UFC 228 Preview and Predictions
Friday, September 7, 2018
UFC 228 takes place live on pay-per-view tomorrow night from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas . The main event will feature Tyron Woodley defending his UFC Welterweight Championship against Darren Till. This card was originally scheduled to be headlined by two title fights however, UFC Women’s Flyweight champion Nicco Montano was removed from the card after being transported to hospital due to health concerns that were reportedly caused from her weight cut.
Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley (18-3-1) (c) vs Darren “The Gorilla” Till (17-0-1) for UFC Welterweight Championship
Tyron Woodley will have his hands full as he looks to defend his welterweight championship for a fourth time. His last title defense was at UFC 214, where he defeated Damien Maia by unanimous decision. Darren Till on the other hand, is coming off a unanimous decision win over Stephan “Wonderboy” Thompson, in which he missed weight by four-pounds. Although Till weighed-in one-pound less than Woodley, he’ll most likely be the bigger fighter when they fight tomorrow night.
There was some criticism towards the UFC for giving Till a title shot after he had missed weight in two of his previous four fights and because there is an active interim welterweight champion in Colby Covington.
Till took this seriously and it showed at this morning’s weigh-ins when he officially weighed in at 169lbs, which is one-pound below the 170lb limit. Woodley also made weight, which means the fight is on.
Based on the fighting styles of both fighters, fans should be in for an exciting title fight. Till, who has won 10-of-his-17 wins via knockout, will look to push the pace early, while Woodley will likely try to weather the storm and wear Till down heading into the later rounds.
Featherweight bout (145lbs) Zabit “ZaBeast” Magomedsharipov (15-1) vs Brandon Davis (9-4)
Zabit was originally scheduled to fight Yair Rodriguez on this card however on August 23rd, Rodriguez was forced to pull out of the fight due to an injury and was replaced by Brandon Davis.
This is both a huge opportunity and extremely difficult test for Davis considering he’s 1-2 in the UFC and stepping in on two weeks notice to fight somebody of Zabit’s quality. Davis was signed by the UFC after an impressive showing on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, where he defeated Austin Arnett convincingly by unanimous decision.
Zabit is viewed as one of the UFC’s next big stars, having gone 3-0 inside the octagon and receiving bonuses in each fight including: Performance of the Night (twice) and Fight of the Night. Zabit’s extraordinary striking and conditioning combined with his wrestling skills truly make him a dangerous opponent for anybody in the UFC.
Factoring in Zabit’s impressive skillset and the fact that the fight on short notice, this could very well be a rough night for Brandon Davis.
Prediction: Zabit Magomedsharipov
Women’s Strawweight (115lbs) Jessica “Bate Estaca” Andrade (18-6) vs Karolina “Polish Princess” Kowalkiewicz (12-2)
Another intriguing fight takes place out of the Strawweight division as former title contenders Jessica Andrade and Karolina Kowalkiewicz will hope to get one-step closer to another title-shot at strawweight. This fight could go either way as both have gone the distance in the majority of their fights.
Karolina will look to close the distance early and use her Muay Thai striking skills in the clinch, where she has been most successful at, whereas Andrade will look to use her power and Brazilian jiu-jitsu to her advantage, and try submitting Karolina.
The winner of this fight could very well be next in-line for a title shot against UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Rose Namajunas.
Prediction: Karolina Kowalkiewicz
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Photo Credit: @UFC and bjpenn.com
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