think this bout could really go either way and it’s hard to confidently make a pick…with that being said, I think Zalal has the advantage in striking with his Muay Thai experience. In fact, he fights out of FactoryX Muay Thai, where ranked lightweight, Drew Dober, cross-trains. I see this fight most likely going the distance, as both fighters are no strangers to it.

My pick: Youssef Zalal by decision.

Takashi Sato vs Ramiz Brahimaj

Next up we have a welterweight bout where Ramiz Brahimaj makes his UFC debut. This matchup should be an interesting one as both fighters have identical height and reaches and low loss records. Takashi Sota is a Japanese Pancrase fighter with a magnitude of finishes (10 of 15 wins) to his name and Ramiz Brahimaj has finished all of his victories by submission (talk about a barn burner). When it comes down to it, this fight will be exciting on the ground or the feet, and there’s a good chance it will take place in both. While it may appear that Brahimaj has the advantage on the ground with his submissions, Takashi Sato has several ground-and-pound victories to his name, so that could play to his advantage. On the feet, I believe Sato has the clear advantage because of his finish record, and that’s where I see this fight playing out for the most part.

My pick: Sato by TKO

Tanner Boser vs Philipe Lins

Up next we have a heavyweight fight between Boser and the former PFL champion, Philipe Lins. Lins is coming off a loss in his UFC debut to Andrei Arlovski, where he looked like a solid fighter, he just came out a little timid. On the other end of the cage, we have Boser (1-1 in the UFC) who’s a karate-style fighter. I’m interested to see how Boser does in this fight because when I think about Karate, I don’t necessarily think about a 265-pound man moving around in a cage. I think now that Philipe has gotten his debut out of the way he’ll fight much more relaxed and be the fighter that he was in PFL. This fight will most likely take place on the feet, as both men have eight knockout victories to their name. If the fight is taken to the ground, Lins appears to be the better grappler as he has more submissions under his belt. Philipe Lens -who hasn’t necessarily proven himself in the UFC just yet- fights out of American Top Team which has some of the best heavyweights in the world currently training there. Because of Lins success in PFL and training regime, I see him having the advantage.

My pick: Phillipe Lins by Decission

Sean Woodson vs Julian Erosa

While this fight isn’t the feature prelim bout, my co-write, Evan Montgomery wrote his prediction for that fight (Pena vs Worthy) so go check it out!

For this catchweight bout we have undefeated Sean Woodson vs the veteran Julian Erosa. While they are normally featherweights, this fight will be held at catchweight since it was added on short notice. Sean Woodson is an incredibly exciting prospect as he is huge for his weight class, standing in at 6’2 with a 79” reach, and is undefeated in his professional career. The Dana White’s contender series vet, Erosa, unfortunately seems to be fighting for his contract as he is on a 4-fight losing skid in the promotion. Both of these men are strikers and have several KO’s to their name, so don’t be surprised if this fight ends in an exciting fashion. But unfortunately for Erosa, three of his last four losses have come from him being knocked out so his chin might be leaving him. All signs point to Woodson having the advantage in this fight due to his recent performances, reach, and durability. Erosa shouldn’t be completely counted out though, as he has shown that he has power in his hands in the past. But in this match, I think that Woodson has all the tools to secure a victory.

My pick: Woodson by KO

 

Follow me on twitter! @chriscarp66

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