-300 Lina Lansberg (6-1) vs. +250 Lucie Pudilova (6-1)
Lina Lansberg: Cage Warriors Bantamweight champion “Elbow Queen” Lina Lansberg had the unenviable task of welcoming Cris Cyborg to the UFC in her octagon debut.Lansberg displayed durability and heart in her debut, but that was about it, Cyborg overwhelmed the Swede and finished her in the second due to accumulative damage.
The Swedish Muay Thai champ has cleared out the European and Scandinavian women’s MMA circuits and now with her rocky debut behind her she sets her sights on the UFC’s 135 pound division. 34 year old Lansberg brings a wealth of experience and high level striking into the octagon that should enable her to crack the Bantamweight top 15 with in her next few fights.
Lucie Pudilova: 22 year old Czech Republic prospect Lucie “Bullit” Pudilova will make her UFC debut on two weeks notice, filling in for Veronica Macedo who was forced out of this fight due to injury. This will be the second time Pudilova has fought Lansberg, she dropped a unanimous decision to the Swede striker in 2015.
Pudilova has won three straight since her first loss to Lansberg and is has a respectable 6-1 pro record overall. She began professional MMA as a 19 year old and has been training all aspects of the sport since day one. As Pudilova matures as a fighter she is adding more muscle to her frame which will help her complete her dangerous Judo throws.
The Fight: Lannsberg was able to neutralize Pudilova by clinching her up against the cage for the majority of their first fight. The question is how much has Pudilova improved in the last two years. She will do better in the clinch, but Lansberg’s Thai clinch is suffocating and it will wear Pudilova down over three rounds. Lansberg Unanimous Decision
+120 Bradley Scott (11-4) vs. -140 Scott Askham (14-3)
Bradley Scott: TUF Smashes finalist Bradley “Bear” Scott returns to the octagon for the first time in over a year. His last bout was a close decision loss to unorthodox Polish prospect Krzysztof Jotko. Scott was the aggressor throughout the match and landed a few hard shots, but the speedy Pole was able to land at a higher volume to sway the judges final decision.
The 27 year old Brit was only 22 when he was able to make it to the finals of TUF and he has grown leaps and bounds as a fighter since then. Scott is a hulking Middleweight who uses his size to bully opponents into his style of fight. His extensive training with John Crouch at Arizona’s MMA Lab will help round out his overall game and give him the opportunity to spar with elite partners like Benson Henderson and 16 year veteran of the sport Joe Riggs.
Scott Askham: Yorkshire’s Scott Askham is coming off of a decision loss to crafty Swede Jack Hermansson. The fight was a close back and forth striking battle in which Askham had trouble creating distance against the aggressive Swede. The loss dropped Askham’s octagon record to 2-3 making this hometown affair a must win for the 28 year old.
Askham has showcased a well versed game in the octagon, tossing opponents with slick judo throws and executing sneaky BJJ sweeps from the bottom. But where he really shines is in space with his kickboxing. The lanky Middleweight fights tall using his reach to pick apart opponents from the outside. He he has ended nine of his fourteen victories via the KO/TKO. Askham’s recent move to the states to train at American Top Team, show his dedication to finding success at the highest level of the sport.
The Fight: Askham will have a clear striking edge over Scott who is a flat footed, plodding power puncher. But Scott will be the stronger of the two and will put his training with the MMA Lab to use scoring crucial take downs that will help him edge out close rounds and a decision victory. Scott Split Decision
+335 Ian Entwistle (9-3) vs. -405 Brett Johns (13-0)
Ian Entwistle: English leg lock specialist Ian Entwistle had to pull out of his UFC 204 match up with Rob Font when he fell ill just days before the event. Entwistle lives and dies by the leg lock and in his last fight against TUF Latin America winner Alejandro Perez he was pounded out when he couldn’t secure the heel hook.
Entwistle trains in Thai land with the Phuket Top Team working around the clock to improve his Muay Thai and become an all around threat. If he is able to add striking to his deadly heel hook game, he will be a scary man to compete with in the bantamweight division.
Brett Johns Undefeated Welshmen Brett “The Pikey” Johns has earned his call up to the octagon by going unbeaten in twelve professional fights and winning promotional titles in Cage Warriors and Titan FC. His pugilism perfection continued in his debut where he cruised to an easy decision victory over the previously undefeated South Korean Kwan Ho Kwak.
23 year old Johns is a life long Judoka and thrives in grinding battles of cardio. But he is very much a mixed martial artist and has no issues trading in the pocket to set up his take downs. He will be looking to put his home camp, The Chris Rees Academy and Wales MMA, on the map with another impressive win in this fight three hours away from his hometown of Swansea.
The Fight: The heel hook is always on the table when Entwistle is in the cage, but Johns will be as well prepared as anyone for the lethal leg lock. Johns has plus ground fighting skills and will land heavy blows on Entwistle when he drops for a leg. Johns TKO 2nd
-125 Vincente Luque (11-5-1) vs. +105 Leon Edwards (12-3)
Vicente Luque: TUF ATT vs. Blackzilians standout Vicent Luque continued his MMA evolution by scoring his second consecutive first round knockout and picking up his fourth straight win in the octagon. Luque’s most recent knockout came against up and coming Chicago based fighter Belal Muhammad at the historic UFC 205 card at MSG.
The Brazilian 25 year old is 4-1 in his short time in the UFC and has proven to be one of the rising stars in the Welterweight division. Once considered a BJJ specialist Luque has transformed into a complete fighter under the guidance of the American Top Team coaching staff and a win in this pivotal prospect showdown would all but assure him a spot in the top fifteen.
Leon Edwards: “Rocky” is 4-2 in his first six UFC fights including his latest win which was easily the biggest of his career. Edwards submitted the heavily favored Albert Tumenov in the third round of their October dust up. Edwards proved he was the more well rounded fighter keeping the precision striking of Tumenov off balance with multiple take downs before locking in the rear naked choke in the third.
Edward’s striking performances (including a 0:08 knockout of Seth Baczynski) have made him a fan favorite, especially in his native England. But his emerging ground skills have elevated him from an exciting bottom of the card showcase fighter to a legitimate divisional contender.
The Fight: Luque would be smart to fall back on his grappling roots in the match up. However Edwards has shown he can hang with strong grapplers on the mat. Edwards will win the striking exchanges and stay on his feet long enough to take home a decision victory. Edwards Unanimous Decision
-285 Tom Breese (10-1) vs. +245 Oluwale Bamgbose (6-2)
Tom Breese: English prospect Tom Breese suffered his first professional set back at UFC 199 when he lost a close decision to fellow prospect Sean Strickland. The loss was a minor set back for the 25 year old Brit who fell to 3-1 in his collective octagon appearances which include victories over Connor McGregor protégé Cathal Pendred and Japanese vet Keita Nakamura.
Breese is an enormous Welterweight at 6’3″ and he has literally lived in the gym for the past couple years. He has lived in the dorms above Montreal’s Tristar gym since 2013 and dedicates his every waking moment to becoming a complete mixed martial artist.
Oluwale Bamgbose: Explosive New Yorker Oluwale “Holy War Angel” Bamgbose’s last outing was a less than impressive decision loss to Cezar Ferreira this past April. It was the first time Bamgbose left the first round in his professional career and while it did not go his way his ventures into unfamiliar territory will be crucial in his growth as a fighter.
Bamgbose has a background in multiple traditional martial arts including a Brown Belt in BJJ. However nothing about Bambose’s fighting style is traditional, the Nigerian native throws ferocious strikes with deadly intent reminiscent of a Chute Boxe fighter from the PRIDE days. This match up will reveal whether Bamgbose is a contender or a bottom of the card can crusher.
The Fight: Breese is too long and technical with his Boxing to get caught by a wild strike and as the fight goes into deeper waters and Bamgbose’s explosiveness wanes the submission will be Brees’s for the taking. Breese RNC 3rd
-200 Marc Diakiese (11-0) vs. +170 Teemu Packalen (8-1)
Marc Diakiese: Ex BAMMA Lightweight champ Marc Diakiese kept his undefeated professional record intact when he outworked scrappy New Jersey Wrestler Frankie Perez this past December. Diakiese winning the striking exchanges against Perez came as no surprise, but his ability to out grapple Ricardo Almeida’s prize pupil opened up a lot of eyes in the fight world.
Diakiese appears to have the tools to become a contender in UFC’s super stacked lightweight division. The 24 year old Brit recently made the move to the states to train with the American Top Team at their Coconut Creek headquarters. Youth, work ethic and natural talent Diakiese has it all and all things point to this young man becoming a very successful mixed martial artist.
Temu Packalen: Finnish Lightweight stand out Teemu “Packu” Packalen bounced back from a UFC debut loss to Frenchman Mickael Lebout by choking out Frenchman Thibault Gouti in 0:14, earning him the fourth fastest submission in UFC history. This 29 year old Fin is a finisher stopping all nine of his bouts outside of the octagon on his home turf.
Packalen has been sidelined for over a year recovering from a serious shoulder injury that he had operated on last March and will be 100 percent come fight night. He is an accomplished grappler and will continually test his opponents submission defense adeptness with unorthodox, creative holds.
The Fight: The long lay off and lack of high level competition will spell disaster for the Finnish fighter who will eat multiple heavy shots before succumbing to the punishment in the opening round. Diakiese KO 1st
#12 +165 Daniel Omeilanczuk (19-6-1) vs. #14 -190 Timothy Johnson (10-3)
Daniel Omeilanczuk: Polish punisher Daniel Omeilanczuk had his three fight win streak snapped by seven foot striker Stefan Struve. Omeilanczuk was hanging with the towering Dutchmen on the feet, but when the fight hit the mat he was unable to navigate around Struve’s 84 inch reach and fell victim to a D’Arce choke in the second round.
Omielanczuk’s UFC bouts up to this point have been mainly back and forth striking affairs in which the hulking heavyweight thrives. In his fights prior to the octagon Omielanczuk collected nine submission victories on the Eastern European circuit and while the nine subs are impressive they were mostly overpowering holds on mismatched opponents. Make no mistake if Omielnaczuk is in the octagon he is going to be swinging for the fences.
Timothy Johnson: Kodiak Bear stunt double Timothy Johnson’s last octagon meeting was a razor thin split decision loss to former Bellator Heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov. Since joining the ranks of the UFC two years ago Johnson has gone 2-2 but failed to string together any stretches of success making a push for marquee fights impossible.
Johnson is a verifiable badass, but him being ranked in the top fifteen after three fights is more of an indictment on the current state of the heavyweight division than a praise of his talent. He will do damage to newcomers and guys on the way out, but he lacks the speed and explosiveness to take out any fighter in the top ten.
The Fight: This is going to be a brutal confrontation, neither of these guys will take a step back and neither will go down easily. When the dust clears Johnson will land more damage on the feet and be able to take more damage with out being rocked. Johnson Unanimous Decision
-180 Darren Stewart (8-0) vs. +155 Fancimar Barroso (18-6)
Light Heavyweight (205)
Darren Stewart: Undefeated British brawler Darren “The Dentist” Stewart’s UFC debut was cut short due to an unintentional head butt that occurred the first time these two met. Stewart’s head clashed with Barroso’s cheek bone and Barroso signaled to the referee that the fight should be stopped, the fight was not stopped and Stewart took Barroso down and flurried to get the stoppage. The fight would later be overturned to a no contest when reviewed by the Brazilian Athletic commission.
Stewart’s background is in Tae Kwon Doe and it is evident in his fights, he has a wide array of strikes that have enabled him to stop fights with punches, kicks, knees and elbows. He trains out of London at The MMA Clinic and much like training partner Joseph Duffy his name is on a short list of young guys who are expected to do big things in the sport.
Francimar Barroso: Nova Unaio’s Fancimar Barroso has also put together a solid resume at 205, with a 3-2-0 1NC record he has been slowly climbing the rankings of the painfully shallow Light Heavyweight division. Prior to the debacle in his last fight Barroso was giving Nikita Krylov all he could handle before falling victim to a rear naked choke in the second.
Barroso is a lifelong martial artist and holds Black Belts in multiple disciplines including BJJ and Kickboxing making him a natural fit for the world of MMA. However the 36 year old has played it safe in his UFC fights thus far, if he has championship aspirations he is going to have to start taking some risks to get the stoppages that have alluded him up to this point.
The Fight: Heading into their first fight most thought Barroso would have the strength advantage and even though it was a small sample size Stewart was the one controlling the exchanges in the clinch. Stewart will get the better of the striking exchanges and score a few take downs from the clinch to secure his first official UFC victory. Stewart Unanimous Decision
-600 Joe Duffy (15-2) vs. +450 Reza Madadi (14-4)
Joe Duffy: Irish Jose Duffy returned to his dominant ways with a 0:25 rear naked choke victory over submission specialist Mitch Clarke, in a win that was very similar to Duffy’s 0:38 arm triangle submission of countrymen and Irish demigod Connor McGregor.
Duffy face planted Clarke with a devastating right straight and jumped on Clark’s neck when he tried to stand up. It’s this kind of skills diversity that has created the excitement around this 29 year old prospect. His work with Firaz Zihabi at Montreal’s Tristar will only further his development into becoming a complete fighter.
Reza Madadi: Iranian born Swedish resident Reza Madadi also got back to his winning ways when he scored a standing knockout victory over TUF Brazil standout Yan Cabral. Madadi was forced to withdraw from two scheduled bouts following the Cabral victory and will be chomping at the bit to get back to action.
Madadi has trained with Alexander Gustafsson, Iler Latafi and crew at Sweeden’s Allstars Training Center for the past couple years and has transformed himself from a Wrestler to a Mixed Martial Artist. Win or lose Madadi will be looking to make a quick turn around to fight in front of his hometown Swedish crowd in May.
The Fight: Madadi has a great squeeze making him a tempting underdog considering he will close around +500, however Duffy is so well versed in every aspect of fighting that he wins this fight nine times out of ten. Duffy TKO 2nd