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UFC Fight Night 64 predictions

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC makes their debut in Poland and while the company isn't able to showcase its best Polish talent, it does offer a main event with sentimental name value. MMA heavyweight legend Mirko Cro Cop and the man who took away his best chance at UFC gold in Gabriel Gonzaga will face off for the second time, albeit with only bragging rights at stake.

What: UFC Fight Night 64 (UFC Fight Night: Gonzaga vs. Cro Cop 2)

Where: Tauron Arena Krakow, Krakow, Poland

When: Saturday, the eight-fight Fight Pass preliminary card starts at 11:45 a.m. ET and the four-fight main card kicks off on Fight pass at 3 p.m.

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Mirko Filipovic

There's a difference between a shot fighter and an old fighter. Sometimes they're the same, but occasionally, they are not. I'd argue this is the case where we have two older fighters, but not necessarily shot. However, an older fighter is still a diminished fighter from what they once were. That means the bottom can drop out on them when you most and least expect it. That makes predictions difficult. For my money, their ability to absorb damage is diminished and while Gonzaga has more ways to win, Cro Cop isn't going to be taken by surprise as much this time. He's adapted his striking enough in MMA over the years to make it workable. His takedown defense is also relatively sturdy. Gonzaga can murder him on the mat and perhaps that's how it goes, but with open space and readiness, Cro Cop could get it done. I just think Gonzaga will be all over too much for that to really happen.

Pick: Gonzaga

Jimi Manuwa vs. Jan Błachowicz

Błachowicz has decent takedowns, but not great. The question for this fight is whether being Błachowicz's efforts will be enough. On the feet, it's fairly obvious he stands little chance. On the ground, however, he isn't insanely lethal, but likes to pass to mount and work TKO stoppages. I wouldn't underestimate Błachowicz's chances if he can get there, but I just don't see that as overly likely, even with Manuwa's less than awesome takedown defense and hip retreats.

Pick: Manuwa

Pawel Pawlak vs. Sheldon Westcott

This is something of a tough call. Pawlak might be a more well-rounded fighter, but Westcott has a style where he aims to blitz early, forcing his opponent into poor decisions and capitalize from there. One never knows how likely that is, but against less than great opposition, I'll ride with his chances.

Pick: Westcott

Joanne Calderwood vs. Maryna Moroz

This isn't worth much explanation. Calderwood is simply better everywhere. Short of a low percentage haymaker, I don't really see Moroz's guard catching Calderwood.

Pick: Calderwood

From the preliminary card:

Seth Baczynski def. Leon Edwards
Bartosz Fabiński def. Garreth McLellan
Sergio Moraes def. Mickael Lebout
Yaotzin Meza def. Damian Stasiak
Anthony Hamilton def. Daniel Omielanczuk
Aleksandra Albu def. Izabela Badurek
Steven Ray def. Marcin Bandel
Taylor Lapilus def. Rocky Lee