The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns with a small event that will boost our interest before the massive pay-per-view UFC 280 next week. Alexa Grasso and Viviane Araujo will give us a solid main event but the whole card of UFC Fight Night 212 deserves attention.
UFC Fight Night 212 Predictions
Besides the main event of UFC Fight Night Grasso vs Araujo, there are several fights we noticed that should definitely be explosive and thrilling. Here are our predictions.
Nick Maximov vs Jacob Malkoun
Nick is a 24-year-old American fighter. In November 2020, he entered the Dana White's Contender Series show, where he accepted the fight on short notice in the heavyweight division, given that he has always competed at light heavyweight. His opponent was Oscar Cota, who was 25 kg heavier than Nick.
Maximov won by unanimous decision due to the constant control of the opponent on the ground and in the clinch. Dana White was not impressed with his performance but promised to give him a shot.
Nick Maximov is a wrestler with solid experience as an All-American and he also has good BJJ skills. However, he is completely powerless on his feet and has absolutely no defense. His BJJ skills are also not world-class.
Jacob is a 27-year-old fighter from Australia. Prior to signing with the UFC, he competed for regional promotions in Oceania and Asia. Jacob made his UFC debut in October 2020 against Phil Hawes. Malkoun was knocked out in 18 seconds.
He closed this defeat by defeating Abdul Razak Alhassan and AJ Dobson on points. Malkoun last fought in June 2022. His opponent was Brendan Allen. Jacob lost by unanimous decision.
Malkoun is a boxer and while he has knockout power and is quite technical, his defense is almost non-existent on the ground and when he gets taken down, he cannot work his way back up.
Maximov vs Malkoun Prediction
It will be a tough and uninteresting fight. Nick will run low takedowns and grind out transfers from the cage. On the ground, Maximov will bet on passive control, due to which he will score points and get himself a victory by decision.
Raphael Assuncao vs Victor Henry
Raphael is a 40-year-old fighter from Brazil. He made his UFC debut in 2011 against Erik Koch, whom he lost via knockout in the 1st round. The peak of Raphael's career fell on the period 2011-2019. In those 8 years, he had 12 fights: 11 won, 1 lost.
Raphael's last victory was in July 2018. In the next fight, which took place in February 2019, he was knocked out in a rematch against Marlon Moraes. Since then, Assuncao has gone on a series of 4 defeats in a row, 3 of them early.
Previously, Assuncao was a tough all-rounder who built a game plan around the opponent's weaknesses. If the opponent was bad at wrestling, the Brazilian always transferred the fight to the ground. If the opponent was bad on his feet, Assuncao would break him with a hail of combinations.
But now Raphael is far from peak form. He no longer keeps up with young rivals, quickly gets tired and loses concentration.
Victor is a 35-year-old American fighter. He started his professional career in 2010. For the first 5 years, Henry alternated regional promotions in the United States, where he scored a record of 9-1 and became the champion of the Super Fight League America organization.
In December 2021, Trevin Jones withdrew from the fight against Raoni Barcelos and, on short notice, Victor Henry was offered to replace him. He agreed, but due to a breach of Covid-19 safety protocol, the fight was rescheduled. The fight against Barcelos took place in January 2022. Victor won by unanimous decision.
Victor is a wrestler, he is the most dangerous on the ground. Henry is distinguished by tenacious control and good positional work. He tries to finish the opponent in the ground and pound or go to the submission hold. I note the good endurance of Henry. He maintains maximum efficiency for three rounds.
Assuncao vs Henry Prediction
Raphael is going through the decline of his career and the sunset is not the most beautiful. He loses ahead of schedule even to those fighters who prefer to work for points. Victor Henry, despite his age, continues to progress. He improved his striking technique and will be able to compete with the Brazilian not only on the ground but also in the standing position.
Misha Cirkunov vs Alonzo Menifield
Misha is a 34-year-old fighter from Latvia. He started his professional career in 2010. Before moving to the UFC, Misha performed in regional European promotions. His highest achievement at this stage of his career was winning the title in the Hard Knocks promotion in 2015.
Misha is the most dangerous on the ground. Thanks to his BJJ background and good wrestling training, Cirkunov is able to reach a submission very quickly. On his feet, Cirkunov relies on impressive knockout power.
I note that with the transition to middleweight, Cirkunov's cardio improved immensely. He can now work throughout three complete rounds with equal efficiency.
Alonzo is a 34-year-old American fighter. He joined the UFC in 2019 after his success at Dana White's Contender Series. The career of the American has not been impressive. He had 8 fights: 5 won, 3 lost. Alonzo has no problem passing mediocre opponents like Vinicius Moreira, Fabio Ceranta (we won't see them again in the octagon), or old Ed Herman. But when the opposition level rises, Menifeld loses.
Menifield doesn't have a fighting background. He came to MMA from American football. The athlete prefers to work in a standing position, and likes to get involved in exchanges, and hunts for a knockout. In addition, thanks to his impressive physical strength, he can send an opponent to the canvas with one good hit.
Cirkunov vs Menifield Prediction
Menifield has his skills but he cannot handle top opposition and Circunov has fought the best in the divisions he has been in. He is not at his peak anymore but should still be able to eat Menifield alive and win this fight.