The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale predictions
The UFC is in Las Vegas for the TUF 26 Finale. There have been a few late changes, like finalist Sijara Eubanks being replaced by the fighter she beat in the semis, Roxanne Modafferi. But Lauren Murphy, who was initially scratched from the card, did get to fight after getting paired with Barb Honchak.
Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the main card.
TSN 5 MAIN CARD
JOE SOTO (18-5-0) VS. BRETT JOHNS (14-0-0)
Andrews: Johns has been good in his two octagon bouts, but Soto has found his way since his short notice debut. I have to go with Soto to give Johns his first taste of defeat by getting him to the ground and getting the tap with the rear-naked choke.
Andrews Prediction: Joe Soto via submission
DEANNA BENNETT (8-3-0) VS. MELINDA FABIAN (4-3-1)
Andrews: Bennett has the experience advantage with her time in Invicta. Fabian lost to Rachael Ostovich on TUF 26. I have to go with Bennett, who can take Fabian to the ground and submit her if need be.
Andrews Prediction: Deanna Bennett via submission
ERIC SPICELY (10-3-0) VS. GERALD MEERSCHAEART (26-9-0)
Andrews: Both guys like to go to the ground, so this may end up as a striking stalemate, which the advantage goes to Meerschaeart. But I think Spicely knows he needs to get it to the ground and will be more motivated to get the tap.
Andrews Prediction: Eric Spicely via submission
LAUREN MURPHY (9-3-0) VS. BARB HONCHAK (10-3-0)
Andrews: This match was cobbled together when Eubanks withdrew from the title fight and Modafferi replaced her. Honchak was a former flyweight champ in Invicta, while Murphy has a lot of UFC experience. I have to go with the pedigree of Honchak.
Andrews Prediction: Barb Honchak via UD
SEAN O’MALLEY (8-0-0) VS. TERRION WARE (17-6-0)
Andrews: Ware has more experience on paper, but I’m going to go with the DWCS Kid here.
Andrews: Sean O’Malley via TKO
NICCO MONTANO (3-2-0) VS. ROXANNA MODAFFERI (21-13-0)
Andrews: Modaferri has a huge experience advantage that is tough to ignore. The Happy Warrior backs into her first UFC belt as we have to remember: she lost to Eubanks in the TUF 26 semi-final.
Andrews Prediction: Roxanne Modaferri via submission