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T.U.F Nations Finale: Bisping vs. Kennedy: Full card predictions

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The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale is this Wednesday, April 16 at the Colisée Pepsi in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Online prelims start at 3:15p.m., the next block of prelims air at 5:00p.m., and the main card can be seen on Sportsnet 360 at 7:00p.m. The main card will feature the return of Michael Bisping and 2 TUF finale fights featuring all Canadian fighters. Enjoy the predictions and TUF Nations Finale fight card.

Fight Pass Prelims: 4-0-0

135 lbs. – Mitch Gagnon (2-1 UFC) vs. Tim Gorman (0-0 UFC) – Gagnon via submission
Gorman is making his UFC debut after suffering an injury on a previous TUF season. Gorman has strong wrestling and great g&p with a lot of power, but this will be a tough test for him. Gagnon will have the better striking and should be able to work his slick submission game once on the ground. Correct (Gagnon via U. decision)

170 lbs. – Richard Walsh (0-0 UFC) vs. Chris Indich (0-0 UFC) – Walsh via decision
Both men were members of team Australia on this TUF season. Indich is an aggressive striker, but he lacks technique and defense. Indich seems to have decent grappling, but Walsh appears to be stronger and should control the grappling/clinch battles for at least 2 of the 3 rounds. Correct plus method

185 lbs. – Nordine Taleb (0-0 UFC) vs. Vik Grujic (0-0 UFC) – Taleb via TKO
Taleb was a member of team Canada and Grujic a member of team Australia. Taleb has great striking with a lot of power and will be strong enough to defend takedowns. Grujic’s striking isn’t nearly as polished and he’ll struggle to mount any grappling attacks. Correct (Taleb via U. decision)

155 lbs. – Mark Bocek (7-5 UFC) vs. Mike de la Torre (0-0 UFC) – Bocek via submission
Torre is stepping in on late notice to replace an injured Evan Dunham. Torre has good grappling, g&p and submission attacks, but this will be a huge test for him. Bocek is very experienced and has one of the best ground games in the Lightweight division so expect him to control this fight. Correct (Bocek via S. decision)

Fox Sports Prelims: 4-0-0

135 lbs. – George Roop (4-6 UFC) vs. Dustin Kimura (2-1 UFC) – Roop via decision
Kimura has good striking and will work the body, but Roop will have a height/reach advantage as well as his diverse kicks. Kimura seems to have a grappling advantage, but Roop is a strong Bantamweight and should defend the takedowns and possibly secure a few takedowns himself while staying out of danger. Correct plus method

205 lbs. – Ryan Jimmo (2-2 UFC) vs. Sean O'Connell (0-0 UFC) – Jimmo via TKO
O’Connell is replacing fellow newcomer Steve Bosse due to injury. O’Connell has good striking with a lot of power and decent grappling but he relies more on strength than technique. Jimmo will have better striking and should also be the stronger grappler for all 3 rounds or until he finds a submission. Correct plus method

135 lbs. – #5 Sarah Kaufman (0-0(1) UFC) vs. Leslie Smith (0-0 UFC) – Kaufman via decision
Smith is also stepping in on short notice to replace Amanda Nunes, who was replacing Kaufman’s original opponent Shayna Baszler. Kaufman beat Smith via split decision back at Invicta FC 5 in April ’13. Expect a more convincing win this time out for Kaufman with her improved boxing and grappling. Correct plus method

155 lbs. – Sam Stout (9-6 UFC) vs. KJ Noons (1-1 UFC) – Noons via decision
Noons rallied from a 3 fight losing streak and won a U. decision over George Sotiropoulos with his slick boxing and TDD. Stout won a U. decision over Cody McKenzie in his last fight also with nice boxing and wrestling. Noons speed should be the difference as well as his takedown/grappling defense. Correct (Noons via TKO)

Main Card: 1-4-0 Total MMA Predictions: 482-270-3 = 64%

145 lbs. – #6 Dustin Poirier (7-2 UFC) vs. Akira Corassani (3-0 UFC) - Poirier via TKO
Poirier has won his last 2 fights (UD vs. Erik Koch & KO vs. Diego Brandao) so he seems to be truly coming into his own and it’s only a matter of time before he’s competing for the Lightweight belt. Corassani has gone 3-0 in the UFC, but in less than impressive fashion with 2 decision wins and a win via DQ. On the feet Poirier will have a big advantage with his power, technique and aggressive style. On the ground Poirier will again have the advantage and has just as much a chance to submit Corassani as he does getting the TKO finish. Corassani will struggle to mount any offense and this will be a completely one-sided fight in Poirier’s favour. Correct plus method

170 lbs. – Chad Laprise (0-0 UFC) vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier (0-0 UFC) - Mercier via decision
Both men were members of Team Canada on the TUF Nations. Laprise is a striker with terrific footwork, striking technique, defense and power. Mercier is a grappler with excellent judo and jiu-jitsu, but he showed that his striking is quickly developing while on the TUF show. On the feet Laprise will likely have the advantage and he will be looking to stick and move for 3 rounds. On the ground Mercier will have a bigger advantage as he possess the skill and strength to control Laprise and likely lock in a submission. Laprise could win this fight if he fights perfect, but that’s a lot to ask against such a grinder like Mercier. Wrong - Laprise via S. decision

185 lbs. – Sheldon Westcott (0-0 UFC) vs. Elias Theodorou (0-0 UFC) - Westcott via submission
Again both men were members of Team Canada on the TUF Nations. Westcott was an absolute bull running through a china shop while on the TUF show as he just ran forward with reckless aggression, pursued the takedown and submitted both opponents in the 1st round. Theodorou showcased his grinding style while on the show as he simply wrestled out a couple of unanimous decision wins. On the feet Westcott will have the advantage as he’s more comfortable with punching and getting punched. Theodorou will go for the takedown, but he’ll struggle to put Westcott on his back and even if he does Westcott will likely scramble right back to his feet. Westcott will defeat Theodorou rather easily and likely get a finish whether striking or on the ground. Wrong - Theodorou via TKO

170 lbs. – Patrick Cote (6-8 UFC) vs. Kyle Noke (4-2 UFC) - Noke via decision
Cote won his Welterweight debut against a tough Bobby Voelker in his last fight. Noke lost his last 2 fights at Middleweight so he dropped down to 170 lbs. and defeated Charlie Brenneman via TKO in the first minute of round 1. On the feet Cote will have a slight advantage, but Noke is no joke when it comes to striking and he should give Cote all that he can handle. On the ground Noke should have the advantage with his submission skill and he’ll likely be able to land takedowns when needed as Cote was taken down 4 times against Bobby Voelker. Cote could easily win this fight if he’s able to defend the takedown, but Noke’s ground game should prevail. Wrong - Cote via U. decision

185 lbs. – #5 Michael Bisping (14-5 UFC) vs. #8 Tim Kennedy (2-0 UFC) - Bisping via decision
Bisping last fought in April ’13 where he won a unanimous decision over Alan Belcher, but also suffered an eye injury and missed a year of action. Kennedy has performed very well so far in the UFC winning a UD over Roger Gracie and KO’ing Rafael Natal back in November. On the feet Bisping will likely have the advantage with his technical boxing, but Kennedy may have the edge in power. Kennedy has strong grappling and might find success if he pursues it, but Bisping has great footwork and takedown defense so expect him to keep this fight standing. Kennedy could steal a decision with his grapping, but Bisping will likely stick and move for 3 rounds. Wrong - Kennedy via U. decision

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