The Ultimate Fighting Championship will return to Brazil on Sept. 15 for the UFC Fight Night 51 fight card. The event will be headlined by a heavyweight clash featuring hometown-favorite Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and “The Pit Bull,” Andre Arlovski.
Let’s get right to the good stuff, here are my UFC Fight Night 51 predictions:
Antonio Silva vs. Andrei Arlovski
Arlovski (22-10-0, 15 KOs) wasn’t particularly impressive during his return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, barely edging out a decision against Brendan Schaub. He’ll need to do a lot better than that when he takes on Silva (18-5-0, 13 KOs) at the Ginásio Nilson Nelson.
Silva won the first encounter between the two via unanimous decision, and he’s made some improvements since then. Arlovski might be able to get the better of the striking exchanges come fight time, but he’ll be in a world of trouble if Bigfoot manages to put him on his back.
Arlovski’s takedown defense is pretty decent, but Silva managed to take him down twice during their first tilt. Bigfoot should be able to eventually take the Russian down, and finish him off with some vicious ground-n-pound to the delight of the Brazilian crowd.
Prediction: Silva wins via TKO.
Gleison Tibau vs. Piotr Hallmann
Hallmann (15-2-0, 7 KOs) will be in for his toughest test in the Ultimate Fighting Championship when he takes on Tibau (29-10-0, 12 submissions) at UFC Fight Night 51. Tibau is a battle-tested veteran, with names like Jamie Varner and Pat Healy on his recent victims list.
However, Hallmann seems to have all the tools needed to get past a tough gatekeeper like Tibau. He should have an advantage in the striking department, and he’s a competent grappler as well. Tibau will have the strength and explosiveness edge during this tilt, but virtually everything else seems to be in Hallmann’s favor.
Prediction: Hallman wins via submission.
Iuri Alcântara vs. Russell Doane
Alcântara (30-5-0, 13 KOs) is coming off an impressive knockout victory against Vaughan Lee and he’ll be looking to do the same to Doane (14-3-0, 6 KOs) when the two clash at UFC Fight Night 51. Doane is no walkover though. He’s a gifted MMA fighter with solid striking and submissions, much like Alcantara.
Doane certainly won’t go down without a fight, but Iuri’s experience against top caliber opponents should pay dividends here.
Prediction: Alcantara wins via decision.
Remaining UFC Fight Night 51 predictions:
Leonardo Santos defeats Efrain Escudero
Wendell Oliveira defeats Santiago Ponzinibbio
Jessica Andrade defeats Larissa Pacheco
Godofredo Castro defeats Dashon Johnson
George Sullivan defeats Igor Araújo
Francisco Trinaldo defeats Leandro Silva
Sean Spencer defeats Paulo Thiago
Johnny Bedford defeats Rani Yahya
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.
Don’t forget to check out my UFC Fight Night 51 FightPicks shortly before the prelims start. Up +20.61 units so far this year. Thanks to all those who paid tribute after the record setting UFC Fight Night 40 picks that earned + 12.71 units.