| Wed 20/09/2017 - 13:40 EDT

UFC Fight Night 117 Predictions

UFC Fight Night 117 Predictions

Saint Preux vs Okami Fight Card

For the fifth time, the Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Japan with the surprise return of arguably the greatest Japanese fighter to fight in the UFC. Former middleweight title challenger Yushin Okami will step in for an injured Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at light heavyweight to face Ovince Saint Preux. Okami, who has been fighting at welterweight for the last two years, will fight at 205 lbs. for the first time in his career but is back with the UFC where he rightfully belongs. 

Ovince Saint Preux vs Yushin Okami UFC Fight Night Sports Interaction (SIA)
 UFC Fight Night 117

Okami last fought in the UFC in 2013. He made headlines when he was abruptly dismissed following a TKO loss to middleweight contender Jacare Souza.

The firing was a shock to most MMA fans as it was only Okami's first loss in four fights. UFC President Dana White made no reasonable comments as to why Okami got cut and simply alluded that he wasn't a contender in their eyes anymore. But fans knew exactly why.

The Judoka didn't exactly have the most exciting fighting style. Out of Okami's 13 wins inside the Octagon, eight came via decision. Okami is a big burly middleweight who used his strength and size advantage to neutralize his foes and ride out a decision. Unfortunately, in this case, he will be fighting a bigger fighter in Saint Preux, who also has the second-longest reach in the division next to former two-time light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

Saint Preux, unlike Okami, is a finisher. Of his eight UFC wins, six via finish. The former football player from Knoxville, Tennessee has knockout power and is a natural athlete. With a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Saint Preux only has five submissions on his record but is the only UFC fighter in history to successfully pull off two Von Flue chokes, one of the most difficult submissions to apply.

Okami faces an uphill climb in his return. Not only is he fighting on a week's notice but he will have a size disadvantage. Saint Preux has been wrestled down in the past but if Okami is to win, he'll have to survive Saint Preux's initial onslaught and neutralize him for five rounds. Odds aren't in his favour but the Saitama Super Arena's fans will be.

UFC Fight Night Predictions - September 22, 2017

This is a card built to have many finishes. Instead of betting on fighters, you can bet on the over/under. A showdown between two aggressive hard-hitting lightweights: Takanori Gomi and Dong Hyun Kim to go under 1.5 rounds is at -190. Oddsmakers believe the fight ends before the latter half of the second round. Likewise, a light heavyweight bout between two Muay Thai specialists: world champion kickboxer Gokhan Saki and Henrique da Silva also has an under 1.5 rounds at -190. 

Betting them separately can be profitable but putting them in a parlay bet will increase your payout to +133 on the condition they both finish under 1.5 rounds. Doing additional research on the fighters: how fast they start, when their fights usually end, and the over/under results of similar stylistic matchups is a necessity. Checking out which online sportsbook offers the best odds also plays a key and availing of signup bonuses up to $250 is useful especially for new players. 

Main Card (TSN 2, 10 PM ET)

Preliminary Card (Fight Network, 8 PM ET)

Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 PM ET)

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