UFC 223: Khabib vs Iaquinta predictions
The show must go on.
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) April 7, 2018
Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.
PRELIMS (8PM ET/5PM PT)
DEVIN CLARK (8-2-0) VS. MIKE RODRIGUEZ (9-2-0)
Andrews: Rodriguez is making his octagon debut. I thought Clark would win his last fight and was disappointed but he should have the advantage here, despite the reach and height disadvantages.
Andrews Prediction: Devin Clark via UD
BEC RAWLINGS (7-7-0) VS. ASHLEE EVANS-SMITH (5-3-0)
Andrews: Both fighters need a win badly. I have to go with Evans-Smith to get the decision.
#14 EVAN DUNHAM (18-6-1) VS. OLIVIER-AUBIN-MERCIER (11-2-0)
Andrews: I like OAB but Dunham might be a bit more than he can chew here. Dunham has everything OAB has and he has more power in his punch and has fought better opponents.
Andrews Prediction: Evan Dunham via UD
#4 KAROLINA KOWALKIEWICZ (11-2-0) VS. #8 FELICE HERRIG (14-6-0)
Andrews: Good matchup. Felice needs to get the fight to the ground. Karolina’s striking is good but I think Felice will get it to the ground and grind out the decision.
Andrews Prediction: Felice Herrig via UD
MAIN CARD (10PM ET/7PM PT)
JOE LAUZON (27-15-0) VS. CHRIS GRUETZEMACHER (13-3-0)
Andrews: Both guys need a win. Does Joe have one more good one in him? Perhaps, but I have to go with Gruetzemacher to get the finish.
Andrews Prediction: Chris Gruetzemacher via TKO
ZABIT MAGOMEDSHARIPOV (14-1-0) VS. KYLE BOCHNIAK (8-2-0)
Andrews: Kyle has had good fights lately, even in defeat, but Zabit has been even more impressive in his two octagon fights. Bochniak is tough, but Zabit will get the decision.
Andrews Prediction: Zabit Magomedsharipov via UD
#13 RENATO MOICANO (11-1-1) VS. #13 CALVIN KATTAR (18-2-0)
Andrews: Moicano was winning the Ortega fight until he got pulled to the ground. Kattar was impressive in his last fight too. Both have good striking, but Calvin has the edge.
Andrews Prediction: Calvin Kattar via TKO
ROSE NAMAJUNAS (8-3-0) VS. JOANNA JEDRZEKCZYK (14-1-0)
Andrews: Rose proved in the first fight she can hang with Joanna’s striking along with the power to put her down with one strike. And if the fight goes to the ground, Rose has the advantage. Joanna will have improved her takedown defence and gameplan, but her chin is something you cannot improve. Rose will shock the world again.
Andrews Prediction: Rose Namajunas via TKO
#2 KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV (25-0-0) VS. #11 AL IAQUINTA (13-3-1)
Andrews: Iaquinta is tough, has wrestling and has the power to rock Khabib. For the first two rounds, that is Iaquinta’s opportunity, but after that, Khabib will shut him down, get the fight to the ground, and then pile up the points.
Andrews Prediction: Khabib Nurmagomedov via UD