UFC 223: Nurmagomedov vs. Holloway will air on April 7, 2018, in Brooklyn, New York.
#11 AL “RAGING” IAQUINTA (13-3-1) vs. PAUL “THE IRISH DRAGON” FELDER (15-3-0)
This is a three round fight in the lightweight division. Iaquinta brings boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling giving him knockout power and grappling control. Felder brings Muay Thai, taekwondo, karate, and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power with grappling control. Two heavy hitters this fight brings: Felder, though, is more aggressive and looks to lay it on Iaquinta. Iaquinta has impressive striking power, but it just doesn’t seem as accurate as Felder’s. Unless Iaquinta brings the fight to the ground and retains top control this fight doesn’t look great for Iaquinta. My prediction: Felder wins via TKO in Round 2.
ZABIT MAGOMEDSHARIPOV (14-1-0) vs. KYLE “CRASH” BOCHNIAK (8-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the featherweight division. Magomedsharipov brings boxing, sambo, taekwondo, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling giving him knockout power and grappling control. Bochniak brings striking and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power and grappling control. Both fighters are well-equipped, but Magomedsharipov possesses greater striking and grappling. His boxing and taekwondo seem too much for Bochniak to handle. Unless Bochniak can find a quick finish with his jiu-jitsu I don’t see this fight ending well. My prediction: Magomedsharipov wins via unanimous decision.
#11 RENATO MOICANO (11-1-1) vs. #13 CALVIN KATTAR (18-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the featherweight division. Moicano brings striking and jiu-jitsu giving him grappling control and cardio. Kattar brings striking and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power and grappling control. Both are looking to make it into the top ten, but initially it looks like Kattar will be the one moving up. His striking and jiu-jitsu give him great pressure and attacks to use on his opponents; more so than Moicano. Moicano could pressure Kattar as well, but he does not pace himself like Kattar. With Katter having better pace in his game he looks to continue his rise to the top. My prediction: Kattar wins via unanimous decision.
(C) ROSE “THUG” NAMAJUNAS (8-3-0) vs. #1 JOANNA JEDRZEJCZYK (14-1-0)
This is a five-round co-main event for the women’s strawweight championship. Namajunas brings striking, taekwondo, karate, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling giving her striking power, grappling control and cardio making her the champion. Jedrzejczyk brings boxing, kickboxing and Muay Thai giving her knockout power, speed, and cardio. Jedrzejczyk is the former champion and in this rematch, Jedrzejczyk looks to avenge her only professional loss. Namajunas might have gotten lucky, but her striking proves she was just ahead of the game. Jedrzejczyk’s boxing and Muay Thai look to get the best of Namajunas this time. Then again, Namajunas paces herself and never forces an attack like Jedrzejczyk. If Jedrzejczyk doesn’t watch Namajunas’ moves then she will be looking at another big loss in her young career. My prediction: Namajunas wins via submission in Round 2.
#2 KHABIB “THE EAGLE” NURMAGOMEDOV (25-0-0) vs. (C) [FEATHERWEIGHT] MAX “BLESSED” HOLLOWAY (19-3-0)
This is a five-round main event for the lightweight championship. Nurmagomedov brings sambo, judo, pankration, and wrestling making him efficient in striking, grappling and cardio leading him to remain undefeated. Holloway brings kickboxing, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power, grappling control and cardio. He is the current featherweight champion. Both of these top athletes bring identical techniques. The key factor will come down to who is more well-rounded, which I believe to be Nurmagomedov. His hardcore wrestling and ground-and-pound are extreme weapons; maybe too much for Holloway to handle. Though Holloway has a great mix of striking and jiu-jitsu to match Nurmagomedov’s own. But, Nurmagomedov will be laying the pressure and aggression on Holloway. He will have to figure out how to get by or face the wrath of the Russian like many before. My prediction: Nurmagomedov wins via split decision.