ORTEGA BRIAN vs SUNG JUNG CHAN Prediction & Preview
The penultimate Fight Island event is upon us this Saturday night as the next featherweight title challenger will be decided.
Pitting Brian Ortega against Chan Sung Jung, the five-round clash should be an entertaining scrap thanks to their respective fighting styles as neither man has gone to the judges during their UFC tenures.
Elsewhere at UFC Fight Night 180, a high-ranking flyweight bout will act as the co-main event while the rest of the main card is filled out with exciting and talented fighters.
Brian Ortega (14-1, 1 NC) vs. Chan Sung Jung (16-5)
While I believe Ortega’s power and willingness to scrap will keep him as a live threat in this contest, I think Chan Sung Jung will emerge victorious inside the distance.
Ortega’s absence from the octagon could well have seen him round out his game and become a better fighter defensively but I think ‘The Korean Zombie’s’ own improvements will keep him ahead of the pack at 145 lbs.
While possessing the ability to throw down in bunches, Jung has recently had a resurgence as a sniper at kickboxing range and his power is amongst the best at featherweight.
Add in that Jung is a brilliant grappler in his own right and I think barring a jump to guillotine akin to his fight with Renato Moicano, he should be able to stifle Ortega’s ground game if the fight hits the mat.
I hope this headliner lives up to its potential but with Jung’s greater technical skills on the feet, I think he’ll find his mark more often than not and do so with power.
Pick: Chan Sung Jung
Katlyn Chookagian (14-3) vs. Jessica Andrade (20-8)
While Chookagian has a big physical advantage, 5’8″ to Andrade’s 5’1″, she has openly talked about stepping away for her family and having one foot out the door is never a great sign.
Outside of her physical advantage, I’m not sure what she does better than Andrade. The Brazilian is a bigger puncher, quicker and can operate with a high output.
Maybe her larger frame will allow her to dictate any clinch work but I think Andrade will be able to walk Chookagian down and land the more telling blows.
Pick: Jessica Andrade
Jim Crute (11-1) vs. Modestas Bukauskas (11-2)
While Baukauskas has fight-ending power, his lack of urgency could be his downfall against Jim Crute.
Crute in his own right has some decent power on the feet but the Australian is more than happy to work his submission game and his takedowns are good to boot.
Crute can have some sloppy moments defensively which Bukauskas can capitalise on but I think Crute’s best path to victory is on the mat and he certainly has the ability to get the fight there and find a submission.
Pick: Jim Crute
Claudio Silva (14-1) vs. James Krause (27-8)
Krause has taken this fight on short notice but we’ve seen him do it before and keep himself in the fight for all 15 minutes.
On the feet, I think Krause can win this through his rangy, technical strikes but Silva will be persistent with his pursuit to ground his opponent.
While Krause can certainly avoid submissions and potentially find openings for himself, Silva’s control could see him pick up rounds on the judges’ scorecards.
It’s perhaps the toughest fight to pick on this card but I’ll side with Silva to judge eke out a win in a close scrappy contest.
Pick: Claudio Silva
Thomas Almeida (22-3) vs. Jonathan Martinez (12-3)
It’s been over two years since we’ve seen Almeida so who knows what we’ll see out of the bantamweight who was once tipped for big things.
Offensively, Almeida is great. He packs big power, a diverse arsenal to choose from and he can throw combinations for days. Defensively though, it’s more than apt to call him a glass cannon.
Martinez meanwhile has proven to be fairly durable himself but he’s more of a fighter who will build into the contest through steady work as opposed to an early blitz.
This is great matchmaking as we’ll see what each fighter is capable of but I’ll cautiously side with Almeida to try and make up for lost time.
Pick: Thomas Almeida
(Last Predictions: 4/6, Total: 107/157, 68% Success Rate)
(Success Rate: 2016: 61%, ’17: 60%, ’18: 58%, 19′: 57%)