The Ultimate Fighting Championship will head to New Zealand for the first time in its history for the UFC Fight Night 43 card.
The event is set for June 28 at the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.
Here are my UFC Fight Night 43 predictions:
James Te Huna vs. Nate Marquardt
These two might very well be fighting for their jobs when they meet inside the Octagon. Marquardt (32-13-2, 15 submissions) has dropped his last three fights, while Te Huna (16-7-0, 10 KOs) is currently on a two-fight losing streak. To make things even better both men are evenly matched on paper.
Te Huna is clearly the better striker, and his takedown defense is solid. His one weakness; when he is eventually put on his back, he rarely ever gets back up. 50% of the men that have successfully taken Te Huna down have been able to get the submission shortly after.
That might be an issue at UFC Fight Night 43.
Marquardt’s MMA career seems to be coming to an end, and it’s hard to see things getting any better, now that he’s no longer able to undergo testosterone replacement therapy.
However, Nate still knows a thing or two about submissions, with a majority of his wins coming via sub. He’s also a decent wrestler, completing about 60% of his takedown attempts.
Nate has fought as a welterweight since 2012, but he’ll be moving up to the middleweight division to take on Te Huna -- who is dropping down from 205.
Nate certainly has the tools to win this UFC Fight Night 43 bout. However, when you factor in the fact his jaw failed him during his last two fights, the reality James will be the bigger man, plus the fact the crowd will be behind Te Huna (who is a New Zealand native); I have to go with the home favorite.
Prediction: Te Huna wins via KO.
Soa Palelei vs. Jared Rosholt
The complete opposite of the main event, these two are riding lengthy streaks heading into UFC Fight Night 43. Palelei (21-3-0, 17 KOs) has won his last 11 fights, winning every single one via KO.
Rosholt (10-1-0, 3 KOs) is on a six-fight win streak, and he has displayed solid striking and grappling skills inside the Octagon.
Rosholt is actually the technically sharper striker, and he’ll likely have the advantage grappling-wise as well. However, Palelei has proven to be a tough guy to ground, so a majority of this UFC Fight Night 43 bout will likely take place standing up.
Rosholt will have his moments during this fight, but he’ll eventually run into a hard shot from Soa, and his undefeated streak inside the Octagon will come to an end.
Prediction: Palelei wins via KO.
Remaining UFC Fight Night 43 predictions:
Hatsu Hioki defeats Charles Oliveira
Robert Whittaker defeats Mike Rhodes
Dashon Johnson defeats Jake Matthews
Roldan Sangcha-an defeats Richie Vaculik
Chris Indich defeats Vik Grujic
Neil Magny defeats Rodrigo Goiana de Lima
Ian Entwistle defeats Dan Hooker
Gian Villante defeats Sean O'Connell
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.
Don’t forget to check out my UFC Fight Night 43 FightPicks after weigh-ins. Up +12.44 units so far this year. Thanks to all those who paid tribute after the record setting UFC Fight Night 40 picks that earned + 12.71 units.