The UFC Fight Island 7 is headlined by Holloway versus Kattar, but there are plenty more fights on the card to break down. Thus this weekly Fight Analysis article will be taking an approach where I break down and analyze every matchup. Below, you’ll find my analysis for each match based on data, as well as a pick to win, which could help you out when it comes to making your UFC DFS picks and making lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel.
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UFC Fight Island 7 DraftKings + FanDuel DFS Fight Analysis
Holloway vs. Kattar
Our main event of the evening is a good one, featuring Max Holloway against Calvin Kattar. Holloway is looking to make a statement and reclaim his throne in the featherweight division. He will have several advantages in this bout, such as volume, championship experience and kicks. In order to beat Kattar, Holloway needs to fight a perfect fight while avoiding the big shot. Kattar has risen through the ranks with precision striking and devastating knockout power. He can match Holloway on the feet and possibly surprise him with some wrestling. I worry about Holloway getting into a rhythm and utilizing a high-volume attack, but I slightly favor Kattar.
The pick: Calvin Kattar
Condit vs. Brown
In the co-main event of the evening, we have two veterans, with Carlos Condit facing Matt Brown. If you’re a long-time fan of the UFC, you can recall countless highlights from both fighters. Condit is a dynamic striker with a massive hole in the wrestling department. The lack of wrestling has led to many submission wins since he’s always looking for the finish. Condit has finished 90% of his 31 victories. Brown is also a good striker with a high finish rate of 91%, but he has become less durable over the years. Brown just turned 40, and I don’t like his chances against the dangerous Condit.
The pick: Carlos Condit
Ponzinibbio vs. Jingliang
I absolutely love this fight. We have Santiago Ponzinibbio returning from a long layoff due to injury and infection, against a very tough Li Jingliang. This is not a tune-up fight by any means. It’s hard to gauge how Ponzinibbio will look in this fight, as it’s been over two years since his last bout against Neil Magny. Jingliang has good striking and can win this fight if he avoids the power shots of Ponzinibbio while mixing in some wrestling to win rounds. However, I favor the speed, power and combination ability of Ponzinibbio to hurt and potentially finish his opponent. I think the odds are a little too wide for my liking, but I foresee Ponzinibbio walking away victorious.
The pick: Santiago Ponzinibbio
Buckley vs. Di Chirico
The hype is real, folks. Joaquin Buckley is here to stay. Buckley took a short notice opportunity against Kevin Holland, fell short and has rebounded nicely with two viral knockouts. Buckley will face Alessio Di Chirico, a tough veteran who is well rounded but doesn’t specialize in one particular area. The UFC is slowly building Buckley’s stock with winnable matchups. Buckley has extremely heavy hands, great combinations and surprising cardio for a man of his size. On the regional scene, Buckley implemented takedowns to solidify rounds, and I think people will be surprised when he showcases those skills. Di Chirico is a low-volume fighter with heavy hands and good wrestling. He is very tough and has yet to be knocked out in his career, but I think Buckley will be a step ahead in all facets of the game.
The pick: Joaquin Buckley
Todorovic vs. Soriano
Up next we have an exciting bout between two prospects, Dusko Todorovic and Punahele Soriano. This fight could be over before we know it. Todorovic has a complete game at the age of 26, mixing in impressive combinations with a suffocating ground game. Soriano is a well-rounded fighter, but truly excels on the feet. It’s tough to feel confident in this fight, but I do think the grappling and size of Todorovic will be the difference here.
The pick: Dusko Todorovic
Hawes vs. Imavov
Can you still be labeled a prospect at the age of 32? Phil Hawes is the anomaly that fits that description. Hawes is a decorated wrestler, mostly known for his incredible striking and killer instincts. Over the years Hawes has suffered some setbacks, delaying his breakout onto the MMA scene. Hawes will not receive an easy matchup, and will be fighting Nassourdine Imavov. Imavov is a talented striker, with a very good ground game to threaten opponents. Hawes needs to avoid the crisp counters from Imavov, put together strong combinations and add his powerful takedowns to win rounds. The one worry I have is if Hawes becomes fatigued and leaves his neck out there for Imavov.
The pick: Phil Hawes
Yanan vs. Edwards
Up next we have Wu Yanan versus UFC newcomer Joselyne Edwards. Yanan has been relatively underwhelming in her UFC career but does have good striking and decent jiu-jitsu to rely on. Edwards is a regional talent who has developed into a fighter with good judo, decent jiu-jitsu and aggressive striking. I’m always hesitant to pull the trigger on UFC newcomers since there is so much pressure behind a debut. The aggression of Edwards could be the difference here, as long as she can limit her mistakes.
The pick: Joselyne Edwards
Felipe vs. Tafa
Our heavyweight matchup of the evening features Carlos Felipe and Justin Tafa. This one could be over quickly. These are two low-level heavyweights that enjoy trading on the feet. Felipe is the more polished of the two, with crisp boxing and great shot selection. Tafa is more reckless and has the power advantage, but he makes more mistakes. I have been impressed with Felipe thus far and have to side with the man who has better cardio and defensive tendencies.
The pick: Carlos Felipe
Emeev vs. Zawada
In an exciting welterweight bout, we have Ramazan Emeev taking on David Zawada. Emeev is a high-level mixed martial artist, but he can become lackadaisical at times. Emeev typically throws at a low volume while mixing in takedowns to secure rounds. Zawada is a talented fighter with good knockout power and has good submissions off his back. I think Zawada is at a significant wrestling disadvantage in this fight, but he can pull the upset here.
The pick: David Zawada
Moras vs. Melo
Our first women’s bout of the evening features Sarah Moras and Vanessa Melo. This fight is not the most exciting, but each fighter needs a win to stay in the UFC. Moras is an adequate striker at best, and she should look to initiate grappling early and often. Moras will have a significant advantage on the mat and in the wrestling department. Melo is the better striker of the two and throws at a higher rate. This fight is tough to call, but I think that Melo will pull it out.
The pick: Vanessa Melo
Lingo vs. Kilburn
To kick off UFC Fight Island 7, Austin Lingo takes on Jacob Kilburn. I’m surprisingly excited for this fight because I know it’s going to be fireworks. Both men throw caution to the wind, and it should make for an entertaining contest. Lingo comes from a great camp in Fortis MMA, whereas Kilburn is from American Top Team. I think both gentlemen are better than what they’ve shown in their UFC debuts. Lingo seems to have the slight boxing edge and has a really effective overhand. Kilburn has good hands but should look to utilize his kicks to keep Lingo guessing. Honestly, this fight could go either way, and the odds should be much closer than they are. I favor Lingo slightly.
The pick: Austin Lingo
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