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27th Nov 2015

UFC Seoul: SportsJOE picks the winners so you don’t have to

Under the radar


The last event until the absolutely insane weekend surrounding UFC 194.

The octagon sets up shop in South Korea early on Saturday where former lightweights try to set up title runs at 170 lbs.

There are two Dong Hyun Kims, a Bang and a Kuntz so how are you not watching?

Here is what our MMA writers’ records look like thus far.

Darragh The Quizmaster Murphy: 137-79

Bourbon Ben Kiely: 137-79

Benson Henderson (22-5) v Jorge Masvidal (29-9)

DM: This is a strange one because both guys are natural lightweights and it raises the philosophical question… If two lightweights fight at 170lbs, is it still a welterweight contest?

Henderson gameplans better than most fighters while Masvidal is a gritty, technical striker whose style is not unlike that of the Diaz brothers.

I think Henderson is the physically stronger and will definitely enjoy a wrestling edge. I see Smooth testing the waters with his stand-up and he probably beats Masvidal there but, if he doesn’t, he has the grappling to fall back on. Can’t see him losing this one. Henderson via unanimous decision

BK: Great match-making by the UFC. This could be one hell of a fight between two of the most exciting welterweights in the promotion.

Benson’s a tactical genius and his ability to improvise and react to his opponent’s attacks, while Masvidal’s boxing is simply brilliant. He can stick and move from the outside and move in and work his dirty boxing in the clinch.

I wouldn’t be surprised with any outcome of this fight, but I give the edge to the former lightweight champion. Henderson by decision

Dong Hyun Kim (20-3-1-1NC) v Dominic Waters (9-3)

DM: What the hell did Dominic Waters do to piss off the UFC?

He had one fight in the promotion that he lost to George bloody Sullivan so imagine what Stun Gun is going to do to him. Kim via submission (round one)

BK: Squash match alert. Kim via KO (round one)

Yoshiro Akiyama (14-5-2NC) v Alberto Mina (11-0)

DM: Alberto Mina has got elite BJJ, sure. He’s got knockout power too.

But if you think for a second that I’m picking against Sexiyama, you’re sorely mistaken. Akiyama by decision

BK: A lot of people are picking Sexyama here, but I’m not confident choosing a 40-year-old against a rising, undefeated fighter. Undoubtedly, Akiyama has the advantage in the experience department, but his body may have deteriorated. Mina via submission (round two)

Sam Sicilia (15-5) v Doo Ho Choi (12-1)

DM: Had initially picked Sicilia to grind out a decision victory using his wrestling and powerful right hand but then I rewatched Doo Ho Choi’s previous fights.

He’s got underrated takedown defence so should be able to keep this fight standing and the Korean has got some of the most fluid striking in the featherweight division.

He feints beautifully, jabs crunchingly and has got deceptive power… Not unlike Mr Conor McGregor. Choi via KO (round two)

BK: Doo Ho Choi is a massively entertaining fighter to watch. He’ll brutally knock his opponent out with a huge smile washed over his face. His supreme skill-set and his youth means he has the potential to reach the tippy-top of the featherweight division.

The Korean Superboy isn’t getting an easy ride with his sophomore fight in the UFC though. Sicilia’s a tricky veteran with knockout power and is riding a two-fight win streak. That being said, it’s difficult to back against the hometown favourite. Choi via TKO (round one)