The UFC returns to Korea this Saturday, with UFC Fight Night 79 taking place in Seoul, South Korea. Headlined by former lightweight champion Ben Henderson and late replacement Jorge Masvidal, this card looks certain to be action packed from top to bottom. In some good news for UK and Irish fans, the time difference from Korea means that fight fans won’t have to stay up until the early hours of Sunday, a rarity with UFC events. In fact, the preliminary card starts at 10am Saturday morning, with the main card beginning at 1pm. Let’s take a look at our predictions for how the main card plays out:
Doo Ho Choi vs Sam Sicilia
This fight is all but guaranteed to be a barnburner. Choi has been a prospect to watch for a number of years, but injuries have stopped him following up on his 18 second TKO victory in his UFC debut just over a year ago. Sicilia has plenty of UFC experience, having fought there nine times in the last three years, going 5-4 in that time. This is a great main card opener, and both these fighters should start out strong. I think Choi will impress in front of his countrymen and remind us all why we were all so excited about him a year ago.
Winner: Doo Ho Choi by Knockout.
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Alberto Mina
Akiyama is a bit of a wild card right now, at 40 years old and only having fought once in the last three years. Mina is no scrub, and those thinking the UFC matched Akiyama up in an easy fight for his comeback might be in for a surprise. I think Akiyama has the judo and grit to win a decision here, but if Mina can keep on his feet then he should pick Akiyama apart for a TKO midway through the fight.
Winner: Alberto Mina by TKO.
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Dominic Waters
It is very difficult to see an outcome that doesn’t involve Dong Hyun Kim winning this fight convincingly. Waters is an unranked opponent stepping in on short notice to fight top 10 welterweight Kim after Kims original opponent Jorge Masvidal was moved to the main event to face Ben Henderson. Respect to Waters for stepping up, but he might regret his courage once the fight is done.
Winner: Dong Hyun Kim by TKO.
Jorge Masvidal vs. Ben Henderson
This is a good fight, if a little light in star power for a main event. Henderson is a familiar name to most, but only the more hardcore fans will be more than passingly familiar with Masvidal. Unless Masvidal gets tired I’m not sure Henderson gets the finish here, though he may come back after his nine month gap and really look to make a statement in his new division. Respect to Masvidal for stepping up, but Bendo is no opponent to take lightly. This should be a back and forth fight but I expect Henderson to leave with the win.
Winner: Ben Henderson by Decision.