The Ultimate Fighting Championship heads back to Australia for the UFC Fight Night 55 card. The event is set for Nov. 8 at the Allphones Arena in Sydney.
Here are my UFC Fight Night 55 predictions:
Michael Bisping vs. Luke Rockhold
Middleweight contender status will be up for grabs when Bisping (25-6-0, 15 KOs) takes on Rockhold (12-2-0, 6 submissions) during the main event. Bisping is coming of a dominant performance against Cung Le, while Rockhold has looked like an absolute beast since the rude welcome to the UFC Vitor Belfort gave him, smashing Constantinos Philippou and Tim Boetsch in extremely dominant fashion.
Both men are competent strikers, and that should lead to some entertaining standup exchanges come fight time. Unlike Le, Rockhold shouldn’t have any problems dealing with Bisping’s trademark high work rate, and he should have an edge in the grappling department. Rockhold is the stronger man, and he’s also a relentless finisher, with 10 of his 12 wins coming via stoppage.
It’s hard to pick against Luke given the above.
Prediction: Rockhold wins via TKO.
Ross Pearson vs. Al Iaquinta
Pearson (16-7-0, 6 KOs) walked away with a second round TKO victory against Grey Maynard during his last outing, and he’ll be looking to add Iaquinta (9-3-1, 4 KOs) to his list of victims at UFC Fight Night 55. Like many Serra-Longo fighters, Al is a well-rounded MMA fighter with lots of potential, but he does have mental lapses inside the cage at times like during his fight against Mitch Clarke during which he practically transitioned into a d’arce choke after dominating the bout.
Mistakes like that will cost him dearly against an experienced MMA veteran like Pearson.
The Brit’s grappling is good enough to force a standup up battle, and, even though Iaquinta is a solid striker himself, he should get the better of the striking exchanges. Iaquinta is good enough to make this a close fight if he keeps his wits about him, but the matchup certainly favors Pearson on paper.
Prediction: Pearson wins via decision.
Robert Whittaker vs. Clint Hester
Things haven’t been going so well for Whittaker (12-4-0, 5 KOs) lately, losing three of his last two fights. Hester (11-3-0, 8 KOs) on the other hand remains undefeated inside the Octagon, posting a 4-0 record in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, with his most recent win coming against Antônio Braga Neto – a bout many expected him to lose.
Whittaker is best known for his striking prowess, but Hester, a former amateur boxer with a 13-3 boxing record, is even better. Hester packs lots of power, his defense is a lot sharper, and he’s the more accurate striker as well. Factor in the fact Hester is also the larger, stronger, more athletic competitor, and it becomes obvious that aussie MMA fans likely won’t appreciate how this fight goes down.
Prediction: Hester wins via TKO.
Remaining UFC Fight Night 55 predictions:
Soa Palelei defeats Daniel Omielańczuk
Jake Matthews defeats Vagner Rocha
Guto Inocente defeats Anthony Perosh
Sam Alvey defeats Dylan Andrews
Chris Clements defeats Vik Grujic
Neil Seery defeats Richie Vaculik
Luke Zachrich defeats Daniel Kelly
Marcus Brimage defeats Jumabieke Tuerxun
Aljamain Sterling defeats Frankie Saenz
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 55 Predictions FightPicks shortly before the prelims start. Up +19.38 units so far this year.