UFC Fight Night 147 - London Breakdown & Predictions
When is UFC Fight Night 147? Saturday 16th March, 2019 - 18:00 start (UK)
Where is UFC Fight Night 147? The O2 Arena, London
What channel is UFC Fight Night 147 on? BT Sport 1
Where can I stream UFC Fight Night 147? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT Sport website
Darren Till vs Jorge Masvidal
The O2 Arena is going to roar when Darren ‘The Gorilla’ Till walks to the cage as he makes his first appearance in London. Britain’s biggest star is looking to show his character after the first loss of his career; a devastating finish at the hands of Tyron Woodley.
Till stepped up to take on the champion but tasted the difference in class as Woodley knocked him down and dished out brutal ground-and-pound before wrapping up a D’Arce choke.
The opportunity to fight in London against another fan-favourite in Jorge Masvidal is keeping ‘The Gorilla’ at welterweight for now as it promises to be an absolute scrap between two natural-born fighters.
Till fighting in London is great for the British fans but it is also great to see ‘Gamebred’ back in action. He has not fought since November 2017 where he lost to Stephen Thompson. Five months prior, he also lost to Demian Maia so although he has lost two on the bounce his stock is still high.
He stood and held his own against the unbeaten champion kickboxer and fended off every attack from one of the best submission grapplers MMA has ever seen in Maia. Masvidal is a warrior and will go toe-to-toe with Till which is what makes the fight so compelling.
The deciding factor in this fight may come down to Till’s size. They are both excellent strikers, adapting their game from Muay Thai, but as this is a five-round main event the weight and power of Till’s strikes will add up in the championship rounds.
‘The Gorilla’ is a huge welterweight and uses this advantage to pressure his opponents and break them down with power counters and elbows but Masvidal is good enough to match anybody at their own game despite being undersized for the division.
This is going to be an aggressive striking exhibition and although Till will be the favourite you cannot rule ‘Gamebred’ out. He hasn’t been finished for 10 years despite fighting some of the most dangerous men in the UFC and he has the ability to make this an ugly fight from close range.
A three-round fight - Masvidal doesn’t get finished - but if Till can maintain the pressure in the championship rounds, a late stoppage is possible. If the fight goes to the bell we could witness a war.
Winner: Till via Decision
Leon Edwards vs Gunnar Nelson
Leon Edwards is flying in under the radar of the stacked division and is quietly proving he is one of the best welterweights in the world. He arrived to the UFC with the Bamma belt over his shoulder and besides a close split decision loss to Claudio Silva on his debut he has only lost to the current champion Kamaru Usman. He has racked up eight impressive wins over the likes of Albert Tumenov, Vicente Luque, Bryan Barberena, Peter Sabotta and Donald Cerrone.
Now, ‘Rocky’ needs to get past his toughest test Gunnar Nelson since Usman to prove he really is a top contender. Nelson is one of the most talented fighters in the UFC. His grappling is so good that he rarely has to call upon his black belt Karate skills and when he wins it is always spectacular.
Both men are true Mixed Martial Artists who are well-versed everywhere and we are likely to see a mix of striking and grappling to witness their full spectrum of talent.
Despite Usman, to an extent, Edwards has never been outclassed but Nelson has the weapons to better Edwards in every area. The only time he was out-grappled was against Demian Maia and the only time he was out struck was against Santiago Ponzinibbio after an eye poke.
Edwards is a tremendous grappler but if the fight goes to the floor Nelson will hunt a submission so the difference in this fight could be his Karate. Edwards will back his striking but the unique movement of Nelson, bouncing in and out of range, will allow him to offload quick combinations and counters.
This movement leaves Nelson’s front leg exposed which Edwards will naturally catch for a takedown but that will mean entering Nelson’s wheelhouse. Although Nelson finishes virtually every fight he wins, Edwards is good enough to take him to a decision.
Winner: Nelson via Decision
Volkan Oezdemir vs Dominick Reyes
The brute that is Volkan Oezdemir is in unfamiliar territory with two losses in his last two fights. After earning a title shot, he was humbled by Daniel Cormier and then met the surging Anthony Smith in a thrilling battle where he eventually ran out of juice and got submitted. The Swiss powerhouse takes on another animal in red-hot form but hopes to get back to his old punishing ways.
Reyes arrived to the UFC with only six fights under his belt but has proved he is a light heavyweight force already, winning all four of his UFC fights and stretching his unbeaten streak to 10. He finished Joachim Christensen, Jeremy Kimball, Jared Cannonier and earned a unanimous decision over Ovince Saint Preux which is probably his most impressive performance to date.
It’s hard to see this fight being anything other than an absolute barn burner. They are both aggressive, powerful, dynamic and devastating strikers and will be happy to stand in front of each other and trade.
Reyes is a better grappler but that is likely to be an afterthought. Oezdemir has more power in his hands and will be dangerous from close range but Reyes will have the speed advantage which will be crucial. If he can circle and keep Oezdemir on the outside he can pepper him with kicks, setting up combinations and, crucially, avoid the power of Oezdemir.
The judges are unlikely to be required in this fight and a knockout could fall to either man but the speed and kicks of Reyes could be the deciding factor.
Winner: Reyes via KO/TKO
Nathaniel Wood vs José Alberto Quiñónez
Nathaniel Wood is well-known on the British scene as the former Cage Warriors champion and is beginning to make some noise on the international scene as he makes his third UFC appearance. Wood is extremely experienced for his age and is on fire with seven finishes on the trot, with four knockouts and three submissions. Two of those submissions were in his UFC fights against Johnny Eduardo and Andre Ewell and now he meets José Alberto Quiñónez.
Quiñónez makes the long trip from Mexico hoping to start a consistent run of fights. After coming up short against Alejandro Pérez in The Ultimate Fighter finale back in 2014, he has only managed one fight a year since but has won all four of them.
Quiñónez is a good grappler and boxer and has the speed to put Wood in trouble. The stats suggest they are very evenly-matched, but Wood is better in every area. His grappling continues to improve but his striking and the power in his hands is likely to set up a finish.
Winner: Wood via KO/TKO
Danny Roberts vs Cláudio Silva
Danny Roberts walks out in front of his home fans looking for a third win in a row. After winning his first two UFC fights he met Mike Perry in a brutal exchange in which he was left lifeless after a late stoppage. He bounced back superbly with a knockout over Bobby Nash but then suffered the same fate against Nordine Taleb who finished him in the first round. ‘Hot Chocolate’ is looking to put a run together now after knocking out Oliver Enkamp and earning a rare decision in his last fight against David Zawada.
Cláudio Silva is a forgotten talent after suffering injures that have kept him out for a considerable amount of time. The Brazilian arrived to the UFC in 2014 and outpointed other Brits Brad Scott and Leon Edwards but only returned to the octagon fours years later. He proved he is still a force by submitting Taleb and is looking to do the same against Danny Roberts.
Roberts is going to try and light Silva up on the feet early. He has a clear advantage in the striking department and has the power to knock him out. So, Silva will look for the takedown as soon as he smells danger and considering his takedown success and Roberts’ average defence he is likely to get the fight to the ground where the black belt will back himself for a submission.
Winner: Silva via Submission
Jack Marshman vs John Phillips
Welsh fans may be gutted to see two of their own match-up but at least we can all be confident of seeing one hell of a fight. Both men prefer to let their hands do the talking as aggressive and powerful strikers.
Jack Marshman has won two of his five UFC fights and will be grateful that he is fighting a fellow slugger after losing his last two fights to exceptional grapplers: Antonio Carlos Junior and Karl Roberson.
John Phillips has suffered a similar fate in losing his last two fights against Charles Byrd and Kevin Holland who both submitted him. He is desperate to show the UFC what he is capable of and display the skills that earned him four knockouts in a row before making his debut.
Matching these two fighters against grapplers has a sense of inevitability about it but as these strikers have been matched-up we will get to witness their quality. Expect to see a violent Boxing contest and, considering their power, both men are capable of a knockout.
This will come down to whomever has the better defence and although Phillips has absorbed a lot of shots in his last two fights, most of these were on the ground so it will be a different story on the feet.
Marshman is a better grappler as a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but he is unlikely to use these skills and as long as he avoids the power left hand of Phillips he could break him down to earn a knockout of his own.
Winner: Marshman via KO/TKO
Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric.