UFC on Fox 31 - Milwaukee Breakdown & Predictions
When is UFC on Fox 31? Sunday 16th December, 2018 - 01:00 start (UK)
Where is UFC on Fox 31? Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
What channel is UFC on Fox 31 on? BT Sport 2
Where can I stream UFC on Fox 31? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT Sport website
Kevin Lee vs Al Iaquinta 2
Kevin Lee and Al Iaquinta take the honour of headlining the last UFC event on the Fox deal and what a compelling rematch it is. ‘Ragin’ Al handed Lee his first loss back in 2014 with a unanimous decision. They were evenly-matched, showing off some very high-level grappling, but Iaquinta was a lot smoother on the feet and delivered more damage.
Despite losing, Lee was very impressive going toe-to-toe with Iaquinta at only 21 years old. Since, they have both continued to improve as they have racked up some big wins. Lee is coming off a dominant win over top contender Edson Barboza and Iaquinta is coming off an opportunistic title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov where he gave the Russian one of the toughest fights of his career.
Lee’s grappling was always good but now it is exceptional and will surely be plan A in this five-round battle. However, after Nurmagomedov’s performance against Iaquinta, it is easy to forget the level of his grappling skills and if he lands that overhand right early he could easily send Lee to the canvas.
This fight will be even tighter and the standard will be even higher. However, Lee has improved at an incredible rate and we haven’t seen the best of him yet.
Winner: Lee via Decision
Edson Barboza vs Dan Hooker
If the Fiserv Forum hasn’t been lit up already, the co-main event is bound to as electrifying strikers Edson Barboza and Dan Hooker square off. This is the biggest fight of Hooker’s career so far and it is fully deserved after finishing his last four fights against excellent, established UFC fighters in Ross Pearson, Marc Diakiese, Jim Miller and Gilbert Burns.
Barboza is a different animal however. He is an absolute weapon on the feet and possesses some of the most lethal kicks in the game. What makes this fight so exciting is the fact Hooker is expected to stand and trade with the Brazilian.
This is good news for Barboza, who has lost his last two fights against arguably the two best grapplers in the division – Khabib Nurmagomedov and Kevin Lee. Hopefully we will get to see vintage Barboza but we will also be watching prime Hooker.
These guys are competent on the ground but they are stand-up specialists. Barboza’s credentials speak for themselves but you simply cannot count Hooker out who has proven knockout power and put away top lightweight strikers with ease in his recent fights.
This is a strong ‘fight of the night’ contender on paper and the Kiwi will no doubt become a top-ranked lightweight soon but you just can’t bet against Barboza in a stand-up fight.
Winner: Barboza via KO/TKO
Rob Font vs Sergio Pettis
Rumours of the UFC eradicating the men’s flyweight division continue as Sergio Pettis moves up a division as the number 2 ranked flyweight. He has lost two of his last three – losing to Henry Cejudo, winning against Joseph Benavidez and then losing to Jussier Formiga – but the opportunity has come for him to fight in his home city and it will be intriguing to see how he performs with less weight to cut.
He takes on Rob Font who has also lost two of his last three so another loss for either man will be a big setback. Font lost to Pedro Munhoz, responded with a great knockout against top prospect Thomas Almeida, but then lost to Raphael Assuncao.
Both men are extremely well-rounded but Font is the more natural finisher. He has finished his last seven wins whereas Pettis has gone to a decision in his last eight wins. Expect the majority of the fight to take place on the feet and if it does it will be fought at a very fast pace.
They are both incredibly quick on the feet with constant outputs so the exchange will be very exciting. Pettis will be more energised at bantamweight and will be a threat until the final bell but the extra size and power of the former featherweight should allow him to inflict more damage and be too much for Pettis.
Winner: Font via KO/TKO
Jim Miller vs Charles Oliveira
The main card for the final UFC event on Fox kicks off between two veterans in a rematch eight years on. Jim Miller snatched the win from Charles Oliveira with a superb kneebar after defending the Brazilian’s own submission attempts. It is always great to see two grappling wizards hunting a submission and although it was eight years ago, Oliveira is out for revenge.
With a staggering 51 UFC fights between them, there is very little that fazes the two fighters and they will both go out in search of the finish, whether that be a knockout or a familiar submission. They have all the talent to find a finish but all the experience to avoid making a mistake.
Miller took the spoils in their first fight but at 35 years old, Miller has struggled to keep up with top UFC competition and Oliveira is no different with no signs of slowing down at 29 years of age. Let’s hope these elite Jiu-Jitsu practitioners battle it out on the floor again but however it finishes, Oliveira is favourite for the rematch.
Winner: Oliveira via Decision
Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric.