Welcome to S#*%ty UFC 253 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. Have I ever gotten any of these wrong? Sure, but mostly due to outside interference from Mario Yamasaki disciple Chris Tognoni.
Today we’re breaking down the UFC 253 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.
We got 1 out of 6 winners correct last week (Though I blame Herzog for the Niko Price decision). That’s certainly not great, but considering we went 4 out of 5 the week before, I’m thinking we just hit some really bad luck. Fight Island 2: Return to Fight Island should help get us back on track to correctly predicting bouts using a methodology that compares to Astrology.
We’ve also got a new format we’re trying out, so I’m covering two main card fights here and discussing the rest with the man, the myth, the legend himself, MMA analyst Sriram Muralidaran. If you don’t like it, then say something.
Let’s dive in!
Hakeem Dawodu vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
In a battle of names that the majority of the UFC fanbase will mispronounce, Hakeem “Mean” Dawodu will take on Zubaira “Warrior” Tukhugov in the UFC 253 main card opener. Dawodu enters the contest on a four-fight win streak while Tukhugov will be making his first appearance since finishing Kevin Aguilar back in February. Both men have one loss in the UFC and a combined 30-5-2 record between them.
Dawodu is a World Series of Fighting product whose only misstep came in the form of a Danny Henry guillotine choke in his UFC debut (although Henry did send him to the mat with a big right hand first). Since that loss, he’s gone on to win some close decisions against guys like Kyle Bochniak and Julio Arce but hasn’t made many waves. “Mean” must have gotten his nickname from his words rather than his fighting ability, because he’s not delivering beatdowns.
Conversely, Tukhugov’s last loss was a split decision to Renato Moicano back in 2016. He then felt so bad about it he proceeded to slap Conor McGregor, angering a Checnian warlord who insisted he should have punched the Irishman. After what I can only assume was hard time spent in the well prison where Bane sent Batman, Tukhugov made the climb without the rope and returned in 2019, where he promptly fought to a draw against Lerone Murphy. He may be a “Warrior”, but he’s definitely one of the guys you send to the front lines of a battle and expect not to come back.
This one is tough to pick, but I gotta assume the spiritual journey Tukhugov went on during his time in Bane’s prison will be enough to get him the W.
Zubaira Tukhugov via Unanimous Decision
Ketlen Vieira vs. Sijara Eubanks
In a surprising turn of events, Sijara Eubanks is attempting to go on a run by stepping in short notice to take on Ketlen “Fenomeno” Vieira. Eubanks is coming off an upset win over Julia Avila two weeks ago, while Vieira will make her first walk to the cage since suffering her first loss last year at the hands of Irene Aldana. Although Vieira is certainly lamenting the once-in-a-lifetime chance to fight Holly Holm for a number one contender’s spot, she’ll have to settle for “Sarj”.
Eubanks not only managed to beat a raging panda in Avila, but she looked pretty decent doing it. While viewers have come to expect “Sarj” to deliver boring decisions that go one way or the other, she managed to put on a pedestrian performance that probably had the avid MMA fan looking up from their phone on occasion and saying “Hey, not bad” a couple of times. If she manages to beat Vieira, she’ll probably get a top ten ranking with a 7-4 record.
“Fenomeno” was on her way to begrudgingly getting a title shot from the UFC when her perfect record was shattered by Irene Aldana last December. While a 10-1 record is still out of the norm for the UFC bantamweight division, Vieira sits at #7 in the official UFC rankings and has very little to gain from a bout with #13 ranked Eubanks, other than perhaps a paycheck. In fact, she’ll probably have to string together a couple of wins to get what she’s really after—a fight for the interim bantamweight title against Holly Holm.
I’m pretty sure this one is going to go 15 minutes, so if your PPV stream that you didn’t pay for cuts out or lags from the all the adware infected on your computer mid-way, you should still be alright. This is another tough one to call but ultimately Eubanks will give way to Viera’s desire to fight Mountain Dew commercial star Holly Holm.
Ketlen Vieira via Unanimous Decision.
For the rest of the main card picks, watch the full video here on our YouTube channel:
Patrick is a consultant turned journalist who loves the fight game and everything to do with it. Focusing on the politics, business, and general state of MMA are his mainstays, though he'll dabble in analysis and best bets when he can. He also enjoys football, basketball, baseball, and great jokes in general so feel free to reach out and berate him on social media whenever you disagree with him.