Alexander Gustafsson will try to secure the number one spot in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s light-heavyweight division when he squares up against Jimi Manuwa at UFC Fight Night 37. The event will also feature an intriguing matchup between explosive welterweights Melvin Guillard and Michael Johnson.
The two will headline the March 8 fight card at the O2 Arena in London, England.
Here are my UFC Fight Night 37 predictions and picks:
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jimi Manuwa
Gustafsson (15-2-0, 9 KOs) secured his status as one of the true elites in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s light-heavyweight division during his last outing against Jon Jones, giving “Bones” his toughest test inside the Octagon.
Afterwards, many MMA fans felt Alexander was the rightful winner even though all three cage-side judges gave Jones the nod, a decision I agreed with.
Manuwa (14-0-0, 13 KOs) remains undefeated inside the Octagon, finishing Kyle Kingsbury, Cyrille Diabate, and Ryan Jimmo. He’s an experienced striker that packs a lot of power, and he’s stopped 78 percent of the takedowns attempts that have come his way in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Gustafsson will enjoy a 4-inch height advantage at UFC Fight Night 37, but that should not make much of a difference since Manuwa will enjoy a half-inch reach advantage.
In my opinion, Manuwa’s striking is better that Jones’, which gives him a decent chance against Gustafsson if he is able to keep the fight standing. It’s a 50/50 fight, but given the fact Manuwa has finished every single man he’s face in his professional MMA career, I’m leaning towards him to shock the world and pull off a upset.
Prediction: Manuwa wins via TKO.
Michael Johnson vs. Melvin Guillard
Johnson (14-8-0, 7 KOs) is coming off his biggest win in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, knocking Gleison Tibau out cold at UFC 168. Melvin (31-12-2, 20 KOs) looked good during his last outing against Ross Pearson, but an illegal knee led to the fight being called a no-contest.
Johnson has improved his striking a lot since his days on The Ultimate Fighter, but that might not be enough to lead him to victory at UFC Fight Night 37. Melvin’s solid takedown defense should ensure the fight remains standing (Johnson rarely goes for takedowns these days anyways), and he will have the advantage in the speed, power, explosiveness, and striking technique departments.
That makes this his fight to lose.
Prediction: Guillard wins via decision.
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Roland Delorme defeats Davey Grant
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