UFC Dublin Fight Picks – Sean Sheehan vs Lee Ferguson

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This event’s “Sean Sheehan Vs” sees Sean taking on Lee Ferguson aka Lee MMA Only in a battle of UFC Fight Night Dublin fight picks.

For this UFC event Sean and his opponent will break down the reasoning behind their main and their under card picks.

Conor McGregor vs. Diego Brandao

When Cole Miller was replaced by Diego Brandao to headline the UFC’s return to Dublin many people said it was an easier fight. I totally disagree. Miller is a talented jiu-jitsu stylist but doesn’t possess a finishing arsenal like Brandao. The Brazilian is explosive on the feet and on the floor. He has the ability to finish the fight at any time in any place. The problem is he has many flaws. Temperament is one, cardio is another. Against McGregor, Brandao’s wild striking will probably play against him. McGregor is all about speed and power. Brandao’s money shot is the overhand right which McGregor will counter with his favoured strike – the left hook. There is no secret to either man’s gameplan – both will be looking to finish. Expect McGregor to take the centre of the cage and pound Brandao with strikes while countering his power replies. I see Brandao trying to get it to the ground relatively quickly and when he fails he will wilt. The Brazilian can’t live with McGregors pace and will be overcome by the pressure. I will be surprised if it goes to the second round. The left hook will end it all.

Sheehan’s pick – McGregor via TKO/KO

In the main event of the evening Diego Brandao faces of against the self proclaimed “king of Dublin” the notorious Conor McGregor. Conor said he’d drag the ufc back to Ireland and just over 1 year later here we are! Unlucky for Diego he’s got the task of taking on Conor in Conor’s city in front of Conor’s fans in Conor’s octagon! Diego hasn’t a chance in hell of beating McGregor and that’s what it’s going to feel like in there for Diego, Hell.
Diego is an emotional fighter and Conor feeds on that emotion. Add that to the fact that Diego takes this fight on short notice and you get a very short nights work ahead for Conor.

Lee’s pick – Conor in the 1st round by KO/TKO!

Gunnar Nelson vs. Zak Cummings

I think most people see Gunnar Nelson as a future champion. If he’s to fulfill that potential he should be taking out Zak Cummings without too much trouble. Cummings is a good honest pro who is able in every position and extremely tough. But Nelson, it seems, is on a different level. The Icelander is a smooth karate stylish and a master tactician on the ground. Cummings is a gritty welterweight who will probably look for the takedown. If Nelson ends up on top from the transition it shouldn’t last much longer.

Sheehan’s pick – Nelson via submission

Co main event we have the ice cold killer Gunnar Nelson vs Zak Cummings. Gunnar has dominated all his opponents in the octagon and this fight will be no different. It doesn’t matter what Zak Cummings is bringing to this fight, Gunnar will maul him then finish him. By TKO with his ground & pound or by submission it doesn’t matter, Gunnar will dominate Zak everywhere in this fight.

Lee’s pick – Gunnar in 2nd round by sub.

Brad Pickett vs. Ian McCall

Saturday will be a great night for Irish MMA fans but for fans of just the sport itself this is the one to watch. Two genuine top-10 fighters in the words battling for a shot at the world title. McCall is a former champion outside of the UFC and has a draw with current champion Demetrious Johnson. While Pickett has a win over Johnson. These two have fairly similar styles; both are happy to trade on the feet and mix it up with takedowns. Pickett has the more powerful striking while McCall is the more technically adept. McCall also is the better wrestler although Pickett has shown huge improvement in recent times. In the past, Pickett has had trouble on the feet against quicker, more technical strikers. McCall is exactly that and if he can avoid the power strikes of Pickett I think he can take the decision win.

Sheehan’s pick – McCall via decision

Third fight from the top has Brad Pickett taking on Ian McCall in the Flyweight division. With Ian having to pull out off their last fight scheduled for London back in March a little trash talk started between the two. It never got out of hand and I wouldn’t call it a “bad blood” match but it definitely has added a little heat to it. Brad is one of the most exciting fighters to watch in the UFC and is always up for a war but I don’t think Ian will be, look for Ian to use his speed & footwork to stay away from Brad and for him to try to counter Brads power shots. I see Ian picking up the W here, maybe by split decision.
Lee’s pick – Ian by decision.

Norman Parke vs. Naoyuki Kotani

Anyone who follows me on twitter knows I recently spent a night watching a range of Japanese commentary/Naoyuki Kotani fight. After doing that, I can’t see Parke losing this. Kotani has great submissions but is lacking in wrestling and boxing skills. If Parke opens up on the feet and avoids the ground this should be an easy night’s work for the Antrim man.

Sheehan’s pick – Parke via TKO/KO

On the main card Northern Irish man Norman Parke welcomes Naoyuki Kotani back to the ufc in his 1st fight for the organisation since 2007 in this lightweight bout. Kotani is a veteran of the sport and has picked up 33 wins, 25 of them by way of submission. Norman will look to keep this fight on the feet and pick Kotani apart with his kickboxing, the Japanese have been proven hard to finish in the UFC and I see this fight being no different. I expect Norman’s kickboxing to be the difference in this fight, picking Kotani apart at will.

Lee’s pick – Norman by decision.

Ilir Latifi vs. Chris Dempsey

If anyone saw my prediction video for this fight you will see that I picked Ilir Latifi, well I changed my mind. Latifi is a powerhouse who is efficient in all areas but not spectacular in any. Dempsey is taking this fight on two week’s notice but has years of wrestling experience behind him. I see Dempsey getting this fight to the floor early and dominating Latifi from top position.

Sheehan’s pick – Dempsey via decision

The 2nd Swede on the card Ilir LaTifi welcomes Chris Dempsey to the UFC who is stepping in on short notice to replace the injured Tom Lawler. I fully expect LaTifi to pick up his 2nd UFC win now that he’s had two UFC fights under his belt and his 1st win out of the way. I see LaTifi using his wrestling to take the fight to the ground and finishing Dempsey with ground & pound.

Lee’s pick – Latifi in the 3rd round by KO/TKO.

Neil Seery vs. Phil Harris

This is a rematch of a 2010 BAMMA fight which, by all accounts, was a razor thin decision won by Phil Harris. Since then, Harris has gone in and out of the UFC while Seery has enjoyed an Indian summer in his career. Harris is a powerful flyweight with a strong judo game which he uses to set up submissions. Seery is a superb technical boxer with rapid combinations. Wrestling is the Irishman’s weakness but he has a varied submission attack when it hits the floor. I expect Harris to get this fight to the floor but not long enough to win it. Seery will beat him up on the feet and if he can avoid being held down for long periods should be able to get the finish.

Sheehan’s pick – Seery via TKO/KO

Moving on to the Flyweights we have a rematch between Neil Seery & Phil Harris. These two met back in 2010 with Phil winning by unanimous decision, this time tho Neil has the luxury of home advantage, the boos will be deafening when Englishman Phil Harris walks out in front of 9,000 drunken Irishmen and may play a part in his performance. Neil coming off that great performance against Brad Pickett in London will be out to avenge that loss to Phil and I believe he will do it. Neil looked great even with taking the fight with Brad on short notice, so with a full camp behind him for this one I see him finishing Phil.

Lee’s pick – Neil in the 2nd round by KO/TKO.

Cathal Pendred vs. Mike King

The long awaited UFC debut of former Cage Warriors champion Cathal Pendred is finally here. The Dubliner takes on TUF teammate Mike King in what should be a good scrap. King is a good kick-boxer at range with strong leg kicks. Pendred will be happy to trade with him knowing he has the wrestling ability to take it to the fence or floor at any stage. King is tough and hard to finish but I think his undefeated start to his career will end here.

Sheehan’s pick – Pendred via decision

Next fight of the night has TUF 19 house mates Mike King & Dublin’s Cathal Pendred squaring off. Cathal just like Conor has hyped himself up a lot but whether he can walk the walk we are yet to see. This will not be a “fight of the night” style fight and I think with the home advantage Cathal will just edge Mike on the judges score cards and get the W.

Lee’s pick – Cathal by decision.

Tor Troeng vs. Trevor Smith

This one could be the bore of the night. Troeng has power striking and will use to look that early. If he doesn’t have success, expect lots of clinching against the cage. Smith will want to get it to his mat and use his jit-jitsu. I’m picking Tor to win this with Octagon control.

Sheehan’s pick – Troeng via decision

The 1st of the two Swedes on the card, Tor Troeng takes on Trevor Smith in the middleweight division. Tor was a Chael Sonnen Team member during season 17 of TUF. He’s a well rounded fighter but I expect Trevor Smith’s ground game to be too much for Tor and see Smith picking up a submission win.

Lee’s pick – Smith in 3rd round by sub.

Cody Donovan vs. Nikita Krylov

This one should be fun. Neither man is afraid to throw down with power strikes. Krylov will be looking to stay on the outside and attack with kick high and low. Donovan will try to counter with his looping right hand and get takedowns. Krylov is dangerous on top when it hits the ground but is open to being submitted when underneath. I think Donovan can finish this fight in any position and if he lands the right hand it might be over early.

Sheehan’s pick – Donovan via TKO/KO

2nd fight of the night between Cody Donovan & Nikita Krylov, I favour the younger and more experienced Nikita Krylov. Even tho Cody is the slight favourite.

Lee’s pick – Nikita in the 2nd round by KO/TKO.

Patrick Holohan vs. Josh Sampo

This is the toughest fight on the card to pick. Holohan’s weakness is his wrestling while Sampo is a former all-American in the discipline. Off of his back, though, his where Holohan shines. Sampo will look for the takedown and that may play in Holohan’s favour. On the feet it’s pretty even with both men having scope to improve since their last outings. Holohan’s injury lay off may also be a factor but in the end I think his long legs will be dangerous on the floor and he’ll get the submission. Although a Sampo decision wouldn’t be a surprise.

Sheehan’s pick – Holohan via submission

In the 1st match-up we have Dublin’s own Paddy Holohan vs Josh Sampo. We got to see a glimpse of Paddy in the ufc’s octagon during the elimination fights to get into the TUF 18 house, he faced off against Joshua Hill and came up short, being frustrated and outclassed by Joshua’s wrestling skills. He faces off against another strong wrestler in Josh Sampo in Dublin. But even with the support of the whole 02 arena behind him I think Paddy will come up short again as I expect Josh to use his wrestling to grind out the win. Josh is a slight favourite to win and my favourite too.

Lee’s pick – Josh by decision.

Rules: Every correct pick made is equal to 1 point. If the competition ends in a draw then method of victory will be used to decide a winner

And for the Sean Sheehan bet of the week…

My bet of the week is Conor McGregor to win in round one at 3/1. Get on it before it’s gone!

Owner/Editor of SevereMMA.com. Writer, Podcaster, Producer of 'Notorious: Conor McGregor' film, 'Conor McGregor: Notorious' TV series, 'Ten Thousand Hours', 'The Fighting Irish' and more documentary films.