UFC on ESPN+ 4: Lewis vs. Dos Santos

Preview and Predictions for UFC on ESPN+ 4: Lewis vs. Dos Santos by Danny Rourke and Darell Garner 

This weekend the UFC heads to Wichita, Kansas for UFC on ESPN+ 4: Lewis vs. Dos Santos. The UFC Wichita is loaded with fun fights and great matchups. The card will stream on ESPN+ In its entirety, starting with:

         ESPN+ Prelims                              5:00PM/ET
         UFC on ESPN+ 4 Main Card         8:00PM/ET

UFC Wichita Main Card Predictions 

Tim Boetsch (+110) vs. Omari Akhmedov (-130)

To kickoff the UFC Wichita Main Card, Tim “the Barbarian” Boetsch (21-12-0) will face “The Wolverine” Omari  Akhmedov (17-4-1) in a Middleweight matchup. In his last Octagon appearance in December 2017, Omari Akhmedov battled Marvin Vettori to a Draw at UFC 219. With a record of 2-0-1, the Wolverine will carry some momentum and confidence into his battle with the veteran Boetsch. Despite coming off of a First Round Submission loss to Antonio Carlos Jr. at UFC Glendale last April, Tim Boetsch will be seeking his eleventh win in nine years with the promotion. Over the years, Tim Boetsch has fought the best of the best of the UFC Middleweight division, and a win over a veteran like Boetsch would be a huge feather in the cap for Omari Akhmedov. 

Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Akhmedov via Decision 

D’Bo’s Picks: Boetsch via Decision 

Beneil Dariush (-200) vs. Drew Dober (+170)

 Beneil Dariush (15-4-1) is set to take on Drew 
Dober (20-8-0,1NC) in a Lightweight matchup. A winner in three straight and in five of his last six, Drew Dober has momentum on his side heading into his bout against Dariush. Beneil Dariush was happy to put an end to the first losing streak of his career by defeating newcomer Thiago Moises by Decision on the UFC’s 25th Anniversary card in Denver, Colorado last November. In March 2017, Dariush was stopped in brutal fashion by Edson Barboza (knee), fought to a Majority Draw against veteran Evan Dunham, and then was stunned by a short notice replacement opponent in Alexander Hernandez, who jumped on and finished Dariush in the first forty seconds of the fight. Fortunately for Dariush, Drew Dober is more reknowned for his grappling and wrestling than his striking, with only four of Dober’s twenty professional wins coming by way of knockout. This should be an interesting stylistic clash, and I believe if Dariush can keep this fight on his feet, he should be able to outpoint Dober en route to a decision win. 

Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Dariush via Decision 

D’Bo’s Picks: Dariush via First Round Submission 

#15 Blagoy Ivanov (-130) vs. Ben Rothwell (+110)

Following a near three year lay-off, Ben Rothwell (36-10-0) is back to face former WSOF Champ Blagoy Ivanov (16-2-0,1NC) in a Heavyweight matchup. With a knee injury and a two year USADA suspension preventing Rothwell from competing inside the Octagon, the forty six fight veteran is looking forward to getting back to business this weekend against Blagoy Ivanov. Between 2013-2016, Rothwell was on a four fight win streak, with stoppage victories over Brandon Vera, Alistair Overeem, Matt Mitrione and Josh Barnett—before dropping an five round Unanimous Decision to Junior Dos Santos at UFC Croatia in April 2016.  A unique Heavyweight duel threat, Ben Rothwell has the ability submit his opponent or knock them out , and is always fun to watch compete. In his UFC debut at UFC Boise last July, Blagoy Ivanov went all five rounds with Junior Dos Santos, which is an accomplishment in and of itself. However, Ivanov lost to JDS in the UFC Boise Main Event by Unanimous Decision. Both Rothwell and Ivanov will be looking to get back into the Win column. I am expecting a close and competitive contest, unless Rothwell is able to grab a hold of Blagoy early and lock in one of his patented Gogo Chokes. 

Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Ivanov via Decision 

D’Bo’s Picks: Rothwell via First Round Submission 

Tim Means (-190) vs. Niko Price (+160)

“The Dirty Bird” Tim Means (28-10-0,1NC) is ready to battle “The Hybrid” Niko Price (12-2-0,1NC) in what has all of the ingredients for an entertaining and exciting Welterweight matchup. In his last Octagon appearance on the Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale in November, Tim Means put on a striking clinic, defeating Ricky Rainey via First Round TKO and putting a halt to a two fight losing skid, following Split Decision loses to Sergio Moraes and Belal Muhammad. A devastating striker, Means enjoys success on hsi feet, but has struggled on the mat and against high level grapplers, with four of his ten professional losses coming by way of Submission. Niko Price is 4-2-0, with 1NC since joining the UFC in  December 2016. The Hybrid is a perfect nickname for Niko Price, who has utilized both his striking and his Submissions in all four of his stoppage victories in the Octagon, including his Performance of the Night winning Hammerfist KO of Randy Brown at UFC Boise last Summer. Price suffered the first knockout loss of his career in his last fight, getting 
stopped by the dangerous Aldul Razak Alhassan :43 seconds into their bout at UFC 228.  This should be an ultra competitive and fun fight, and is definitely one fight that I can’t wait to watch this Saturday. 

Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Price via First Round Submission 

D’Bo’s Picks: Price via Second Round TKO

#14 Elizieu Zoleski Dos Santos (+105) vs. Curtis Millender (-125)

With a well deserved opportunity to compete in the UFC Wichita Co-Main event slot, Elizieu “Capoeira” Zoleski Dos Santos (20-5-0) is set to face rising star Curtis “Curtious” Millender (17-3-0) in a battle of talented Welterweight strikers. Riding a six fight win streak highlighted by three impressive knockouts, Elizieu Zoleski Dos Santos has joined the Welterweight rankings and placed himself on the radar of the divisional elite. Curtis Millender has made some noise of own since joining the UFC last February, going 3-0 in 2018, including a Second Round TKO over veteran Thiago Alves in his promotional debut and Unanimous Decision wins over Max Griffin and most recently Siyar Bahadurzada at UFC 232 in December. The UFC just loves guys who win and finish fights, and both Millender and Zoleski Dos Santos are fully capable of putting on a Fight of the Night Performance. I don’t really see the stock of either fighter declining after this bout, but we could see the winner climb the rankings and take on a recognizable name in their next fight. 

Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Zoleski Dos Santos via Second Round TKO

D’Bo’s Picks: Millender via Decision 

UFC WICHITA MAIN EVENT 

Derrick Lewis (+170) vs. Junior Dos Santos (-220)

In the UFC Wichita Main Event, “The Black Beast” Derrick Lewis (21-6-0,1NC) and “El Cigano” Junior Dos Santos (20-5-0) collide in a Heavyweight showdown. Since losing his rubber match in a title fight to fomer Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 211,Junior Dos Santos has looked re-energized and determined to once again compete for UFC gold, utilizing excellent footwork and crisp boxing to earn back to back wins over Tai Tuivasa (Second Round TKO) and Blagoy Ivanov (Unanimous Decision). Dos Santos has wins over five UFC Heavyweight Champions (Fabrício Werdum, Shane Carwin, Cain Velasquez, Frank Mir and Stipe Miocic), has fought for the Heavyweight Championship 3x and won the Heavyweight title by finishing Cain Velasquez on the first ever UFC on FOX card in November 2011. One of the most active fighters on the UFC roster, Derrick Lewis was victorious three times in 2018 and earned a short notice opportunity to fight Daniel Cormier for the Heavyweight title in Madison Square Garden at UFC 230 last November. It is unfortunate that Lewis, who has won eight of his last ten fights, wasn’t given a full camp for a Championship fight, as Cormier would go on to submit the Black Beast via Rear Naked Choke in the Second Round. The UFC offered Lewis a fight against Miocic one month later, but the Beast declined the fight to physically and mentally recuperate. I guess a few months was all the rest that was needed as Lewis readies for an important fight against El Cigano. With all of Junior Dos Santos’ accolades and accomplishments, it was a bit of a surprise to hear the Black Beast say that JDS is “probably the weakest opponent I’m gonna face” this week during media obligations. Those sound like fighting words to me, and I expect one of these big boys to get knocked out in what should be an exciting Main Event. 

Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Lewis via Third Round KO 

D’Bo’s Picks: Dos Santos via Decision 

Next weekend the UFC invades the O2 Arena in London, UK 🇬🇧 for UFC on ESPN+ 5: Till vs. Masvidal. Share your thoughts and picks with us in the Comments section below and enjoy the fights!! 

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One Comment

  1. Great Article guys

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