Originally scheduled to be Mark Munoz vs Michael Bisping, UFC Fight Night 30 has benefited by a bit of addition by subtraction, as Lyoto Machida vs Mark Munoz is a significantly bigger fight on paper.
Lyoto Machida vs Mark Munoz (Middleweight)
Outside of Jon Jones, it’s hard to envision Machida losing to anyone under 205 pounds, and Munoz isn’t close to that class. Munoz hasn’t shown the offensive wrestling to take Machida down like Davis did, and Machida will hold a massive standup advantage. Despite Machida’s reputation as a decision machine, a knockout seems pretty likely, although it’ll be midway through the fight.
Ross Pearson vs Melvin Guillard (Lightweight)
Guillard is one of the most hot and cold fighters on the planet, whereas Pearson has always been tough to judge. He looked great against Barboza, but getting finished by Cole Miller will always remain as a black mark on his record. Regardless, Pearson has shown better overall cardio and gameplanning, and he should be able to win a three round decision.
Jimi Manuwa vs Ryan Jimmo (Light heavyweight)
Manuwa has a ton of power and may be one of the best strikers in the division, but he’s also one of the worst wrestlers with one of the worst ground games in the division. Jimmo has the choice to bring it to the ground, and if he makes it, he can win. However, Jimmo’s inability to finish Manuwa on the ground will cost him, as Manuwa finishes him to secure his third UFC knockout.
Norman Parke vs Jon Tuck (Lightweight)
Tuck will likely hold advantages in power and jiujitsu, and can finish this fight at any moment. However, Parke is likely the better all around athlete, wrestler, and striker. Expect Parke to turn this into a wrestling match, winning this fight on points with repeated takedowns and ground and pound. Tuck will keep it close though.
Alessio Sakara vs Nicholas Musoke (Middleweight)
On paper, Sakara is 0-3 in his last three, but there’s nothing wrong with losing to the champ, and the Cote “loss” was a controversial decision. Musoke is taking this fight on relatively late notice and moving up from welterweight, where he will almost certainly hold a size disadvantage. It’s easy to imagine Sakara losing this, but he’s still the pick by knockout.
John Lineker vs Phil Harris (Flyweight)
It’s pretty rare that the UFC sets up the home town guy to lose, but that’s what’s happening here. Harris was lucky to stay alive after a close decision win against Gomez, while Lineker is on an impressive three fight winning streak. Expect Lineker to keep this standing, and easily put Harris away in the second round.