UFC Fight Night London tips: Best bets as Manuwa and Pickett come home
There should be home-town glory for two British fighters as the Octagon arrives at the O2...
Jimi Manuwa v Corey Anderson
In a classic match-up of striker and wrestler, Londoner Manuwa should come away with a win on home soil.
The 37-year-old has won 16 of his 18 professional fights, and has only been beaten by top light-heavyweights Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson.
Manuwa is a dangerous striker, having stopped all but three of his professional opponents inside the distance.
He showed in his last fight – a knockout win over Ovince Saint Preux – that he can handle grapplers like Anderson.
The durable American has only been finished once in his career, however, and is perfectly capable of taking this fight into the later rounds.
Manuwa is a natural kickboxer, though, and holds a huge advantage in terms of power and footwork.
Back him to win by knockout at .
Gunnar Nelson v Alan Jouban
This is a relatively evenly-matched bout between two fighters with designs on reaching the top of the welterweight rankings.
Nelson’s knockout power gives him a slight edge on the feet, and he is also a dangerous submission artist if the fight goes to the ground.
But Jouban has proven difficult to hit, and if it reaches the later rounds that bodes well for the American.
Only four of Nelson’s 18 fights have gone beyond the second round, two of which were defeats.
Jouban eased to a unanimous points decision against the powerful Mike Perry in his last fight by maintaining the distance and picking his opponent off at range.
He can claim victory with a similar approach here.
Jouban to win by decision at is the right call.
Brad Pickett v Marlon Vera
In his farewell fight, Pickett has the tools to put away the limited Vera.
The 39-year-old has struggled in his last few bouts, winning just one of his last six, although he has generally faced opponents at the top of the flyweight and bantamweight divisions.
Vera is not one of those.
The 24-year-old Ecuadorian has lost two of his four fights in the UFC, and has been chosen here as a competitive but beatable foe for the home-town fighter.
‘One punch’ should win here, but he has not lived up to his nickname for a long time, having only won by knockout once in his 13 UFC fights.
Vera has also never been stopped, so a decision victory for the Londoner at is the right bet.