The UFC will head out of the United States next weekend, destined for a crash landing in Berlin, Germany. Two middleweight contenders, Mark Munoz and Gegard Mousasi, will square off in the main event for a card that is going to be exclusively shown on UFC’s Fight Pass. Fight Pass is the organization’s digital subscription service found on their website. A subscription costs roughly around $9.99 per month, any fan wanting to catch this card will need to sign up immediately. The prelims will kick off the event on May 31 starting at 12:30 pm EST, with the main card following at 3 pm EST. Without any further a due, it is now time to review the fights, and spurt out some picks for the UFC card taking place in Berlin.
#7 Mark Munoz (13-4) vs. #11 Gergard Mousasi (34-4-2) – Middleweight BoutBoth fighters are coming off losses to Lyoto Machida, whom will be fighting Chris Weidman for the middleweight championship in July. Gegard has the overall better mixed martial arts game then Munoz, and can finish him in any facet of the game. Gegard has the most experience out of the two, and has beaten some of the best in the organization. Munoz sole handily relies on his explosive power, and his wrestling pedigree. Munoz will need to depend on his wrestling if he plans on beating Mousasi. Gegard has been known to become content laying on his back and attempting submission, losing fights by decision in the process. Injuries have shelved Munoz since October, and could affect his explosiveness in his take downs. When on his game, UFC’s Gegard Mousasi is just on another level then Munoz. Mousasi is a much better fighter then perceived in his recent fights, and has not yet hit his ceiling in potential. Mousasi wins this by technical knockout.
#9 Francis Carmont (22-7) vs C.B. Dollaway (15-6) – Middleweight BoutAnother middleweight match up between two risers in the division. Carmont is coming off a less to eventual title challenger, Ronaldo Souza; while Dollaway is coming off an impressive first round knockout victory over Cezar Ferreira. Both are very similar in having overall strong games. Dollaway may have the better overall striking, but just cannot stay consistent. Carmont is a physical specimen who looks to overwhelm his opponents and drag them into the later rounds; using an impressive clinch game along with a strong grappling base. Same could be said for Dollaway, and Dollaway is coming off a fight where he received minimal damage. The prediction here is that Dollaway will be able to out maneuver, and out strike Carmont; leading to a unanimous decision victory.
Luke Barnatt (8-0) vs Sean Strickland (14-0) – Middleweight Bout The main card looks to be full of middleweights as two fighters will look to remain undefeated. Both fighters are very intriguing, and each could be fighting for contender-ship status a few years down the line. Barnatt uses his 6’6 frame to his advantage, keeping distance on his strikes; and using his length as an advantage when going for submissions. Strickland just likes to attack, usually coming out aggressive in his fights. Another comparison is that both fighters love to finish their fights; each have finished their last bouts decisively. Strickland may have the more well rounded game, but may experience some jet lag after a long flight from the US. Barnatt does not have to go far from his England home and it may come to his advantage, Barnatt by submission.
Niklas Backstrom (7-0) vs Tom Niinimaki (21-5-1) – Featherweight BoutBackstrom will replace an injured Thiago Tavares and make his UFC debut. The Sweden fighter has not lost in his professional career; while his opponent, Tom Niinimaki, has not lost a fight since 2006. Niinimaki is the more experienced fighter and is riding a 12 fight win streak into the octagon. The welcome to the promotion will be short lived for Backstrom, as Niinimaki will win by unanimous decision.
In other notable fights on the card, #7 ranked bantamweight fighter, Iuri Alcantara, will take on a tough opponent in Vaughan Lee. Both Andy Ogle and Maximo Blanco will be fighting to stay on the roster, as both of them are riding two fight losing streaks.
The UFC will also be holding another card on the same date, May 31. The Ultimate Fighter Brazil will have their finale; as heavyweight Stipe Miocic will face Fabio Maldonado in the main event. The fight itself will kickoff at 10 pm EST on Fox Sports 1. For all your UFC and MMA action, check in on the Guardian Liberty Voice for full results and analysis when the events conclude.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
Follow Justin’s Coverage in the MMA Spotlight section
Guardian Liberty Sports Writer Leading the coverage in MMA