UFC FIGHT NIGHT PREVIEW: Grocke’s Preview & Odds & Predictions including Manuwa vs. Anderson, Nelson vs. Jouban

By Michael Grocke, MMATorch contributor

The UFC continues its overseas tour with a stop at the O2 Arena in London, England for Fight Night 107. The main event takes place in the light heavyweight division where Corey Anderson takes on Jimi Manuwa in what should be an excellent fight. The co-main event pits Gunnar Nelson against the surging Alan Jouban in what should be another exciting fight, which takes place in the welterweight division.

The four fight main card rounds out with the final fight in the long career of Brad Pickett as he takes on Marlon Vera and England’s own Arnold Allen vs. Mackwan Amirkhani.

Fight Night 107 will air exclusively on Fight Pass starting at 12:30 PM CT with the prelims, and the main card which starts at 4 PM CT.


Jimi Manuwa (16-2) vs. Corey Anderson (10-2) – Light Heavyweight 205 lbs.

Current Odds: Manuwa -150; Anderson +120

After winning his first 14 fights in a row, Jimi Manuwa is now 2-2 over his last four. Although the two losses came against two of the division’s best in Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson, he was completely overmatched and was stopped inside the distance in both fights. His most recent fight was at UFC 204 where he looked better than ever finishing Ovince Saint-Preux with punches in the second round.

Corey Anderson was riding a three fight win streak until dropping a split decision to Mauricio Rua at UFC 198. Anderson returned at UFC Fight Night 102 where he finished Sean O’Connell to get himself back in the win column. He’ll look to make it two in a row on Saturday.

I expect Manuwa to keep the fight standing where he does his best work. He is extremely quick with knockout power and will try to stalk Anderson down looking for the finish. Manuwa is also dangerous in the clinch where he can utilize his strength and land hard shots while in close. He’ll want to avoid getting taken down by Anderson at all costs due to his weak ground game. Hopefully he’s worked on his takedown defense for this fight because I see Anderson trying to get the fight to the ground early and often.

Corey Anderson is still searching for that signature win. It was supposed to be against Rua, but that didn’t happen. His skills continue to improve, especially on the feet. He will look to utilize his strong wrestling and get the fight to the ground where he can take advantage of Manuwa with ground and pound. Although Anderson works well in the clinch I don’t see him winning that battle.

This fight comes down to which fighter can execute their game plan better. If Manuwa has success in defending the takedown and keeping the fight standing then I can see him finishing Anderson within the first two rounds. However, Anderson’s chances of winning increases with each passing round. I think he’ll fend off Manuwa early and take him deep into the fight where he’ll start having success with takedowns and his strong ground and pound. At + money on Anderson, consider taking the underdog.

Pick: Anderson by decision

Gunnar Nelson (15-2-1) vs. Alan Jouban (15-4) – Welterweight 170 lbs. 

Current Odds: Nelson -345; Jouban +275

Gunnar Nelson was on a 13 fight winning streak until losing to Rick Story by decision at UFC Fight Night 53. Since that loss he’s gone 2-1. His most recent fight was at UFC Fight Night 87 where he tapped Albert Tumenov in the second round with a neck crank. Gunnar is an excellent grappler and a submission machine. 11 of his 15 career wins are by submission. He’s extremely quick and if Jouban finds himself on the mat he can expect a heavy dose of ground and pound leading to endless submission attempts.

Alan Jouban enters Saturday’s bout on a three fight win streak. His most recent win was a decision over heavy handed Mike Perry at UFC on FOX 22. Jouban’s strength is in his striking. 9 of his 15 career wins are by KO/TKO with only one submission. He’ll likely come into the fight looking to turn it into a brawl. He mixes in strikes and kicks very well while keeping his opponents off balance. Surprisingly, Jouban is capable of maintaining a quick pace while attempting to out strike opponents as well.

This is a fight between two fighters with completely different styles. Jouban is an extremely dangerous fighter on the feet, while Nelson’s strength in on the ground. If Gunnar decides to trade hands with Jouban he’s going to lose. Jouban works at a much higher pace and will eventually figure out Nelson’s timing and finish him with punches. Unfortunately for Alan Jouban I don’t see Nelson taking that approach. While it may take a round or two, Gunnar will eventually start having success with takedowns and add another submission win to his record.

Pick: Nelson by submission

Brad Pickett (26-13) vs. Marlon Vera (8-3-1) – Bantamweight 135 lbs.

Current Odds: Pickett -145; Vera +115

After 39 fights Brad Pickett will call it a career in front of his hometown fans on Saturday. Pickett enters the fight losing five of his last six fights. His last fight was a loss to Uriah Faber in Faber’s retirement fight at UFC on FOX 22. Pickett has had a long, successful career fight for organizations such as Cage Rage, WEC and UFC. He even holds a victory over Demetrious Johnson, beating him by decision at WEC 48.

Marlon Vera is 2-2 under the UFC banner. His most recent fight was a win over Guangyou Ning at UFC Fight Night 101. At just 24 years old, Vera already has 12 fights under his belt so I don’t expect the atmosphere to get the best of him.

Brad Pickett is willing to take the fight anywhere, but he definitely isn’t one to shy away from a good old fashioned slug fest. He is the better fighter in all areas. Unless he comes out recklessly and gets caught with a lucky shot, this is his fight to lose. Pickett wins this one by stoppage and ends his career on a high note. Consider laying the -145.

Pick: Pickett by TKO

Arnold Allen (11-1) vs. Makwan Amirkhani (13-2) – Featherweight 145 lbs. 

Current Odds: Amirkhani -125; Allen -105

England’s own Arnold Allen will be making his third appearance for the UFC when he steps into the cage opposite Makwan Amirkhani. Allen is 2-0 under the UFC banner subbing Alan Omar at UFC Fight Night 69 and beating Yaotzin Meza by decision at UFC Fight Night 84. Allen possesses a well-rounded skill set. Of his 11 wins, 5 are by KO/TKO and 3 by submission.

Makwan Amirkhani enters Saturday’s fight in search of his fifth straight win. His most recent victory took place at UFC Fight Night 84 where he decisioned Mike Wilkinson. Amirkhani has excellent wrestling skills and tries to get the fight to the ground where he can work his submissions. He doesn’t possess a lot of power and his striking is average at best. 9 of his 13 wins have come via submission with only one KO/TKO.

This is a tough fight to predict. Allen has the advantage on the feet so if he has success avoiding the mat, his chances of winning increases. Not only is Amirkhani dangerous on the ground, but he also is a submission threat in scrambles. I expect a very competitive fight with Amirkhani coming out on top. This fight is a pass for me.

Pick: Amirkhani by decision 


Duffy -625 over Madadi +425

Barroso +150 over Stewart -180

Johnson -175 over Omielanczuk +145

Diakiese -220 over Packalen +170

Breese -270 over Bamgbose +215

Luque -130 over Edwards ev.

Johns -420 over Entwistle +320

Scott +120 over Askham -150

Lansberg -300 over Pudilova +240

Enjoy the fights!


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