So this fight card has the televised prelims on Fox Sports 2(8PM) and the main card is going to be broadcasted on Fox Sports 1(10PM/ET). The main event is a phenomenal showdown between Teixeira and Ovince Saint-Preux, two knockout artists in the light heavyweight division looking to earn a title shot in the near future. The co-main has an incredible fight between Michael Johnson and Beneil Darisuh which could steal the show if the two in the main event don’t just brawl because these two will for sure. Now the prelims are worth your time as well though because out of the 4 fights in the prelims 3 of them have top level fighters. Rankings before the fighters name not in parentheses will be the UFC.com rankings the ones in parentheses will be Mattandmikesports.com’s rankings.
Prelims on Fox Sports 2 (8PM/ET):
#14 (15) Frankie Saenz (10-2) vs. Sirwan Kakai (13-2): The kick off to the televised prelims is a fight in the bantamweight division between a ranked opponent and a new comer to the UFC. The newcomer is Sirwan Kakai who is entering his second fight inside the octagon and had a good UFC debut winning a close unanimous decision in his only UFC fight. He enters this fight on a professional 4 fight win streak as of late. He has finished 10 of his 13 professional wins having 4 knockout victories and 6 by submission making him a pretty consistent finisher. Sirwan has finished 4 fights in the first round and another 4 in the third round showing he can go a full fight and still be a threat to finish fights even if gassed. I think Sirwan is a really underrated fighter and will show how appreciated his game should be, he is an ATT fighter with a very well-rounded game and should be tough regardless of his ranked opponent. That opponent opposite of Sirwan is the 14th ranked bantamweight fighter Frankie Saenz who has only fought twice in the UFC prior so his ranking might be considered a little premature. His recent win over Iuri Alcantara is probably why he got ranked but Iuri got dominated on the mat just like you would expect and just couldn’t do enough to get the decision. Now Frankie is a good fighter do not get me wrong, he isn’t the best finisher in the division finishing 5 of his 10. Frankie enters this fight on a 6 fight win streak including both of his UFC fights where he picked up unanimous decisions in both of those. Frankie is going to be able to match Sirwan’s great cardio and this fight could truly be a slow paced technical fight that could go all three rounds. Now I think this fight will have interesting moments but all in all it could be a slow fight and I think Sirwan is going to pick up the upset through a split decision to kick off the prelims.
#11 (9) Dustin Ortiz (14-4) vs Willie Gates (12-5): Here is a fun fight featuring two flyweights on the rise. This fight will be fun Willie Gates has a third fight here in the UFC fighting his second ranked opponent already as he fought John Moraga in December 2014 in which he lost. Willie has finished 9 of his 12 fights, 6 of them by KO and the final three by way of submission. All 9 fights that he has stopped have been stopped in the very first round, seeming that if he doesn’t finish the fight in the first round or will be going to decision or lost. The most impressive part of Willie’s fights are that he has finished 6 of them in under 90 seconds, he truly comes out fast and dominates his opponent. Willie is a great striking fighter with KO abilities obviously and he is a phenomenal freestyle wrestler which is an exciting fight style in the UFC. Willie is going to bring something exciting and man he is fighting the perfect fighter for the fans looking for an exciting finish, Dustin Ortiz. Dustin is a thrilling fighter with an incredible pace and he forces the fight down his opponent’s throats. Dustin is the 11th ranked Flyweight fighter and is only 26 years of age and I think he will eventually be there fighting against Demetrious for that title once he gets the few holes in his fighting fixed. He lost his last fight to Joseph Benavidez in a decision where Joseph truly just dominated the fight using his fight style and not letting Dustin get into his own element at all. Dustin has finished 9 of his 14 fights, 6 by KO and the other three by submission, just like his opponent. He has finished 4 of those in the very first round showing he can finish the fight early with his incredible pace but it also shows that he can finish out of the first round which we haven’t seen out of his opponent. As long as Dustin keeps the fight in his wheelhouse he should look to dominate his opponent but that isn’t a guarantee because nothing is in the UFC except that Jose Aldo will hide from better opponents and Ronda Rousey will dominate her opponents. Now this fight will be high action fast paced and I think these two will just come out fighting fast and finish this thing in the very first round just the question is which one will get caught. I am going to take Dustin Ortiz bouncing back from his recent loss and pick up a KO victory in the first round.
Chris Camozzi (21-10) vs Tom Watson (17-8): The co-main of the prelims has two middleweight fighters looking to turn around their latest struggles. Now Tom Watson has gone 2-3 in his last 5 losing his last fight to Rafael Natal. Watson is known as a striker and he really is, as he has finished 8 fights by KO and only one by submission. He has finished 6 fights in the very first round but all of those were pre-UFC. Tom is a simple fighter to break down, he either seems to finish his fights early or he will grind out a slow paced victory or loss through decision. Watson’s opponent is the king of struggling in the UFC, Chris Camozzi. Camozzi is still employed with the UFC after going 0-5 in his last five fights, granted I thought he should have won he split decision over Rafael Natal. Now Cammozi has finished 13 of his professional fights only 2 of them in his 13 fight career in the UFC. Chris is a Muay Thai fighter that has the skills to be successful if he would just show up again and use the skills we know he has. He has an above average skillset in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but again he needs to figure out how to put it all together because I truly believe he could be a skilled UFC fighter but it seems like he never gets going as of late. Now this fight is so hard to call because neither fighter seems to be at the top of their game, and that makes this one truly harder to call. I really think the betting odds should be a dead even or as close as it can get in the factor of odds. Either way my job is to call these fights because the UFC is my heart and passion honestly, so here is my best shot in the dark, I got Chris Camozzi winning through a unanimous decision.
(#12) Uriah Hall (11-5) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (5-0): Now this fight in the middleweight division is going to be a knockout I guarantee it and I think it has one of the most underrated fighters in the UFC in it. This fight is the main event of the prelims and was supposed to be Uriah vs. Joe Riggs but injury has thrown Riggs out of the fight and Bamgbose has stepped in with his perfect record on the line. Oluwale Bamgbose is a thrilling fighter as far as his offense goes. He has finished all 5 of his fights in the very first round and all of them are by KO. This displays his incredible strength and knockout ability is clearly there and it also shows how fast he can finish a fight with his incredible hands. His longest fight is only 3 minutes and 16 seconds long meaning he has finished every fight with still at least a minute and a half in the first round remaining. Now there are reasons to worry about Oluwale’s incredible first round finishes, he hasn’t shown his cardio or if he can last energy wise if this fight gets out of the first round. Now his striking skills are absolutely there because I know I mentioned his amazing power but he also has incredible hand speed and can land punches out of nowhere quickly and brutally. The most deadly part of this kid’s fighting though is that the power and speed he displays are all done with incredible accuracy and will find his mark. There are two things to worry about with Oluwale though, the obvious one just looking at this 5 wins are that he doesn’t have a ground game worth talking about and that will be an issue maybe not so much against Uriah but in this division in general. The one issue you don’t know without watching him fight is that his striking defense is weak he leaves a huge gap between his hands and if he didn’t fix this in his camp he is in trouble because Uriah Hall has the most knockout power in the middleweight division and will punch a hole in his face if he doesn’t cover that hole. Now his opponent is a freak who I believe got screwed hard in his last fight with a terrible judges score card decision. Uriah Hall is a beast who was on a roll and should still be on a roll honestly. I am going to start with Uriah’s one major weakness and I believe that is his mental game, he either comes in as the beast we all love to watch or he comes into fights as a guy who looks like it is his first professional fight. It really comes down to which Uriah Hall shows up but I believe he realized he can get moving through the ranks if he can roll off a couple more wins and I think he will stay fired up especially after that loss. Now to the fight style of Uriah, he is an amazing stand up fighter with phenomenal hands and legs. He can knock out anyone with one punch, one good kick to the head, Uriah is an absolute monster and deciding to strike with him is honestly a bad move in my opinion. Uriah is obviously a finisher as well with the power he holds as he has finished 9 fights, 8 of those are by KO and the final is by a heel hook submission. Just to show how strong this man is one of his KO’s was the career ending fight against the granite jawed Chris Leben. We will never forget either the KO of Cella during the Ultimate Fighter, Dana has even said it might be one of the nastiest knockouts he has ever seen, which I will post on the page with the picks for you to see. Now the fight is truly between two incredible knockout artists that could become a brawl which will absolutely leave one of the two men unconscious on the mat, flat on their back. I believe Uriah will win this fight though in the first round through a knockout.
Fox Sports 1 Main Card (10PM/ET)
#14 (13) Ray Borg (8-1) vs Geane Herrera (8-0): This fight kicking off the main card is a flyweight battle with a ranked UFC fighter and a fighter fighting his first UFC fight. Now the newcomer is Geane Herrera and as I said it is literally his first UFC fight and he will be doing so in the main card. Geane has finished 6 of his professional wins 5 of those are by submission the final by KO/TKO. All of those stoppages are in the very first round which is an automatic excitement factor before the fight starts. Geane is a very energetic and intense fighter who at 25 years of age I believe is possibly one of the future stars in the UFC. He is a great finisher, normally by submission but he shouldn’t be overlooked standing either. Herrera is a fast handed, agile, fast paced fighter that I truly am beyond excited to watch fight in the octagon after watching youtube videos of him fighting. Now standing opposite of him is his toughest test in his young career, Ray Borg. Ray is just like his opponent the future of the UFC flyweight division at only 22 years of age, is already ranked in the UFC. He is a grappling expert with an amazing skill set with 7 professional stoppages, 6 are by submission and the final by KO/TKO. Ray is an amazing fighter on the mat and I really believe he is extremely dangerous if the fight goes to the ground. Ray’s only loss came to Dustin Ortiz which is no shameful thing especially since that was in his first UFC fight. He 2-1 in the UFC picking up two performance of the night finishes in a row with some really impressive submission victories. Now Ray is the 6th youngest fighter on the UFC roster currently and he already has impressive skills and is actually improving the few holes we have seen in his fighting. This fight is something to be excited about for all UFC fans because these guys will one day be title contenders. Last time I checked Borg is a huge favorite and I would agree he is the favorite but I wouldn’t call it a big favorite and wouldn’t be really shocked if Herrera pulled off a win. I am going to take Ray Borg though in a second round submission of Herrera via a Rear Naked Choke.
#4 (4) Sarah McMann (8-2) vs #7 (9) Amanda Nunes (10-4): Here is a fight in the Women’s bantamweight division between two people looking to one day get a title shot. Amanda is one of the more exciting women in the UFC and one of the rare ones. By that I mean the fact that she has finished 10 of her 10 wins. Those wins are done through 9 KO wins and one final by submission, finishing 8 of those fights in the very first round. She is a very aggressive fighter and has some incredible knockout power with a great skill set. Amanda is a great boxer and that is obvious through the KO wins but the underrated element to her game is her Jiu-Jitsu and really makes her a threat on the mat. Now standing opposite of Amanda is someone who has fought for the title before in Sarah McMann. Sarah is like most female fighters in the UFC a good well rounded fighter with the endurance to go the full 15 minutes. She has finished half of her 8 fights, and those four are evenly split 2 by KO and 2 by submission. Sarah lost her last fight in a unanimous decision to Miesha Tate which I think was closer than a unanimous, she really is a great fighter. Sarah is a decent fighter standing but her ground game is way more elevated than her stand up. That is good for Sarah because if she can take her opponent to the mat she should be the slight favorite while standing she would be at a significant disadvantage. This fight is really harder to call because these girls are opposites of each other and it comes down to who gets the fight where they want it. I want to say Sarah is going to get back on track for the title but I am going with the underdog because I believe Amanda is the better all-around fighter and is on the rise. I will take Amanda Nunes in a second round KO.
Jared Rosholt (12-2) vs Timothy Johnson (9-1): This fight is a fun one in the heavyweight division in which both fighters have finished 6 through KO. Timothy Johnson is fighting in his second UFC fight and this guy just will never quit and always goes for the win. Tim has finished 6 by KO like I said but the other three aren’t decision they are all by submission which means he has a 100% finishing rate. He is on an 8 fight win steak and has stopped 7 fights in the very first round, he is extremely lethal and should be someone to watch out for right now. His first win and only fight in the UFC won a performance of the night honor and was a first round KO. Timothy has some great dirty boxing in the clinch and really isn’t someone to get in a clinch fight with because he could end the fight there easily. Now his opponent is a very powerful man in Jared Rosholt. Jared has won 8 of his last 9 fights and is hot right now regardless of losing two fights ago. He has 6 KO’s as well and one other stoppage by a submission. He has finished 5 fights of those 7 in the first round and loves to come out swinging for the win. Now if this fight goes to mat regardless of his one submission he is actually a really good wrestler and should absolutely not be overlooked on the mat. Now this fight will be fun to watch because heavyweight fights are almost always enjoyable as it is and I think Timothy Johnson will win by KO in the first round.
#15(15) Derek Brunson (13-3) vs Sam Alvey (25-6,1NC): This is a battle in the middleweight division between a ranked fighter and a true “veteran” of the MMA world. Sam Alvey is a true “veteran” because he is only 29 years old but he has fought in 32 professional fights which is a large amount at his age. Alvey has won 7 of his last 8 fights and his lone loss came on an off night where he lost to Tom Watson in a very close unanimous decision. Alvey has finished 18 of his fights and 16 by KO and the other 2 are by submission. He stopped 12 of them in the very first round. His no contest was a funny no contest to me because it was a fight called due to rainfall. Alvey is an extremely hard hitting monster that seriously could stop a fight with one shot and drop the jaws of fans around the world in amazement. He said that he has “of the night” style to him and I 100% agree with that, meaning he can win a fight of the night or KO of the night or performance of the night type of reward. Now standing opposite of him is a fighter that has gotten himself ranked in the UFC, Derek Brunson. Derek is an amazing fighter with tons of skill both standing and on the mat he is seriously someone to fear. Derek has finished 9 of his 13 fights 6 of those are through some pretty good KO’s and the final three by submission of course. All of his finishes are in the very first round and 6 of those 9 are in under 1 minute and 7 seconds or less which is just absolutely incredible. Derek has won four of his last five fights his lone loss being to a future title contender himself Yoel Romero. Now Derek wins these fights with some amazing speed, quick hands, and great pace to his game. Derek’s power is beyond belief though and when you partner that with the speed he possesses he is someone that if he can improve his ground game could be one of the better fighters in his division. Brunson thankfully for having a slightly weak ground game doesn’t have to worry about it too much because he has posted a 100% takedown defense and should be safe from going to ground here. I think the brutality of Derek Brunson will be just a little too much for Alvey and he will pick up a 1st round KO.
#5 (4) Michael Johnson (17-8) vs #12 (12) Beneil Dariush (11-1): Here is the co-main event of the evening and fans you should be excited. This fight in the lightweight division is honestly between two title contenders who I can both see winning the title one day. Now Dariush is 26 years old and 11-1 on the way up in the division and if he wins this he proves that he could honestly be a top 5 fighter in the lightweight division which is one of the toughest if not the toughest division in the UFC. Dariush has finished 8 of his professional fights. He has won 6 by submission and 2 more by way of KO, all 8 of his finishes have been in his past 10 fights. He has finished 5 of those in the very first round as it seems he is just getting stronger and more dangerous to fight as he will soon be at the top of this division. He is a very intelligent fighter and he paces out his fights and knows when to look for his wins and openings and once he sees them he capitalizes with his great speed and takedown abilities. He isn’t the easiest to take to the mat either, as he has an 83% takedown defense and will help him if his opponent gets dazed and looks for the takedown to protect himself. Now his opponent is a beast named Michael Johnson who with this win should get a shot at the title once Cerrone wins it. Johnson has finished only 9 of his fights and 7 of those are by way of KO and the final 2 are by way of submission. He has won 7 of his last 9 fights and 4 of them are in a row. Michael is a great wrestler and if this fight goes to the mat it could be a toss-up because I seriously do not know who has the edge on the mat. Now standing I truly think standing up his striking abilities are absolutely incredible and I believe that’s where Michael holds the edge. Johnson has a pretty decent takedown defense not as good as Dariush’s but it’s pretty good to say the least posting a 78% defense rate. Now 3 of Michael’s last 4 victories have been through decision and that lacks the excitement I know he can bring but 2 of them are against pretty impressive opponents being Edson Barboza and Joe Lauzon. Now this fight has huge implications for the lightweight division and should be watched by all, especially Cerrone and Rafael Dos Anjos. I think the winner of this fight will be Michael Johnson and should catapult him into the title talks. Now I wouldn’t be shocked if this fight went the other way to Dariush but I just think Johnson if he is at the top of his game would be the victor. I am taking Michael Johnson by way of a unanimous decision.
#4 (4) Glover Teixeira (22-4) vs #6 (5) Ovince Saint Preux (18-6): Here it is the main event of the evening in the light heavyweight division. Now the guy who is hotter than the sun and has won 15 of his last 17 fights entering this fight. Ovince has stopped 14 of his opponents, 10 by KO and the final 4 by submission. He has stopped 12 of his 18 wins in the very first round which is more than half of his wins and exactly half of his fights ending in the first round. Now I mentioned how hot Preux has been as of late and the most impressive part of his recent fights is that he has picked up back to back KO victories beating legendary Shogun Rua and Patrick Cummins. Ovince is always well conditioned and ready to go for a full fight at least three rounds, the only time he has gone 5 rounds he lost to a decision to Ryan Bader where he was just dominated by Bader. Ovince is truly a great fighter who is finally putting it all together and I think with a win here he will either get the championship shot or one more fight to prove he deserves one. Now standing opposite of Preux is a guy who really took Jon Jones a lot better than I thought he would. Glover Teixeira is coming off of back to back loses one to Jones and the other to Phil Davis in a fight where I really thought he could pull off the win. Glover has finished 19 of his 22 victories, 15 of them are through KO/TKO victories and the other 4 are by way of submission. Glover has stopped 9 of his last 10 victories and if he bounces back to his old self then we will see an exciting Glover Teixeira. This fight will almost without a doubt go less than 5 rounds because I truly don’t see Glover or Preux not going all out for this win because they know there are title shot implications on the line for the winner of this fight. I am really excited for this fight it’s going to be good I think the co-main could be the steal of the show but this one is going to be hard to beat nonetheless. Now I think Ovince Saint Preux is going to pick up a 4th round KO victory over Glover Teixeira.
- Matt Koontz