UFC Fight Night 35 goes down this Wednesday January 15th and begins with a preliminary card that will be broadcast on both UFC Fight Pass and Fox Sports One. Want to know who will win this Wednesday? Read below for all of our preliminary card predictions.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT 35 PRELIMS ON FOX SPORTS 1 (5 PM ET/2 PM PT)
Lightweight Bout: Ramsey Nijem (7-4) vs. Justin Edwards (8-3)
In a bout between two former Ultimate Fighter teammates, both Ramsey Nijem and Justin Edwards are likely fighting for their jobs. Nijem is currently on a two fight skid after being finished by Myles Jury and most recently James Vick. The loss to Jury is not anything to be ashamed of as Jury is quickly cementing his status as a contender at 155. His opponent Justin Edwards will be making his lightweight debut. We last saw Edwards on the wrong end of a brutal knockout at the hands of Brandon Thatch. Both of these guys are very evenly matched but I’m very curious to see if the weight cut down to 155 has a negative effect on Edwards. I think Nijem will be too fast for “Fast Eddy” and pick up the victory over his former teammate. My Prediction is for Ramsey Nijem to defeat Justin Edwards by decision.
Lightweight Bout: Isaac Vallie-Flag (14-3-1) vs. Elias Silverio (9-0)
Both Isaac Vallie-Flag and Elias Silverio had solid UFC debuts. Vallie-Flag defeated long-time MMA veteran Yves Edwards via split-decision in a bout I felt should have been unanimous. Silverio dominated Joao Zeferino to in a decision in a bout that took place at 170 pounds. Vallie-Flag has the better resume on paper but I think Silverio has all of the physical tools and tenacity to pull off the upset in this one. My prediction is for Elias Silverio to defeat Isaac Vallie-Flag by decision.
Middleweight Bout: Trevor Smith (10-4) vs. Brian Houston (4-1)
Trevor Smith and Brian Houston could not have had more different UFC debuts. StrikeForce import Smith had a three round war with long time UFC vet in a fight that could have gone either way. Smith lost the fight by split-decision but still gained more than if he had won in a boring fight. Houston on the other hand came into the UFC on a wave of hype after destroying all four of his opponents on the regional circuit. All that hype went away very quickly after Derek Brunson dropped him with a headkick and submitted him in under one minute. The jury is still out on Houston but I haven’t seen enough to confidently pick him to win this fight. My prediction is for Trevor Smith to defeat Brian Houston by TKO in round two.
Flyweight Bout: Alptekin Ozkilic (9-1) vs. Louis Smolka (6-0)
Altekin Ozkilic makes a quick turnaround after his UFC debut as he faces Louis Smolka. Just under a month ago Ozkilic made his debut with an impressive decision win over veteran Darren Uyenoyama. Ozkilic was quicker on the feet and able to mix-in takedowns to defeat Oyenoyama. Smolka on the other hand has also proven to be very well rounded in his fights on the regional circuit but seems to be most comfortable on the mat. This fight should be very competitive but I almost always favor UFC experience to win out. My prediction is for Alptekin Ozkilic to defeat Louis Smolka by decision.
UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS ( 4 PM ET/1 PM PT)
Lightweight Bout: Vinc Pichel (7-1) vs. Garett Whiteley (7-1)
Lightweights Vinc Pichel and Garett Whiteley will be looking to pickup their first UFC wins when they square off this Wednesday. Pichel made it to the semi finals of the Ultimate Fighter Live before losing to Al Iaquinta. He was unable to compete on the finale card but later made his UFC debut against Rustam Khabilov. Pichel was thoroughly dominated by Khabilov eventually being knocked out by a suplex in the first round of their bout. Whitely made his UFC debut in Brazil against Alan Patrick where he was dropped by a left hook and finished with ground and pound in the first round. This bout has the makings of a stand-up war and really hinges on who has the better chin. It’s nearly a toss-up but my prediction is for Vinc Pichel to defeat Garett Whitely by knockout in round one.
Lightweight Bout: Charlie Brenneman (19-5) vs. Beneil Dariush (6-0):
UFC veteran Charlie Brenneman will look to make an impressive return to the Octagon as he takes on UFC debutant Beneil Dariush in a lightweight bout. Brenneman was one of the UFC’s most popular underdogs after he defeated top contender Rick Story on one day notice in his hometown. After his win over Story, it was seemingly all down hill as he went 1-3 and was cut by the promotion. Brenneman has since dropped to lightweight and proven himself on the local circuit going 4-0. His opponent Dariush brings an impressive 6-0 mark into the cage but lacks the same big show experience of Brenneman. 6-0 looks nice on paper but Dariush’s opponents have not been very impressive. Brenneman should have the advantage in this fight both on the feet and in the grappling. My prediction is for Charlie Brenneman to defeat Beneil Dariush by decision.