Welcome back to The Crossfire.
An impressive win will likely vault the winner closer to the coveted top-5.
MMA Crossfire Expert Cassie Wiseman checks in with her thoughts.
CHAS SKELLY (15-2-0) VS MAXIMO BLANCO (12-7-1, 1NC)
Wiseman: The thing about Skelly is that he is dangerous, wherever the fight takes place. He is long with power for the weight class, but his bread-and-butter is submissions. I have Skelly tying Blanco up early to take away his power. Blanco isn’t as comfortable on his back. That’s where I see Skelly taking the fight.
Wiseman Prediction: Chas Skelly via submission
CHRIS WADE (11-2-0) VS ISLAM MAKHACHEV (12-1-0)
Wiseman: Let’s be honest: this is going to be a 15 minute ground fight. Makhachev is better on the mat, but Wade has better wrestling to take things there. Judges tend to get things messed up when they see someone on top, so I have Wade outscoring Makhachev due to his takedown abilities.
Wiseman Prediction: Chris Wade via unanimous decision.
#15 EVEN DUNHAM (16-6-0) VS RICK GLENN (18-3-1)
Wiseman: We have a striker and a guy who likes submissions. A couple of things against Dunham here is that he doesn’t do well typically against strikers, keep the distance on their side, with kicks. Sure, this is Glenn’s UFC debut fight, but the matchup isn’t good for Dunham. Dunham has fought everyone in the UFC, and people are probably going to think I’m nuts here, but I’m going to go with Glenn making noise here.
Wiseman Prediction: Rick Glenn via TKO
ROAN CARNIERO (20-10-0) VS KENNY ROBERTSON (15-3-0)
Wiseman: This fight is going to be a chess match on the mat. Carneiro likes to take things to the ground for submissions. Robertson though, is no fool on the mat either. Robertson prefers to strike and use his power, but he is well-rounded enough to deal with the fight, regardless of where it goes. All fights start standing, so I have Robertson scoring on the feet, then when things go to the mat, it will be the BJJ show.
Wiseman Prediction: Kenny Robertson via unanimous decision
#9 URIAH HALL (13-6-0) VS #10 DEREK BRUNSON (15-3-0)
Wiseman: It depends on which Hall shows up. If he can keep the distance, can size things up for his timing, expect some kind of cinematic finish. However, Brunson likes to shoot in for takedowns coming from D-2 wrestling and he is a blue belt on the mat. I’d like to say that it’s an easy win for Hall, but due to his inconsistency I’m going to have to go for Brunson.
Wiseman Prediction: Derek Brunson via unanimous decision.
#7 DUSTIN POIRIER (20-4-0) VS #10 MICHAEL JOHNSON (17-10-0)
Wiseman: This is a rough fight for Johnson. Coming off two losses and Poirier who is on a four-fight winning streak. Poirier moving to 155 was probably the best move. He has finished three out of the four via KO/TKO. Since his fight with Conor McGregor, that allowed him tor really see that he needs to not get emotionally invested, just go out there and take care of business. Johnson is better with takedowns, but Poirier is a black belt on the mat. Poirier is technical and better cardio, in addition to his skills, I have Poirier via submission. If you look at the strengths of Poirier versus the weaknesses of Johnson, six out of Johnson’s ten losses have been due to submissions.
Wiseman Prediction: Dustin Poirier via submission