UFC Fight Night 111 Predictions: Main Card Staff Picks

Craig Amos@@CAABRMMAFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2017

UFC Fight Night 111 Predictions: Main Card Staff Picks

0 of 4

    ROSLAN RAHMAN/Getty Images

    The UFC's quest for global appeal continues this weekend, as the Octagon lands in Singapore for Fight Night 111. While local fans will get a rare taste of top-flight mixed martial arts action, North American fans will be forced to set their alarms Saturday morning—prelims begin at 4:45 ET, with the main card starting at 8—or forgo the event altogether.

    Headlining the 12-bout UFC Fight Pass event are a pair of bantamweights looking to find their footing in the pursuit of division gold. Holly Holm once held the title but has scuttled to three straight losses after she emphatically ended the era of Ronda "Rowdy" Rousey. Bethe Correia has meanwhile posted a 1-1-1 record since her ruinous title run ended with a 34-second knockout defeat to Rowdy.

    The co-main event features another former champion, Andrei Arlovski, go up against an up-and-coming foe. The Belarusian, who has dropped four straight contests, will look to turn back the clock against Marcin Tybura, who has posted consecutive wins since faltering in his UFC debut.

    The main card is rounded out by a pair of welterweight showdowns between Dong Hyun Kim and Colby Covington, and Rafael dos Anjos and Tarec Saffiedine.

    As Bleacher Report is wont to do, we've assembled our predictions crew to provide insight into how these fights will play out. Read on for predictions from Scott Harris, Nathan McCarter, Steven Rondina and Craig Amos.

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Tarec Saffiedine

1 of 4

    Dos Anjos will look to kick off a title run at 170.
    Dos Anjos will look to kick off a title run at 170.Brandon Wade/Associated Press

    Scott Harris

    I love Saffiedine, but this is Dos Anjos' fight to lose. Debuting at welterweight, Dos Anjos will be bigger and stronger. He may lose a bit of speed, but his game isn't predicated much on that anyway. He should be able to pressure Saffiedine and keep the Belgian from utilising his range striking.

    Dos Anjos, submission, Rd. 2

              

    Nathan McCarter

    One of the most intriguing matchups in all of June. How does the former lightweight champion look at welterweight? I think he looks good, but I don't think that it'll be enough right out the chute. Saffiedine will be able to stop early takedowns and get the first two rounds with his striking. Dos Anjos will be able to take down Saffiedine in the later part of the fight, but the Belgian will already be in the clubhouse on the scorecards.

    Saffiedine, unanimous decision

           

    Steven Rondina

    Man...this is do-or-die for both men. It's tough to tell what injuries Saffiedine may walk into the cage with, and it's anyone's guess whether Dos Anjos will look better or worse at 170 pounds. I'll lean in favor of the former UFC champion, but it wouldn't be a shock to see the former Strikeforce champ keep the pace slow and work his underrated striking game.

    Dos Anjos, unanimous decision

            

    Craig Amos

    Some of the shine has worn off Dos Anjos, but I haven't given up on him. A welterweight title isn't likely, but he'll kick off his tenure at 170 in style, swarming Saffiedine and putting in a vintage performance to announce his arrival in the division.

    Dos Anjos, TKO, Rd. 2   

Dong Hyun Kim vs. Colby Covington

2 of 4

    Kim is coming off a win over Tarec Saffiedine.
    Kim is coming off a win over Tarec Saffiedine.John Locher/Associated Press

    Scott Harris

    According to OddsShark, Covington is a minus-159 favorite over Kim. I don't get it. Covington probably isn't a prospect anymore, but Kim has been doing this at a high level for a long time. He has the judo and the wild striking to stymie Covington in the clinch or on the ground and take advantage on the feet. Give me the South Korean.

    Kim, knockout, Rd. 2

          

    Nathan McCarter

    I just cannot talk myself into pulling the trigger on Covington. I think he's a stiff challenge and tough fight for Kim, but the South Korean's strength in the clinch gives him such a great advantage to slow the pace down that I'm going to pick him. It won't be pretty or entertaining, but Kim does enough to pick up the win.

    Kim, unanimous decision

             

    Steven Rondina

    The UFC hates Dong Hyun Kim, it seems, and its way of punishing him is having him fight dangerous no-namers on overseas Fight Night cards. This fight with Covington is the latest example of that, and while it's far from a slam dunk for the Korean, he should be able to dictate the place and pace and pick up a decision win.

    Kim, unanimous decision

            

    Craig Amos

    I guess none of us are sold on Covington, at least in this match. He's a difficult fight for a lot of guys, but his approach seemingly plays into the hands of Kim, who excels in the clinch. 

    Kim, unanimous decision

Andrei Arlovski vs. Marcin Tybura

3 of 4

    This is most certainly must-win territory for Arlovski.
    This is most certainly must-win territory for Arlovski.John Locher/Associated Press

    Scott Harris

    Arlovski has dropped four straight, three of them by knockout. Tybura's 2-1 in the UFC, with both wins by knockout. Sometimes the math is easy.

    Tybura, TKO, Rd. 1

         

    Nathan McCarter

    I'm always more inclined to pick against Arlovski with his chin issues, but I'm not entirely sold on Tybura being able to find the button. May as well roll the dice and take Arlovski here.

    Arlovski, TKO, Rd. 1

            

    Steven Rondina

    I'm really not feeling good about Arlovski at this point. He's still a crafty striker flanked by a top-notch coach, but his chin (once again) seems to be gone. That's not a great thing against a young, hungry Tybura.

    Tybura, TKO, Rd. 2

           

    Craig Amos

    Arlovski is an easy guy to pick against, with those four straight losses and a jaw made of cracked glass. He's come back from the brink before, though, and if this is the UFC's attempt to turn Tybura into something of a contender, I anticipate the plan will go awry.

    Arlovski, unanimous decision

Holly Holm vs. Bethe Correia

4 of 4

    Holly Holm holds a striking edge over Bethe Correia.
    Holly Holm holds a striking edge over Bethe Correia.Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Scott Harris

    Correia's not quite as bad as some people make out, but she's no more than OK in any one phase. And she's entirely deficient on the ground. Holm shouldn't have a lot of trouble outpointing her with strikes.

    Holm, unanimous decision

            

    Nathan McCarter

    This is the absolute perfect fight to get Holly Holm back on track. On paper, there is not much Correia should be able to do to Holm. Add in Correia's aggressive nature and it's a stylistic matchup that Holm should dominate. Holm tunes up Correia and finishes her in the third.

    Holm, TKO, Rd. 3       

             

    Steven Rondina

    Neither woman has looked especially great in recent months, but I'm still not willing to totally dismiss Holly Holm. I am, however, willing to totally dismiss Correia, and I'm expecting Holm to get her groove back by sticking-and-moving her way to a win here.

    Holm, unanimous decision

             

    Craig Amos

    Holm's recent record belies her ability. Granted, she may not be at the level people ascribed to her following her domination of Ronda Rousey, but she has more than enough skill to take out a middling foe like Correia.

    Holm, TKO, Rd. 3