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UFC Fight Night 30 Prelims: Breakdown & Predictions

The European cards have been notoriously weak, and UFC Fight Night 30 is no different.  However while the prelims lack big names, the fights are actually pretty competitive featuring potential future contenders.

Al Iaquinta vs Piotr Hallman (Lightweight)

Hallman pulled off a rare upset over a Brazilian on Brazilian soil in his UFC debut, submitting Francisco Trinaldo.  Iaquinta returned after a long layoff since the TUF 15 finals to dominate Ryan Couture with crisp boxing.  Seeing as Hallman was hurt standing by Trinaldo before Trinaldo punched himself out, one has to think Iaquinta can replicate, leading to a second round stoppage due to strikes.

Luke Barnatt vs Andrew Craig (Middleweight)

Barnatt got a bit of hype from TUF 17, but failed to impress on the show or finale, getting knocked out by Dylan Andrews, and scraping by a close decision against Colin Hart at the finale.  Craig has shown himself to be more athlete than martial artist, but at 4-1 in the UFC, it’s tough to deny him respect at this point. This fight has all the potential to be a war, but expect Craig takedowns to be the difference maker.

Rosi Sexton vs Jessica Andrade (Women’s Bantamweight)

Both of these women lost their UFC debuts, but both arguably did better than expected.  Sexton arguably won the first two rounds against Alexis Davis, and Andrade nearly submitted Liz Carmouche with a guillotine.  This one could really go either way, but expect Andrade to give up position going for a guillotine, allowing Sexton to cruise to a decision victory with top control.

Andy Ogle vs Cole Miller (Featherweight)

Little was expected from Ogle after TUF 15, but he should arguably be 2-0 in the UFC.  Miller has been an enigma for his entire career, and is possibly the worst fight IQ’s of anyone on the planet.  Regardless, Miller holds advantages on paper anywhere, and should win the fight if it stays standing or hits the mat.  Still, Ogle could pull this off pretty easily with striking or wrestling.

Jimy Hettes vs Robert Whiteford (Lightweight)

Hettes looked like a God against Nam Phan, but the Judoka’s hype train quickly crashed after a competitive decision loss to Marcus Brimage.  Whiteford is a wrestler who aggressively attacks takedowns, and one has to think that this plays right into Hettes’ game, who should be able to work his judo trips and win a dominant decision.

Bradley Scott vs Michael Kuiper (Welterweight)

Scott made it to the finals of TUF Smashes, and lost in a grueling war against Robert Whittaker, succumbing to elbows.  Kuiper has quietly gone 1-2 in the UFC, but he’s shown better skills than his record suggests.  Scott may have the wrestling to take this down, but it’s doubtful.  Expect Kuiper to keep this standing and outpoint Scott in a bloody war.