The Ultimate Fighting Championship will kick off February with the UFC Fight Night 60 card. The event is set for Feb. 14, at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado.
Here are my UFC Fight Night 60 predictions:
Benson Henderson vs. Brandon Thatch
Thatch (11-1-0, 7 KOs) was originally scheduled to face Stephen Thompson, but the latter pulled out of the fight on Jan. 30, citing a rib injury. Henderson (21-5-0, 9 submissions) stepped in as a late replacement, and he’s now set to make his welterweight debut three weeks after losing a controversial decision to Donald Cerrone.
Casual MMA fans will likely look at this matchup and assume it’s an easy win for Henderson, but that’s far from the case. Thatch is a dangerous up and comer who has quietly amassed a 2-0 record in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, finishing his last two opponents via first round KOs.
This guy stopped Chidi Njokuani, Anthony Njokuani’s younger brother, who has very sharp Muay Thai skills 43 seconds into their fight. Make no mistakes about it; Thatch is a legit prospect who finishes fights.
Thatch will be bigger, longer, and, perhaps, stronger than Henderson come fight time, and his takedown defense isn’t too shabby, stuffing 75 percent of the takedowns that have come his way.
Of course, none of his previous opponents are on Benson Henderson’s level.
Bendo remains at the top of the lightweight food chain, and he’s one of the most rounded MMA fighters in the world, with no real weaknesses. Well, nothing significant besides the fact he’s very content edging out decisions rather than stopping opponents these days.
Still, Henderson should be able to compete with Thatch standing up, and he’ll likely dominate grappling wise. His defense will need to be almost perfect against a dangerous striker like Thatch, who’ll also enjoy a two-inch reach advantage, but, at the end of the day, he should be able to grind out another decision at UFC Fight Night 60.
Prediction: Benson Henderson wins via decision.
Max Holloway vs. Cole Miller
Holloway (11-3-0, 5 KOs) has been on a tear since losing his UFC debut, winning seven of his next nine fights. His two losses came against Conor McGregor and Dennis Bermudez, and neither man was able to stop him. In fact, Holloway gave McGregor his most competitive fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship till date, and many scored his split decision loss to Bermudez in his favor.
To put it in basketball terms, Max Holloway is on fire right now.
The same can’t be said for Cole Miller (21-8-0, 15 submissions).
“Magrinho” has only won three of his last six fights, and his level of opposition hasn’t been particularly high. Miller will likely have a hard time keeping up with Holloway’s high output striking, and he’ll have just as much trouble trying to get the fight to the ground, where things might be a bit more even.
Miller is always game, so he should make this an entertaining contest, but this is clearly Holloway’s fight to lose.
Prediction: Max Holloway wins via TKO.
Remaining UFC Fight Night 60 predictions:
Neil Magny defeats Kiichi Kunimoto
Dan Kelly defeats Patrick Walsh
Kevin Lee defeats Michel Prazeres
Chris Kelades defeats Ray Borg
Rodrigo de Lima defeats Efrain Escudero
Chas Skelly defeats Jim Alers
Tim Elliott defeats Zach Makovsky
James Moontasri defeats Cody Pfister
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 183 Predictions FightPicks shortly before the prelims start. Finished 2014 up +20.27 units.