On Sept. 20, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will return to the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan for the UFC Fight Night 52 card. The event will be headlined by heavy-hitting heavyweights Roy Nelson and Mark Hunt.
Here are my UFC Fight Night 52 predictions:
Mark Hunt vs. Roy Nelson
Hunt (9-8-1, 6 KOS) is coming off consecutive “Fight of the Night” performances, but he failed to snag a win with either of those performances. Nelson (20-9-0, 13 KOs) has also had his share of struggles lately, but he did score a vicious knockout victory against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira during his last outing.
Hunt should have a decent advantage in the standup department, but that likely won’t be enough to defeat Nelson for two reasons. For one, Nelson has a rock-solid chin, so the odds of Hunt putting him away with strikes are slim to none. Secondly, Nelson will have a decent advantage in the grappling department, so it’s only a matter of time before he takes Hunt down, transitions into crucifix position, puts that “Big Country” belly on the New Zealander’s face, and forces a stoppage.
Prediction: Nelson wins via TKO.
Myles Jury vs. Takanori Gomi
With a win against Diego Sanchez during his last outing, Jury (14-0-0, 7 KOs) made it clear he’s ready for the top echelon fighters in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s lightweight division. Gomi (35-9-0, 13 KOs) is in the latter stages of his MMA career, but he’s still one of the most entertaining lightweights around with two Fight of the Night performances in his last two outings.
Jury is the technically sharper striker, and he should have an advantage grappling wise as well. However, he’s never faced anyone with a high-volume brawler style like Gomi inside the Octagon. Factor in the fact Gomi, who is a heavy-handed puncher, will have the crowd behind him, and it becomes easy to see why this matchup is a leading Fight of the Night candidate.
Still, on paper, this is Jury’s bout to lose.
Prediction: Jury wins via decision.
Remaining UFC Fight Night 52 predictions:
Yoshihiro Akiyama defeats Amir Sadollah
Miesha Tate defeats Rin Nakai
Kiichi Kunimoto defeats Richard Walsh
Kyoji Horiguchi defeats Jon Delos Reyes
Alex Caceres defeats Masanori Kanehara
Katsunori Kikuno defeats Sam Sicilia
Hyun Gyu Lim defeats Takenori Sato
Michinori Tanaka defeats Kyung Ho Kang
Johnny Case defeats Kazuki Tokudome
Dan Hooker defeats Maximo Blanco
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 52 FightPicks shortly before the prelims start. Up +20.61 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.