UFC Fight Night 96 comes to the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon and features two fighters moving up in weight class as John Dobson takes on John Lineker in the Bantamweight Division. Both fighters have done well in their division, Lineker winning his last three and Dobson winning earlier in the year.
The co-main event pits former Bellator champion, Will Brooks against Alex Oliveira. Brooks is 1-0 in the UFC after making the jump from Bellator, while Oliveira comes in looking for his fifth win in his last six fights.
The main card rounds out with Josh Burkman vs. Zak Ottow and Louis Smolka vs. Brandon Moreno.
The Main Card
John Lineker (28-7) vs. John Dobson (19-7) | Current Line: Dobson -130, Lineker ev.
This will be an entertaining fight. John Dobson’s only two UFC losses were to one of the best in the business, Demetrious Johnson. Dobson is the better athlete and has the advantage should the fight go to the ground.
Lineker is a hard hitter and will want to keep the fight standing. This fight comes down to whichever fighter is able to execute his game plan. I think Dobson will want to utilize his wrestling skills and control Lineker from top position.
Lineker is going to try and keep the fighting standing while trying to close range in an effort to land the knockout blow like he did against Michael McDonald in his previous fight. Lineker’s best chance to win is to catch Dobson early on in the fight because the longer the fight goes on the less of a chance he has at winning.
Pick: Dobson by decision
Will Brooks (18-1) vs. Alex Oliveira (14-3-1) | Current Line: Brooks -320, Oliveira +250
Will Brooks has all the tools to be UFC Lightweight Champion. His UFC debut wasn’t as impressive as expected so I expect him put on a good show here. I expect the first round to be competitive as Brooks has been known to get off to a slow start, but he’ll start imposing his will as the fight progresses.
Oliveira was outclassed by Donald Cerrone and I expect the same here.
Pick: Brooks by decision
Joshua Burkman (29-13) vs. Zak Ottow (13-3) | Current Line: Burkman -240, Ottow +190
Both of these fighters excel at submissions. Ottow is just coming into the UFC but ten of his thirteen wins have been by submission. The veteran, Burkman is no doubt on the downside of his career. This fight comes down to the more experienced fighter taking advantage of the lesser experienced fighter. I won’t be surprised if the underdog pulls this one out though.
Pick: Burkman by decision
Louis Smolka (11-1) vs. Brandon Moreno (11-3) | Current Line: Smolka -465, Moreno +355
I’m looking forward to this fight. Smolka is a rising talent with all the tools to be champion one day. Moreno is a tough fighter who is making his UFC debut. As tough as Moreno is, taking the fight on short notice does not bode well for him. Smolka has the advantage in every category and should wear the TUF fighter down and get the stoppage in the latter rounds.
Pick: Smolka by TKO
Enjoy the fights!
The Fighting Champion
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