The Bloody Elbow staff has made its picks for Saturday’s UFC Vegas 47 card in Las Vegas, and we’re unanimously picking Sean Strickland to keep his unbeaten run at middleweight going with a win over Jack Hermansson. We’re also unanimous on Punahele Soriano handing Nick Maximov his first UFC loss. To see the latest betting lines for these fights, head over to DraftKings Sportsbook.
Note: Predictions are entered throughout the week and collected the day before the event. Explanations behind each pick are not required and some writers opt not to do so for their own reasons. For example, if Phil Mackenzie entered all of his predictions on Wednesday without adding in any explanations, he has no idea if he’s going to be the only one siding with one fighter for any given fight.
Jack Hermansson vs. Sean Strickland
Mookie Alexander: Strickland has shown exceptional takedown defense at middleweight and actually hasn’t been taken down yet since moving up. Hermansson doesn’t really have the striking power to bother Strickland or at least deter him from throwing. Strickland fights behind a slick jab and smooth combination work that can really be problematic for someone as hittable as Hermansson. Basically I expect five rounds worth of kickboxing and Hermansson isn’t winning that without some level of power in his game. Strickland could conceivably stop Hermansson through volume and wear him down like we saw with Brendan Allen but I wouldn’t bank on it. Sean Strickland by unanimous decision.
Zane Simon: Given that neither Strickland nor Hermansson are persistent knockout threats, and that Strickland has generally been a very difficult man to take down and keep there, I expect this fight to be pretty hotly contested all the way through. Strickland will almost assuredly have a volume edge if this remains a standup striking affair, but I do like the grit that Hermansson has shown lately, in biting down and forcing himself through bad spots to keep bouts competitive even as he’s losing. The problem there is, that that’s all a description of how competitive Hermansson can be in a fight that he’s not winning. And unfortunately, unless he can create some major dynamic shifts in this fight, I just don’t think he’ll be able to slow Strickland down. Sean Strickland via decision.
Staff picking Hermansson:
Staff picking Strickland: Mookie, Zane, Dayne, Connor, Victor, Stephie
Punahele Soriano vs. Nick Maximov
Mookie Alexander: Yeah I’m not sure Maximov is all that good, and he wouldn’t get co-main status if not for his association with the Diaz brothers. Soriano is both tough and hits hard, which could spell trouble for Nick. Puna Soriano by TKO, round 1.
Zane Simon: For a version of Maximov that seemed like he struggled really hard to control or even out-strike Cody Brundage, this feels like a very unnecessary step up. Soriano may be coming off a loss, but his time in the UFC has shown him to be a very powerful and very composed middleweight fighter. As a man with his own wrestling base as well, I’m not convinced that Maximov can just take him down and grapple him up. Think this ends up a hard setback for the Diaz protege, Punahele Soriano via TKO, round 2.
Staff picking Soriano: Mookie, Zane, Dayne, Connor, Victor, Stephie
Staff picking Maximov:
Shavkat Rakhmanov vs. Carlston Harris
Mookie Alexander: I won’t let my Guyanese heritage bias get in the way of my prediction. Rakhmanov is super dangerous pretty much everywhere but Harris has shown himself to be a viable fighter in the UFC with his stoppages of Christian Aguilera and Impa Kasanganay. Harris has power but he does tend to swing a little bit wildly, which Rakhmanov can certainly capitalize on. Harris’ willingness to work the clinch may work against him, as Rakhmonov just has too many tools in the box in terms of his offensive game where that could lead to a guillotine or heavy strikes on the inside. I’d also lean towards the Kazakh having the strength advantage. I think Rakhmonov will be able to find a way to hurt Harris and put him away at some point. Shavkat Rakhmanov by TKO, round 2.
Zane Simon: There’s a good chance Harris puts a few scares into Rakhmanov here. He’s the much, much less technically proficient fighter in the cage, but he’s also just kind of a wild, powerful nightmare to contend with. If Rakhmanov takes a too-relaxed attitude standing at range with Harris as he looks for counters, he could very easily find himself eating a couple winging hooks before he’s able to fire off anything in return. Still, even behind his punching volleys, Harris loves to clinch up and initiate grappling exchanges. And given Rakhmanov’s size and technical advantages, I think he can really turn those moments into continuous advantages that wear Harris down over the long run. Shavkat Rakhmanov by decision.
Staff picking Rakhmanov: Mookie, Zane, Dayne, Connor, Victor
Staff picking Harris: Stephie
Sam Alvey vs. Brendan Allen
Mookie Alexander: Please, Brendan. Brendan Allen by unanimous decision.
Zane Simon: Until I see Sam Alvey win a fight in 2022, I’m not picking Sam Alvey to win a fight in 2022. Brendan Allen by decision.
Staff picking Alvey:
Staff picking Allen: Mookie, Zane, Dayne, Connor, Stephie
Tresean Gore vs. Bryan Battle
Mookie Alexander: Heh heh. Gore vs. Battle. Good last name combination. Tresean Gore by unanimous decision.
Zane Simon: Gore looks like the better, more powerful athlete, but I’m concerned he’s just not experienced enough to keep momentum at this level. Battle’s not exactly a seasoned vet himself, but he’s regularly been a fighter who can fall behind in a bout and push forward to win it behind scrappy volume. Bryan Battle via TKO, round 3.
Staff picking Gore: Mookie, Connor, Stephie
Staff picking Battle: Zane, Dayne
Julian Erosa vs. Steven Peterson
Mookie Alexander: I like Erosa to win this on the feet and prevent Peterson from outwrestling him. I’m a bit annoyed that Peterson managed to miss weight yet again and miss it badly. Julian Erosa by unanimous decision.
Zane Simon: Julian Erosa absolutely loves to be in an ugly war, and that’s pretty much the only kind of fight that Peterson can initiate. If Peterson can regularly get takedowns, he might be able to steal the early momentum in this fight, but he’s such a physically underwhelming featherweight that I really don’t like banking on his takedowns and top game to control fights. Julian Erosa via decision.
Staff picking Erosa: Mookie, Zane, Dayne, Connor, Stephie
Staff picking Peterson:
This poll is closed
577 votes total
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