UFC heavyweights #8-ranked Josh Barnett and #11-ranked Roy Nelson clash tonight in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Japan.
Both fighters are coming off losses and need a win to move into the upper half of the division. Something that could happen easily with an impressive finish.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
MMA Crossfire Expert Kenai Andrews weighs in on the main card:
MIZUTO “PUGNUS” HIROTA (17-7-0) VS TERUTO “YASHABO” ISHIHARA (7-2-0)
Andrews: Hirota is the more experienced fighter and this is his second run in the UFC. But the 24-year-old Ishihara is a knockout artist, with six finishes in his seven victories. UFC jitters aside, I’m going with the underdog in Yashabo to ring up another KO.
Andrews Prediction: Teruto “Yashabo” Ishihara via TKO.
KATSUNORI KIKUNO (23-7-2) VS DIEGO “DB” BRANDAO (23-10-0)
Andrews: This fight is the TUF 14 winner Brandao’s to lose. If he starts fast and fades early, the fight favours Kikuno. If he has the cardio to pressure Kikuno, then he will win. Thats the question: Will Brandao gas? I think he will gas but gets the job done early with a finish.
Andrews Prediction: Diego “DB” Brandao via TKO.
#8 TAKEYA MIZUGAKI (20-9-2) VS GEORGE ROOP (15-12-1)
Andrews: Roop should prove to be easy prey for Mizugaki’s takedowns and if he’s not careful, knockout power. Roop has submissions on the ground, but Mizugaki will have him scrambling on defence for most of the bout.
Andrews Prediction: Takeya Mizugaki via unanimous decision.
#7 KYOJI HORIGUCHI (15-1-0) VS #13 CHICO “THE KING” CAMUS (14-6-0, 1NC)
Andrews: Cardio issues aside, Horiguchi did well against the champion Demetrious Johnson. Unless Camus, can pressure him like Mighty Mouse, Horiguchi should be able to establish himself. Camus will try to wear down Horiguchi, but in the end, Horiguchi will prevail.
Andrews Prediction: Kyoji Horiguchi via unanimous decision.
#6 GEGARD MOUSASI (37-5-2) VS URIAH “PRIMETIME” HALL (12-5-0)
Andrews: Which Uriah Hall will show up? The timid nice guy who lets lesser fighters steal the victory or the Ronda Rousey inspired confident one that’s dismantled everyone in its path? Mousasi is a big test who can use grappling to stifle Hall as well as striking. I’m banking on the new-and-improved Hall showing up and taking the finish.
Andrews Prediction: Uriah “Primetime” Hall via TKO.
#8 JOSH “THE WARMASTER” BARNETT (33-7-0) vS #11 ROY “BIG COUNTRY” NELSON (21-11-0)
Andrews: Both guys need a win here. Barnett is a bigger version of Nelson, and has most of the physical advantages here. But Roy Nelson don’t care. Only Mark Hunt has been able to knock him out, otherwise he just keeps coming. Nelson always has a chance with his power, but Barnett should be able to come out with a decision win here.
Andrews Prediction: Josh Barnett via TKO.