The Ultimate Fighting Championship will host its final event for 2022 and it will be a fight night with Jared Cannonier and Sean Strickland battling in the main event. However, there are multiple fights in the full card that have a lot more potential for real entertainment and we have selected the best ones for predictions.
Cody Brundage vs Michal Oleksiejczuk
Cody Brundage Preview
The 28-year-old is originally from Michigan and trains in Colorado at Фactory X Muay Thai. Cody's professional record in MMA is 8-2, with 7 early victories, and only twice his fights reached the decision of the judges. Brundage is a classic wrestler turned-fighter. To his average level, by the standards of the USA, wrestling, he added an overhand right and worked out the guillotine choke. Brundage's record in UFC 2-2, previously played in the LFA and tried to get into the organization through the Contender Series, where he lost by knockout to William Knight. On average, he throws 2.65 significant punches per minute, has a 51% standing defense, and also performs 1.81 takedowns in 15 minutes.
Michal Oleksiejczuk Preview
Michal, 27 years old, until recently competed in the light heavyweight division, made his middleweight debut four months ago against Sam Alvey, and the Pole won by knockout in the first round in two minutes (we bet on this outcome). Olekseychuk's professional record in MMA is 17-5, in UFC 5-4, with 12 knockout wins. He is still training in Poland, in the “Ankos MMA Poznan” gym. The Pole is best known for his boxing, averaging 4.95 significant punches with 50% accuracy and excellent defensive head movement with 64% efficiency. Many people talk about defensive problems on the ground, but this is only because of the 42% takedown defense figure that Jimmy Crut ruined for him with 8 takedowns in New Zealand. In other battles, Michal allowed himself to be transferred a maximum of 1 time per battle.
Brundage vs Oleksiejczuk Prediction
Michal Olekseychuk made the right decision to go down to middleweight, yet in light heavyweight, he was the least of his rivals. Now, against Brundage, the Pole will have an arm span advantage of 5 cm, with equal height. In the Brundage stance, he is no match for the Hussar, except for the right overhand, he has nothing, Michal, on the contrary, has a huge arsenal of percussion techniques with his hands, in addition to accuracy, he delicately transfers blows from the head to the liver and back. Cody exits on short notice, so I also rule out the fifteen-minute fight option. Brundage will have to endure some serious hits to last long enough to turn his fight on, and that's unlikely against a sharpshooter like Michal Olekseichuk. My choice, the victory of the Pole by knockout.
Arman Tsarukyan vs Damir Ismagulov
Arman is a 25-year-old fighter from Armenia. He joined the UFC in 2019, agreeing to fight on short notice against Islam Makhachev, whom he lost via unanimous decision. But after that, Tsarukyan went on a series of 5 victories in a row before losing to Mateusz Gamrot in June.
Tsarukyan is a versatile fighter with a good wrestling base. He uses the stance mainly to prepare for the takedown. Arman has a good defense, he blocks almost all the opponent's attacks.
On the ground, a fighter relies on tenacious control. He passes the guard well and takes a dominant position, from where he controls opponents and scores points.
Damir is a 32-year-old fighter from Kazakhstan. Before moving to the UFC, Ismagulov was noted for his performances in M-1, where he became the champion in 2017. Damir's debut in the strongest league in the world took place in December 2018 in a duel against Alex Gorges, whom he defeated by a unanimous decision. After that, Ismagulov had 4 more fights, winning each on points.
Damir is a versatile fighter who relies on standing work. He has fast and accurate shots, good footwork, and head movement. If necessary, Ismagulov can impose control on the ground on the opponent and work a little with the ground and pound to show activity so that the referee does not raise the fighters.
Tsarukyan vs Ismagulov Prediction
We expect a pragmatic fight without huge escalations as this is the style of both fighters. Every single match that Damir Ismagulov has had to date has ended with him winning via decision. Five out of five fights. Arman has also been involved in predominantly passive fights lately, so we expect a long one here.
Said Nurmagomedov vs Saidyokub Kakhramonov
Said Nurmagomedov Preview
The 30-year-old fighter from Makhachkala is on a three-win streak, his professional MMA record is 16-2 with 8 stoppage wins, and his UFC record is 5-1. In the last fight, Sayid defeated Douglas Silva de Andrade via unanimous decision five months ago. Nurmagomedov is a former champion in the WFCA organization and won the MMA World Championship in 2013. Said is a versatile fighter, technical in the stand, kicks a lot, and on the ground, he has good submission skills. Said will have an advantage in arm span with equal height.
Saidyokub Kakhramonov Preview
As for Nurmagomedov's opponent this weekend, Saidiocube Kakhramonov is 10-2 and looking to claim his third win in the UFC Octagon. Five months after winning the CFFC bantamweight title, Saidiocube Kakhramonov choked Trevin Giles on short notice in his UFC debut. Eleven months later, he took his second victory in the octagon, this time by unanimous decision, defeating Contender Series alumnus Ronnie Lawrence.
Nurmagomedov vs Kakhramonov Prediction
Said Nurmagomedov is a more accomplished MMA fighter, while the Uzbek fighter is primarily a one-sided grappler. In the standing position, Said will tear Kakhramonov's legs and body, the only question is whether Saydiokub will be able to transfer Nurmagomedov and keep enough time on the ground to win, I have big doubts. Cardio and power takedowns by Kakhramonov will probably give Said problems. If Nurmagomedov becomes the aggressor and controls the fight from the first minutes of the fight, it will be difficult for Kakhramonov to find his own pace, he is used to being the aggressor himself. My choice is the victory of Said, he has many more keys to victory.
Jake Matthews vs Matthew Semelsberger
Jake is a 28-year-old fighter from Australia. He joined the UFC in 2014. Matthews began to play in the strongest league in the world in the lightweight division. After being strangled by James Vick in 2015 and ground-and-pounded by Kevin Lee in 2016, Jake moved up to the welterweight division.
Matthews last fought in June 2022. His opponent was Andre Fialho. Jake won by knockout in the 2nd round.
On the stand, Matthews relies on boxing. He constantly threatens opponents with a powerful overhand, which he can knock out from the 1st hit. On the ground, the fighter relies on BJJ skills and is able to perform a submission from any position.
In addition to overhand in the rack, Matthews does not stand out in anything else. With the exception of rare low kicks, he does not try to work on different levels.
Matt is a 30-year-old American fighter. He joined the UFC in August 2020. Semelsberger made his debut in a fight against Carlton Minus, whom he defeated by unanimous decision.
In total, in the UFC, Matt had 6 fights: 4 won, and 2 lost. Samelsberger last fought in July 2022. His opponent was Alex Morono. Matt lost to him by unanimous decision.
Matt is a versatile fighter with a good wrestling base. He controls opponents well on the ground and in the clinch, due to which he scores points. In the stand, he relies on good boxing skills and knockout power. 6 out of 10 victories he won by knockouts.
But Matt can't fight aggressively for 15 minutes. Already in the 3rd round, he lacks strength, which is why he gives up the initiative. For versatility, Semelsberger pays with gaps in all aspects of combat. In the stance, he often stagnates, which is why he misses a lot of punches. On the ground, a fighter can make mistakes even in the attack and misses the moments when the opponent attempts to submit him.
Matthews vs Semelsberger Prediction
In my opinion, Matthews is heavily overrated by bookmakers. Analysts were impressed with his flashy and quick welterweight victories, leaving Jake's weak opposition out of the picture. Over the past 4 years, he has won either against mediocre fighters or against veterans who are on a huge decline.
Semelsberger will impose a difficult duel on him. Matt works better in the rack. Unlike Jake, the American does not work with single strikes or deuces, but is able to break through high-quality combinations. Therefore, against the background of the Australian, Semelsberger will look much more active in the eyes of the judges. On the ground, Matthews often makes mistakes and often gives up an advantageous position.