UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs Emmett – One of the best UFC Fight Night’s of 2022 features a ton of talent that will likely deliver spectacular performances. Below are some of the most exciting matchups from the event’s undercard.
-170 Donald Cerrone (36-16: 10 KOs, 17 SUBs) vs. +140 Joe Lauzon (28-15: 9 KOs, 17 SUBs)
A rematch that was originally scheduled for UFC 274, but due to a positive covid test was pushed to this weekend’s co-main event, is a battle of longtime UFC vets with Cerrone vs. Lauzon. Amazingly, these warriors are in the top three all-time for UFC performance bonuses and it’s a treat to have them squaring off. This matchup is a culmination of two fan-favorite fighters crossing paths at the twilight of their careers in what will be a chess match that should favor Cerrone. While Lauzon has shown slight growth in his striking skills throughout his career, the jiu-jitsu blackbelt’s bread gets buttered on the ground. Cerrone is experienced enough on the ground to evade any jiu-jitsu threats Lauzon will present. I can’t say the same for Lauzon on the feet against Cerrone, who is a Muay Thai kickboxing technician. It will be a respectful meeting of master mixed martial artists, but at the end of the day, I got the Cowboy winning this fight.
Selection: Cerrone wins via Decision
-250 Kevin Holland (21-7: 13 KOs, 5 SUBs) vs. +200 Tim Means (32-12-1: 19 KOs, 5 SUBs)
The polarizing Kevin Holland is trying to reestablish himself in the UFC as he looks for his second-straight win at welterweight. The tall and talented Holland, is facing a tough, long-time UFC vet in Tim Means. Scrapping with some of the division’s best for over a decade, Means is never an easy out and the Kung Fu-based Holland will have his hands full. I can realistically see this fight being tougher than Vegas is giving Means credit for. Means will look to get in close and clinch the very long Holland to use his dirty boxing along with knees and elbows. Though it will be a grind-it-out type of fight, I got the potential future champ, Holland, to get the job done by shaking off Means’ clinch work and scoring points on the feet when at distance.
Selection: Holland wins via Decision
-215 Albert Duraev (15-3: 3 KOs, 9 SUBs) vs. +175 Joaquin Buckley (14-4: 10 KOs)
Two fighters crossing paths at very similar points in their careers is a highlight reel waiting to happen in the dynamic Buckley and the swarming Duraev. Buckley will be facing his toughest test to date, as he has previously fought very willing-to-trade-in-the-stand-up opponents, but the Dagestan fighter Duraev is a wet blanket once he drags the fight to the floor. Obviously, Buckley and team will be as prepared as possible with the limited time they have in a training camp, but I don’t see the fan-favorite and 2020 knockout of the year award winner, Buckley, being able to escape the countless amount of takedown attempts. Gimme Duraev for the decision victory.
Selection: Duraev wins via Decision
-200 Gregory Rodrigues (11-4: 5 KOs, 4 SUBs) vs. +165 Julian Marquez (9-2: 6 KOs, 3 SUBs)
Two action-packed men step into the octagon to kick-off the night’s main card. Marquez is so respected in the MMA space because of his unwillingness to give up in the past for comeback wins. On the other side, Rodrigues is one of the smoothest fighters on the mats, as he is a former world jiu-jitsu champion. Also, the Brazilian has taken the same approach to honing in his mat skills as he is with his boxing. Rodrigues is a true threat on the feet as once he finds his range, he will sling bombs in his opponent’s direction. Marquez will have to deal with an array of weapons from Rodrigues, but his main path to victory is to use his signature high-pace and high-output to wear down Rodrigues who has shown signs of cardio conditioning issues.
Selection: Marquez wins via Decision
-250 Phil Hawes (11-3: 7 KOs, 2 SUBs) vs. +200 Deron Winn (7-2: 4 KOs)
Looking to bounce back from his upset loss to Chris Curtis at UFC 268, Phil Hawes is facing a talented wrestler in Deron Winn who hasn’t seen action since December of 2020. Now, while the time off may be a concern for most fighters, it is typically much easier for a wrestling-heavy fighter to get acclimated to the pace of a fight than a striker who relies more on timing. Winn will shoot for Hawes' legs early and often to bring the fight down to his realm where he will notch his second-straight win for the first time in three years. The nice +200 line is very welcoming as well.
Decision: Winn wins via Decision