UFC on Fox 29 tips: Best bets for Poirier v Gaethje
We make our pick for the lightweight fight in Glendale, plus the rest of the action on the main card.
Dustin Poirier v Justin Gaethje
This meeting of two lightweight contenders who have been involved in wars with Eddie Alvarez should be a similarly exciting fight.
Poirier fought the former lightweight champion in May 2017 and had the better of the first round, before Alvarez landed two illegal knees in the second that saw the bout end as a no-contest.
Gathje then took on The Underground King last December and suffered the first defeat of his career by knockout in round three.
Those results against Alvarez should provide an indication as to who will come out on top on Saturday night.
Gaethje is an exciting, versatile striker who came to the UFC with a lot of hype, a perfect 17-0 record and 14 wins by KO.
The 29-year-old’s wild style can get him in trouble against more technically sound opponents, though, and that’s exactly what he faces in Arizona this weekend.
A polished southpaw who’s lost just one of his last eight fights, Poirier has the same tendency to brawl as Gaethje, but is also a better boxer on the outside.
He’ll wear his opponent down, pick his punches more effectively and earn the stoppage.
Carlos Condit v Alex Oliveira
Former interim welterweight champion Condit has lost three fights in a row after being beaten on points by Neil Magny in December, and the 33-year-old now faces a tough opponent in Oliveira.
The Brazilian lost a back-and-forth brawl with Yancy Medeiros in his last fight in December, but had won four of five with one no-contest before that, three of which were inside the distance.
Oliviera’s got a good chin, heavy hands and he likes to push the pace, which could be a problem for Condit, who’s fought just once since August 2016.
With only two wins in eight fights dating back to November 2012, the American’s a fading force and it’s hard to see him getting a result.
Israel Adesanya v Marvin Vettori
Nigerian middleweight Adesanya arrived in the UFC in February with a perfect 11-fight, 11-win, 11-KO record, and kept his run going by knocking out Rob Wilkinson in the second round on his debut.
The 28-year-old should find himself in the top 15 with a win over Vettori.
The up-and-coming Italian has a 12-3-1 record after drawing with Omari Akhmedov in December, and he holds a clear advantage over Adesanya on the ground, where he’s picked up eight submission victories.
Ultimately, though, the Nigerian’s striking should prove too much for Vettori to handle, and the 13th knockout win of his career is the likeliest outcome.
Michelle Waterson v Cortney Casey
This should be a really good fight between two strawweights who could move towards a title shot with an impressive win.
Waterson has suffered back-to-back defeats after starting her UFC career 2-0, but the former Invicta champion is a solid all-round fighter and should have the game to beat Casey and get back on track here.
The Karate Hottie is dangerous on the ground, with nine submission wins to date, but it’s her work on the feet that should prove the difference in this fight.
Casey has lost two of her last three and is 3-4 in the UFC, and, although she’s a great wrestler, the 30-year-old lacks the hand and foot speed to keep up with Waterson.
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