UFC Sydney underwent a late main event change, with Fabricio Werdum replacing Mark Hunt, and Cageside Press has their picks set.
|Staff Writers||Volkanovski vs. Young||Theodorou vs. Kelly||Matthews vs. Velickovic||Means vs. Muhammad||Rawlings vs. Clark||Werdum vs. Tybura|
|Heath Harshman (84-42)|
|Mike Straus (14-9)|
|Mike McClory (63-43)|
|Danny Doherty (74-52)|
|Paarth Pande (66-48)|
|Jay Anderson (71-55)|
|Gabriel Gonzalez (28-22)|
UFC Sydney has the look of an underwhelming card on paper, but events Down Under have a tendency to deliver in the entertainment category. Mark Hunt vs. Bigfoot Silva I, Holly Holm vs. Ronda Rousey, eleven finishes in eleven fights the last time the UFC was in Sydney. There’s something in the water in Australia.
Marcin Tybura is on a three-fight winning streak, with two stoppages, but you’ll need more than momentum to defeat former champion Fabricio Werdum. Werdum is the second-ranked contender in the heavyweight division and is 2-1 since losing his title to current champion Stipe Miocic. Coming off a quick submission last month, Cageside Press is unanimously on the side of Werdum.
The co-main event will feature women’s flyweights for the second time in UFC history. Bec Rawlings and Jessica-Rose Clark will battle it out in front of their home crowd, with Clark replacing an injured Joanne Calderwood. Cageside Press believes Clark’s promotional debut will not go very well, with each writer picking the veteran Rawlings.
In what looks to be the most entertaining bout on the card, Belal Muhammad will fight Tim Means. Both men come into the bout with momentum, Means bounced back from a loss with a win over Alex Garcia, and Muhammad has topped two consecutive opponents. Cageside Press favors the hot hand at UFC Sydney, with five of seven writers picking Muhammad.
Jake Matthews and Bojan Velickovic are a pair of up-and-comers who have struggled recently. Matthews has lost two straight bouts after a 4-1 start to his UFC career, while Velickovic is 2-2-1 in the Octagon thus far. Cageside Press believes Matthews will rekindle his UFC career in Sydney, with five of seven writers picking the Aussie.
Dan Kelly’s unexpected four-fight run came to an end quickly against top contender Derek Brunson. Elias Theodorou lost his most recent bout as well, dropping his Octagon record to 5-2. The much younger Theodorou was favored slightly by Cageside Press, receiving four of seven picks.
Opening up the main card is the very impressive Australian prospect Alex Volkanovski as he welcomes Shane Young to the UFC. Volkanovski is 2-0 in the UFC with an impressive 15-1 career record. Young is 11-3 but makes his debut with five straight victories under his belt. Just one writer believes Young will start his UFC career the right way.