Former title challengers Brian Ortega and Chan Sung “The Korean Zombie” Jung settle their bad blood on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, this Saturday (Oct. 17, 2020), headlining UFC’s last card before UFC 254. Earlier that afternoon, Ciryl Gane meets Mirko Cro Cop protege Ante Delija and Jimmy Crute faces fellow Light Heavyweight prospect Modestas Bukauskas.
Three more UFC Fight Island 6 “Prelims” undercard bouts remain to preview and predict (check out the first batch here). Just scroll down a smidge and you’re golden ...
155 lbs.: Mateusz Gamrot vs. Guram Kutateladze
Long recognized as one of Poland’s best fighters, Mateusz Gamrot (17-0) claimed the KSW Lightweight title in 2016 with a decision over Mansour Barnaoui. His reign went on to feature two wins over The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): “Smashes” winner Norman Parke and a trip down to Featherweight, where he defeated Kleber Koike Erbst to become a double champ.
“Gamer” has knocked out five opponents and submitted four others.
Guram Kutateladze (11-2) — the latest standout from Allstars Training Center — hasn’t tasted defeat since 2015. His current eight-fight win streak includes five by form of knockout, including a vicious knockout of UFC veteran Felipe Silva in Nov. 2019.
He steps in for Magomed Mustafaev on little more than one week’s notice.
It’s not quite as intriguing or hazardous a style match up as Gamrot vs. Mustafaev, but this is still a very interesting clash of prospects. Kutateladze has notable edges in hand speed, power and overall striking acumen, giving him the tools to potentially upend the heretofore unstoppable “Gamer.” Unfortunately, those won’t be of much use to him if Gamrot leans on his wrestling, especially since Kutateladze tends to back himself to the fence and occasionally burst in with lunges that Gamrot could easily time for reactive takedowns.
Kutateladze will need to either provoke a slugfest or show defensive wrestling chops he’s yet to demonstrate if he wants to bring his striking to bear. Gamrot’s too seasoned for the former and too skilled for the latter, so expect him to grind out a comfortable decision on the fence and mat.
Prediction: Gamrot via unanimous decision
125 lbs.: Gillian Robertson vs. Poliana Botelho
Gillian Robertson (8-4) rebounded from an unsuccessful TUF 26 run to win five of seven in the Octagon, all of them by stoppage. Her most recent effort saw her choke out Cortney Casey in June, making almost four years since she last saw the judges.
“The Savage” has submitted six professional foes and finished one other with ground-and-pound.
Poliana Botelho (8-2) started her UFC career strong with wins over Peal Gonzalez and Syuri Kondo, only to run into Cynthia Calvillo and tap to a first-round choke. The loss prompted a return to 125 pounds, where she claimed a decision over Lauren Mueller at UFC 236.
This will be her first fight in 18 months.
Cynthia Calvillo bulldozed Botelho essentially as soon as she decided to use her wrestling. Robertson — who is every bit as lethal on the mat but far less likely to get sucked into a slugfest — figures to find similar success. Though Botelho’s got enough pop to put Robertson down, she’s unlikely to get the opportunities she needs before “The Savage” drags her down and begins a Brazilian jiu-jitsu clinic.
If Botelho had the movement and jab to keep Robertson at the end of her four-inch reach advantage, I’d be willing to entertain the possibility of an upset. As is, expect Robertson to shoot under a power punch and wrap up her fifth Octagon submission in short order.
Prediction: Robertson via first-round submission
170 lbs.: Claudio Silva vs. James Krause
Claudio Silva (14-1) made his first of five Octagon appearances way back in 2014, since which he’s pulled out of four fights with injury. “Hannibal” managed to fight twice in 2019, at least, tapping Danny Roberts and Cole Williams in entertaining fashion.
His 11 professional stoppage wins include 10 by submission, including four in UFC.
Though he took a detour on TUF 25, James Krause (27-8) quietly assembled a six-fight UFC win streak from 2015 to 2019. He stepped up on a day’s notice to fight Trevin Giles in February, battling the larger man to a razor-thin split decision loss at UFC 247.
He replaces Muslim Salikhov on around two weeks’ notice.
Claudio Silva’s success remains inexplicable to me. He’s somehow managed to avoid developing any sort of striking chops in 13 years as a professional and isn’t a particularly overpowering wrestler, but he just keeps on winning. While Krause has him badly out-gunned on the feet, so did practically everyone else “Hannibal’s” faced in UFC and fat lot of good it did them.
We saw Krause survive some early trouble to take out another one-dimensional grappling ace in Sergio Moraes, so it wouldn’t be too terribly surprising to see him do the same to Silva. Still, I expect the Brazilian to grind out a couple rounds and survive the late surge to eke out a decision.
Prediction: Silva via split decision
UFC Fight Island 6 features a quality main event, some of the best prospects in the sport, and plenty of highlight-reel finishes waiting to happen. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Island 6 fight card this weekend, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance at 7 p.m. ET (also on ESPN+).
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