UFC on ESPN 28: Hall vs Strickland - Predictions - 7/31/21

My picks below are in bold. All odds are mean odds provided by www.bestfightodds.com

Main Card

Uriah Hall vs. Sean Strickland

I don’t put much faith in Hall’s recent wins over Weidman and Silva. He’s woefully low volume but does have incredible power. When given time and space he can definitely make a highlight reel out of his opponent. Problem is Strickland rarely gives time and space. He’s going to be in Hall’s face from bell to bell throwing high volume. Make no mistake, this will allow for many openings that Hall could potentially capitalize on. We’ve seen him come back with a fight altering shot late after getting soundly battered early. I’m just going to side with Strickland being tough enough to eat the few shots Hall lands while skating away with it on the judges cards. Odds are way too wide for this but yeah, I think Hall’s streak comes to an end.

Prediction: Sean Strickland -207

Kyung Ho Kang vs. Rani Yahya

There is absolutely no secret on what Rani Yahya wants to do. Drag this thing to the mat where he can use his world class jiu jitsu to lock up a sub. Kang is better in the standup and probably a better wrestler as well but hanging out in Yahya’s guard isn’t a great idea and I don’t see him coming in with a striking-only gameplan. I’ll side with Yahya. If he does manage top control, he’s quite good at prioritizing between keeping position, attempting submissions, and advancing position. If he ends up on bottom well he still has a viable path to victory. Hopefully he can lock up a submission before his poor cardio becomes a factor.

Prediction: Rani Yahya +103

Cheyanne Buys vs. Gloria de Paula

Buys getting head and arm tossed into scarf chokes like crazy last fight wasn’t a good look. However, there were a few positives. She’s tough as hell, a bit crazy, has some serious aggression and good hands/combinations. De Paula also has some solid striking and a good clinch so this fight could end up being pretty exciting if it stays on the feet. It’s probably going to be razor close but I’m going to side with Buys. If things go into the grappling realm, Buys has shown she is crafty in taking the back and de Paula had no answer for Frey’s ground game last time out.

Prediction: Cheyanne Buys -168

Jared Gooden vs. Niklas Stolze

This fight was way better when we had Lazzez in the match up. Gooden is stepping in on pretty short notice. I remember Gooden being a decent boxer. Then he fought Abubakar Nurmagomedov and his strikes absorbed per minute shot up to 7.6! And that fight took place entirely on the feet. He’s such a big welterweight though that Stolze may not be able to bully him or hold him down. This is actually a tough one to call despite Gooden being so damn one dimensional. He could very well catch Stolze in a wild exchange. If he doesn’t though, I like Stolze to edge him out. Stolze will at least mix in some grappling and throw some varied strikes. Gooden strictly boxes. I’ll take the variety.

Prediction: Niklas Stolze -193

Zarrukh Adashev vs. Ryan Benoit

Benoit at 10-7 and Adashev at 3-3. Both guys coming off 2 losses. Despite these horrendous stats this may actually end up being exciting. Adashev is going to have to show me something before I’ll believe he is as good of a kickboxer that I keep hearing about. Benoit has a huge edge in MMA experience and he could easily just take this fight to the mat for the win as Adashev has no ground game. However, he probably won’t. He’ll probably keep it on the feet unless he’s really getting the worst of it. Benoit could have a way better record than his current standing however. A lot of the fights he’s lost have been ultra competitive and you could make an argument he’s won a few of them. That’s enough for me to side with him here.

Prediction: Ryan Benoit -136

Bryan Barberena vs. Jason Witt

Jason Witt is going to try to relentlessly take Barberena down here. I think Barberena’s takedown defense is good enough to prevent it and even if it’s not, he’s very inept at getting things back to standing. And if that happens, Witt is in for a long night as Barberena should piece him up. Barberena has the power to ruin Witt’s day early, and the volume to do so late. If Witt does get the fight to the ground then he could steal a round or two but Barberena has faced way better wrestlers and held his own (at least in getting things back to the feet). I’ll take Barberena.

Prediction: Bryan Barberena -272

Preliminary Card

Wu Yanan vs. Nicco Montaño

Montano missed weight by a few weight classes. Fight scrapped

Melsik Baghdasaryan vs. Collin Anglin

Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Rafa Garcia

Danny Chavez vs. Kai Kamaka III

Jinh Yu Frey vs. Ashley Yoder

Ronnie Lawrence vs. Trevin Jones

Fight scrapped due to weight cut complications

Philip Rowe vs. Orion Cosce

Author Profile
Donnie Vee

Ever since renting my first UFC VHS at my local video store, I’ve been in love with the sport of MMA. I’ve watched every single fight that has ever taken place under the UFC banner over the past 25 years. Once I started doing incredibly well in fantasy leagues, I realized I could utilize my skills in fight analytics to make a profit on betting. My obsession with researching every aspect of a fight gave me a real edge in finding value. Since then, it's been one profitable year after the next. Watching your favorite sport is good, but getting paid while watching your favorite sport is better.