Today I'm going to give you my UFC 138 Main Card Predictions. Now typically I will do my prelim predictions before doing the main card, but this UFC card is rather weak, so I won't be doing the prelim predictions for this event. Let's dive in.
Chris Leben vs Mark Munoz
In the UFC's first non-title 5 round fight, Chris Leben will take on Mark Munoz. A great matchup, but far from a headlining draw here. I actually feel bad that this is the main event for a non-fight night card. If this was a fight night card, this matchup headlining makes perfect sense. But for the first ever 5 round non-title fight, it begs to be something more. Last week's Penn/Diaz fight should have been a 5 rounder. That would have made sense, 2 men who were essentially battling for the number 1 contender status. But Leben and Munoz are still a couple wins away from being in serious title talk. Needless to say, I'm just scratching my head as to why the UFC made THIS fight, a 5 round fight.
Let's get to the breakdown. Leben is a solid striker with good jiu jitsu. Munoz is an average striker with great wrestling. Advantage Munoz. I expect Munoz to utilize his wrestling to put Leben on his back constantly. Leben fights well off his back, the evidence is his recent triangle choke submission over Akiyama. But Munoz's wrestling is way better than Akiyama's and Munoz won't gas out like Akiyama did. Leben is tough man to finish however, so I expect this to actually go all 5 rounds.
My prediction is Munoz by one-sided unanimous decision.
Brad Pickett vs Renan Barao
This is an intriguing matchup, but as the co-main event, I think this fight is weak. Pickett, who minus a decision loss to Scott Jorgensen would be knocking on the door to a title shot, takes on Barao, who hasn't lost in 26 straight fights and trains along side Jose Aldo. Barao was far from impressive in his UFC debut, back in May, winning a close decision. But a win is a win, and his 26 fight winning streak is still going strong.
Now if Pickett had fought at least once in the last year, I'd have no issue picking him to upset Barao. But I believe he'll have some cage rust going on and this will be his UFC debut, his last fight was in the WEC. I just don't think Pickett will not perform up to his full potential.
My prediction is that Barao will win another close decision.
Thiago Alves vs Papy Adebi
Alves gets to welcome Adebi to the octagon. Alves just has not looked like the same fighter since losing to GSP 4 fights ago. But taking on Adebi who is making his UFC debut and a notable step-up in competition makes me think Alves game get a win here. Adebi is no easy out however, and will make his UFC debut with an undefeated record of 8-0. Adebi has finished 7 of his 8 professional fights and appears to have a fairly well rounded game, although he prefers to strike.
Adebi has a slight height advantage and I believe he'll have a slight reach advantage. Alves who is the big name here, has fallen on hard times in the UFC and I believe he needs a big win to regain some confidence. However, I don't think he'll get it.
My prediction is that Adebi has a good UFC debut and takes the unanimous decision.
Terry Etim vs Eddie Faaloloto
The UFC is throwing Etim a bone here. Etim who is coming into this fight off of a loss to Rafael dos Anjos. Etim will take on Faaloloto, who is still an infant in his MMA career, sporting a 2-2 record and coming in on the heels of 2 straight losses. Etim should have a field day and pick how he wants to finish him at his leisure.
My prediction is that Etim will take his time, and finish Faaloloto via rear naked choke in the 2nd round.
Cyrille Diabate vs Anthony Perosh
Diabate vs Persosh is a main card fight. This alone should tell you how weak this card is. Diabate has in my opinion fought better competition throughout his career and possesses a well rounded game. Diabate can finish this on the feet and has a good submission game. Perosh is primarily a ground fighter. I expect that Perosh will try in vain to get this fight down and get finished early.
My prediction is Diabate sinks in a guillotine late in the 1st round as Perosh shoots in on him.
So there are my UFC 138 Main Card Predictions. To say I'm disappointed in this card is an understatement. I'm just looking forward to November 12th, and the UFC on Fox.