UFC Fight Night 99 - Mousasi vs. Hall 2 comes to us live from Belfast, Ireland on Saturday afternoon. Gegard Mousasi and Uriah Hall step in as the main event for Gunnar Nelson and Dong Hyun Kim. The original main event was canceled due to an injury suffered by Nelson.
Middleweight contender Gegard Mousasi steps into the cage to face Uriah Hall for the second time. In their first meeting at Fight Night 75, Hall delivered a second round highlight reel TKO.
The co-main event is an excellent pairing of lightweights as Ross Pearson takes on Stevie Ray, who steps in on short notice for the injured James Krause. The main card rounds out with heavyweights Timothy Johnson vs. former Bellator champion, Alexander Volkov. Also, in the featherweight division Artem Lobov goes up against Teruto Ishihara.
The Main Card
Gegard Mousasi (40-6-2) vs. Uriah Hall (13-7) – Middleweight 185 lbs.
Current Odds: Mousasi -535; Hall +395
Gegard Mousasi was in complete control of their first fight, dominating Hall for the entire first round. Mousasi says the spinning back kick that Hall landed to knock him out was lucky. Hall describes it as perfect timing. Call it what you want, it won’t happen a second time.
I expect Mousasi to avoid getting in a slugfest and use his superior grappling skills to keep Hall on the ground. Uriah Hall excels in the stand –up where he can use his fantastic striking skills to soften up his opponents, and attempt to land the big knockout blow.
This fight should go exactly the way the first round went in their first fight. Mousasi will avoid Hall’s power and take him to the ground with relative ease.
Pick: Mousasi by submission
Ross Pearson (21-11) vs. Stevie Ray (19-7) – Lightweight 155 lbs.
Current Odds: Pearson -120; Ray -110
This is the fight I’m most looking forward to on the entire card. Ross Pearson enters the fight after losing his last two bouts. While there’s no shame in losing to Jorge Masvidal and Will Brooks, a third consecutive loss would be devastating for Pearson.
With just three weeks’ notice, Stevie Ray comes into the fight far less prepared. That’s not to say he doesn’t have a chance here. He is 3-1 since coming to the UFC with two of the three wins coming by way of knockout.
This is as close to a must win situation as there is for Ross. I expect a good, competitive fight between these two.
Pick: Pearson by decision
Timothy Johnson (10-2) vs. Alexander Volkov (26-6) – Heavyweight 265 lbs.
Current Odds: Johnson -145; Volkov +115
While he won’t “wow” anyone, Timothy Johnson goes about his business in a workman like manner. Johnson will have the most success against Volkov by taking him down and keeping him there while using ground and pound. If he chooses to stand and trade with Volkov then it’ll be a short night for him. I think Johnson will have success scoring takedowns, as well as scoring in the clinch.
Former Bellator champion Alexander Volkov makes his UFC debut and will want to make a statement. I expect him to want to keep the fight standing so he can take advantage of his superior striking skills. If Volkov is successful at stuffing the takedown attempts and if he can keep his back off of the fence, I think he’ll win the fight.
Pick: Johnson by decision
Artem Lobov (13-12-1, 1 NC) vs. Teruto Ishihara (10-2-2) – Featherweight 145 lbs.
Current Odds: Ishihara -250; Lobov +200
Teruto Ishihara is 4-0-1 since coming to the UFC. He’s 2-0 in his previous two fights with both wins coming by knockout. Artem Lobov is 4-3 in his current UFC run. He tends to struggle against fighters with a high fighter IQ, and I expect him to struggle here as well.
Pick: Ishihara by submission
Prelims Quick Look
Cedenblad over Marshman
Horiguchi over Bagautinov
Lee over Mustafaev
Elmose over Cooper
Godbeer over Ledet
Yakovlev over Cummings
Reneau over Didieva
Johns over Kwak
Alhassan over Ward
Enjoy the fights!
The Fighting Champion
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