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UFC Fight Night 147 Predictions: Bleacher Report Main Card Staff Picks

Bleacher Report Combat Sports Staff

The UFC is heading to London on Saturday for Fight Night 147, where the British crowd figures to be firmly behind native son Darren Till when he takes on Jorge Masvidal. 

Till's rise in the welterweight division suffered a setback his last time in the cage when he was submitted by Tyron Woodley, but at just 26 years old, time is still on his side. Masvidal presents him with a perfect chance to prove himself against a steely veteran. 

The co-main event features more fighters in the UFC's loaded welterweight division, with Leon Edwards taking on Gunnar Nelson. Both fighters have hovered around the class' top 10, which means the winner could have a shot for a notable fight while the loser risks fading further from the spotlight. 

Keep reading to see how the Bleacher Report crew of Scott Harris, Nathan McCarter and Jonathan Snowden are picking Till vs. Masvidal, Edwards vs. Nelson and every other fight on the main card. 

Darren Till vs. Jorge Masvidal

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Scott Harris

Masvidal's relatively sluggish output doesn't appear to mix well with Till's relatively non-sluggish output.

The thing is, Masvidal has the ground game to defeat Till. I just don't see him actually using it, at least not to winning effect. Masvidal needs to win one or two fights like this one before it's safe to rely on him again.

Till, unanimous decision

      

Nathan McCarter

I love Masvidal, but this fight seems tailor-made for one of his letdowns.

If you have ever watched Masvidal, you know that sometimes he just randomly stops fighting and allows his opponents to run up the tally en route to a decision and then looks bumfuzzled about the scorecards.

We're probably looking at that same thing here. He's too tough and savvy to get knocked out clean, but Till will be far more active in the later rounds. A clear 4-1 nod to Till, but Masvidal will still look surprised.

Till, unanimous decision

        

Jonathan Snowden

I have never fallen in love with Masvidal, which I know makes me stick out like the sorest of thumbs among the MMA Illuminati.

Don't get me wrong; he's a perfectly good fighter and fun to watch. But, as a potential title contender, he's always left me a little cold. I think he walks into something here and fades back to the preliminary portion of the card for good.

Till, KO, Rd. 2

Leon Edwards vs. Gunnar Nelson

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Scott Harris

Although logic might jump to an immediate Edwards knockout, or least an attempt, Edwards could smother the smaller Nelson against the fence or on the ground.

Personally, I don't see that happening. Throughout his career, Nelson has generated some "wow!" moments with his grappling. Sound the upset alarms and add this one to the reel.

Nelson, submission, Rd. 1

     

Nathan McCarter

I'll take a flier on Edwards here. I'm not sold on Nelson being able to get him to the canvas that easily, and Edwards has been on point in recent outings. He'll clip Nelson and pick-up another huge win.

We should be talking about Edwards as a legitimate contender after this fight given recent victories. He's earned it.

Edwards, TKO, Rd. 1

       

Jonathan Snowden

This is another interesting battle of guys just on the fringe of title opportunities. If Edwards can earn another high-profile victory here, he should certainly be in consideration. Or, at least, he would be if this was a real sport and not a carnival act.

Too bad for him that there is a gigantic gulf in ability on the ground. Eventually, as the Gracie family taught us all, a fight ends up on the mat. That's where Nelson shows he's still among the best in the world.

Nelson, submission, Rd. 3

Volkan Oezdemir vs. Dominick Reyes

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Scott Harris

Suddenly light heavyweight is full of fun characters. Here are two more. The Volkan Oezdemir bubble always felt a little overinflated. A fun war should break out before Dominick Reyes closes the show.

Reyes, TKO, Rd. 2

       

Nathan McCarter

I've been super high on Reyes as a light heavyweight prospect, and I think he is a future champion of the division—as long as Jon Jones leaves to go to heavyweight at some point.

He is the real deal, and Oezdemir is too one-dimensional. Reyes will establish distance, keep Oezdemir from landing his big KO shot and eventually put him away with a counter shot that earns him a performance bonus once Oezdemir gets frustrated with his inability to get inside.

Reyes, KO, Rd. 1

      

Jonathan Snowden

Reyes will eventually get his turn to get whooped by Jon Jones. Beating up fun, limited fighters like Oezdemir is just part of the process.

Reyes, unanimous decision

Nathaniel Wood vs. Jose Alberto Quinonez

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Scott Harris

Remember Jose Alberto Quinonez from The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America? I do, albeit barely and mainly for his nifty mustache.

Nathaniel Wood trains under Brad Pickett, so you know he's good for a fun fight. Wood is the favorite, and I won't quibble.

Wood, unanimous decision

     

Nathan McCarter

Quinonez has been a pleasant surprise for the UFC, but make no mistake about why he is here—to take a big L.

The UFC is hitching themselves to Wood for good reason, and he'll show why again in this matchup. Expect this to be swift and violent.

Wood, TKO, Rd. 1

     

Jonathan Snowden

Wood is a much-needed British prospect for UFC, fighting on his home turf. Quinonez is a fighter from one of the many TUF shows you might recognize if you blink hard enough. You figure it out.

Wood, TKO, Rd. 1

Danny Roberts vs. Claudio Silva

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Scott Harris

You'll never see me complain about Danny "Hot Chocolate" Roberts' knockout-seeking presence on a card, especially in his native London.

Claudio Silva's a bit of a headhunter himself, so expect fireworks, with the hometown guy coming out on top (and Silva being simply too tough to finish).

Roberts, unanimous decision

     

Nathan McCarter

I am a little disappointed this fight got saddled on this card because this could end up as the Fight of the Night, and it would be a sleeper on any other card it appeared on.

This is actually a quality bout. I think Silva's hot streak will still be too much for Roberts here. Momentum will carry Silva. He'll find a way to get the fight to the mat, where Roberts will then find himself in a choke.

Silva, submission, Rd. 2

     

Jonathan Snowden

As the kids say, this one is going to be a banger. Two exciting headhunters, one of whom will be looking to put on a show in front of his local fans. This is UFC matchmaking at its finest.

Roberts, unanimous decision  

Jack Marshman vs. John Phillips

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Scott Harris

This will be Jack Marshman's 31st pro fight, which tells you something about his staying power.

A longtime Cage Warriors fixture, he'll be seeking to even his UFC record at 3-3. He'll do it against John Phillips, who doesn't have the firepower to bring him down.

Marshman, unanimous decision

       

Nathan McCarter

I know I've watched Marshman fight before, but I had to do some additional research on Phillips.

Two things popped out at me. First, Phillips has apparently fought, and lost, twice in the UFC already. The fact I didn't know this means he left zero impression on me. Secondly, his nickname is "The White Mike Tyson." I'm just going against him on general principle now.

Marshman, TKO, Rd. 1

        

Jonathan Snowden

Marshman is really good in the old World of MMA video games. I'm going to assume that is true in real life too. Why wouldn't it be?

Marshman, TKO, Rd. 1

   
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