Interim Bantamweight Title Fight – Renan Barao vs Michael McDonald
Both these guys have fantastic records with only one loss each out of a combined forty-nine fights. If Michael McDonald can pull off the win come Saturday night, he will become the youngest ever UFC title holder, replacing Jon Jones. The fight will no doubt be fast paced and non-stop which will give Barao an advantage as he has previously seen the 4th and 5th rounds. No-one has really tested McDonald so it will be interesting to see how he fares against a great well rounded talent in Barao. I can see this ending quickly with a McDonald win or going the distance with Barao coming out with the decision.
Prediction: Michael McDonald via TKO Round 2
Cub Swanson vs Dustin Poirier
Swanson is coming into this fight having won by TKO in his last 3 and will be looking to keep this standing. Poirier is accomplished on the ground and with Swanson having a potential weakness in his takedown defence we could see a traditional striker vs grappler fight here. I expect this to be fairly evenly matched and most likely go to an extremely tight decision.
Prediction: Dustin Poirier via decision
Jimi Manuwa vs Cyrille Diabate
This is definitely one for the fans and should be a true stand up battle in the Light Heavyweight division. Manuwa fights out of London and is undefeated in twelve fights so will be looking for a great reception from the crowd. Diabate is a true veteran, however, being French I can’t see him getting much support unless he comes out swinging. I think Manuwa will be too much for Diabate and look to prove a point and rise up the division.
Prediction: Jimi Manuwa via TKO Round 1
Gunnar Nelson vs Jorge Santiago
An interesting bout with both fighters holding a BJJ black belt, will the winner be determined by who has evolved the rest of their game? Santiago has a pretty horrid UFC record and will be desperate to claim a win here by any means against the young Icelandic Nelson. With a first name of Gunnar, I want to believe Nelson will come out fast and swinging (very hard not to use “all guns blazing”) although I think it may finally be Santiago’s night in a UFC event. I have a strong feeling that this will be a dull one unfortunately.
Prediction: Jorge Santiago via Decision
James Te Huna vs Ryan Jimmo
In his UFC career, Ryan Jimmo has thrown two strikes, his first knocked the guy out and the second made damn sure. Te Huna has to only last ten seconds to make it Jimmo’s longest bout to date and I have a feeling he will. Being a Kiwi, I would love to see Te Huna perform the Haka; it would certainly make the crowd go wild and make Jimmo wonder exactly what he has let himself in for.
Prediction: James Te Huna via TKO Round 1
Che Mills vs Matthew Riddle
The first main card fight sees the Gloucester man Che Mills take on Matthew Riddle, who has been to decision in his last five fights. Mills is a powerful striker and will be looking to keep the fight standing but may not stand a great chance against Riddle’s wrestling and takedowns. I’m going to be biased in my prediction and hope that all the English fans get to see a knockout by the Brit.
Prediction: Che Mills via TKO Round 3
UFC London 2013 Undercard predictions:
Terry Etim vs Renee Forte – Etim via TKO Round 1
Paul Sass vs Danny Castillo – Sass via Submission Round 1
Andy Ogle vs John Grispi – Grispi via Decision
Tom Watson vs Stanislav Nedkov – Nedkov via TKO Round 2
Vaughan Lee vs MotonObu Tezuka – Lee via Decision
Phil Harris vs Ulysses Gomez – Gomez via Decision
So there we have it, everything kicks off at 17:15 with the preliminary fights, and you can watch UFC London Stream Live on Facebook, the man card will then follow up and start at 20:00 on ESPN. If you need any more reasons to watch, the newest UFC octagon girl will be making her debut; the UK’s own Carly Baker, and we love her so!.