UFC Fight Night 76: Poirier vs. Duffy
Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015
3Arena | Dublin, Ireland
It’s been a hot minute since we convened for some rapid-fire UFC picks and boy, do I hope you missed me as much as I’ve missed you. This weekend, Zuffa and co. are heading back to Ireland for just the third time (the first and second being UFC 93: Franklin vs. Henderson and UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Brandao, respectively) with a fight lineup very befitting their UFC Fight Pass subscription service, whose exclusive live events have evolved into featuring a rotating roster of feeder leagues—including Shooto Brazil, Titan FC and Invicata FC—since the last time an exclusive UFC event was aired (UFC Fight Night: Jedrzejczyk vs. Penne, on June 20).
As usual, every prediction below will be presented in five sentences or less.
MAIN UFC FIGHT PASS CARD – 4PM/1PM ET|PT
#13 Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier (+200) vs. “Irish” Joe Duffy (-235): What a strange set of odds. Even though Duffy comes into this bout 2-0 inside the Octagon, has home field advantage and holds the distinction of being the last man to not only defeat, but finish “The Notorious” Conor McGregor—the last man to defeat Poirier himself, not-so-coincidentally—something smells awfully funky about how the oddsmakers have this thing figured. Both men have a single defeat by way of submission (and yeah, I know that sole submission is Duffy’s only loss), however Duffy’s loss to the perceivably declining 35-year-old Ivan “The Terrible” Musardo rings out far more detrimentally in terms of his combative acumen than does Poirier’s tap out to Chan Sung Jung. In terms of striking, Poirier holds a marginal advantage, and although this contest will remain competitive until it isn’t, the underdog will come out on top. Poirier by TKO.
Paddy “The Hooligan” Holohan (-105) vs. Louis “Da Last Samurai” Smolka (-115): Holohan’s grappling-centric style will play directly into Smolka’s well-rounded skill set. Expect Smolka to secure another orange scalp by way of lopsided decision. Smolka by UD.
“Stormin” Norman Parke (-239) vs. Reza “Mad Dog” Madadi (+204): One of the better fighters to emerge from The Ultimate Fighter in the last several years, Norman Parke has found his tires in the mud recently, dropping back-to-back split decisions in his last two outings. Fortunately, he’s welcoming Reza Madadi, who we last saw in April 2013 laying the smackdown on lightweight title orbiter Michael Johnson. See, Madadi was convicted of aggravated burglary back in August 2013 and spent 14 months in a Swedish prison and my guess is that, despite being among the finest countries in the world in terms of social services, the MMA facilities in Sweden’s penal institutions likely don’t compare positively to those enjoyed by people on the opposite side of prison walls pretty much anywhere. Parke by UD.
Nicolas “Sharpshooter” Dalby (-140) vs. Darren Till (+120): This set-to between two undefeated European welterweights kicks off the main card. Till, despite being only 22, has been knocking dudes flat since 2010 (for you math-deficient homies out there, that means he was 17 when he had his first amateur bout). Dalby, who at the ripe old age of 30 has no business calling himself a prospect anymore (you relinquish that title after crossing that third decade threshold), debuted as a professional in 2010. Both have torn through a list of “Who Dats” en route to securing Zuffa signage while employing their preferred methods of remaining at kickboxing range early on as a form of exploratory combative engagement. Expect Dalby’s experience, athleticism and comparative reach to Till to be important factors in this contest. Dalby by SD.
UFC FIGHT PASS EARLY PRELIMS – 1PM/10AM ET|PT
“Braveheart” Stevie Ray (-475) vs. Mickael “Ragnar” Lebout (+375): Former Cage Warriors 155 lb. champion Stevie Ray looks to keep his UFC record pristine against .500 player Mickael Lebout, a tough Frenchman who will likely get out-hustled and wrestled by the still-improving 25-year-old Scot. Ray by submission.
Neil “2Tap” Seery (-155) vs. Jon “The Heat” Delos Reyes (+135): Among the oldest fighters not competing at heavyweight currently under Zuffa employ, Neil Seery’s position on the precipice of receiving a pink slip would seem far more in favor of his dismissal were it not for his nationality and resultant association with one of the UFC’s biggest stars. His opponent, Jon Delos Reyes, hasn’t the faintest idea of how to have a dull contest, so expect this bout to an exciting affair. Seery’s got the crowd on his side, which isn’t as insubstantial a factor as many would believe, and he’s got some veteran savvy that at this point cannot be denied. Reyes may be stronger, younger and more athletic, but Seery’s got the edge in terms of grizzled wherewithal. Seery by submission.
#15 Aisling “Ais the Bash” Daly (-130) vs. Ericka Almeida (+110): Daly by SD.
Scott Askham (-140) vs. Krysztof Jotko (+120): Askham by TKO.
Cathal Pendred (+210) vs. Tom Breese (-250): Pendred by UD.
#14 Darren “The Damage” Elkins (-145) vs. Rob “The Hammer” Whiteford (+125): Elkins may very well be the most boring fighter currently on the UFC roster, but he’s got it where it counts in terms of staying in the win column by way of fights that feel slower than a drunken relay race in the everglades. Elkins by UD.
“The Fighting Texas Aggie” Bubba Bush (-250) vs. Garreth “Soldierboy” McLellan (+210): Bush by KO.
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