Die Hard Previews: UFC Fight Island 5 Will Be Wild

by Pub Sports Radio

UFC Fight Island 5 Will Be Wild

By; Clint MacLean (@DieHardMMAPod)

 

UFC Fight Island 5 is a great card with an absolute ton of fun matchups and possibility of beautifully violent finishes. This is my kind of card!! The thing that is so much fun for me is the fact that there are so many big underdogs who have a surprisingly good chance of winning in my opinion. This card is a bettors dream and we will have the chance to see some big swings.

 

The night kicks off with Tagir Ulanbekov making his UFC debut against Bruno Silva. Tagir is a training partner of 155 pound champion Khabib and is 12-1 in his MMA career with that 1 “L” being an absolute robbery. This kid should be undefeated and I expect him to absolutely destroy Silva in this spot and announce his arrival to the big show. Shortly thereafter we have a strikers delight fight between Giga Chikadze and Omar Morales. Giga has been a  fighter I have been just waiting to fade his entire UFC career and have not been able to find that spot. Well here it finally is. Omar is dropping to Featherweight and is a fighter who can deal with the striking of Giga on the feet and will be able to use his ground game to great advantage. I am all over Morales in this spot because he is the more well rounded of the two fighters and I fully expect him to mix it up well and have Giga’s luck run out.

 

The rest of the preliminary card is all live dogs. Ali ALqaisi is taking on Tony Kelly, Impa Kasananay is facing Joaquin Buckley, Chris Daukaus is facing Rodrigo Nascimento, and Tom Breese is welcoming UFC newcomer KB Bhullar. The dogs in every single one of these 4 fights are more than live and they are all 2-1 or better. Ali Alqaisi opened as a +120 underdog and the money has flooded in on Kelley driving him up to +190 in a fight I find very close. If Ali can get this fight to the floor I think he can grind his way to a win.

 

Impa is suddenly the darling of the MMA scene and everybody is just heaping money on him. I feel like Jaoquin Buckley’s short notice UFC debut against the insanely tough Kevin Holland is being held against him a little too much and I believe he is live here. These men are both fast and athletic and hit hard. They will likely stand and trade and my guess is that somebody is getting knocked out it’s just a matter of who. At +210 I think Buckley is another live dog, but honestly I like the under 2.5 rounds even more.

 

Chris Daukaus is a newly promoted BJJ black belt who is facing an over-hyped undefeated Rodrigo Nascimento and I think this heavyweight brawl should be a pick-em, but instead we are getting around +225 on Daukaus. I actually got in on Daukaus at +240 but I think there is still plenty of value to take that stab. This is going to be a crazy fight between two athletic heavyweights and again rolling the dice with +225 in your pocket just doesn’t seem like a bad option to me.

 

Finally Tom Breese welcomes KB Bhullar to the UFC and Breese is a fighter who has well documented anxiety issues. Personally, I am high on KH Bhullar and I think he is made for the UFC and will do quite well. The only question on him is whether or not he is ready. Bhullar was supposed to fight on Contender Series and instead is getting a fight against Breese who on his best night could be a top 10 fighter. Breese on his off nights however has that quit in him and KB could walk away with a big profile win. This is gambling at its finest but I am very tempted to take a shot on KH Bhullar at +225.

 

The main card isn’t any less exciting and kicks off with one of the hottest prospects in the UFC welcoming one of the hottest regional prospects to the big show. Youssef Zalal has proven to be a very risk-averse fighter who frustrates his foes with his movement and elusiveness. Ilia Topuria is a hard nosed grappler who mauls his opponents and is sporting a shiny 8-0 undefeated record. This is going to be a battle of gameplans and who can make the other uncomfortable. If Zalal can keep the range then Ilia will likely struggle mightily, but if Ilia can force this fight to the mat and stifle the movement of Zalal then the UFC newcomer could be in for a very exciting and note-worthy first win.

 

In the Co-main event we have the legend Edson Barboza returning to Featherweight for the 2nd time and taking on short notice replacement Makwan Amirkhani. This is another fight where styles mean everything. Makwan is a stellar grappler and a young prospect with a very high ceiling in MMA but he has not been able to live up to that talent yet. Barboza is a flash striker and one of the most athletic and explosive human beings on the planet. Barboza has to keep this fight standing and piece Amirkhani apart from range whereas Makwan has to close that distance and get Barboza to the mat. Somebody is going to sleep in this fight and no matter who wins it is likely to be devastating.

 

In the main event we have Marlon “Magic” Moraes looking to get back to a title fight that was pulled from him because Dana thought Aldo won a fight that his hand was raised for. Cory Sandhagen is looking to erase the memory of his fight with Aljo Sterling just a few short weeks ago where he suffered the first finish loss of his career. Marlon is explosive and can finish any man at Bantamweight in a matter of seconds. Cory is a tactical striker with very creative attacks and a wide arsenal. This fight will come down to the gas management in my opinion. Marlon will need to finish this fight in the first two rounds, because if he can’t then Cory is going to turn up the pace and Marlon has struggled with fights that last any longer than 5 minutes. While it is extremely dangerous I think this is a changing of the guard fight where Cory is poised to establish himself as the new breed and drag an absolute veteran of the sport and former title challenger into deep waters and drown him the way nobody has before. I am betting on Sandhagen here and I think this is just an awful match up for Marlon Moraes who may never fight his way back to that gold belt.

 

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