UFC Fight Night 52 Predictions
This week the UFC is heading back to Japan. UFC Fight Night 52 will be hosted at the Saitama Arena. The only downside to the UFC being in Japan is that it’s on late. The main card doesn’t start until 3:30am ET. You can watch the action on UFC Fight Pass.
UFC Fight Night 52 Best Bets
- Bet Roy Nelson +125 (BetOnline) vs. Mark Hunt
Mark Hunt (9-8-1) is winless in his last two fights. Between 2011-13 Hunt had a 4-fight win streak with three wins by TKO/KO, but he wasn’t fighting elite competition. Roy Nelson (20-9) had two losses in 2013, but he won his first fight this year against Nogueira.
This is going to be a great fight to watch because both of these guys will strictly be looking for the knockout. Nelson has been KO’ed once while Hunt has been KO’ed twice. I give Nelson an edge in this fight and I’m surprised that he’s the underdog in the main event.
- Bet Amir Sadollah vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama O2.5 Rounds –158 (Pinnacle)
I like Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-5) to win, as he obviously wanted to take this fight in Japan, but I can’t bet on a fighter that hasn’t been in the cage since 2012. His opponent, Amir Sadollah (6-4) hasn’t fought since 2012 either, which leaves a lot of unknowns.
Sadollah should win the striking exchanges, but Akiyama would be smart to put Sadollah on his back. At the end of the day I decided to bet on the O2.5 rounds. Both fighters will have cage rust and I find it unlikely that either fighter will be able to win by stoppage.
- Bet Katsunori Kikuno –145 (5 Dimes) vs. Sam Sicilia
Katsunori Kikuno (21-6-2) is now 1-1 in the UFC after being knocked out by Ferguson in his last fight. Sam Sicilia (13-4) is 3-3 in the UFC since joining the promotion in 2012. He really isn’t a great fighter and I think he’ll struggle against Kikuno.
Kikuno isn’t aggressive, but he allows his opponents to make mistakes and then capitalizes on them. Kikuno has nice power in his hands and great leg kicks that keep fighters at a distance. I thought the odds would be worse, so I’m jumping on Kikuno now.
Bet Kazuki Tokudome –155 (Dimes) vs. Johnny Case
Johnny Case (18-4) is making his UFC debut in Japan against a desperate Kazuki Tokudome (12-5-1). Tokudome has lost his last two fights by decision (Parke & Nam) and has to win in his home country, which is why I expect him to come out strong in this one.
I haven’t seen much of Case, but from what I’ve read he has fought a lot of terrible competition. Tokudome has strong Judo and he has to keep the distance between Case close in this one. Case has power and Tokudome’s chin worries me, but I still like him.
- Bet Jury / Caceres / Horiguchi / Blanco Parlay +210 (BetDSI)
Miles Jury is a big favorite over Gomi. Jury will utilize takedowns to put Gomi on the mat. Alex Caceres fights Kanehara in what could be a big test for the 26-year old fighter. After losing to Faber I expect Caceres to bounce right back with a win.
Kyoji Horiguchi is undefeated in the UFC (2-0) and he’s fighting Reyes who lost his debut with the promotion. Horiguchi has excellent power and I like him to win by TKO/KO. I’m also on Maximo Blanco to beat Daniel Hooker in the opening fight of the night.