Week after week, the UFC produces the best entertainment in the world of combat sports and this week, they are back home in the UFC APEX. We have some big fights and a bunch of lower-level contests. Here are our UFC Fight Night 228 predictions.
UFC Fight Night 228 Predictions: Here's the Best from the Main Card
Rafael Fiziev vs Mateusz Gamrot Prediction
Some of Fiziev's achievements include a Bronze medal at the Muay Thai World Cup. He has earned 6 UFC bonuses, 3 for Performance of the Night and 3 for Fight of the Night. He has a Blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Fiziev is a dominator and a connoisseur of bloody affairs. He chops people with his elbows and generously showers them with hooks. Fiziev always puts pressure, but in different roles, depending on the style of the opponent. He can adapt to every kind of fighter.
Fiziev will clearly be true to himself and show ruthless stand-up work. He skillfully unloads with his hands, as if from a double-barreled shotgun, sends a cannon high kick after him, or chops his shin to the body.
Fiziev is also ready for the fact that the Gamrot wants to get closer, in which case the classics of Thai boxing will be used – elbows and knees. In the clinch, Rafael acts lethally, he tries to hit less, but harder: his goal is to inflict maximum damage rather than win points.
If Rafael fixes himself in the stance, he will have every chance of winning.
Mateusz Gamrot is a former KSW lightweight and welterweight champion. He has won the gold, silver, and bronze medals at the ADCC European Grappling Championship and has a Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Mateusz is a moderately technical boxer who likes to change stances.
The Pole always strictly follows the game plan, but at the same time adapts to any surprises during the battle. Gamrot also has enviable durability: he confidently rises to his feet after a knockdown and continues to pursue victory.
The Pole prefers to work on the ground, performs takedowns on everyone, and even knocked over the high-class wrestler Tsarukyan. Mateus is sensitive to distance and correctly selects the timing for an explosive attack.
Mateus can win if he combines two of his tricks – endurance and loyalty to the game plan. He knows how to force his opponents to give up, and his experience in grappling and BJJ speaks for itself.
Bookmakers consider Fiziev a clear favorite here and we generally agree with our UFC Fight Night 228 predictions. Yes, Gamrot is an exceptional fighter and he will have his chances. But Fiziev is a monster. If his takedown defense is on point on Saturday, Gamrot will have some serious struggles on his feet. Overall, we think that Fiziev will try to knock Gamrot out and Gamrot will try to submit Fiziev. We expect this contest to end within the five rounds.
• Fight Will Not Reach Distance
Bryce Mitchell vs Dan Ige Prediction
Mitchell's debut in the UFC took place in March 2019 in a fight against Bobby Moffett, whom he defeated by unanimous decision. In total, Bryce had 7 fights in the UFC and won six of them. One moment that has to be remembered is his win over Matt Sayles in December 2019, when he successfully used the Twister submission hold for the second time in the history of the promotion.
Bryce's trump card is wrestling. He is a freestyle wrestler and a black belt in BJJ. Thanks to his skills, he easily controls opponents on the ground, performs non-standard coups from a position from below, takes advantageous positions, works from them into the ground and pound, and goes for submissions.
In the fight against Barboza, Bryce showed that he had seriously worked on his striking. He knocked down one of the most dangerous Muay Thai fighters in the UFC at the end of the 1st round and later beat him as a whole.
Dan is a 32-year-old fighter from the USA. He entered the UFC after a successful performance on Dana White's Contender Series in 2017. In total, Dan had 14 fights in the UFC: won 9, lost 5.
Dan is a versatile fighter. In the standup, he relies on boxing skills, throws targeted combinations, and can work as both 1st and 2nd number. On the ground, he relies on his base of freestyle wrestling and BJJ. Dan can control average fighters well and has dangerous submission techniques in his arsenal.
Because of his versatility, Ige does not have outstanding skills in any discipline. He can do everything but at an average level. In the standup, Dan has no mobility and he acts monotonously, and the low effectiveness of takedowns prevents him from realizing his BJJ skills.
Bookmakers consider Mitchell a huge favorite ahead of this bout and we agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 228 predictions. Bryce suffered his first defeat in the previous fight against Topuria and we expect him to bounce back and destroy the mediocre Dan Ige in this fight.
• Bryce Mitchell to Win
UFC Fight Night 228 Prelims Predictions: Here is Our Top Pick
Tim Means vs Andre Fialho Prediction
Tim Means is a true veteran of Dana White's league. The 39-year-old American fighter has been competing in the UFC since 2012. The Dirty Bird has a record of 32 wins (19 by knockout), 14 losses and one result was not counted. The Oklahoma native lost his last two fights, losing to his compatriots Max Griffin (split decision) and Kevin Holland (submission). He is the former King of the Cage lightweight champion.
Andre Fialho has been playing in Dana White's league since January 2022. Before that, he tried his hand at XMMA, LFA, PFL, and Bellator. The fighter is a former UAE Warriors champion. The 29-year-old Portuguese has 16 wins (13 by knockout) and seven losses. Moreover, he suffered three of them in the UFC (two knockouts and a submission).
Fialho lost his last two fights, losing to Australian Jake Matthews (knockout) and older Russian fighter Muslim Salikhov (technical knockout). Andre is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Bookmakers consider Fialho the favorite for this bout and we agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 228 predictions. Tim Means never made it into the UFC and the majority of his f9ights since 2014 have been defeats. He is at the end of his career and Fialho should be able to win this easily.
• Andre Fialho to Win
UFC Fight Night 228 Full Card Predictions: The Best of the Rest
There is one more bout from the main card that is worth betting on and it is the rematch between Marina Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson-Gomez. They fought two years ago and we think that we have enough intel to use it for our UFC picks.
Marina Rodriguez vs Michelle Waterson-Gomez Prediction
Marina is a 36-year-old athlete from Brazil. She began her professional career in 2015. Before moving to the UFC, Rodriguez competed in regional organizations in Latin America, where she compiled a 9-0 record. Her record currently is 16-3.
Rodriguez is good at Muay Thai. She puts pressure on her opponents well, throwing powerful punches and slashing kicks. Marina works well in the clinch: she confidently controls her opponents and delivers dangerous blows with elbows and knees.
Earlier in her career, Rodriguez had serious problems with cardio but that has changed in the last few years. Her last five bouts all ended either in the final round or via decision.
Michelle is a 37-year-old athlete from the USA. She began her professional career in 2007. Before moving to the UFC, Waterson made her mark with performances in Strikeforce and Invicta FC. She has amassed an 18-11 record at this point in her career.
Michelle is a versatile fighter. In the stand-up, she relies on her karate background and has high mobility and good timing. She prefers to work at mid-range, throwing hard kicks on different levels.
On the ground, Waterson relies on his BJJ skills. Once on the ground, she regularly looks for opportunities to apply a painful hold. She gained 9 of her 18 victories by submission.
The main disadvantage of the American is the lack of knockout power and small dimensions. Because of this, Waterson has to work as number 2, and the judges do not always give her preference, even if Michelle inflicted more damage on her opponent, as she did in the fight with Esparza.
Marina is 7 cm taller than her opponent and has an 8 cm advantage in arm span. Thanks to her size advantage, Rodriguez will control the distance and work successfully in the clinch.
Bookmakers consider Marina Rodriguez the absolute favorite for this match and we agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 228 predictions. She already beat Waterson-Gomez once two years ago and since then, Gomez has lost two more fights. She lost five of the last six bouts she had since 2019. We think that this may be her last fight before retirement or at least the last in the UFC.
• Marina Rodriguez to Win