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UFC Fight Night 27 Preview and Predictions

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The UFC returns Wednesday, August 28, 2013, for its first mid-week card in some time. We’ll be covering all the action tomorrow evening, but first we wanted to give you a detailed breakdown of the main card, as well as our fight predictions. Let us know what you think below!

UFC Fight Night 27 Main Card Predictions

 

Carlos Condit v. Martin Kampmann

Despite losses in each of their prior bouts, Carlos Condit and Martin Kampmann both still deservedly remain near the top of the welterweight division. This rematch has been a long time in the making, as Condit suffered a controversial split decision loss in a highly entertaining fight. Both have proven to be well-rounded, technical strikers, and they are durable enough to make me think that this fight will go all three rounds. Condit will look to avoid losing his third straight contest, while Kampmann will be trying to bounce back from a devastating first round knockout defeat at the hands of Johny Hendricks late last year. Expect plenty of striking exchanges and battles in the clinch, with each fighter looking to utilize angles and footwork to get the edge. This match up has “fight of the night” honors written all over it, and I see Condit redeeming himself by earning a unanimous decision after five close rounds.

Prediction: Condit, 5th Round Unanimous Decision

 

Donald Cerrone v. Rafael Dos Anjos

The co-main event of the evening will feature top-10 UFC lightweights Donald Cerrone and Rafael Dos Anjos. Cowboy has had stretches of brilliance since moving on from the WEC, but has never been able to make the final push into the top of the division, losing high-profile fights against Nate Diaz and Anthony Pettis. He was dominant in his last showing against KJ Noons, and will look to build upon this momentum. Dos Anjos will face one of the most difficult challenges of his career in Cerrone. The Brazilian has won four straight at lightweight, but a controversial split decision victory over Evan Dunham in May did little to establish him as a true contender. He faces a tough test in Cerrone’s potent striking game and ground skills, and its a test I don’t believe he will pass.

Prediction: Cerrone, 2nd Round Technical Knockout

 

Kelvin Gastellum v. Brian Melancon

The most recent TUF winner, Kelvin Gastellum, will return to the octagon for the first time since defeating Uriah Hall, competing opposite Strikeforce import Brian Melancon. Gastellum is making his debut in the welterweight division, so it will be interesting to see how his body adjusts to the lighter weight. He has solid wrestling skills and a tremendous work ethic, but it is still to early to know how he will fare against more polished opponents. Melancon had about as strong a debut performance as you can ask for, utilizing superior counterpunching technique to earn a sensational knockout with just 1-second left in the first round. Neither fighter has 10 professional bouts on their record, so this will be an intriguing matchup between young talent. Gastellum was highly consistent during his run on TUF, and I think he has the skills to pick up his second straight UFC win.

Prediction: Gastellum, 3rd Round Unanimous Decision

 

Court McGee v. Robert Whittaker

In a match up of TUF winners, Court McGee and Robert Whittaker will both look to stake their claim in the welterweight division. Whittaker has looked impressive in both of his UFC appearances thus far, and I’m excited to see what he is able to do against a higher ranked opponent. It will be his second straight fight against a fellow TUF winner, having dispatched Colton Smith at UFC 160. McGee’s career has had its ups and downs, but he got back in the win column in his last outing against Josh Neer. He is known for his hard-nosed, grinding style, and he will look to stay close to Whittaker to utilize his wrestling. Whittaker has a promising career ahead of him, but McGee’s experience should be enough for him to win a hard-fought decision.

Prediction: McGee, 3rd Round Unanimous Decision

 

Takeya Mizugaki v. Erik Perez

“El Goyito” will make his return to the octagon following a potentially life-threatening staph infection, taking on skilled Japanese veteran Takeya Mizugaki. Perez has looked superb in his young UFC career so far, earning 1st round stoppage victories in three-straight contests. He could very well prove to be key in the UFC’s Latin American expansion plans, but will need to continue his winning ways to do so. Mizugaki picked up his first ever consecutive wins since 2008 in his split decision victory over Bryan Caraway, and a win over Perez would greatly boost his stock. I believe that Perez will look impressive once again, and pick up a stoppage victory over his more experienced adversary.

Prediction: Perez, 2nd Round Submission

 

Brad Tavares v. Robert McDaniel

McDaniel assumed the role of villain during the most recent season of TUF, but he’ll look to let his experience doing the talking against the talented young Hawaiian, Brad Tavares. “Bubba” had his fair share of critics following his run on the popular reality series, but he started his UFC career off right with a dominant victory over fellow cast-mate Gilbert Smith in his April debut. As a training partner to Jon Jones, he knows what it feels like to compete against the best in the world day-in, day-out. His mental game has been the biggest question mark thus far, and this performance should be telling. Tavares has just one defeat on his record, and seems to have a well-rounded game as he has notched several victories by TKO and submission. McDaniel certainly has a fighting chance, but Tavares has looked impressive enough on the feet and the ground that I believe he finishes McDaniel in the second round to start off the main card.

Prediction: Tavares, 2nd Round Technical Knockout

 

 

Let me know how you think the fights will go down! Here’s the full event schedule for tomorrow evening:

 Main card (Fox Sports 1, 5:00 p.m. PT/8:00 p.m. ET)

Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 2, 3:00 p.m. PT/ 6:00 p.m. ET)

Preliminary Card (Facebook, 2:00 p.m. PT/5:00 p.m. ET)