We are off to a brilliant start with the blogs after going 10-2 on our Volkov vs Rozenstruik fight card predictions last week, however, 2-1 on our best bets leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I am hungry to improve the record this week!
Brendan Allen vs Jacob Malkoun – LOCK OF THE WEEK
UFC 275 is stacked with some intriguing fights, especially on the main card. However, my best bet of the night is on the preliminary card. Brendan Allen has been a highly touted prospect for a few years now after a wealth of success in other promotions such as the LFA. Malkoun, also at 26 years old, has had a vastly different rise in the UFC. After entering the promotion with a 4-0 record, Malkoun lost his debut fight in just 18 seconds against Brendan Allen’s teammate Phil Hawes. Malkoun did not let that loss affect the trajectory of his career, as he bounced back with consecutive decision wins by imposing his grappling heavy style against Abdul Razak Alhassen and AJ Dobson. However, his next opponent in Allen is a big step up and from a stylistic perspective Malkoun will really struggle to impose his game plan on the much larger Allen.
Brendan has always been regarded as a future ranked fighter because he is so well-rounded and particularly dominate in the grappling department. He’s caused a lot of problems for difficult opponents such as Kevin Holland, Kyle Daukaus and Punahele Soriano. Although he has had moments of brilliance, he is 3-2 in his last 5, largely because he seems to get too overconfident in his striking and is willing to trade with fighters who are known for their power. Malkoun has not inflicted much striking damage in his career to date, and I do not anticipate him looking to trade with Brendan.
Brendan Allen’s wrestling and overall size advantage is key for him in this fight defensively, because although Malkoun has a brown belt in BJJ, I am not confident he will be able to utilise it in this fight, as he will have difficulty taking this contest to the ground. Therefore, I’m taking Brendan in this fight from a head-to-head perspective as a best bet. The distribution of outcomes on Brendan Allen’s fights is slightly skewed towards submissions, but due to Malkoun’s grappling credentials I believe a KO or a decision is more likely to occur.
Andre Fialho vs Jake Matthews
My second-best bet of the fight card will be going against another Australian, as I am backing Andre Fialho to carry his momentum into this contest against Jake Matthews and tally his third UFC win this year. Fialho’s activity inside the octagon and his fan-friendly fight style is quickly increasing his popularity. He is difficult to takedown which enables him to march his opponents down and throw bombs on the feet.
The 27-year-old Jake Matthews has been in the UFC since 2014, yet despite some impressive performance over the likes of Li Jiangliang, he has not been able to put it all together against the more upper echelon guys and has never really sustained a winning streak over recognisable names.
Jake is going to need to shoot for takedowns frequently in this fight, and although he is well-versed in all facets of mixed martial arts, he does not have the striking to trade with the powerful Fialho, and I do not believe he has the wrestling to takedown someone as physically strong as Fialho particularly early in the fight. Jake is experienced, and perhaps he can outlast the blitzes from the Portuguese fighter, however I do believe that if Filaho cannot win by early KO, the early damage that he inflicts on Jake will be the deciding factor on the scorecards.
Hopefully we can get a similar return on our full card predictions and more importantly improve our best bets record! Thank you for tuning in again, enjoy the fights and gamble responsibly.