UFC Moraes vs. Sandhagen predictions

Welcome to S#*%ty UFC Predictions, guaranteed to get you a right pick eventually based on the laws of probability.

With all the nerds out there watching tape and breaking down fighters’ techniques using tried and tested methods, I thought it would be a lot cooler to use novice-like intuition, random bits of trivia, and stuff I read on the internet as a way to predict the outcomes of fights. I didn’t put out an article last week? A terrible mistake on my part given the stunning card put together on paper. Pretty sure every MMA analyst wanted the title of my series when breaking down De Castro vs. Felipe after the fact.

Today we’re breaking down the Moraes vs. Sandhagen main card. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @AllDayAuger, and like and subscribe to The Body Lock’s YouTube channel. It’s important because I need a platform for these amazing insights and adoring fans to satiate my hubris.

3 out of 5 for UFC 253 isn’t the worst, especially considering I called Blachowicz’s title win. Too hard to bet against the unholy pact he made with that hanged man’s soul. After taking a week off due to the day job and my personal life being a little hectic, I’m back to bless you with picks that will infuriate your friends who follow The Fight Site.

Y’all gave us feedback that you didn’t care for the mixed format, so I’ll be doing a full article this week and we’ll add in some videos for fun in addition to this. Thanks for making me do more work, really appreciate that.

Let’s dive in!

Tom Aspinall vs. Alan Baudot

Coming off of four consecutive first-round finishes, Tom Aspinall is looking to keep his momentum going just three months after his UFC debut. The heavyweight from England is 8-2 overall in his professional MMA career,  having once lost by submission and once by disqualification. He’s also done some sparring with lineal heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury, to boot.

Alan “The Black Samourai” Baudot on the other hand is making his first walk to the octagon since winning by disqualification at TKO 47. Going 8-1 throughout his tenure as a pro, Baudot’s only loss comes from fellow UFC light heavyweight Dalcha Lungiambula. It is important to note that the loss came at 205 lbs. and that is where Baudot has fought the majority of his career.

MMA math is pretty easy to read here. Aspinall looked like a monster his last time out but has a loss via DQ. Baudot won his last bout by disqualification, presumably on purpose because it’s a crafty way to stand out from other UFC fighters. My guess is “The Black Samourai” lulls Aspinall into false confidence by eating a lot of knees in the clinch only to drop down to the ground last minute and claim an illegal strike victory. Too easy.

Baudot via R3 disqualification

Markus Perez vs. Dricus Du Plessis

Du Plessis has made a name for himself over at EFC and KSW, holding the welterweight title in both promotions and the middleweight title in EFC.  His only loss coming against current KSW 170 lbs. champion Roberto Soldic in the past six years, Du Plessis is one to keep an eye on as he makes his UFC debut come October 10. His opponent Markus Perez has gone 2-3 since making his way the world’s premier mixed martial arts promotion, losing to guys like Eryk Anders and Andrew Sanchez. Originally slated to fight Rodolfo Vieira, Perez clearly has done something to piss off Sean Shelby given his recent bookings.

Normally I’d take Du Plessis here hands down, but “Stillknocks” seems to suffer from enhanced Luke Rockhold syndrome, going his entire career without seeing the judge’s scorecards. Meanwhile, Perez has only ever lost by unanimous decision, as well as alternating losses and wins since he arrived in the UFC. That combination is too hard for a lazy analyst like me to ignore, meaning Perez will get the finish here no problem. Sorry, Sean, you’ll get Perez next time.

Perez via R1 TKO

Ben Rothwell vs. Marcin Tybura

Speaking of angering Sean Shelby, I’m pretty sure he was livid at the fans when he arranged this matchup.

The walking husk that was formerly Ben Rothwell will take on decision machine Marcin Tybura in the last matchup outside of the main and co-main event. Ever since returning from a USADA doping suspension in 2019, Rothwell has failed to warrant any performance worthy of his foreboding walkout music. Meanwhile one has to wonder if Tybura’s ceiling is limited to an entry-level gatekeeper for those who join the UFC heavyweight division. Going 6-5 in his UFC career overall, he’s managed to beat legends like Sergey Spivak and a 38-year-old Andrei Arlovski.

In fact, since Rothwell managed to lose to 40-year-old Arlovski last year, I’m gonna go ahead and assume Tybura gets this job done based on the age-old property of aging. Make sure to get the caffeine ready for this one.

Tybura via Unanimous Decision

Edson Barboza vs. Makwan Amirkhani

In the co-main event, Edson Barboza continues his quest to bring about officiating reform by letting judges rob him. Dropping down to 145 lbs. for what I can only assume is a masochistic fetish, “Junior” is on a two-fight skid across two different weight classes. While one might hope to expect the usual Barboza kicks and spinning attacks, it is no longer a sure thing.

Amirkhani has fought a slew of featherweight prospects over the past three years, falling only to Arnold Allen by split decision and Shane Burgos by third-round TKO last year. “Mr. Finland” certainly puts on exciting fights, but whether or not he’ll be able to compete with a step up in competition like Barboza is out for debate. Amirkhani is never one to shy away for a challenge, however, and for as long as the fight goes it should be a banger.

Even though Amirkhani has pretty much halved the number of fights between each loss as his career has progressed (an advanced MMA math insight, btw), Barboza is really tempting fate with this one. While I think Sodiq Yusuff posed his own set of problems for the Brazilian, the fight would have most likely gone overwhelmingly in his favor or he would have been wrestled into a unanimous decision loss. Amirkhani’s style begs for a back-and-forth slugfest that will create the perfect opportunity for the judges to passive-aggressively suggest “Junior” hang them up with another split decision against him.

Amirkhani via split decision

Marlon Moraes vs. Corey Sandhagen

In the main event, we have “Magic” Marlon Moraes taking on rising bantamweight Corey Sandhagen. Sandhagen suffered the first stoppage loss of his career after Aljamain Sterling choked him out in the first round back at UFC 250, derailing the hype train he was conducting at the time. Moraes must have slept with Shelby’s wife because despite getting a win over Jose Aldo at UFC 245, Aldo went on to get a title shot against Petr Yan while “Magic” waited nearly a year for a high-risk, low-reward matchup.

Having lost twice in the past nine years only to arguably the two best bantamweights on the planet, Henry Cejudo and the leviathan that is Raphael Assuncao, Moraes is having to win back his number one contender spot despite never really losing it. Yes, Aljamain Sterling has earned a crack at the belt, but Moraes has already cracked Aljo’s skull with a leg kick and it’ll be hard to deny him another title fight if he wins here. Sandhagen did topple the beast of Assuncao on his first try, however, so I imagine Moraes will fall quite easily here and Sandhagen will end up getting a title shot over Sterling, because of course he will.

Sandhagen via R1 TKO

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