UFC Fight Night 106: Belfort vs Gastelum predictions
The UFC is back in Fortaleza, Brazil as veteran Vitor Belfort tries to regain some momentum in the middleweight division against former TUF winner Kelvin Gastelum.
Belfort, with three TKO losses in his last four fights channel one more vintage “Phenom” performance?
It won’t be easy. Gastelum himself is showing signs of rejuvenation after returning to middleweight, easing concerns of making weight. Putting away Tim Kennedy impressively in his last bout was another sign.
But Belfort will have the home court advantage.
Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the main card.
MAIN CARD (10PM ET/7PM PT)
ALEX OLIVEIRA (15-3-1, 2NC) VS TIM MEANS (26-7-1, 1NC)
Andrews: While Oliveira had his moments in their first bout, Means was controlling the fight until the illegal knees. I expect Means to use his length to do the same thing and get the decision.
Andrews Prediction: Tim Means via unanimous decision
#9 BETHE CORREIA (10-2-0) vs #13 MARION RENEAU (7-2-0)
Andrews: Touch call. Correia likes to strike and she has some power, but Reneau is more technical as her competitive fight with Holly Holm showed. She has the skills to avoid the power of Correia and strike, but it only takes a couple with “Pitbull.” Then, it’s in Brazil, so the judges can come into play. Despite all of this, I’m going with technical skills over power here.
Andrews Prediction: Marion Reneau via unanimous decision
#3 JUSSIER FORMAGA (19-4-0) VS #8 RAY BORG (10-2-0)
Andrews: I think Borg’s game is suited for Formaga. Borg can use his grappling to control the bout and his striking is good enough to make Formaga respect it so he can use it to shoot.
Andrews Prediction: Ray Borg via unanimous decision
#5 EDSON BARBOZA (18-4-0) VS #9 BENEIL DARIUSH (14-2-0)
Andrews: The striker vs the grappler who can strike. I love Barboza and his lightning-fast switch-kick, but Dariush has the tools – like Tony Ferguson – to shut him down. Dariush takes a few kicks and shots before using his grappling to take Barboza down for either a submission or decision.
Andrews prediction: Beneil Dariush via unanimous decision
#6 MAURICIO RUA (24-10-0) VS #12 GIAN VILLANTE (15-7-0)
Andrews: Rua still has enough left in the tank for a hometown decision win. I like Villante, but his shot will be in the first round, to catch Rua before he warms up. It all depends on either Shogun or Mauricio Run shows up.
Andrews Prediction: Mauricio Rua via unanimous decision
#9 VITOR BELFORT (25-12-0) VS #10 KELVIN GASTELUM (14-2-0)
Andrews: Gastelum has looked good since moving up to middleweight and if he comes in on point, then there is not much Belfort can do. Gastelum’s striking is current, while Belfort has to rely on the big shot.Belfort’s ground game is good defensively, but Gastelum’s is better. This fight could retire “The Phenom.”
Andrews Prediction: Kelvin Gastelum via TKO