UFC Fight Night 98 Preview & Predictions

The UFC is holding a plethora of events as the year comes to a close, but one of the biggest may be UFC Fight Night 98. The event is going to be headlined by a lightweight division attraction as former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael Dos Anjos faces Tony Ferguson. Also, Bellator MMA veteran Marcin Held debuts against Diego Sanchez and the UFC Ultimate Fighter Latin America III Finals are taking place.

Main Card

Main Event

UFC Lightweight Division Fight

Rafael Dos Anjos (25-8-0) vs. Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson (21-3-0)

Dos Anjos will be competing for the first time since losing the UFC Lightweight Title to Eddie Alvarez at UFC Fight Night 90. Ferguson will enter the fight riding a nine fight winning streak, but this will be the first former or current UFC Lightweight Champion he has ever faced. Dos Anjos did defend his championship once before losing it, as he defeated Donald Cerrone by TKO at UFC On Fox 17. Ferguson has not suffered a defeat in over four years and only two of his last nine fights have gone to a decision.

Prediction: Fergusson has the range to keep Dos Anjos frustrated for five rounds, but Dos Anjos usually like to come forward on opponents before getting the fight to the ground. Dos Anjos is successful at bull rushing his opponent for a few rounds, but Ferguson drops and taps him late in the fourth round.

Co-Main Event

UFC Lightweight Division Fight

Marcin Held (22-4-0) vs. Diego “The Dream” Sanchez (26-9-0)

Held will be making his UFC debut in this fight, but he did compete a grand total of fourteen times in Bellator MMA, winning eleven of those bouts. Sanchez is coming off of the second TKO loss of his career, which happened against Joe Lauzon at UFC 200. Held did challenge for the Bellator MMA Lightweight Title, losing to Will Brooks by decision at Bellator 145. Sanchez has only won just two of his last six fights and he was the winner of the UFC Ultimate Fighter I back in 2005.

Prediction: Sanchez is starting to get more and more worn down with each passing fight, Held gets him to the ground and goes for his patented heel hooks, but ultimately gets the decision win.

UFC Featherweight Division Fight

Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas (16-5-0) vs. Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira (21-6-0-1NC)

Lamas has rotated wins and losses in his last five UFC appearances, with his last bout being a loss to Max Holloway at UFC 199. Oliveira has also rotated wins and losses in his last four UFC bouts, with his last fight being a loss to Anthony Pettis at UFC On Fox 21. Lamas has previously challenged for the UFC Featherweight Title, losing to then champion Jose Aldo at UFC 169. Oliveira is currently winless in 2016, it may be the first time he has gone winless through a year since 2013.

Prediction: Oliveira missed weight badly and usually crumbles under the pressure against somebody that fights the way that Lamas does, Lamas finishes Oliveira with strikes early in the first round.

UFC Ultimate Fighter Latin America III Lightweight Finals

Martin “Toro” Bravo (10-0-0) vs. Claudio “El Nino” Puelles (7-1-0)

Bravo will be making his UFC debut in this fight and this will be his first professional MMA fight in well over a year. Puelles will also be making his UFC debut in this fight and he is a longtime veteran of the Inka FC promotion. Bravo has primarily competed in his home country of Mexico, with four of his ten wins as a pro being first round finishes. Puelles also went undefeated as an amateur fighter, all three wins came under the Peru Fighting Championships banner.

Prediction: These are two fighters whose strength lies in the ground game, but it will be Bravo barely out grappling Puelles to notch a razor thin decision.

UFC Lightweight Division Fight

Beneil Dariush (13-2-0) vs. Rashid “Highlander” Magomedov (19-1-0)

Dariush has won six of his last seven under the UFC banner, at one point the fighter was riding a five fight winning streak. Magomedov is currently undefeated in UFC competition, defeating Tony Martin, Rodrigo Damm, Elias Silverio and Gilbert Burns. Dariush has only suffered one loss in the last two years, that loss came to Michael Chiesa at UFC On Fox 19. Magomedov is a former M-1 Challenge Lightweight Champion, defending the belt once before signing with the UFC.

Prediction: Dariush likes uses his striking to set up the ground game, but Magomedov uses hiss striking to avoid the ground game, Magomedov is able to keep Dariush at bay on route to earning a decision victory.

UFC Women’s Strawweight Division Fight

“Hurricane” Heather Clark (7-5-0) vs. Alexa Grasso (8-0-0)

Clark will be looking to rebound from her first defeat under the UFC banner, which came to Karolina Kowalkiewiecz at UFC Fight Night 87. Grasso will be making her UFC debut in this fight, she did win a total of four fights under the Invicta FC banner. Clark was a cast member on the UFC Ultimate Fighter 20, she did defeat Bec Rawlings in the reality show finale. Grasso has seen four of her eight wins come via a finish, all of those finishes came by way of a TKO or knockout.

Prediction: Clark can utilize her wrestling to ground Grasso, but Grasso uses her superior striking to pick apart Clark and earn a third round TKO.

Preliminary Card Quick Picks

Erik Perez over Felipe Arantes

Marco Beltran over Joe Soto

Erick Montano over Max Griffin

Henry Briones over Douglas Silva De Andrade

Sam Alvey over Alex Nicholson

Marco Polo Reyes over Jason Novelli

Chris Avila over Enrique Barzola

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