UFC Fight Night 107: Main Card Staff Predictions

Craig AmosFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2017

UFC Fight Night 107: Main Card Staff Predictions

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    Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

    The UFC takes its Octagon across the Atlantic for Fight Night 107 this Saturday, March 18, when it will set up at the O2 Arena in London, U.K.

    The host nation will be well represented throughout the event, including the main card, which features three British fighters competing over the course of four fights. The headliner, a light heavyweight clash, pits London's own Jimi Manuwa against America's Corey Anderson.

    Since starting out in the UFC with a trio of wins, Manuwa has alternated victories and defeats over his last four bouts, most recently besting Ovince Saint Preux. Anderson, meanwhile, has found success in four of his last five outings, and he is coming off a TKO win over Sean O'Connell.

    In the co-main event, Iceland's Gunnar Nelson takes on the American Alan Jouban. Nelson has won two of his last four, while Jouban enters the scrap riding a three-fight win streak. 

    The full Fight Night 107 main card is as follows:

    • Jimi Manuwa vs. Corey Anderson
    • Gunnar Nelson  vs. Alan Jouban
    • Brad Pickett vs. Marlon Vera
    • Arnold Allen vs. Makwan Amirkhani

    The Bleacher Report team has assembled to provide you with our predictions for each of these contests. Read on for what I like to think of as our collective and considerable wisdom. 

Arnold Allen vs. Makwan Amirkhani

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    Amirkhani is 3-0 inside the Octagon
    Amirkhani is 3-0 inside the OctagonJessica Gow/Associated Press

    Scott Harris

    Hardcore fans know Allen for his punishing ground game. But this is Amirkhani's time to shine. He's a little better standing and can hang on the mat. His athleticism will make the difference.

    Amirkhani, unanimous decision

     

    Steven Rondina

    Allen is good...but Amirkhani is damn good. I think Mr. Finland takes this one and looks great in the process.

    Amirkhani, unanimous decision

     

    Nathan McCarter

    I shouldn't admit this, but I don't care much for either fighter. They just don't get my blood pumping and excited to watch their fights. And I don't think I'm the only one. It makes Amirkhani's talk about sitting out until a UFC Finland card, per John Morgan and Mike Bohn of MMAJunkie.com, seem even more ridiculous as he isn't in a place to make demands.

    He'll get the win, but if he's true to his word we won't see him again for a long, long time. That's probably not the worst thing.

    Amirkhani, unanimous decision

     

    Craig Amos

    I think Scott hit on this pretty well. Allen is exceptional on the mat, and Amirkhani is good there, too. Amirkhani is also the better wrestler, and he should be able to stay relatively relaxed in top position or on his feet for the majority of the fight.

    Amirkhani, unanimous decision

Brad Pickett vs. Marlon Vera

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    Pickett is looking to end his fighting career on a high note.
    Pickett is looking to end his fighting career on a high note.Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    Scott Harris

    Vera's striking isn't dangerous enough for Pickett to respect. Pickett will bowl his way inside, make it dirty and punish Vera for a stirring hometown win.

    Pickett, unanimous decision

     

    Steven Rondina

    This is probably supposed to be a manageable fight for Pickett...but I don't think this shakes out to being the happy ending everyone is hoping for. Vera will keep the pressure on, and do just enough to get the nod from the judges.

    Vera, unanimous decision

     

    Nathan McCarter

    Pickett is well past his prime, as evidenced by this being his retirement fight, which makes it hard to pick him against just about anyone. But I'll take him if for nothing but the feel-good ending.

    Pickett, TKO, Rd 1

     

    Craig Amos

    This fight was essentially made for Pickett to get a win. It's not a gimme, but it's certainly his fight to lose.

    Pickett, unanimous decision

Gunnar Nelson vs. Alan Jouban

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    Nelson enters with a big ground advantage on paper.
    Nelson enters with a big ground advantage on paper.Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

    Scott Harris

    This is a new level of opposition for Jouban. He won't have the takedown defense or the grappling chops to stifle a brilliant ground fighter in Nelson.

    Nelson, submission, Rd. 2

     

    Steven Rondina

    Nelson's stock is still, to some degree, hurting from his 2015 loss to Demian Maia, but I think he takes this one. Jouban is a very good fighter, but Nelson's improvements have me bullish to the point where I'd pick him over anyone but the 170-pound elite.

    Nelson, unanimous decision

     

    Nathan McCarter

    I love this fight, but it will be fairly one-sided. Nelson is a talented fighter on the floor and that is where the fight will go. Nelson puts Jouban down and smothers him until a submission presents itself.

    Nelson, submission, Rd. 2

     

    Craig Amos

    I'm a Jouban fan, but this is objectively a terrible matchup. Nelson is measured and capable on the feet, and isn't likely to put himself into much danger there. On the mat, his advantage is sizeable, and he's plenty capable of ensuring the action finds the canvas.

    Nelson, unanimous decision

Jimi Manuwa vs. Corey Anderson

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    Anderson is looking for the biggest win of his career.
    Anderson is looking for the biggest win of his career.Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Scott Harris

    Fans of action, i.e. most people, won't like this, but Anderson is the clear favorite here. He'll steer clear of Manuwa's power shots and grind the hometown favorite down.

    Anderson, unanimous decision

     

    Steven Rondina

    This is a matchup we've seen many, many times in other forms. A European knockout artist against American wrestling convert. The latter doesn't always win...but it does most of the time.

    Anderson, unanimous decision

     

    Nathan McCarter

    I still don't believe in Anderson. That's pretty much the basis of my argument here. I've never been entirely sold on Manuwa, but Anderson does nothing to excite me. Manuwa digs to his body early and finishes up top with a flurry.

    Manuwa, TKO, Rd. 2

     

    Craig Amos

    Like Nathan, I'm not entirely sold on Anderson, but like Scott and Steven I view this as a bad stylistic matchup for Manuwa. I'll go with the majority and pick a less than thrilling decision win for the visitor, even if he no longer beasts 25/8.

    Anderson, unanimous decision