The top MMA promotion in the world, UFC, heads to Atlantic City, New Jersey this week for UFC Fight Night 128. The event will take place on Saturday Night from the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey with a 13 fight card slated to take place. The card will get started on UFC Fight Pass at approximately 6:30 PM, then switch over to FOX Sports 1 at 8:00 PM for the Prelims and Main Card.
Last week, we had a decent week, going 3-1 on the main card winning Dustin Poirier, Israel Adesanya and Michelle Waters but falling short on Carlos Condit. We won both of our free plays with our Top Play Brad Tavares winning a 3rd Rd TKO and our Top Underdog Adam Wieczorek won via 2nd rd submission at +325! This week, we will once again breakdown the top 4 fights on the main card, which this week consists of 6 fights.
UFC Fight Night 128 Fight Card
UFC Lightweight Division – 5 x 5 minute rounds
Edson Barboza 19-5 vs. Kevin Lee 16-3
In the main event, we will see Edson Barboza take on Kevin Lee. Both of these guys fought the guys that were scheduled to fight for the UFC Lightweight Title at UFC 223. Barboza last fought Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 219 and lost by unanimous decision while Kevin Lee lost by submission to Tony Ferguson at UFC 216. Both of these guys will be looking to get back in the winners column with the loser dropping two fights in a row for the first time in their career.
There is a distinct difference in styles of this fight. Barboza is an amazing striker that will utilize those vicious leg kicks to wear down Lee throughout the fight. Barboza will have a 2 inch height advantage but Lee will actually have the reach advantage by 2 inches. Both of these guys are tough to finish and I fully expect, they will both play a very conservative role in their fight game plan on Saturday Night. That will lead to the fight going the distance and forcing the total over the 2.5 rounds.
- Handicapping Selection: Barboza vs. Lee Over 2.5 Rounds
UFC Featherweight Division – 3 x 5 minute rounds
Frankie Edgar 22-6-1 vs. Cub Swanson 25-8
The co-main event for Saturday Night is Frankie Edgar vs. Cub Swanson in the featherweight division. Frankie Edgar is coming off a first round KO loss to Brian Ortega at UFC 222. That was the first time in his career that Edgar has been finished in a fight. Cub Swanson is also coming off a loss via 2nd round submission, also to Brian Ortega at UFC Fight Night 123. Ortega is highly regarded as the #1 contender for the UFC Featherweight Title, so losing to him is nothing to shame.
In this fight, I am looking for Edgar to push the pace of the fight and force Swanson into bad situations. If Edgar can use his wrestling to take this fight to the ground, he should have the grappling advantage in the fight. Cub is a BJJ black belt but Frankie’s wrestling is the key. He will control Swanson on the ground and should win the fight by decision.
- Handicapping Selection: Frankie Edgar WINS Via Unanimous Decision
UFC Heavyweight Division – 3 x 5 minute rounds
Justin Willis 6-1 vs. Chase Sherman 11-4
The fans in Atlantic City will be entertained by a 3 round battle of the big boys when Justin Willis takes on Chase Sherman in the heavyweight division. Justin Willis is 2-0 in the UFC and 6-1 overall. He is riding a 6 fight win streak after losing his pro debut back in 2012. Chase Sherman is 11-4 overall and 2-3 in the UFC. Sherman is coming off a KO loss in his last fight but has shown that he has a very good chin, taking some absolute monster shots in his last few fights. He has a decent matchup here and should be looked at as a BIG underdog that can be found from anywhere from +265 to +300.
- Handicapping Selection: Chase Sherman WINS via 2nd Rd TKO
UFC Middleweight Division – 3 x 5 minute rounds
David Branch 21-4 vs. Thiago Santos 17-5
The final fight we will look at this week is in the middleweight division between veteran David Branch and Thiago Santos. Both of these guys are two of the toughest middleweights in the world. Branch was a multi-weight division champion at World Series of Fighting and Thiago Santos is currently the 11th ranked Middleweight in the UFC.
This will be a great fight between two of my favorite middleweights. I think this fight goes to the ground early and often. Branch is a well trained Gracie fighter that is not going to stand in front of Santos like most of his opponents do. I expect him to take the fight to the ground, where he will be much more comfortable and control where the fight takes place. I hate to say it but this may end up being one of the more boring fights of the evening just because of the styles of each fighter and the opponent trying to counter. This one is going over the posted total!
Handicapping Selection: Branch vs. Santos Over 1.5 Rounds
UFC 128 Schedule
- UFC Bantamweight Division – 3 x 5 minute rounds – Brett Johns 15-0 vs. Aljamain Sterling 14-3
- UFC Lightweight Division – 3 x 5 minute rounds – Jim Miller 28-11 vs. Daniel Hooker 15-7
UFC Fight Night 128 Prelims
- UFC Welterweight Division – 3 x 5 minute rounds – Ryan LaFlare 13-2 vs. Alex Garcia 15-4
- UFC Flyweight Division – 3 x 5 minute rounds – Magomed Bibulatov 14-1 vs. Yuta Sasaki 20-5-2
- UFC Welterweight Division – 3 x 5 minute rounds – Siyar Bahadurzada 23-6-1 vs. Luan Chagas 15-2
- UFC Light-heavyweight Division – 3 x 5 minute rounds – Patrick Cummins 10-4 vs. Corey Anderson 9-4
UFC Fight Night 128 Early Prelims
- UFC Bantamweight Division – 3 x 5 minute rounds – Aspen Ladd 6-0 vs. Leslie Smith 10-7-1
- UFC Bantamweight Division – 3 x 5 minute rounds – Ricky Simon 12-1 vs. Merab Dvalishvili 7-3
- UFC Welterweight Division – 3 x 5 minute rounds – Tony Martin 12-4 vs. Keita Nakamura 33-8-2
Top UFC Fight Night 128 Play
Our Top for UFC Fight Night 128 is going to be Tony Martin over Keita Nakamura. Martin is a very well rounded fighter that will dictate where this fight take place. Nakamura is fairly overrated and has a tendency of getting hit a lot. I think these guys are night and day difference and Martin is the better fighter. He will be our play of the week at UFC Fight Night 128.
Top UFC Fight Night 128 Underdog With A Shot
Our Top underdog play this week will be Chase Sherman, whom we mentioned earlier. Sherman has a great chin and in the heavyweight division, anything can and usually does happen. I expect Sherman to stay mobile in the first round and tire out the much larger Willis and land a big haymaker early in the second round when Willis tires and drops his hands.