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UFC Kansas City Preview and Predictions

UFC Kansas City

UFC Kansas City
(Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

UFC Kansas City Preview and Predictions

The UFC octagon is heading to Kansas City, Missouri, for a stacked fight night card. UFC Kansas City features four ranked bouts with a headliner between Max Holloway and Arnold Allen that promises to be must-watch television. The Vendetta Sports Media preview team is here to preview and predict each fight on the main card. You can find our prediction records below.

James: 32-20-2

Garrett: 32-20-2

Jerry: 17-19-1

Anthony: 22-19-1

Clay Guida vs. Rafa Garcia — Lightweight 

James: UFC legend Clay Guida will open the UFC Kansas City main card against Rafa Garcia. Guida has been in the UFC since 2006 and has complied an 18-16 record in the promotion. For a large portion of those fights, he was competing against elite competition. At this point in his career, he is still fighting tough opponents, but not elite fighters. Meanwhile, Garcia has shown that he is a solid fighter and has gone 3-3 in the UFC.  

At this point in his career, Guida has changed his game immensely. In the current phase of his career, Guida looks to control fights with his wrestling. On the feet, he can work in overhands and land with power. Meanwhile, Garcia is a good wrestler in his own right and can work in solid shots on the feet.

I think these two have a lot in common, with the biggest difference being age — Guida is 41 while Garcia is 28. With that being said, I think Garcia will be able to get the win through his athleticism and pace which will lead him to a decision victory. I will take Garcia by decision

Garrett: Garcia by submission

Jerry: Garcia by decision

Anthony: Guida by decision

No. 9 Pedro Munoz vs. No. 11 Chris Gutierrez 

James: At UFC Kansas City, Chris Gutierrez is looking to take out another legend. In his last fight, he knocked out Frankie Edgar to break into the bantamweight rankings. Now, he looks to take out Pedro Munhoz.

Thus far in his UFC career, Gutierrez has shown a lot of promise as he has gone 7-1-1 in the promotion. Munhoz has found a ton of success in the UFC too, but he is beginning to show signs of decline. In his last six fights, he is 1-4 with one no-contest. 

This fight will be interesting. I expect this fight to stay standing. That is simply because neither fighter tends to chase takedowns. That makes sense for Gutierrez since he is a great striker that tends to struggle against solid grapplers. On the other hand, Munhoz is well-rounded and has solid BJJ, but he opts to keep the fight standing. On the feet, both fighters have elite leg kicks that are a focal point of their striking. Gutierrez will be the more diverse striker as he has more offensive weapons while Munhoz stays fundamental.

In this fight, I expect Gutierrez to use his movement to outland Munhoz. Although, Munhoz is very durable so I doubt he will find a finish. I will take Gutierrez by decision

Garrett: Gutierrez by decision

Jerry: Gutierrez by KO/TKO

Anthony: Munhoz by decision

Tanner Boser vs. Ion Cutelaba — Light Heavyweight 

James: At UFC Kansas City, Tanner Boser will be making the cut down from heavyweight to light heavyweight. Ion Cutelaba will be the man to welcome him to the division.

In the UFC heavyweight division, Boser found mixed results as he went 4-4. Meanwhile, at light heavyweight, Cutelaba has been through his fair share of struggles on his way to a 5-8-1 promotional record. On a three-fight, losing streak, his UFC career may be on the line.

To be honest, this fight should probably be on the prelims. Ranked flyweights Brandon Royval and Matheus Nicolau are currently on the UFC Kansas City prelims. They could easily fill this spot. If you want some optimism, these two should put on a scrap.

This fight is awful to predict because of the question marks present. It is hard to tell how Boser’s skillset will translate at light heavyweight. At heavyweight, he was undersized, but that awarded him with solid movement and quick striking. Now, that speed advantage may not be present; instead, he will have a size advantage. At the same time, Cutelaba has really good wrestling, but he will leave that skill behind to engage in an entertaining brawl.

In this fight, Cutelaba will likely have the ability to out-grapple Boser. He may not use it though. Meanwhile, I do not know how Boser will look at light heavyweight. Too many questions for my liking. I lean toward Boser since the new weight class may benefit him. I will take Boser by decision.

Garrett: Ew this fight sucks. I guess I’ll take Boser by KO, Cutelaba gets cut afterwards.

Jerry: Boser by KO/TKO

Anthony: Cutelaba by TKO

No. 13 Dustin Jacoby vs. No. 15 Azamat Murzakanov — Light Heavyweight 

James: Ranked light heavyweights Dustin Jacoby and Azamat Murzakanov will share the octagon at UFC Kansas City.

Jacoby is an accomplished kickboxer who is on his second UFC run. The first came in 2011, but he went 0-2. In 2021, he rejoined the promotion and has been much more successful. In his second stint, Jacoby has gone 6-1-1. Meanwhile, Murzakanov has proven to be an exciting addition to the UFC as he has gone 2-0 in the promotion with two knockout wins. 

This fight is a tough one to call. In the striking, Jacoby throws with more volume and technique while Murzakanov has lethal knockout power. The path to victory for Jacoby will be to stay on the outside and outland Murzakanov with straight shots. That said, he needs to avoid Murzakanov’s knockout strikes.

The X-factor in this fight will be Murzakanov’s grappling. I am just not sure that he will use it. If Jacoby can manage to stay on the outside, he should be able to pick Murzakanov apart on his way to a decision win. If not, he will be knocked out. I think he can manage though. I will take Jacoby by decision

Garrett: Murzakanov by TKO

Jerry: Murzakanov by decision

Anthony: Jacoby by TKO

No. 14 Edson Barboza vs. Billy Quarantillo — Featherweight 

James: In the co-main event of UFC Kansas City, Edson Barboza will fight Billy Quarantillo.

Barboza is a well-known veteran of the sport. At 37, he is 16-11 in the UFC with one of the toughest strengths of schedule in the sport’s history. That said, Quarantillo will be a reasonable step down in competition. Still, Quarantillo is 5-2 in the UFC. More importantly, he is an entertaining fighter that is willing to throw down. That pairs with Barboza’s striking style to promise an exciting fight. 

Quarantillo is able to win fights with his cardio, pace, and toughness. Quarantillo is great at wrestling and out-striking opponents once he gets them tired. This is done with a ton of pressure. That is a risky path to victory when fighting Barboza. It could work, but it could backfire and result in eating a lot of powerful strikes.

I think Barboza should be able to use his movement to say off the cage and on the outside. This will allow him to land leg kicks and stay safe defensively. If Quarantillo crashes the distance, that will leave Barboza the opportunity to land counters on the inside.

All in all, I think Barboza lands a lot of heavy shots that finish Quarantillo. I will take Barboza by second-round knockout

Garrett: Quarantillo by decision

Jerry: Barboza by decision

Anthony: Barboza by decision

No. 2 Max Holloway vs. No. 4 Arnold Allen — Featherweight 

James: In the main event of UFC Kansas City, Max Holloway will fight Arnold Allen.

Holloway is the best featherweight on the planet that is not named Alexander Volkanovski. Since 2014, Holloway is 16-4 with three of those losses coming to Volkanovski and one coming against Dustin Poirier at lightweight. Yes, being the featherweight champion would be preferred, but Holloway is as credentialed as a contender can be. That creates a ton of pressure as that can be wiped away with a loss to Allen.

Meanwhile, Allen is being given a massive opportunity. A win would cement him as one of the best fighters alive and grant him a featherweight title fight. 

Holloway is truly one of the most skilled strikers on the UFC roster. To start, he is one of the best boxers in the promotion. This can be seen in his ability to land lengthy combos and dig to the body. To pair, he has really good head movement that keeps him safe defensively. That is not to say he is impossible to hit, however. In addition, Holloway works kicks into his striking to make him even more dangerous.

More recently, he has added elbows, knees, and more offensive wrestling to further improve his skill set. In the physical attributes, he has great cardio which allows him to throw a ton of volume and a great chin that allows him to take more risks on the feet. 

Allen is a great striker and boxer in his own right. Offensively, he has really good counters and great leg kicks. Allen is also very good at using his quick hands to land powerful punches on the inside. On the defensive side of things, Allen has good defensive tactics which help him avoid absorbing a lot of damage.

In order to beat Holloway, Allen will need to slow him down and prevent him from throwing strikes in volume. That can be done by landing powerful strikes and dealing damage, or by landing leg kicks. 

In this fight, I will take Holloway. I can not ignore his advantage in volume and cardio. If Allen is unable to slow Holloway down early, Holloway will find a ton of success in the later rounds. That will help him land a decision win. Plus, his more diverse collection of offensive tools will help him mix things up and consistently land strikes. Give me Holloway by decision. 

Garrett: Holloway by decision

Jerry: Holloway by decision

Anthony: Holloway by decision


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