Davis vs. Derr: UFC Fight Night 53 Predictions Garrett Derr October 3, 2014 Events, News, Previews, Spotlight Saturday, October 4, will be a keen day for the UFC and fight fans alike. The UFC will host a 2-for-1 special as they kick off the first of two fight cards at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. UFC Fight Night 53: Nelson vs. Story can be seen on UFC Fight Pass at 3 pm here on the East Coast. Gunnar Nelson will represent the world’s top promotion in the main event as he squares off with long-time veteran, Rick Story. Nelson has yet to drop a bout since joining the UFC and will look to push his Octagon record to a perfect 5-0. Story, on the other hand, has been around since the UFC’s first journey to Germany at UFC 99. UFC Fight Night 53 will home a truckload of talented prospects and The MMA Corner’s Josh Davis (11-6) and Garrett Derr (12-5) are here to break down the main card. Niklas Backstrom vs. Mike Wilkinson Davis: Every card needs filler fights, and that’s exactly what this fight is. With that said, do not sleep on this fight. It won’t be the type of fight to call home about, but someone is about to get their’s handed to them. We will get a chance to see a fairly new fighter, and a star in the making, in Backstrom. I look for Backstrom to come out, lay some wood, and put the division on notice. Prediction: Backstrom by KO, Round 1 Derr: You’re probably thinking to yourself—who and who? Well, Backstrom is coming off a ‘Performance of the Night’ gig in his most recent fight in May and Wilkinson has been employed by the UFC since 2012. This is a fight no one really cares about, but I know this to be true—Backstrom will bring the heat. This guy is better than he gets credit for and he is going to beat on Wilkinson until he drops. Huge disadvantage for Wilkinson in this one. Prediction: Backstrom by KO, Round 2 Ilir Latifi vs. Jan Błachowicz Davis: Latifi is that type of guy who is hot one day, cold the next. You just don’t know what you’re going to get. He has the skill set to compete in the UFC, but he’s not the stylist to make waves either. Blachowicz will come out jittery and lack the experience needed to defeat his opponent. I think Latifi has a sense of urgency this time around. Prediction: Latifi by Decision Derr: Remember that time Latifi headlined a card last year? Yeah, unfortunately I do, too. He will be squaring off with an opponent in, Blachowicz, who has seemed to lost his ability to finish opponents. This could be a snoozer, or maybe we’ll be standing and squawking at the television. Probably not the latter. But even still, Latifi still has some left in the tank. Blachowicz is durable enough to hang on, but he won’t get a slash in the win column this weekend. Prediction: Latifi by Decision Akira Corassani vs. Max Holloway Davis: While Holloway has worked his way to becoming a household name, we must remember he is still just a kid. He’s barely old enough to drink. As talented as he is, it will be a few years before we see this guy peak. Corassani is the perfect opponent for Holloway as he will have no problem standing in the pocket and trading punches, which should make for an exciting fight. Prediction: Holloway by Submission, Round 2 Derr: Mark my words—this will be ‘Fight of the Night’. I believe we’re seeing a future star develop in Holloway, who continues to grow in a variety of ways. His footwork is exceptional, and his standup comes at you in astronomical speed. Corassani is no pushover and will feed off the home crowd for energy. Even still, I can’t envision Corassani finding any type of rhythm against a stylist like Holloway. He might make it interesting, but the Hawaiian will continue to climb the ladder. Prediction: Holloway by KO, Round 3 Gunnar Nelson vs. Rick Story Davis: Along time ago in a UFC, far, far away, there was a fighter named Rick Story….Honestly it wasn’t that long ago that Story was a legit contender in the welterweight division, but that time has come and gone. I don’t know what happen to Story along the way, but he never did quite live up the hype. Nelson on the other hand, is doing exactly that—living up to the hype—and this weekend will be no different. While Story will be a game competitor, Nelson will be walking home with the victory. Prediction: Nelson by KO, Round 4 Derr: Story is a feel good story—pun intended. He’s been around for a substantial amount of time, but unfortunately for Story—his time was four years ago. We’re living in a different era of fighter. Nelson is that fighter and he’ll prove it in a way Story won’t want to remember. I see this as a stepping-stone fight for Nelson who will be a future face of the 170-pound division in the years to come. He’s far too quick and explosive, which won’t allow Story any time to get comfortable. This will be a one-sided affair. “Gunni” remains unbeaten in impressive fashion. Prediction: Nelson by Decision Follow @JoshDavisMMA and @GarrettDerr on Twitter.