With a golden opportunity to capitalize momentum following Bellator’s canceled Fedor debut last night, the UFC is back tonight (Feb. 19, 2017) with UFC Fight Night 105 from Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
In terms of pure name recognition, the card may have a tough time doing that, as the Derrick Lewis vs. Travis Browne main event, while being a fun and potentially explosive heavyweight match-up, isn’t exactly what you would envision as a UFC headliner in 2017.
Regardless, the main card features some under-the-radar potential for fight fans on a Sunday night, and much of that is due to sluggers like Hector Lombard and Paul Felder. Find out whom we picked to win below.
Main Event -Derrick Lewis vs. Travis Browne:
One of few promising prospects in the UFC heavyweight arena, the surging Lewis has put together an impressive five-fight win streak with four coming by knockout. He has a well-known opponent in Browne, but “Hapa” has been on a downward-trending slide since he changed camps to Edmond Tarverdyan’s Glendale Fighting Club. The formerly surging Hawaiian heavy hitter has lost four out of his last six, and his wins weren’t all that convincing. Lewis should find a home for one of his many ham-fisted power punches and open up the path for a stoppage.
Prediction: Lewis by R2 TKO (strikes)
Co-Main – Hector Lombard vs. Johny Hendricks:
This is an extremely important bout for both men as the former champions seek to regain their momentum following mounting losses. Former welterweight champ “Bigg Rigg” has struggled with making weight, so he’ll move up to face Lombard, who did the same after losing to Neil Magny in a bout he was winning convincingly. Hendricks, on the other hand, has lost three in a row and five out of his last seven, and has said he’ll retire if he loses to Lombard at middleweight tonight. The stakes are high for “Bigg Rigg and “Lightning” (or is it “Showeather?”), so I expect a bit of a slugfest early, and if the normally iron-chinned Hendricks can survive Lombard’s first-round assault, he may be able to reinvent himself at 185. He could certainly get knocked out by the hulking former Bellator champion in said assault, and the loser of this bout could conceivably receive their walking papers.
Prediction: Hendricks by decision
Sam Sicilia vs. Gavin Tucker:
This is a bit of an odd choice for the third main card bout, as Sicilia has lost three out of his last five and is 5-7 overall in the world’s foremost MMA promotion. He brings it every time out, but leaves himself open to get finished too much. I don’t think the undefeated Tucker, whose 9-0 record features four T/Kos and four submissions, will have an opening for another big win.
Prediction: Tucker by R1 TKO
Elias Theodorou vs. Cezar Ferreira:
“The Spartan” will return in this battle of former The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) winners, and he’ll do so in his native Canada after fighting only once in 2016. Theodorou has shown flashes of a strong overall game, but he’s also looked sloppy and inconsistent at other times to stagnate on his progress a bit. His opponent Ferreira has quietly won three straight fights while remaining very active, so I think he pulls off the upset against the tough hometown hero.
Prediction: Ferreira by decision
Sara McMann vs. Gina Mazany:
I can’t help but think that this bout where Mazany replaced former title challenger Liz Carmouche, will be anything more than the No. 7-ranked McMann blanketing her on the way to a clear win. These are the kind of fights McMann can dominate.
Prediction: McMann by R2 TKO
Paul Felder vs. Alessandro Ricci:
The flashy but not-always-effective Felder gets a step down in competition in a 10-4 Ricci, who lost hi only UFC fight by decision last year. This should be a fun scrap that could get the card started off right, and I expect “The Irish Dragon” to be throwing plenty of spinning sh*t on his way to a decision victory.
Prediction: Felder by unanimous decision