The UFC is not leaving us without proper entertainment while we wait for the biggest PPV event of the year. This week's card includes both old fan favorites and former title contenders and young prospects. Here are our UFC Fight Night 229 predictions.
UFC Fight Night 229 Predictions: Our Top Picks
Grant Dawson vs Bobby Green Prediction
Grant Dawson is ranked tenth in the division rankings. KGD was involved in wrestling as a student. He holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The 29-year-old American has 18 wins (four by knockout, three by decision, 11 by submission) and two defeats.
Dawson's unbeaten streak is now 11 fights. He last lost to compatriot Hugh Pally in 2016. After that, Grant won ten victories, and one fight ended in a draw. In the last fight, the Wisconsin native defeated the Russian Damir Ismagulov (unanimous decision).
Bobby Green is a former King of the Cage lightweight champion. The American, before signing a contract with the UFC, also competed in Tachi Palace Fights, Strikeforce, and Affliction and took part in the MTV reality show Bully Beatdown. The 37-year-old fighter from California has 30 victories (nine by knockout, 11 by decision, ten by submission) and 14 defeats.
Green is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In his last fight in July 2023, he defeated fellow UFC veteran Tony Ferguson.
Bookmakers consider Dawson to be the clear favorite for the upcoming fight. However, we do not particularly agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 229 predictions. Both fighters are approximately equal in anthropometric data and age. In this situation, any of them can win. Therefore, it is worth betting that the fight will be rather long and we prefer the over 2.5 rounds.
• Over 2.5 Rounds
Alex Morono vs Joaquin Buckley Prediction
Alex Morono has been competing professionally in mixed martial arts since 2010. The Great White is a former Legacy Fighting Championship welterweight champion. He has 23 wins (six by knockout) and eight losses. In his last fight, Morono defeated veteran Tim Means via 2nd round submission. He holds black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Taekwondo.
Joaquin Buckley previously competed for Bellator and Legacy Fighting Alliance. The 29-year-old American has 16 wins (12 by knockout) and six losses. The St. Louis native lost two fights in the last three, losing to Nassurdin Imavov (unanimous decision) and his compatriot Chris Curtis. He last won against Andre Fialho in May 2023. He began competing in the UFC in August 2020.
Bookmakers consider Buckley a huge favorite ahead of this bout and we generally agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 229 predictions. However, betting on Buckley is risky and we would rather bet on over 1.5 rounds. Both fighters have almost never had a 1st round finish and we can expect the second round to at least start here.
• Over 1.5 Rounds
UFC Fight Night 229 Prelims Predictions: Youth vs Experience
Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs Diana Belbita Prediction
Karolina is a 37-year-old athlete from Poland. She came to the UFC in 2015, and already in November 2016 she fought for the belt against Joana Jedrzejczyk. Kowalkevich did not become a champion, losing to her compatriot by unanimous decision.
In total, Kowalkevich had 15 fights in the UFC: won 8, lost 7. She was on a 5-match losing streak until 2021. Nevertheless, she seems to be improving despite her age and won three in a row in 2022 and 2023.
Carolina's base is Muay Thai. She is most dangerous in the stand-up, where she boxes well, works at a high tempo, and throws inventive combinations, due to which she breaks up her opponents and scores points. I note that Carolina has good takedown defense; she blocks over 80% of the attempts to take her to the ground.
Kowalkiewicz's main drawback is her lack of physical strength. Because of this, her attacks do no damage.
Diana is a 27-year-old athlete from Romania. She began her professional career in 2014. Before moving to the UFC, Diana performed in one of the leading European leagues – KSW. In this organization, Belbita entered the fight for the title in May 2017, but lost to Ariane Lipski, a current UFC athlete, by submission.
Diana made her UFC debut in October 2019 in a fight against Molly McCann, to whom she lost by unanimous decision. After this, the Romanian returned to the Octagon in July 2020 in a fight against Liana Jojua, who took Belbita by submission in half a round.
Diana is a basic kickboxer. She is distinguished by her aggressive fighting style. The Romanian constantly puts pressure on her opponents, throws a large number of punches, and tries to work on different levels. Thanks to her impressive physical strength, Belbita inflicts serious damage on her opponents and often wins ahead of schedule.
The athlete has big problems with wrestling. She allows herself to be translated and makes serious mistakes on the ground. Thanks to this, her opponents easily take a dominant position and score points against her.
Bookmakers consider Kowalkiewicz a favorite here and we generally would agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 229 predictions. Belbita's only chance for an early finish is a knockout and that generally does not happen very often in women's MMA. Kowalkiewicz is reviving her career and looks quite confident. She is more experienced at a high level and we believe that she has the edge here.
• Karolina Kowalkiewicz to Win
UFC Fight Night 229 Full Card Predictions: The Best of the Rest
Joe Pyfer vs Abdul Razak Alhassan Prediction
Joe is a 27-year-old fighter from the United States. He began his professional career in 2018. In August 2020, Pyfer came to Dana White's Contender Series show, but Dustin Stolfutz broke his arm during a takedown in the 1st round.
Joe returned to minor promotions, overcame the loss, and returned to DWCS in July 2022. There he knocked out Ozzy Diaz in the 2nd round and received a contract with the UFC.
Pyfer stands out with his knockout power. He achieved 8 out of 11 victories by finishing his opponents with KO/TKOs. Joe backs up his standup skills with good wrestling technique, thanks to which he can take the fight to the ground if he doesn’t succeed in the standup.
Pyfer is still a mystery to us. The level of his opposition is, to put it mildly, low. It is possible that in a fight with an experienced opponent he will find himself in a situation from which he cannot escape. Also, speaking about Pifer’s grappling, we will note that he has attacking skills, but his defense in wrestling is in a deplorable state.
Abdul Razak is a 38-year-old fighter from the United States. He made his UFC debut in November 2016 in a fight against Charlie Ward, whom he knocked out in 53 seconds.
In 2018, Alhassan was forced to take a break due to problems with the law. He was charged with sexually assaulting two women. At the end of 2019, the jury found Abdul Razak not guilty and the charges against him were dropped.
Alhassan returned to the Octagon in July 2020. In total, Alhassan had 11 fights in the UFC: won 6, lost 5.
Alhassan prefers to fight in a standing position. He relies on impressive physical strength, thanks to which he can knock out an opponent with one precise hit.
Abdul Razak's main problem is mediocre cardio. If he cannot knock out his opponent at the start of the bout, then he comes into the second round very tired and completely gives up the initiative. Because of this, he is easy to control on the ground.
Bookmakers consider Pyfer a clear favorite ahead of this bout and we agree with them for our UFC Fight Night 229 predictions. Abdul Razak Alhassan has been in terrible shape for the last 2 years. He has lost his knockout power and his stamina is getting worse every year. Of course, he has a chance to knock out the opponent but that's his only trump card. Pyfer is inexperienced but significantly younger and in better shape.
• Joe Pyfer via KO/TKO/Submission