Predictions You Can Take to the Bank for UFC on Fuel 7
The UFC returns this weekend after a week off with an exciting card from across the pond.
Headlining the Fuel TV card will be interim bantamweight king Renan Barao who takes on American Michael McDonald. Both men are young fighters with big futures at 135.
Also on the card are some top British talent, as well as some intriguing prospects and veterans.
Here are some predictions you can take to the bank this weekend.
Matt Riddle Grounds and Pounds Che Mills
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Here is a way to describe Che Mills' UFC career: Start out like a hot potato before falling back to reality.
Mills slaughtered Chris Cope in his debut before getting destroyed by Rory MacDonald in his sophomore outing. He beat Duane Ludwig in his next battle, but that was because Ludwig blew out his knee.
Mills does not match up too favorably on his home soil against Matt Riddle. Riddle is aggressive and uses power wrestling to stifle opponents.
That being said, Riddle has been known to engage in wild brawls to please his fans. If he plays it smart, he should walk out of England a winner.
James Te Huna Humbles Ryan Jimmo
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Ryan Jimmo has seven seconds of UFC Octagon experience. His quick knockout of Anthony Perosh has given him great momentum and hype.
James Te Huna is not Anthony Perosh.
Te Huna matches up much better with Jimmo. Jimmo is a striker first and foremost, which Te Huna will likely entertain.
The Canadian likely does not have the edge in power, so he will need to use his technique to outlast. Jimmo's long winning streak may be coming to an end.
Gunnar Nelson Learns Lesson in Loss to Wily Veteran Jorge Santiago
Gunnar Nelson is a great prospect and a guy to watch in the future. However, I think the future contender will have to learn from a loss this Saturday.
Jorge Santiago is a seasoned veteran with scary power and great Muay Thai skills. He is a BJJ black belt, which Nelson would likely want to use to control the Brazilian.
I think Santiago will edge out a decision in his new weight class, but Nelson will come back stronger in the future.
Jimi Manuwa Makes Statement Against Cyrille Diabate
What Jimi Manuwa did to Kyle Kingsbury's face may be on repeat this weekend when the Brit meets Cyrille Diabate in his home country.
Manuwa's power striking is enough to send chills up your spine. He hurls his hands with reckless abandon and when he touches your chin, you dream of Wonderland.
The saving grace for Diabate may be his height and reach, in addition to his Muay Thai skills. However, Manuwa will be punching up at his chin, which could lead to an overhand knockout.
Cub Swanson Edges Dustin Poirier in a Thriller
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Cub Swanson's rise from the ashes has been amazing so far in the UFC and he will look to continue his impressive performances of late by taking on Dustin Poirier.
Both men are good strikers with solid ground games. I think this fight will turn into a Fight of the Night contender when they stand in front of each other and throw hands.
The judges will be called upon and Swanson will get the close nod.
Renan Barao Stops Michael McDonald
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Renan Barao's rise from what seemed like out of nowhere is one of the best stories surrounding a current UFC fighter. His winning streak and hard-fought battles have earned him a cult following.
He is taking on a young, but game, Michael McDonald in the main event. Both men are known for exciting styles which may make for the best fight of the night.
At this point, I think Barao has hit a stride that will be hard to stop. I think midway through the fight, he will find an opportunity to finish the fight and take it.
Barao will retain his belt.