UFC on ESPN+ 9: Iaquinta vs. Cowboy predictions
The UFC returns to Canada’s capital city of Ottawa for the first time since Rory MacDonald and Stephen Thompson main evented in 2016.
The weights are official and its time for Kenai Andrews to check in with his thoughts on the main card.
MAIN CARD (8PM ET/5PM PT)
ANDREW SANCHEZ (10-4-0) VS. MARC-ANDRE BARRIAULT (11-1-0)
Andrews: Since winning TUF 23, Sanchez has split his last four fights unimpressively. Here, welcoming Barriault to the octagon should’ve him the advantage. “Power Bar” is no pushover though and if Sanchez underperforms, he can easily take the win. It all depends which Sanchez shows up. Going with Sanchez narrowly getting the decision.
Andrews Prediction: Andrew Sanchez via UD
WALT HARRIS (11-7-0, 1NC) VS. SERGEY SPIVAK (9-0-0)
Andrews: Spivak’s record looks impressive with a 100 per cent finish rate, but is entering the octagon for the first time. The Big Ticket’s last fight was overturned into a no contest, so he should go in there with something to prove.
Andrews Prediction: Walt Harris via TKO
BRAD KATONA (8-0-0) VS.MERAB DVALISHVILI (8-4-0)
Andrews: Katona is progressing nicely with two octagon wins but is facing a solid opponent here in Merab, who can grind out wins with his grappling. Katona will have to be active enough to score points while being careful to avoid the takedown. Advantage Merab.
Andrews Prediction: Merab Dvalishvili via UD
#10 CUB SWANSON (25-10-0) VS. SHANE BURGOS (11-1-0)
Andrews: Swanson is struggling with three straight losses, but let’s remember they were to top guys in the division. Burgos is an unranked up-and-comer trying to leapfrog into the rankings. Shane bounced back from a tough loss to Kattar. Have to go with the “Hurricane.”
Andrews Prediction: Shane Burgos via submission
#9 DEREK BRUNSON (18-7-0) VS. #12 ELIAS THEODOROU (16-2-0)
Andrews: Elias is a careful guy in the octagon, preferring to pile up points with only two finishes in the octagon since 2014. Brunson is an emotional guy as he said but will Brunson use his wrestling so he can smash safely or will his emotions let him walk into too many Theodorou strikes. Brunson has been so emotional in his last fights, it’s tough to trust if he can stick to his gameplan. Theodorou will pile up enough points to keep Brunson’s wrestling at bay.
Andrews Prediction: Elias Theodorou via UD
#4 AL IAQUINTA (14-4-1, 1NC) VS. #8 DONALD CERRONE (35-11-0, 1NC)
Andrews: The Khabib fight continues to pay dividends for Big Al. He’s never been more confident, but Cowboy is looking good lately too. Cerrone by TKO.
Andrews Prediction: Donald Cerrone via TKO