WULIJI BUREN vs JONATHAN MARTINEZ
El Matador: Martinez
Dr. Akins: I’m not sure how this fight is going to go. I don’t believe either fighter is ready for the UFC. With that said, it should be an interesting fight. Prediction: Martinez by decision
Sweet MBA: Wuliji has been a terror in the san shou and kung fu circuits. His trip to the UFC has been met with turbulence. Jonathan Martinez has been a steady rise with his only loss being to Andre Soukhamthath. I suspect this fight is safely in Martinez hands. Martinez by KO.
TERUTO ISHIHARA vs KYUNG HO KANG
El Matador: TERU!!!!
Dr. Akins: Ishihara has been on a real slide. I expect that slide to continue. Prediction: Kang by decision
Sweet MBA: I could not have planned this better. South Korea’s Kang seems to have trouble with grapplers. Ishihara happens to train with a slew of local wrestlers by the name of Team Alpha Male. If the distance is closed, Yashabo wins by decision. If it stays at arms length, Kang wins by TKO. Ishihara by decision.
“DON’T BLINK” KAI KARA FRANCE vs RAULIAN PAIVA
El Matador: Rauliian Paiva
Dr. Akins: This is a tough fight to call. Both of these young fighters have a lot of experience. It’s just a matter of who shows up when the lights are brightest. Prediction: Kara-France by decision
Sweet MBA: On our first phase of the Kia Ora express, New Zealand’s Kai Kara France brings his Tiger Muay Thai stylings to Raulian Paiva. Kara France by decision.
MONTANA DE LA ROSA vs NADIA KASSEM
El Matador: Kassem
Dr. Akins: Both ladies have performed well when the lights are brightest. De La Rosa has fought 4 UFC caliber fighters. Kassem has fought one, although she won that fight in dominating fashion. Kassem is the better striker. De La Rosa is the better grappler. Which one wins? We will see. Prediction: Kassem by KO/TKO
Sweet MBA: The UFC is pretty excited about Nadia. She is a power striker in the women’s flyweight who finishes girls. She is a Top Team affiliate. She throws the urban slang around and calls herself 187. She is also unfortunately an Aussie which means she doesn’t think she has to wrestle. Once De La Rosa gets the take down, this fight is over. De La Rosa by RNC
SHANE YOUNG vs “GOLDEN BOY”AUSTIN ARNETT
El Matador: Young
Dr. Akins: Young has the better stand up game. Let’s see if he can’t keep the fight standing. Prediction: Young by KO/TKO
Sweet MBA: This is a typical striker versus grapple match up. Shane Young fell victim to countryman but camp rival Alex Volkanovski. However what Volkanovski just did to Mendes, this is fairly expected. Young’s hope is to stop the take downs early and hurt Arnett. Young by TKO.
“THE BRUTE”JIM CRUTE vs “SMILE’N”SAM ALVEY
El Matador: Crute
Dr. Akins: Alvey is a late add and a tough person to prepare for. Especially considering that he was added 1 week before the event. NOT GOOD FOR CRUTE! Prediction: Alvey by decision
Sweet MBA: UFC wants to keep Sam Alvey fed. Therefore Sam Alvey by KO.
DEVONTE SMITH vs “MAESTRO”DONG HYUN MA
El Matador: Smith
Dr. Akins: This may be harsh to say….I LITERALLY see NO POINT in this fight. Prediction: Draw
Sweet MBA: Devonte Smith is surfing a drippy 5 win streak by finishes. Dong Hyun Ma might be the mirror image of Kyung Ho Kang at 155lbs. His secret comes from provoking power punchers into over committing. This comes down to Smith’s confidence. Smith by decision.
RANI YAHYA vs RICKY SIMON
El Matador: Yahya
Dr. Akins: Yayha only has one way to win the fight. As long as Simon can keep the fight standing, he should win this fight. Prediction: Simon by decision
Sweet MBA: Rani Yahya has some of the slickest and most basic jiu jitsu this side of Florida. When I say basic, I mean masterfully effective. Yet, Ricky Simon’s is on a 7 fight streak bolstered by his partners at Gracie Barra in Portland. Yahya by submission.
ISRAEL ADESANYA vs ANDERSON SILVA
El Matador: Stylebender
Dr. Akins: All of you already know how I feel about Silva continuing to fight. I just hope Silva comes away unharmed in this fight. Prediction: Adesanya by KO/TKO
Sweet MBA: DEEP PAINFUL SIGH. You have watched this show enough to know, if there is one fighter, that has consistently inspired me the last two decades, it is Anderson Silva. If there is any fighter that will inspire me the next two decades, its Israel Adesanya. If you are a fan of martial arts, these two have to fight. If you are searching for black excellence, these two shouldn’t fight. Father time waits for no man. Not even MMA’s Muhammed Ali. However Anderson has built an entire career on being able to do what most call impossible. That is why we love him. Its not out of the realm of possibility that Anderson wins and becomes the 185 contender.
ROBERT WHITTAKER VS KELVIN GASTELUM
El Matador: Whitaker
Dr. Akins: We all know how good Whittaker is. We also know how injuries have taken their toll. Whitaker’s high fight IQ is the difference in most fights that he’s involved in, exploiting his opponent’s weaknesses instead of fighting to his strengths. However, Whittaker has has difficulties with elite strikers, which is exactly what Gastelum is. Since Gastelum has moved to Middleweight, he has beaten a who’s-who in MMA. He holds victories over Hendericks, Kennedy, Bisping, and Souza, with a KO of Belfort being overturned to a “No Contest” after he tested positive for marijuana. At Middleweight, it just seems like Gastelum is too fast for Middleweights. I expect that trend to continue. Prediction: Gastelum by KO/TKO
Sweet MBA: Bobby Knuckles all day son. AND STILL…………. Whitaker by KO.
Round Zero Season 2 Episode 1 – Who Got Hands: Robert Whittaker vs Kelvin Gastelum
is also available as download or audio podcast
Sweet MBA (@kingofamber)
Hector Farajado (@el.matador.hec)
Audio provided by:
Dream Ear Productions
“Just Not Fair” by Dream Ear Productions
Video provided by:
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DeShawn Davis & Regis Jefferson
Cage Against the Machine
Dream Podcast Network