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Kyle Terada | USA Today Sports

10:26 pm | February 8th, 2019

UFC 234 Preview

Jay Arnold

JayArnold

The world’s premier mixed martial arts organization is headed to the land Down Under on Saturday to put on a great night of fights headlined by a fight for the 185-pound title. It should be a fun night of fights from top to bottom so let’s dive right in and talk about who’s going to come out on top.

Early Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)

Wuliji Buren def. Jonathan Martinez via Decision

Jalin Turner def. Callan Potter via TKO

Lando Vannata def. Marcos Rosa via TKO

Preliminary Card (ESPN)

Kyung Ho Kang def. Teruto Ishihara via Decision

Kai-Kara France def. Raulian Paiva via Decision

Shane Young def. Austin Arnett via TKO

Devonte Smith def. Dong Hyun Ma via KO

Main Card (PPV)

Jim Crute vs. Sam Alvey

Sam Alvey is a brawler who relies on his power to win fights. He’s not the most technical guy but he can be fun to watch even if his post-fight interviews are a bit cringy. On the other hand, Jim Crute looked like a killer in his UFC debut and has the opportunity to prove his debut was no fluke by taking on a veteran in Alvey. As long as Crute isn’t pulled into a brawl and stays technical, I expect him to come out on top.

Prediction: Jim Crute def. Sam Alvey via Submission

Montana De La Rosa vs. Nadia Kassem

De La Rosa is the more experienced of the two fighters but Kassem has a 5-0 record. These two ladies will try to steal the show on Saturday but I think De La Rosa’s experience will pay off. I expect this one to go to the judges.

Prediction: Montana De La Rosa def. Nadia Kassem via Decision

Rani Yahya vs. Ricky Simon

Rani Yahya is one of the most dangerous fighters in the UFC when it comes to the ground game. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt is capable of catching anyone in the division in a submission. Ricky Simon is an extremely talented up-and-comer but Yahya will prove to be too much on the ground.

Prediction: Rani Yahya def. Ricky Simon via Submission

Israel Adesanya vs. Anderson Silva

Israel Adesanya is looking to become the new Anderson Silva. He is an incredibly flashy and creative striker who holds a lot of power. During his time atop the middleweight division, Silva was the same way. However, since losing his belt, most of the mystique surrounding Silva has faded. Adesanya could immediately vault into title contention by finishing the legend and I expect him to do just that against Silva.

Prediction: Israel Adesanya def. Anderson Silva via TKO

Middleweight Championship Bout: Robert Whittaker (c) vs. Kelvin Gastelum

Gastelum earned his title opportunity by narrowly defeating Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. He’s a very good wrestler who packs serious pop in his hands though he has problems with getting into brawls. Whittaker is a more technical striker but also packs a lot of power in his punches. I’m really looking forward to this fight as I expect Gastelum to apply pressure immediately while Whittaker will look to pick him apart on entry. This one has the potential to be a real barnburner but I believe Whittaker will come out on top as Gastelum has a tendency to gas out.

Prediction: Robert Whittaker def. Kelvin Gastelum via Decision

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