Friday, August 14, 2020

UFC On FOX 30 Staff Predictions

The weekend is here and with it comes another exciting fight card, as UFC On FOX 30 goes down from the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. As is always the case before a big MMA event, we’ve got a few of MMANews.com’s finest here to bring you their expert analysis and predictions for the main card fights scheduled for Saturday’s show.

UFC On FOX 30 features a highly anticipated rematch between top Lightweight contenders Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier in the main event, as well as an excellent co-main event between Jose Aldo and Jeremy Stephens. Also on the main card airing on big FOX this Saturday night is Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Tecia Torres and Alexander Hernandez vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier.

MMANews.com staff writers Fernando Quiles Jr., Andrew Ravens, Clyde Aidoo and Ed Carbazel will be giving their picks for this installment of our Staff Predictions Roundtable feature. Check out their in-depth analysis and predictions for Saturday’s UFC On FOX 30 main card fights below.

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  • Lightweight: Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Jose Aldo vs. Jeremy Stephens
  • Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Tecia Torres
  • Alexander Hernandez vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdbZwuyNEd0

UFC ON FOX 30 PREDICTIONS

Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier

Fernando Quiles Jr.: Making this pick has been a chore. I believe this is going to be a war that could go into the later rounds, maybe even all five. What I like about Poirier is that he has developed patience over time. He showed that in the Justin Gaethje fight where he didn’t rush a finish because he was aware of the danger his opponent presented. Alvarez isn’t as frenetic as Gaethje, but he still leaves himself wide open at times. I think Poirier will outstrike Alvarez to earn the biggest win of his career. (Prediction: Dustin Poirier)

Andrew Ravens: We’ve seen this fight once before as their first fight went to a no contest due to an illegal knee just last year but both fighters have grown since then, and that makes for not only a highly anticipated fight but one that is sure to entertain. Poirier has been more the more active fighter since their first encounter, but Alvarez is one of the greatest lightweights in the world right now and understands that this is a big fight that could result in a huge win. Make no mistake about it, this will not be a short fight but rather one that goes the distance and has Alvarez getting his hand raised after five rounds by unanimous decision. (Prediction: Eddie Alvarez)

Clyde Aidoo: The UFC released a quote from Eddie Alvarez this week where he said, “The only path to victory here is through pure suffering, and nobody is willing to suffer more than me.” I believe Alvarez may be more correct in this assessment than he realizes. Eddie Alvarez is a slow starter, while Dustin Poirier can turn it on at any moment. I believe Poirier will draw first blood in this fight just as he did in their first encounter. This time, as Poirier has promised during the build-up to this fight, I expect Poirier to learn from the first fight and big-fight experience in general and take his time instead of punching himself out in trying to finish the ultra-durable Eddie Alvarez. Indeed, I do expect Alvarez to suffer, but I expect the torture to be more methodical and strategic than the bloodthirsty approach Poirier implemented last time. As long as Poirier remains composed even when he holds the advantage, I expect his timing and power advantage on the feet to win him the fight. (Prediction: Dustin Poirier)

Ed Carbazel: Alvarez is hard to pick against because he likes to scrap. However, it seems the way to beat fighters like him is with patience. He’s often said trying to go head-to-head works in his favor and Poirier seemed to get the better of him before the controversial stoppage in their last fight. Poirier may have the tools to beat Alvarez this time around. (Prediction: Dustin Poirier)

CONSENSUS: DUSTIN POIRIER (3-1)

Jose Aldo vs. Jeremy Stephens

Fernando: Many seem to be counting Aldo out despite the fact that he’s only lost to Conor McGregor and Max Holloway inside the Octagon. While it is true that Aldo’s time is almost up, he still can’t be slept on. Jeremy Stephens has the power to send anyone to dream street, but I think we see a technical striking display from Aldo with leg kicks and counters. (Prediction: Jose Aldo)

Andrew: Aldo is one of the greatest featherweight fighters in the world but over the past few years, his stock as dropped in the eyes of fight fans due to the fact that it seems like he can beat anyone in the division except for Conor McGregor and Max Holloway. Stephens is someone who has really picked up some momentum in his last three fights, which he won all of them, and is on the cusp of being added to the talk of title contenders. With a win over Aldo, that pushes him closer to the reality of that talk becoming real and can understand why some fight fans would pick him to win here. However, I am not one of those and see Aldo rebounding with a dominating win by unanimous decision. (Prediction: Jose Aldo)

Clyde: I try not to get caught up in what is said during the build-up to a fight, but in this case, I find it near impossible to do so. I believe that José Aldo has one foot out the door, while Jeremy Stephens has never been hungrier. The question is, can Jeremy Stephens at his best beat a partially focused José Aldo (That is, if he is indeed partially focused)? I believe that he can, but I don’t believe that he will. Only Conor McGregor and Max Holloway have been able to defeat José Aldo in the UFC, so reports of Aldo’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. I expect leg kicks galore, and for Aldo to implement a smart game plan to beat Stephens. If you watch how Renato Moicano defeated Jeremy Stephens and how José Aldo defeated Frankie Edgar at UFC 200, you will see game plans that greatly mirror one another. I believe even a half-invested Aldo and his camp will recognize this and use fight IQ and a better overall striking attack to defeat Stephens. (Prediction: Jose Aldo)

Ed: Aldo may not be the fighter he was, but he is still a former champion with only four losses on his record. Two of them are to Holloway, and one is to McGregor. Of Stephens 14 losses, 10 are by decision and Aldo has shown he can win the judges over matches with fighters that have a base of wrestling, see his wins over Frankie Edgar for reference. Aldo can pull off a decision here if he plays it smart. (Prediction: Jose Aldo)

CONSENSUS: JOSE ALDO (4-0)

Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Tecia Torres

Fernando: This card is so stacked that the former strawweight ruler is on the second fight of the main card. There’s something to be said for Torres’ improvements inside the Octagon. She’s gone 3-1 in her last four outings with the one loss being to Jessica Andrade. Torres was outmuscled in that fight and it won’t be the case this time around. With that said, Jedrzejczyk is still an elite fighter. I expect Torres to try to win the grappling exchange to some success, but I believe Jedrzejczyk’s output will be enough to earn her a decision win. (Prediction: Joanna Jedrzejczyk)

Andrew: This is clearly the most intriguing fight on this entire card as a big question will be answered once Jedrzejczyk steps foot inside of the Octagon. Is she back to her normal championship caliber self or has her time as an elite fighter on top of the division passed her? Can Jedrzejczyk dig deep and rebounded off back-to-back losses to Rose Namajunas? That will be very interesting to find out and it doesn’t help that the fact that she has to come back against Torres, who is always a game and gritty fighter. I see Jedrzejczyk looking better than ever in this fight and shutting down the negative fans that say her time has passed as Jedrzejczyk gets it done with a unanimous decision win. (Prediction: Joanna Jedrzejczyk)

Clyde: I expect this to be a close fight. One thing to note is that Joanna has grown accustomed to five-round fights through most of her UFC career. And seeing as how often she can be a slow starter, she will have to adapt her mindset and strategy for a three-round affair. I expect Torres to come out the gate with more energy and perhaps win a competitive first round. I expect the final two rounds to be competitive as well, but Joanna will continue to pick up steam as the fight progresses, although every round should be competitive. Joanna should be able to keep the fight standing, as she always does, and from there, there aren’t many strawweights in the world who can outpoint Joanna in a stand-up battle. I expect this fight to look like a three-round version of Joanna/Gadelha 2 and maybe take home Fight of the Night. (Prediction: Joanna Jedrzejczyk)

Ed: Jedrzejczyk lost the title and her chance at trying to win it back, so chances are she may come at Torres really strong in this one. Torres has a varied striking background with black belts in karate and tae kwon do, and has some decent grappling along with a strength advantage. Nothing Jedrzejczyk has not seen before and that experience along with a reach advantage may be what wins Jedrzejczyk the fight. (Prediction: Joanna Jedrzejczyk)

CONSENSUS: JOANNA JEDRZEJCZYK (4-0)

Alexander Hernandez vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier

Fernando: Hernandez turned a lot of heads when he knocked out Beneil Dariush in his UFC debut. To finish such a formidable opponent and ranked fighter in your UFC debut deserves some praise. Aubin-Mericier is no slouch himself as he’s coming off a quick finish over Evan Dunham. Mercier has never been stopped and Hernandez hasn’t gone the distance since June 2015. I’m gonna give Aubin-Mericier the edge here due to his experience and durability, but I won’t blink just in case. (Prediction: Olivier Aubin-Mercier)

Andrew: While this appears to be a showcase fight for Aubin-Mercier, by looking at on paper, this should be a tough contest for the up and coming fighter who has posted a four-fight winning streak in his latest outings. In my eyes, this will be a tough back and forth scrap that goes down to the wire with Aubin-Mercier getting his hands raised by split decision. (Prediction: Olivier Aubin-Mercier)

Clyde: There are certain fighters that instantly display an “it” factor. And by “it” I don’t just mean being a star. I mean being a champion. I am convinced Alex Hernandez is a special talent and that he will prove that his knockout over Beneil Dariush was not a one-hit wonder. Alex Hernandez reminds me of Cody Garbrandt in many ways, one being that I expect him to use his wrestling to ensure the fight remains standing and, from there, use explosiveness and timing that will be too much for the much slower Aubin-Mercier. Hernandez wrestled since the age of 13 and competed at the national level in high school. Once the fight remains standing, I do not see Aubin-Mercier being able to match the determination or the speed advantage that Hernandez will present on the feet. I believe Hernandez will refuse to be denied here and will show Aubin-Mercier absolutely no respect. (Prediction: Alexander Hernandez)

Ed: “The Canadian Gangster”, Aubin-Mercier is riding a four-fight win streak and has shown that his training at Tri-Star Gym is evolving him into the next big thing in the UFC. However, Hernandez is no slouch either with six of his nine wins either by a knock out or submission. Aubin-Mercier seems to be the favorite and has the advantage on the ground but Hernandez may be the better striker and could pull off a win by decision. (Prediction: Alexander Hernandez)

CONSENSUS: DRAW (2-2)


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What do you think of the above analysis for UFC On FOX 30? Do you agree or disagree with the predictions? Let us know by sounding off in the Comments section below. Join us via Twitter @mmanews_com on Saturday evening for live UFC On FOX 30 results coverage!

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