The UFC returns to Ireland, albeit with a card devastated by injuries. The card lost both its main and co-main events, leaving it with a series of relevant if lesser contests between both rising contenders and regional names.
What: UFC Fight Night: Holohan vs. Smolka
Where: 3Arena, Dublin, Ireland
When: Saturday, the six-fight Fight Pass preliminary card starts at 1:15 p.m. ET and the four-fight Fight Pass main card kicks off 4 p.m.
Patrick Holohan vs. Louis Smolka
Holohan's commitment to stable attacking positions should be the difference here. Smolka is no joke and has every kind of counter available, but he doesn't have the same kind of attacking purpose the Irish fighter typically does. This should be an insane back-and-forth contest, and I wouldn't necessarily be surprised if either fighter won, but Holohan's proactive sense about positional control should be the difference maker.
I really don't know what to make of Madadi, but I do know this. He hasn't competed since 2013. He's been in jail in the time in between. For that reason alone, I can't pick him. Parke has some offensive limitations. He sleep walks at time in the middle of rounds without pushing the action in any one direction. But if nothing else, he's been active and has enough skills in all of the dimensions of the game to fight off what Madadi has to offer.
I frankly see Till as a different caliber of fighter. His takedown defense is strong while being effectively rangy in kickboxing. More than anything else, he's excellent at counterfighting in spurts. Till also has great finishing instincts, which marries well with his ability to amass offense when opposition least expect it. Dalby's well-rounded enough to not get blown out early, but I have a hard time seeing him press Till for three rounds.
Neil Seery vs. Jon Delos Reyes
This is a tough call. Reyes is better than his record shows, but so is Seery in that regard. More to the point, Seery is a little more battle tested against top competition.
From the preliminary card:
Stevie Ray def. Mickael Lebout
Scott Askham def. Krzysztof Jotko
Aisling Daly def. Ericka Almeida
Tom Breese def. Cathal Pendred
Darren Elkins def. Robert Whiteford
Bubba Bush def. Garreth McLellan