UFC Fight Night 93 features a main event straight out of 2005.
Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett -- two battle-tested former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champions who have somehow never squared off -- helm the promotion's trip to Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany, this Saturday afternoon (Sept. 3, 2016) on Fight Pass. Elsewhere on the online card, Alexander Gustafsson looks to rebound against Jan Blachowicz in a Light Heavyweight showdown and Ilir Latifi attempts to continue his unexpected 205-pound rise at Ryan Bader’s expense.
We’ve three more UFC Fight Night 93 "Prelims" undercard matches to break down (check out the first batch here), so let’s cut the chatter and dig in:
185 lbs.: Scott Askham vs. Jack Hermansson
Eleven fights into his professional career, Scott Askham (14-2) defeated Jorge Bezerra to win the BAMMA Middleweight title and proceeded to knockout Max Nunes in his first title defense. He’s gone 2-2 in UFC, picking up knockouts of Antonio dos Santos Jr. and Chris Dempsey amid tough losses to Magnus Cedenblad and Krzysztof Jotko.
He has knocked out nine professional opponents.
Sweden’s Jack Hermansson (13-2) joined Bellator MMA after five professional fights, where he went winless (0-2) before returning to the European circuit. Said return proved successful, as he won and twice defended the Cage Warriors middleweight title during his eight-fight win streak.
He is two inches shorter than the 6’3" Askham.
Both of these men are big hitters -- 22 of their 27 wins have come inside the distance, 17 of them by knockout. Though Hermansson’s beaten some quality opposition, I have to lean toward Askham.
The big Brit’s two UFC losses came against highly-effective grapplers, while Hermansson will likely oblige him in a striking battle. There, Askham’s clinchwork and raw power ought to carry the day. At range, Askham’s kicks should work well against Hermansson’s in-and-out strikes and he’s well-equipped to do damage should "The Joker" elect to wade in and trade bombs. Askham catches him with something big after a round and a half of fun engagements.
Prediction: Askham via second-round technical knockout
265 lbs.: Jarjis Danho vs. Christian Colombo
Jarjis Danho (6-1) entered UFC on the heels of six finishes in six wins, the only blemish a "No Contest" because of a "timekeeping error." In his Octagon debut, he took on Daniel Omielanczuk and ultimately lost a technical decision after eating a low blow.
He will give up two inches of height to the 6’5" Christian Colombo (8-1).
Poland’s Colombo ran afoul of Viktor Pesta early in his career, but has bounced back to win six straight. Last December, he returned from a two-year absence to knockout Tom Sasaki in the first round. Six of his wins have come by knockout.
Two very big, very awkward dudes means that the length and entertainment value of this fight will be inversely proportional. Danho doesn’t have much going for him besides his size and Colombo is every bit as slow. The difference is that Colombo has at least a rudimentary understanding of kickboxing. The Pole has decent kicks and some solid power, which combined with his length ought to work well against Danho.
Danho could grind him down, of course, but the Syrian giant doesn’t have much of a gas tank and I really wasn’t impressed with his debut. Colombo beats him down sometime in the second.
Prediction: Colombo via second-round technical knockout
170 lbs.: Nicolas Dalby vs. Peter Sobotta
Smooth technique and raw grit have carried Nicolas Dalby (14-1-1) to a 1-1-1 UFC record against stiff competition. The Dane’s most recent bout saw him struggle with Zak Cummings’ size and strength en route to his first career defeat. Four of his professional wins have come by knockout.
Four years after a three-and-out UFC run, Peter Sobotta (15-5-1) returned to the world’s largest fight promotion with wins over Pawel Pawlak and Steve Kennedy. Last November, he squared off with The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veteran Kyle Noke, who knocked out Sobotta for the first time in his career with a brutal body kick. He has gone the distance in victory just once, submitting 10 opponents.
I’ve said before that Dalby reminds me a lot of Martin Kampmann -- he shares his countryman’s struggles with physical powerhouses and his heavy reliance on wrestling despite solid technical striking. Sadly, he’s not quite the wrestler "The Hitman" was, which limits his ceiling.
Luckily, his takedown defense ought to be good enough to keep it standing against Sobotta, who’s a step behind in the stand up. Further, though the German may have the slight edge on the ground, he doesn’t have the strength or punching power that the likes of Darren Till and Zak Cummings used to overwhelm "The Sharpshooter." Dalby dictates position and controls the striking for a competitive decision win.
Prediction: Dalby via unanimous decision
Not bad at all for a Fight Pass card -- there is plenty of potential for big-time finishes during UFC Fight Night 93. See you Saturday, Maniacs!
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 93 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. ET, and then the remaining main card balance at 3 p.m. ET.