UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs Pettis Odds Picks and Predictions
Live from Nashville, TN in the Bridestone Arena, it’s UFC Fight Night with a welterweight main event pitting Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson vs Anthony “Showtime” Pettis.
Fresh from a controversial decision loss to Darren Till in London, five- time kick boxing champion “Wonderboy” Thompson is ready to redeem himself this Saturday night. Thompson is one the most significant fighters in the UFC that etched a path to two title fights versus Tyron Woodley, the first fight being a draw and the second a majority decision loss against the “Chosen One”. Stephen Thompson is the #3 ranked welterweight in the world, fighting for the shot at the interim championship with a win on Fight Night 148.
After suffering a brutal T/KO loss from Tony Ferguson in the wildest fight of UFC 229, “Showtime” Pettis now went up to the welterweight division for the first time in his career. At one time, this former lightweight champ had trouble making weight but now at 170 lbs, he’ll be true to form. To the surprise of fight fans and Thompson himself, he accepted the challenge. Pettis will deliver a wild fight like always as he never disappoints, and this Fight Night will be no different.
Along with an impressive welterweight main event in Thompson vs Pettis, UFC Fight Night will present an epic heavyweight showdown with Curtis “Razor” Blaydes and Justin “Big Pretty” Willis. The co-main event will be entertaining to say the least for these are top heavyweights of their division, each with devastating knockout power. An exciting newcomer from the jungles of Peru, Jesus “El Mudo” Pinedo, will have his second fight in the UFC on US soil against a tough UFC veteran John “The Bull” Makdezzi. My predictions for this Fight Night will commence with an exciting flyweight bout against two countrymen of Brazil that will jump-start the fascinating main card on ESPN+.
Jussier Fromiga vs Deiveson Figueiredo
FIGUEIREDO -140 / FROMIGA +120
Fight Night will start with the two top fighters of the flyweight division with #1 ranked Jussier Formiga and #4 ranked “Deus de Guera” which means of “god of war” in Portuguese.
Jussier is the most skilled fighter in the flyweight for a good reason. The man is a wrestling specialist with a perfect 10-0 submission record. Formiga is one of the safest fighters out there winning 55% of his fights in decisions and 45% with his submissions. Jussier’s formidable grappling will be put to the test against the undefeated Deiveson Figueiredo who owns a perfect 15-0 record, as well as a scary resume of 10 knockouts. The Brazilian “God of War” is the favorite in this fight and that’s understandable due to his scary knockout power. While sporting a perfect 8-0 submission record, he can also rely on his elite level submission average of 3.86 per 15 minutes. With no question, I’m siding with Figueiredo to end this one early. I’m expecting him to finish this well into the second round after a marvelous first round.
PICK: Deiveson Figueiredo by T/KO in the Second Round -140
John Makdezzi vs Jesus Pinedo
MAKDEZZI -310 / PINEDO +250
The entertainment continues with a clash of lightweights, showcasing an impressive talent from Peru, Jesus Pinedo, against John Makdezzi, who’s coming from a very impressive decision victory against Ross Pearson.
The main story of this fight is the 22 year-old Jesus “El Mudo” Pinedo who’s entering his second fight in the Octagon after a decision victory against Devon Powell in his UFC debut held in Argentina. Pinedo may be young, but don’t let his baby face fool you, he will rampage a fighter at any given moment. From the fights I’ve seen of him, there’s a freedom in his movements unseen in a fighter his age and he can clearly devastate an opponent. Jesus will have the ultimate test in his young career against a bulldog of a fighter, John Makdezzi. “The Bulldog” will be a boxing challenge for the younger Pinedo with his insane 5.49 significant strikes a minute and an even tougher 71% defensive rating. I like what I see from Pinedo, he shows incredible patience for someone his age which will aide him greatly in this fight. I believe Pinedo can upset a veteran like Makdezzi with the way he takes his time picking apart fighters and his willingness to grind a fight into a decision.
PICK: Jesus Pinedo by DEC +250
Curtis Blaydes vs Justin Willis
BLAYDES -260 / WILLIS +210
The co-main event is gifting us an exhilarating heavyweight bout of power hitters #4 Curtis “Razor” Blaydes and #10 Justin “Big Pretty” Willis.
Blaydes is coming from a disappointing T/KO loss from a title fight against one of the baddest men in the UFC’s heavyweight division, Francis Ngannou. Curtis is one of the most devastating knockout artists among the 265 lb division with 80 % of his fights ending as knockouts. This match has me on the edge of my seat with how similar these fighters approach a fight, very calm and very poised. Justin Willis isn’t scared of anyone when it comes to fighting, logging in a resting heart rate of lower than 40 bpm just before a fight! It also helps coming from the halls of AKA where he trains his wrestling with the likes of champ-champ Daniel Cormier, and it shows with his 66% take-down accuracy. Willis beats Blaydes in every category of significant strikes, landing 4.4 SIG STR every minute, with 60% striking vs Curtis’ 50% and with a solid 60% defense. I like the confidence that Willis exudes in each fight, but I love the power that comes with Razor’s fight game along with an insane 6.75 grappling per 15 minutes. I’m picking Curtis because he’s handled bigger and badder fighters while also having an average fight time of nine minutes and ten seconds.
PICK: Curtis Blaydes by T/KO -260
Stephen Thompson vs Anthony Pettis
THOMPSON -370 / PETTIS +285
The main event isn’t going to disappoint when it totes the most exciting strikers, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Anthony “Showtime” Pettis, who headline this already mind-blowing fight card.
What amazes me the most about Stephen Thompson is how deadly his kicks are and how it perfectly supplements his near perfect striking ability. “Wonderboy” possesses ridiculous Street Fighter combinations that can bury any opponent in significant striking, landing an domineering 3.45 strikes a minute. Thompson is coming back from a debatable decision loss against Darren Till and is vying for redemption at another title shot. At age 36, Thompson knows he doesn’t have all the time in the world to become a champion, making it a challenge to get there.
“Showtime” is everything his nickname lends to him because he delivers a show for UFC fans every time! Pettis’ previous fight last year was everything fans wanted and then some, as he fought one of the best fighters in the lightweight division, Tony Ferguson. In what was a bloody showdown that ended with Pettis being TKO’ed by Ferguson, it was still one of his finest showings in a loss and the craziest fight of 2018. With many tools in his striking at his disposal and with a perfect submission record of 8-0, it will all be put to the test with his rise to welterweight against a very skilled 170 pounder. I love what I saw from Pettis in UFC 229 to the point where it can easily go down as the best co-main event I’ve ever seen. I would love to see him win this one, but I don’t think he can win against an expert kickboxer like Thompson at his first fight in a heavier division.
Thompson owns the upper hand with his height advantage on top of all his other wonder skills. And it doesn’t help Pettis’ chance in his first fight in the welterweight, when it’s a fact that Thompson is a five-time kickboxing champion.
PICK: Stephen Thompson by UN DEC -370