The UFC is heading to Sunrise, Florida this Saturday for the UFC on ESPN 3 card headlined by Jacare Souza and Jack Hermansson. The card is solid top to bottom, with the 6 main card fights all great fights with ranking implications. Alex Oliveira vs Mike Perry, Glover Teixeira vs Ion Cutelaba and John Linener vs Cory Sandhagen are all great fights on this card, and I have plays on each below.
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Jack Hermansson vs Jacare Souza
Jacare is a huge step up in competition for Hermansson and his ground and pound style will have a difficult time of being successful against a fighter who is so talented on the mat like Jacare.
I give Souza the nod both on the feet and on the mat. I think he could get a finish via knockout or by submission if Hermansson gets too aggressive looking for ground and pound on the mat.
Play: Souza 1.50
Dmitrii Smoliakov vs Greg Hardy
They are bringing Smoliakov back to the UFC in order to get knocked out by Greg Hardy, who they hope to build into a star. This will be the second official UFC fight for Hardy, who lost his first fight by DQ after not being able to finish Allen Crowder early in their fight. Instead he finished the fight by kneeing Crowder when he was grounded, which resulted in his DQ.
That said, I think Hardy has shown he has the power and striking technique to get most opponents out of the fight early. I expect him to get a quick finish of Smoliakov in this fight.
Play: Hardy 1.36
Alex Oliveira vs Mike Perry
Mike Perry has shown himself to be a low level UFC fighter who is getting high profile opponents because he’s a fan favourite. He’s now 1-3 in his last four fights and the one win was a split decision victory over Paul Felder who moved up a weight class and broke his arm early in the fight.
Alex Oliveira is one of the most dangerous fighters in the welterweight division and I don’t think he’s going to have any trouble getting this fight to the mat and working for a quick submission victory over Perry.
Play: Oliveira 1.57
Glover Teixeira vs Ion Cutelaba
I’ll gladly take Glover as the underdog in this fight. Teixeira has been a top five light heavyweight for his entire career, and he’s continued to only lose to elite fighters. I’m not convinced Cutelaba falls into that category.
Cutelaba has looked good in his last two fights getting quick finishes over da Silva and Antigulov, but he’s also just 3-2 in his UFC career and Glover will be his biggest name fight to date. Give me the experience of Glover to find a way to get this win.
Play: Teixeira 2.15
Cory Sandhagen vs John Lineker
I’ve been very impressed with Cory Sandhagen in his 3-0 UFC career. He moves extremely well and can cause damage from a lot of different positions.
Lineker is a huge jump in competition for Sandhagen, but from what I’ve seen he has the length and movement to potentially keep Lineker at the end of his punches.
I’m going to side with Sandhagen to shoot up the rankings after a huge win over Lineker.
Play: Sandhagen 2.25