Prophetic Prospects: UFC 226 Predictions

UFC 226 is here and with a bunch of close match-ups on paper, I spoke with a few top prospects and had them make picks for the main card fights.

Jared Gooden (11-2) Welterweight prospect out of Duluth, Georgia

265, Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier
265, Francis Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis
155, Michael Chiesa vs. Anthony Pettis
205, Gokhan Saki vs. Khalil Rountree
170, Mike Perry vs. Paul Felder
Picks:
Stipe Miocic. I gotta go with Stipe Miocic. I believe his MMA wrestling is better than DC’s and he’ll stop DC’s takedowns and piece him up on the feet. I say 3rd Round TKO.
Derrick Lewis. Hmm. I gotta go with Derrick Lewis!! He can take some punishment and come back get the Win. I hope Ngannou has been working on that gas tank!
Michael Chiesa. Man, sad to say I’m going with Michael Chiesa. And that’s a dig on him I like his style of fighting. But it’s because it’s like Anthony Pettis doesn’t have the passion or fight in him anymore. If he is on his game it’ll be a great fight. But… we’ll see.
Khalil Rountree. I’m going with Rountree only because I haven’t heard of Gokhan Saki haha.
Paul Felder.
What do you think about the fighters on the card in your weight class and what’s your thoughts are on a possible future fight with them? (Curtis Millender vs. Max Griffin & Mike Perry vs. Paul Felder)

Gooden- “What’s funny is when Mike Perry’s opponent dropped out I tried to get that fight! I would love to brawl with Perry! But I love Paul Felder! I’m happy to hear that he is taking fights at Welterweight. I love his fights, I love his brutal passion, I would love to fight him as well. I got Paul Felder winning. He has more weapons than Perry. Max Griffin is a beast. Would love to fight with him too! I got him winning over Millender.”

Austin Hubbard (9-2) Lightweight prospect out of Denver, Colorado

265, Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier
265, Francis Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis
155, Michael Chiesa vs. Anthony Pettis
205, Gokhan Saki vs. Khalil Rountree
170, Mike Perry vs. Paul Felder
Picks:
Stipe Miocic. I would like Stipe to win and I think he will. I think his size will be the difference in that one even tho Cormier has fought at HW before.
Francis Ngannou. I’d like Ngannou to win and think he will. I think Lewis has shown he will quit after it leaves first round.
Michael Chiesa. I really like Pettis but he’s shown a bit of a weakness when fighting grapplers and Chiesa is a good grappler.
Khalil Rountree. I don’t know too much about Gokhan so I’ll go with Rountree on that one cuz I remember him from the ultimate fighter.
Paul Felder. I think Paul Felder Is gonna win. He is a much more technical striker and Perry isn’t a super big 170er so I don’t see the size difference being to big of a problem
Any thoughts on the Dan Hooker/Gilbert Burns fight?
Hubbard- “I’ve trained with Dan Hooker once before. He’s really good and I don’t know much about Burns. I hope Hooker wins that just cuz I know him and I think he’s a cool dude.”

Alton Cunningham (5-0) Middleweight prospect out of Madison, Wisconsin

265, Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier
265, Francis Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis
155, Michael Chiesa vs. Anthony Pettis
205, Gokhan Saki vs. Khalil Rountree
170, Mike Perry vs. Paul Felder
Picks:
Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier. The key toCormierr winning this fight is being able to close the distance and use his dirty boxing along with his impressive wrestling. That won’t be an easy task as Stipe has great hands to go along with his surprisingly good footwork. Like the Max fight if this fight is a finish I have to go with Stipe otherwise Cormier by decision.
Francis Ngannou. The banger of the night. DerrickLewiss is a G who doesn’t back down from anybody. We’ve seen Ngannou get exposed his last fight. He gets back on track in this one. Ngannou 2nd round TKO.
Anthony Pettis. We’ve seen Anthony hit a brick wall that he can’t seem to climb over in his career. He’s getting older and his athleticism isn’t allowing him to get away with some of the things he used to get away with. Chiesa is a nice test here, long lanky with great jits. This competitive fight goes to Pettis by 3rd round finish or decision Pettis.
Gokhan Saki. Khalil is a fast explosive striker with the power to knock out anybody. With that being said he is out of his element here against one of kickboxing’s greatest. Saki by knockout.
Paul Felder. Paul Felder has been on a tear since joining Roufusport. I was impressed by his durability and grappling against one of the better bjj artists in mma charles Oliviera. Perry is game but Felder takes this in the 2nd rd

What do you think about the fighters on the card in your weight class and what your thoughts are on a possible future fight? (Uriah Hall vs. Paulo Henrique Costa)

Cunningham- “Paulo Costa is a fighter with lots of talent and he will likely by a main stay in the top ten for awhile. However this guy is already too focused on Hollywood and not on his competition. His style is a bullying style that doesnt fare well for Uriah, another fighter with world champion talent but the mentality of a high school competitor. Costa wins this but you never know with Uriah. My style fares well with both of them and it’ll be interesting to see if I ever cross paths with them. Make no mistake about it, the most violent middleweight is coming.”

Jake Heffernan (7-0) Featherweight prospect out of Houston, Texas

265, Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier
265, Francis Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis
155, Michael Chiesa vs. Anthony Pettis
205, Gokhan Saki vs. Khalil Rountree
170, Mike Perry vs. Paul Felder
Picks:

Stipe Miocic. He’s one of the smartest heavyweights out there, I feel his fight IQ will win him the fight.
Derrick Lewis. Went to the same high school as Derrick so I gotta see my H-town boy pull it out. Everyone knows not to count him out.
Michael Chiesa. I love the grinder vs striker but I gotta go with the grinder on that one.
Gokhan Saki. As he’s fighting another striker I think he will have the better chance but those 5 min rounds will be difficult to get through.
Paul Felder. He’s been in camp waiting after Vick pulled he’s just the more prepared fighter.

What fight are you looking forward to the most?

Heffernan- “Oh man at this point I’ll just be looking forward to my boy Derrick Lewis going out there and doing some work. Like I said we went to the same high school so I just wanna see him get the big K.O.”

Andre Ewell (13-4) Bantamweight prospect out of Riverside, California

265, Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier
265, Francis Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis
155, Michael Chiesa vs. Anthony Pettis
205, Gokhan Saki vs. Khalil Rountree
170, Mike Perry vs. Paul Felder
Picks:
Daniel Cormier. cause he’s proven to be the best #2 for a reason.
Francis Ngannou. cause the name tight,🤷🏽‍♂️ so rooting for him.
Anthony Pettis. Always an exciting fighter, so exciting fighters always gets my vote.
Gokhan Saki. Cause I like his name too 🤣
Paul Felder. My money is on Paul. I believe fireworks in the first round that Mike should lead off & then Paul Felder with a strong comeback.
What do you think about both Raphael Assuncao and Rob Font and a possible match up with the two?
Ewell- “Font vs. Assuncao will be a interesting fight. Fact that assuncao is an explosive fighter & Font is more of a laid back kinda of dude but pushes forward. If I faced any of them that fight would be decided in the first round. So it will be who gets caught first.”

 

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