Danny “Hot Chocolate” Roberts (15-3) vs. David “Sagat” Zawada (16-3)
This welterweight bout features knockout specialist and UFC newcomer David Zawada as he makes his debut against well-rounded finisher, Danny Roberts. With 11 of his 16 wins coming by way of KO, it would seem Zawada would be the favorite to put away Roberts, but as we often see with newcomers (no matter how nice their record) Roberts is the heaviest favorite on the entire card. Level of competition is drastically different coming from almost any promotion to the UFC, and while knockouts were aplenty in KSW, that may not translate into the UFC. That is not to say that Zawada has no chance, but just to temper expectations until we see him fight at this level first.
PREDICTION: Danny Roberts- Submission (RND 1)
Nasrat Haqparast (8-2) vs. Marc “Bonecrusher” Diakiese (12-2)
With both fighters coming off of recent losses, this match will be one to get back on the winning track. Marc enters the contest with six wins by way of knockout, while Nasrat’s eight wins have all been via KO. There could be an advantage for Bonecrusher if he can drag this fight into deeper waters where he has won five fights by decision, whereas Nasrat has one of his two losses by decision (the other by submission). This is a fun matchup on paper to kick off the Main Card!
PREDICTION: Nasrat Haqparast- TKO (Rnd 2)
Marcin “Tybur” Tybura (16-4) vs Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve (28-10)
We move into a heavyweight matchup that features 23 submission victories between the two fighter’s 44 wins. In a weight class that typically sees brutal KO victories, these two prefer the groundwork, but don’t think that means that KO finishes are out of the question. The two have a combined 15 KO victories, most notably was a KO win for Stefan Struve over former UFC champion Stipe Miocic. With only nine total decisions, we may be able to avoid another lengthy card full of decision victories, where it’s the fans that typically lose.
PREDICTION: Stefan Struve- TKO (RND 3)
Vitor “Lex Luthor” Miranda (12-6) vs. Abu “Gladiator” Azaitar (13-1)
It has been almost two full years since Azaitar has fought inside an Octagon, and it has been over two years since Miranda has seen a win inside the Octagon. The Gladiator does come into the contest riding a four-fight win streak but has only seen two finishes since 2014. Miranda, just shy of 40 years old, has notably fought at heavyweight and was runner-up in The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3. While this fight will be fought at middleweight, Azaitar is primarily a welterweight. This may become significant if Abu decides to try and take this fight to the ground. Miranda has power behind his punches, and with an assumed weight advantage, Abu may find himself in a predicament if he is unable to secure a takedown or control Miranda against the cage. Also of note, Abu Azaitar is also a promotional newbie while Fight Night 134 will mark Vitor’s seventh contest under the UFC banner.
PREDICTION: Vitor Miranda- Decision (RND 3)
Glover Teixeira (27-6) vs. Corey “Overtime” Anderson (10-4)
Glover Teixeira has fought some of the best fighters in the world en route to his 27-6 record. His last four losses have been at the hands of Jon Jones, Phil Davis, Anthony Johnson, and Alexander Gustafsson, taking Jon Jones to a decision. This is quite the gauntlet, and insanely impressive to know that outside of those four losses he has only lost two other times. **Insert Corey Anderson** Anderson is ten years younger than Teixeira and was able to win the TUF 19 light heavyweight finale. Whereas Anderson utilizes his wrestling to control the action while mixing in some striking, Teixeira is far and away the more accomplished finisher. Anderson, of his ten wins, has four KOs and six decisions. Inversely, Glover has accrued 16 KOs, seven submissions, and four decisions in his 27 victories. Anderson’s will be tested since he has lost three of four times via knockout. If Glover can stuff the takedowns and can open up the striking, it may be a short night for Anderson.
PREDICTION: Glover Teixeira- TKO (RND 2)
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (25-10) vs. Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (29-13)
The main event will feature two fighters with a combined 77 fights! Shogun has been a staple in the UFC, fighting 17 times for the promotion since 2007. Considered a KO specialist, Shogun has finished 20 of his 25 wins by way of TKO or KO. Anthony Smith is a little more diverse in his finishes with 15 KO and 11 submission wins. Smith is an exciting fighter that fights with a sense of urgency, always wanting to finish. This, at times, has had negative effects on Smith resulting in 12 losses by KO or submission. The aggressiveness may play heavily in his favor in a fight against a slower and injury-riddled Shogun. While it is hard to ever go against one of UFC’s great fighters, the aggressiveness, and diversity of Smith’s game should be enough to propel Lionheart to a victory, and a potential title shot!