Middleweight Bout: Rafael Natal (17-4-1) vs. Tim Kennedy (16-4)
Luke Irwin: Natal on a main event. In the UFC. I can’t even. Kennedy via UD.
Josh Hall: This is actually a UFC main event. At least the troops should get to see their guy get a win here, albeit via ugly ground control. Kennedy via unanimous decision.
Nolan Howell: Nothing can get me excited for this. Kennedy is just better everywhere, pretty much. Natal is capable of brilliance, but Kennedy is too elite and too smothering. Kennedy by UD.
Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Alexis Davis (14-5) vs. Liz Carmouche (9-3)
Luke Irwin: FOTN right here. Two tough, tough females who can dish out some serious punishment. I think Carmouche does enough with ground-and-pound to get the nod. Carmouche via SD.
Josh Hall: Does everyone remember the ungodly beating Jessica Andrade put on Rosi Sexton? Liz Carmouche trainwrecked her. I think she is the second best women’s BW in the world. Carmouche via unanimous decision.
Nolan Howell: Carmouche is good at what she does, but I think Davis is the more well-rounded fighter here. I expect Liz to try and get top control to pound out the win, but Davis will avoid that. Davis by UD.
Middleweight Bout: Ronny Markes (14-1) vs. Yoel Romero (5-1)
Luke Irwin: Markes is a bulldozer at middlweight, but he’s not going to have his way with an Olympic silver-medalist wrestler. Two big oxen ramming each other repeatedly, and I, for one, am looking forward to it. Romero via R2 TKO.
Josh Hall: Yoel Romero is capable of ultraviolence, but Markes is great at winning ugly fights. I don’t think he can survive the onslaught here though to drag it to the the later rounds. Romero via 1st round KO.
Nolan Howell: I’m high on Markes and he wins by any means necessary. Romero is capable of breaking faces and stuff with his power and has great wrestling credentials, but I just see him struggling against the younger prospect with more skills. Markes by UD.
Lightweight Bout: Jorge Masvidal (25-7) vs. Rustam Khabilov (16-1)
Luke Irwin: Masvidal is going to try and use his boxing to keep Khabilov at bay. It won’t work. Khabilov will walk through his assault like the Russian machine he is and proceed to toss Gamebred around. Khabilov via UD.
Josh Hall: If we don’t see at least one German Suplex in this fight I am going to be very disappointed. Khabilov via lopsided unanimous decision.
Nolan Howell: I love Khabilov, but Masvidal is the type of guy who can prove he is a one-trick pony if he shows up motivated. I believe he will and will show how underrated he is because of his ability to be in trouble in any fight. Masvidal by first-round TKO.
Lightweight Bout: Colton Smith (3-2) vs. Michael Chiesa (9-1)
Luke Irwin: ULTIMATE FIGHTER WINNERS COLLIIIDDEEE! Smith is going to try and smother Chiesa, but Chiesa is adept enough to catch Smith in a choke. Chiesa via R1 submission.
Josh Hall: Michael Chiesa looked great against Jorge Masvidal before getting caught, and I think Smith takes a beating in front of his fellow soldiers. Chiesa via 1st round submission.
Nolan Howell: Smith is a blanket, but Chiesa is a tricky grappler who can also stand fairly well with his lanky frame. Chiesa has more tools and it will show here. Chiesa by first-round submission.
Lightweight Bout: Bobby Green (20-5) vs. James Krause (20-4)
Luke Irwin: Toughest fight to pick here, hate to see either guy lose. I just think Green’s faced better-calibur of fighters and is a little more skilled, especially on the ground than Krause. Green via R3 submission.
Josh Hall: The LW division is so stacked that both of these guys need a win to become even a little bit relevant in the weight class. I think Krause is a little more well-rounded as uses his BJJ to eventually win the fight. Krause via second round submission.
Nolan Howell: This is my FOTN. Both guys are as scrappy as they come, but Krause is just more technical in all areas. Green will be game though and could eek out the win. Coin flip for me, but the technique sways it to Krause. Krause by unanimous decision.
Bantamweight Bout: Francisco Rivera (9-2) vs. George Roop (14-9-1)
Luke Irwin: Roop will show up to fight, but Rivera has the second-hardest hands in the division behind Michael McDonald. Roop will try to trade and will be dealt with swiftly. Rivera via R2 KO.
Josh Hall: This might be the toughest fight to call on the card. Roop has the better wins but he is very hittable and Rivera is one of the hardest hitters at BW. I’ll take the experience here in a close fight. Roop via unanimous decision.
Nolan Howell: I like both fighters here and Rivera’s boxing technique could present a lot of trouble. However, Roop’s length and variety of attack could negate that. Still, I love the power of Rivera and expect it to pay off here. Rivera by first-round KO.
Featherweight Bout: Dennis Bermudez (11-3) vs. Steven Siler (23-10)
Luke Irwin: Bermudez is one of my favorite fighters alive, but Siler is always tough and is 5-1 in the UFC. This is for a spot at the big boys’ table in the featherweight division. Bermudez is fun, but doesn’t have the ground game or submission game to get Siler in trouble. Siler via SD.
Josh Hall: Bermudez has all the physical tools to overwhelm Siler, but he has had problems with making mistakes leading to early submissions. Siler via 1st round guillotine.
Nolan Howell: Bermudez’s power could end this really quickly, but Siler is slick from his back and Bermudez is prone to have his Lenny moments. Siler by first-round submission.
Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Amanda Nunes (8-3) vs. Germaine de Randamie (4-2)
Luke Irwin: GDR has great kickboxing and muay thai credentials, but hasn’t used it yet much in her MMA career, relying on a lot of clinch and work in tight. Nunes, on the other hand, without the background de Randamie possesses, has been trucking tough, tough women at featherweight, no less. She’s a nasty, hard hitter, and if GDR feels like slugging it out, we could be in for a treat. Nunes via R3 TKO.
Josh Hall: I think this is likely to be a stand up fight, and de Randamie has very good technical striking. De Randamie via unanimous decision.
Nolan Howell: Don’t like de Randamie’s slow Thai style and Nunes should take advantage with a blitz. Nunes by first-round TKO.
Middleweight Bout: Chris Camozzi (19-6) vs. Lorenz Larkin (13-1)
Luke Irwin: Both tough guys, but Camozzi is going to take Larkin down and control the entire fight. Camozzi via UD.
Josh Hall: I can’t see any way Chris Camozzi can replicate the wrestling utilized by Francis Carmont, and on the feet he could be in big trouble. Larkin via 1st round KO.
Nolan Howell: Camozzi is a tough SOB, but Larkin is a woodchipper on the feet and I don’t think Camozzi will able to get much done. Larkin by second-round TKO.
Lightweight Bout: Yancy Medeiros (9-1) vs. Yves Edwards (42-20-1)
Luke Irwin: Yves has been hosed on two consecutive split-decisions. He’ll make sure it won’t happen again. Edwards via R1 TKO.
Josh Hall: Thugjitsu. That is all. Edwards via 2nd round KO.
Nolan Howell: People saying Edwards is over the hill are right, but he’s still fighting Yancy Medeiros. Edwards by UD.
Welterweight Bout: Neil Magny (8-2) vs. Seth Baczynski (18-10)
Luke Irwin: Baczynski is a question mark. The man finished Matt Brown, and got knocked out by Brian Melancon and just about everything in between. No clue how this is going to go. Magny via UD.
Josh Hall: Both of Magny’s defeats have come via submission and that happens to be Baczynski’s specialty. Baczynski via 2nd round submission.
Nolan Howell: Seth Baczynski is an underrated talent, but not unlike Masvidal, he puts in some ugly performances to warrant it. Magny just isn’t better anywhere here. Baczynski by second-round submission.
Middleweight Bout: Brian Houston (4-0) vs. Derek Brunson (10-2)
Luke Irwin: This is waaaayyyy too much, too soon for Houston. Brunson via a huge UD.
Josh Hall: Houston has 4 pro wins and 3 of them came over guys that had 0 wins each at the time he fought them. Brunson has at least beaten zombie Chris Leben. Brunson via unanimous decision.
Nolan Howell: Brunson is good and Houston is being thrown in against too decent of a fighter, considering his lack of regional credentials. Brunson by UD.