Pronostics UFC Fight Island 5

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Marlon Moraes has a steep slope to climb in his quest for another shot at the UFC bantamweight championship.

In this case, the immensity of the challenge is pretty literal as Moraes takes on rangy Cory Sandhagen in Saturday’s UFC Fight Island 5 main event. Standing almost six feet tall, Sandhagen not only brings impressive physical gifts to the cage, but also comparisons to the tall 135-pound Dominick Cruz that marked him as a future title contender.

Whatever the result on Saturday, one would imagine that Moraes and Sandhagen will still have to wait behind No.1 Aljamain Sterling for a shot on Petr Yan. Still, crazier things have happened in the UFC and given that a Yan-Sterling game has yet to be reported, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that an impressive performance could see Moraes or Sandhagen challenge. Yan then; completely unfair to Sterling, yes, but not unreasonable.

The co-headliner features lightweight prop Edson Barboza making his second appearance at 145 pounds and he’s getting to the point where one has to wonder when “Junior” will take a break. Barboza has lost five of his previous six fights, a fit that should be taken with a grain of salt given that some of the names he has faced recently include Khabib Nurmagomedov, Justin Gaethje and Kevin Lee.

Add to the fact that Barboza’s last two fights were narrow split decision losses which he arguably won and it can be seen why the 34-year-old is still heavily favored before going up against Makwan Amirkhani. On the other side of this confrontation, “Mr. Finland ”could win what would be by far the most notable victory of their career if they could upset Barboza.

In another main card action, heavyweight lifer Ben Rothwell kicks off fight # 51 when he meets compatriot Marcin Tybura, Markus Perez welcomes two-time KSW middleweight champion Dricus Du Plessis into the octagon, the best prospect of the heavyweight Tom Aspinall fights short-notice replacement Alan Baudot and Youssef Zalal appear to go 4-0 in 2020 when he faces up-and-coming newcomer Ilia Topuria.

What: UFC Fight Island 5

Or: Yas Island in Abu Dhabi

When: Saturday 10 October. The entire event airs on ESPN +, starting with a preliminary seven-fight card at 5 p.m. ET, followed by a six-fight main card at 8 p.m. ET.

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