UFC Fight Island 7: Holloway vs. Kattar staff picks and predictions

The BE team has made its picks for UFC FIGHT ISLAND 7: ‘HOLLOWAY VS. KATTAR’ , the promotion’s first show of 2021 and its…

By: Mookie Alexander | 3 years ago
UFC Fight Island 7: Holloway vs. Kattar staff picks and predictions
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

The BE team has made its picks for UFC FIGHT ISLAND 7: ‘HOLLOWAY VS. KATTAR’ , the promotion’s first show of 2021 and its first on ABC. In the main event we all believe Max Holloway will beat Calvin Kattar, so if the BE curse is still a thing in 2021 then bet your life savings on Kattar. As for the co-main, it’s a lean towards Carlos Condit over Matt Brown in what could be Condit’s final UFC fight and perhaps Brown’s final MMA fight.

Now it’s a new year and we are changing some things as of this weekend. From now on, unless it’s an amazingly stacked Fight Night card (similar to last month’s UFC Vegas 17), we are only picking the main card and on some occasions just the main and co-main event. All pay-per-view shows will get full fight card treatment. We do have plenty of breakdowns and analysis of every fight through The MMA Vivisection, Diggin’ Deep, and Toe-to-Toe. It’s been increasingly clear through our metrics which shows fans do and do not care about and as such we have to adjust our efforts.

Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar

Zane Simon: I’ve already seen Kattar lose footrace fights to rangy out-fighters who can keep an active jab & or kicking game in his face. And while I’ve seen Holloway lose to power punchers who can deliver consistently on the counter, those losses have still been terribly narrow (and some even arguably wins). I have a lot more faith in Holloway to deliver strikes in volume than I do Kattar to change the tenor of this bout through a couple of big shots, and I think that’s what he’d have to do. Max Holloway by decision.

Victor Rodriguez: I’m with Zane here, volume is going to win the day. Kattar can hit and counter, but is he savvy enough to deal with the entries and mixups Holloway employs? Will he be able to land those counters he’s going to need and will he be eating more damage than necessary to land significant offense? I love Kattar and he’s done an excellent job of breaking away from the middle of the pack, but I just don’t think this current iteration of Holloway (despite arguably suffering from a small amount of decline) is something he’s ready for quite yet.

Staff picking Holloway: Zane, Phil, Victor, Dayne, Stephie, Harry, Mookie
Staff picking Kattar:

Carlos Condit vs. Matt Brown

Zane Simon: This is a really really hard fight for me to pick. On the one hand, Condit looks way less comfortable going through a fire fight than he used to. And for a game predicated on walking through damage to deliver combinations, getting less confident is a huge problem. If Matt Brown comes out throwing with power and looking to make this a dog fight, does Condit respond well? Or does he just drift away from the bout, like he has in other recent losses? On the flip side, Condit still has NEVER been KO’d. And for Brown, the cost of the wars he’s been through seems to be taking more of a direct physical toll (that and he’s just 40 now). He’s been KO’d several times recently, and his cardio has looked less dependable than it once was. My guess is the first round of this fight will be ugly for Condit, but if he doesn’t get finished, he’ll probably be able to bounce back. Carlos Condit via decision.

Phil Mackenzie: I probably would have picked Condit back in the day, but he just doesn’t look like he’s functionally the same fighter any more. He’s lost his power and seemingly a bit of durability (getting hurt by Demian Maia(!) on the ground). Brown conversely seems just like deteriorated version of his original self: he’s still aggressive and fearless, and even if that gets him finished and/or tired, I just don’t know if I can trust this version of Condit to take advantage of those flaws. Matt Brown via TKO, round 1.

Victor Rodriguez: I’ll engage in the obligatory “if they were at their peak” game and say that 5-10 years ago I would have picked Condit. Can I trust a guy that shopworn and injury-prone in this case? No. Not to mention his offense has been dynamic and fun but has some pretty sloppy exchanges charging in, whereas Matt Brown’s Muay Thai is much cleaner. Brown’s ability to punish with leg kicks and clinchwork is just too much for me to trust Carlos here.

Staff picking Condit: Zane, Mookie, Dayne, Stephie, Harry
Staff picking Brown: Phil, Victor

Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Li Jingliang

Zane Simon: Put Li Jingliang in the cage with elite, persistent athletes and his game just doesn’t tend to hold together. He’s a fantastic momentum fighter, who can capitalize on mistakes to put longer and longer combinations together as the fight goes on. But, fighters like Magny and Matthews, who he couldn’t easily out-muscle or deter? He seemed to fall into frustration and bad habits instead of adjusting and turning the corner. Ponzinibbio is both powerful and persistent. He’ll likely have the early advantage as most opponents do with Jingliang’s cold starts, and I don’t think Jingliang will recapture momentum from there. Santiago Ponzinibbio by TKO, round 2.

Victor Rodriguez: Zane nailed it here. Li not being the bigger or stronger or more athletic guy leads to him falling behind most of the time. Add to that Jangleleg is going to be at a heavy speed disadvantage, and it’s not going to look good. It’ll still be a tough fight, but I see Ponzinibbio getting the nod in the end. Santiago Ponzinibbio by unanimous decision.

Staff picking Ponzinibbio: Zane, Phil, Victor, Mookie, Dayne, Stephie, Harry
Staff picking Jingliang:

Joaquin Buckley vs. Alessio Di Chirico

Zane Simon: Di Chirico has lost to pretty much every fighter he’s faced that could present him with consistently applied offense. He’s well rounded, but rarely dominates a fight in any one aspect, and is entirely too comfortable just keeping pace with whoever he’s facing. Buckley still has some raw spots in his game, but he keeps a great pace standing with persistent combination punching. Should be too much for Di Chirico. Joaquin Buckley via Decision.

Victor Rodriguez: Alessio has all the solid fundamentals but is going to be facing a guy that’s a much more nimble offensive threat and hits hard as hell. I dunno, it just seems like he’s hit his athletic peak already to me and remains only slightly above average as a generalist. I can’t trust the guy. Joaquin Buckley by TKO.

Staff picking Buckley: Zane, Phil, Mookie, Stephie, Harry
Staff picking Di Chirico: Dayne

Dusko Todorovic vs. Punahele Soriano

Zane Simon: Todorovic has a much better three round game, made to bank on his cardio and persistence and cage control, but Soriano seems like the much better, harder punching, more dynamic natural athlete. I’ll bank on Soriano’s physical skills paying off early. But if they don’t, Todorovic might pick up the late TKO or a grinding decision. Punahele Soriano via KO, round 1.

Victor Rodriguez: Soriano’s boxing is lethal, with great looks and reads to land devastating hits. His cardio may be a factor, but his takedown defense is serviceable for the first round or two. Bank on the Hawaiian Hurricane on this one. Punahele Soriano by KO/TKO.

Staff picking Todorovic:
Staff picking Soriano: Zane, Phil, Victor, Mookie, Dayne, Stephie, Harry


Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 77%

    Max Holloway

    (704 votes)

  • 22%

    Calvin Kattar

    (199 votes)

903 votes total

Vote Now

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About the author
Mookie Alexander
Mookie Alexander

Mookie is a former Associate Editor for Bloody Elbow, leaving in August 2022 after ten years as a member of the staff. He's still lurking behind the scenes.

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