Prelims on Fox Sports 1 (8PM/ET):
Richie Vaculik (10-4) vs Danny Martinez (17-7): We are kicking off the televised prelims in the Flyweight division. Richie Vaculik has gone 1-2 in the UFC and is looking to turn it around here in his home of Australia. He has struggled to find his groove and has been taken to the mat easily in the first three fights and he will need to fix that if he wants to become successful. He prior to his UFC stint was a good ground fighter and backs that with 6 wins by submission and the other three are by KO. He has a purple belt in BJJ and should be better than he has shown so far and maybe it is just jitters but he has to grow up and get ahold of himself. The 10 wins that he has picked up in his professional career have seen 7 fights stopped in the first round in his favor. Now standing opposite of Vaculik is Danny Martinez. Danny is an American fighter known for his incredible knockout power in which he could use to stop a fight in a matter of seconds. Danny is also known for having incredible conditioning which means he can use his powerful hands and keep coming at you with them as he will not tire by doing so. Danny is honestly coming into what could be his last UFC fight because he enters this fight 0-4 in the UFC and if he loses again I do not see Dana keeping a guy who has gone 0-5 in the UFC. Danny has finished 12 of his 17 professional wins, 8 of them by KO using his incredibly strong hands, and the final four being through submission. I think this fight will be either one that goes to the mat or one that stays standing depending who controls this fight. I think Danny picks up his first win in the UFC though and does it by unleashing a flurry of his powerful hands knowing if he allows this fight to get into a technical battle he will surely lose. Danny wins first round KO when he lands a few times and ends this fight. Martinez wins in the first three minutes.
Anthony Perosh (15-8) vs Gian Villante (13-5): This fight in the light heavyweight division is going to be some fun. Perosh is home for what could be his last fight at the age of 43 years old. Perosh is a finisher by nature with a 100% finishing rate. He has finished those 15 wins by way of 8 KO’s and the other 7 by submission. Perosh is a good fighter but has a weak takedown defense and has struggled as of late going 2-3 in his last 5, maybe due to age. Now his cardio is good and he has the ability to last a whole fight without fading off too much and could fight hard without getting tired. Now Perosh might not have a good takedown defense but he is a good fighter on the mat and isn’t easy to beat on the ground. Perosh will need to be smart in this fight and use his skills well because opposite of him is a very dangerous Gian Villante. Gian is a monster who just seems to lose his ways occasionally. He is after all the only one who has managed to beat Corey Anderson thus far in his career. Gian has 10 wins by stoppage in his professional career. He has picked up 8 knockout wins in his incredible career and 2 more wins by submission. Villante is a very powerful and explosive fighter, I truly think at 30 years of age he is still improving. I like both fighters but I think the better fighter in this one is the guy who trains with Chris Weidman, Gian Villante. Gian wins by second round KO after a back and forth first round.
Kyle Noke (20-7-1) vs Peter Sobotta (15-4-1): This co-main event in the prelims is a welterweight battle between two veterans of the octagon. Kyle Noke is a very well rounded fighter and at 35 years of age with 20 wins under his belt, has a lot of experience as well. Kyle has picked up 15 stoppages, 8 by TKO and the other 7 are by submission. His stoppage victories have showed his balance in his fighting style and ability to finish the fight anywhere. Noke is personally awesome to me because he was a security officer for my biggest hero in my life Steve Irwin. Noke is a smart fighter and is 2-1 in the UFC at welterweight which he will be fighting in this weekend. In his last five fights though he has gone 2-3 and that has some true concerns. Now standing opposite of Noke is Peter Sobotta a 28 year old monster that is still trying to round out his fighting skills. Sobotta is like Noke a very well-rounded fighter though his finishes would show that he prefers the ground to stand-up. He has KO’d 4 fighters while he has submitted 10, finishing all but one of his fights as a professional. He was in the UFC in 2010 and left where he went 5-0-1 outside the UFC and returned in 2014. Since returning he is 2-0 with his lone decision win and finished his last fight via submission. I really am not sure who the favorite is heading into this fight, but I will go with my gut based off what I have seen recently between the two. I think Sobatta picks up a third round submission via RNC.
Jake Matthews (9-1) vs Akbarh Arreola (23-9-1): The main event of Fox Sports 1 prelims is a battle in the lightweight division featuring one of the UFC’s bright prospects. Jake Matthews is 21 years of age, third youngest fighter on the UFC roster. He is an incredibly talented fighter who holds multiple state and national titles in BJJ. He is a finisher of his fights having stopped 8 of his 9 professional wins, those stoppages were split evenly with 4 by KO and 4 by submission. He is a very balanced fighter with the patience of a legend, knowing how to take his shot when he sees it open. He is coming off his lone loss of his career to James Vick where he was submitted after he took James to the mat. Jake has in his 3 fight UFC career not been taken to the mat yet by his opponent. Jake is 2-1 in the UFC with both his wins coming by submission, avoiding the terrible judges score card thus far. My favorite aspect of Jake’s fighting skill set is that he continues to apply pressure and his incredible cardio allows him to keep forcing his opponent to be on their heels. Jake is a beast of a young man who might have one small hole or two left in his game and once those are fixed he will be making a run at that title before anyone realizes it. Now standing opposite of him is Akbarh a 32 year old lightweight in his 4th UFC fight as well. He hasn’t seem the same fortune as he has gone 1-2 in the UFC, both his loses coming to the judges score card. I so far have honestly not been that impressed with Akbarh in his UFC career, his lone UFC win was over Yves Edwards. I want to see more of what everyone saw before he joined the UFC. Before joining the UFC he picked up 16 first round finishes, now having 17. He is a good fighter he just hasn’t seemed to show what we thought he would prior to joining the top level. This fight is either going to be a really close brawl or turn into an ugly one sided fight. I personally think Jake Matthews is the superior fighter and will show it in a dominating win which will see him pick up a 2nd round TKO.
Main Card PPV (10PM/ET):
#14 (12) Stefan Struve (30-7) vs Jared Rosholt (13-2): This is a heck of a battle to kick of the main card on PPV, in the heavyweight division. We have Stefan Struve a 27 year old, 7 foot tall, fighter with 37 professional fights under his belt. He has been slow to develop but he is slowly looking like he might one day have title contender material. Being 7 foot tall does give him an edge in reach but also gives him a lot of limbs for his opponents to grab a hold of. Struve is a pretty successful finisher, stopping 23 of his 30 wins. As a heavyweight the impressive factor is that he has submitted 16 victims while knocking out 7 others. He is a kickboxer so standing up he can be extremely lethal due to his reach being so long, tied for longest in the UFC with Jon Jones. If Struve can learn how to use his reach, develop a little more power, and his jaw could take a little more of a punishment, he truly could be a championship contender one day. His opponent is Jared Rosholt who is a 29 year old fighter with a grind you out fight style. His training partner Johnny Hendricks is famous for that. Jared has finished just above half his fights stopping 7 of his 13 wins. Those stoppages have mostly been by KO, 6, and show that once he grinds down his opponent and really wears them out he uses his power to finish them, or just go to decision. Now 5 of those finishes have been in the first round so there is power there if he gets a good clean shot or two, or takes his opponent to the mat where he will use his power in ground and pound to finish his fights. I think Jared will always be a near top 15 or at best a 10-15 ranked fighter in his career. I personally think Struve is the better fighter here and we should see that this Saturday down under. Struve wins by unanimous decision.
#10 (6) Uriah Hall (13-5) vs #14 Robert Whittaker (14-4): This is honestly dark horse for fight of the night here in the middleweight division. I will try my very best to not let my bias get in the way here as we all know one of my top favorite fighters of all time is Uriah “Primetime” Hall. Uriah is the most powerful fighter in this division or one of the most along with Souza and Romero. He has only been said to have two weaknesses in his career. The first being that he sometimes doesn’t seem to show up and is just not driven, which drives me crazy because he could dominate Chris Weidman if he would come into every fight with the intensity he had against Mousasi. His other weakness people have knocked him for is his lack of a ground game or at least defense while on the mat and that is why he was seen as a big underdog against Mousasi in his last fight. Well Gegard took him to the mat the first round and they stayed there a while and Uriah proved he has worked on his ground skills as he survived his biggest test. He finished that fight with a nasty KO. Uriah is lethal with his legs as well as his hands and if you are in his range you better be ready for some brutal blows. Now opposite of primetime is Robert Whittaker a fighter who is only 24 years of age and on the rise. He is in his second fight in the middleweight division where he is already 1-0, Whittaker could be a future champion as he is developing well. This kid is special and his striking will match Uriah Hall and could make this fight a fun one. He has stopped 12 of his 14 professional wins, 5 are by way of submission and the other 7 by way of some impressive KO’s. Whittaker might look to take this fight to the ground knowing he is the better fighter there and that Uriah has more powerful stand up. This fight will be awesome either way because both of these guys are two fighters who with time and some more work could be title holders one day. They are basically even when it comes to betting odds and who the favorite is entering this fight and that is truly where they should be. I am torn here but I will go with the hotter fighter and take Uriah Hall to win via a 1st round KO sending him to the top 5 of this division.
#8 Mark Hunt (10-10-1) vs #11 Antonio Silva (19-7): This sloppy battle in the heavyweight division doesn’t belong here. Mark Hunt is a brutal handed man with the most granite jaw of all time. You cannot knockout out Mark Hunt. Mark has never really made me say wow except the ability to take a punch. His opponent Antonio Silva is a strong man with the ability to take a punch but his hands are the real deal breaker. He has incredibly strong hands but that should be all for not here as this fight will be a brutal bloody brawl. Both fighters age is starting to slow as their hands don’t fly like they used to, and they tend to lean a lot. I really am not looking forward to this fight and honestly can’t pick a winner. I am going to favor Mark Hunt here though somehow. Mark Hunt wins by 3rd round TKO.
(C) Joanna Jedrzejczyk (10-0) vs #8 Valerie Letourneau (8-3): The co-main event is absolutely amazing and will be a one sided slaughter. Joanna is future UFC hall of famer, yes I said it hall of fame. She is honestly one of the best strikers in the UFC with lethal accuracy and good head movement. Valerie is a good fighter don’t get me wrong but she is just going to be mismatched here. I really don’t feel I owe much to say here because I really think this is going to be a land slide victory. Joanna retains her title via first round KO.
(C) Ronda Rousey (12-0) vs #7 Holly Holm (9-0): The main event of the bantamweight division women’s title. Rousey is the 2nd best on the planet right now, but I think Joanna will one day surpass her. Ronda is the most dominant judo fighter in the UFC and her striking is improving leaps and bounds by day. She is truly terrifying to fight and should be someone all women in their division should fear except maybe Amanda Nunez. Ronda brings a confident yet humble element to every single one of her fights. I want to make it clear that I still think Ronda is one of the most dominant fighters in the history of the UFC. Her opponent is Holly Holm a good boxer with a weak ground game. I really didn’t think much of Holm entering this fight but after talking to Gabe I think even less because as he said Holm has struggled to beat the people that Rousey has ended fights with, in 30 seconds. This fight should be Tate vs Rousey III or Nunez vs Rousey. Either way Rousey wins this one in less than 2 minutes by 1st round arm-bar.
- Matt Koontz.
Richie Vaculik vs. Danny Martinez: The first fight of the prelims is a flyweight matchup. Richie Vaculik has a professional record of 10-4. Vaculik has six wins by submission and three by knockout with seven of his nine finishes in the first round. He also has a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His opponent Danny Martinez has a professional record of 17-7. Martinez has eight wins by knockout and four wins by submission. Four of his 12 finishes were in the first round. Get this, Martinez is currently 0-4 in the UFC and is most likely on his way out if he loses this next one. I think this fight will be Vaculik wanting to take this to the mat while Martinez will want to keep it standing. I believe that Vaculik will have more luck in implementing his gameplan and pick up a victory by submission in the 2nd round.
Anthony Perosh vs. Gian Villante: This next fight is a light heavyweight matchup. Anthony Perosh has a record of 15-9 and has won nine of his last 14 fights. Although he has lost three of his last five fights. Perosh has finished all 15 of his wins, seven by submission and eight by knockout. Even though the slight edge in wins has gone to his fists do not underestimate his ground game. He is a third degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and would go there any day of the week. His opponent Gian Villante has a professional record of 13-5. Villante has won six of his last nine fights and 10 of his 13 wins were finishes. Eight of his finishes were by knockout and two were by submission. Either way this fight goes I think it's obvious it will be finished quickly. I also think Villante has the edge in his recent win/loss and his aggressiveness, but Perosh has more experience and the martial arts belt to prove it. I am going to say that this will be a hard fought match and late in the second round Gian Villante will pick up a TKO victory.
Kyle Noke vs. Peter Sobatta: The third fight of the prelims is a welterweight matchup. Kyle Noke has a record of 21-7-1 and has just recently moved to welterweight. He is currently 2-1 in the division. Noke has eight wins by knockout and seven by submission. Noke is known as a heavy handed fighter. His opponent tonight is Peter Sobatta. Sobatta has a record of 15-4-1 and is on a two fight win streak. Sobatta has finished all but one of his victories with 10 wins by submission and four by knockout. He is currently on a seven fight win streak, but five of them were not in the UFC. Sobatta says he wants to get close to Kyle Noke and knock him out. If that is truly his game plan it will take patience and finesse to out strike a veteran that has many knockout wins and is known to be heavy handed. However, Sobatta being the younger fighter I think that he will be able to knock him out as promised, but it will take him to the third round to do so.
Jake Matthews vs. Akbarh Arreola: The main event of the prelims will be a lightweight fight. Jake Matthews is a newer fighter with a record of 9-1. Matthews is actually the third youngest fighter in the UFC and has a 2-1 record in the company. He has four wins by knockout and four wins by submission with two of these finishes in the first round. So far Matthews has a perfect takedown defense. His opponent is the 23-9-1 Akbarh Arreola. Even though he is a veteran, Arreola has also only had three fights in the UFC before this. His UFC record is 1-2 and those two losses are his only two in his last six fights. Arreola has 17 wins by submission and five by knockout and 17 of these finishes were in the first round. With Arreola being 1-2 in the UFC and 32 years old I believe he is possibly toward the end of his career, on the other hand Matthews is young and constantly getting better. I think this will be an exciting fight, but it will end by decision in favor of Matthews. I say that
because I think the veteran in Arreola will prevent Matthews from picking up a finish, but I don't think Arreola will actually be able to pull off the win.
(#14) Stefan Struve vs. Jared Rosholt: The time has finally come for UFC 193 and we kick things off with a heavyweight matchup. As I normally do, I am going to start with the unranked of the two fighters. Jared Rosholt has a professional record of 13-2. Rosholt has won nine of his last 10 fights and is known to be heavy handed. He has six wins by knockout and a win by submission. Five of his seven finishes were in the first round. He has said recently that he is really enjoying kicks right now and that could help him in this match. Although if he tries to kick Stefan Struve in the head we might see this guy fall on his ass. Speaking of Stefan Struve I will get into him now. Struve is the number 14 ranked heavyweight with a professional record of 30-7. Appropriately nicknamed the Skyscraper, this heavyweight stands at 7' tall. Struve is the tallest fighter ever in the UFC and he turned pro at the young age of 17. He has won five of his last seven fights and his two losses were to Mark Hunt and PRIDE Legend Alistair Overeem. Struve has 16 wins by submission and seven by knockout, that's right the tallest fighter in the UFC likes to put you on the mat and choke you out. Rosholt may be able to land some good shots and maybe hurt him, but I think Struve will be able to take shots, give shots, and get Rosholt on the mat in the first round and add another choke to his collection.
(#10) Uriah Hall vs. (#14) Robert Whittaker: The next fight on the card is in the middlewight division. Robert Whittaker has a professional record of 15-4. First off, Robert Whittaker has a black belt in Karate, a black belt in Hapkido and a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Whittaker has five wins by submission and seven by knockout with four of his finishes in the first round. This is only his second fight in the middleweight division and after this fight he may consider going back to whichever weight class he came from. His opponent is Uriah Hall and in Matt and I's opinion one of the most underrated fighters. Hall is 13-5 and this will be his fifth fight this year! Champions don't even fight this much and there is even one who hasn't fought this year (Looking at you Aldo). Hall has taken most of his fights this year on short notice due to other people backing out and has won all but one of them. He must have agreed with us that he was being underrated because he put in the work and this year he got put on the ranking, today he is #10 and at the end of this fight he may be inside the top 10. There is no doubt that Uriah will lose this fight because this man is as unorthodox as he is fast paced. His only issue is that he takes almost a round to "warm up" and that is usually what causes his losses. If he can get warmed up in the cage then we will see a crazy fighter come out that not only will land vicious strikes, he will wait until nobody expects it and at that perfect moment, land arguably the knockout of the night. If I wasn't clear I am saying Hall in the second by knockout.
(#8) Mark Hunt vs. (#11) Antonio Silva: The third fight of the main card will be a heavyweight matchup. Antonio Silva is the number 11 ranked heavyweight and has a professional record of 19-7. Silva has won only half of his last 12 fights. He has 15 wins by knockout and only two fights by submission. This is his second fight against Mark Hunt and they last time they fought it ended in a draw. His opponent is the number 8 ranked Mark Hunt. Hunt currently has a 10-10 pro record and has also won only six of his last 12. Both of these fighters have been in bad shape recently and spend most of their fights leaning against their opponent and it looks like a hugging match with the occasional shot to the side. If anybody wins this thing it has to be Hunt because his fists are more powerful, but I definitely do not see this as a fight worth watching.
(C) Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. (#8) Valerie Letourneau: The co-main event is here and we will see the Strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrzeczyk defend her title. The challenger, Valerie Letourneau, is the number 8 ranked strawweight. Letourneau has a professional record of 8-3 and is currently 3-0 in the UFC. She has four wins by knockout and one win by submission with three of her finishes in the first round. The UFC website says that her only losses are to "world-class" competition which to me says that she can't handle the higher ranked part of this division. Unfortunately for her this opponent is the best this division has to offer. Joanna Jedrzejczyk has a professional record of 10-0. Joanna has four wins by knockout and one win by submission with only one first round finish. To say Joanna is aggressive is an understatement. In her two title defenses, she came out at an unbelievable pace and simply ran over her opponent until she picked up the knockouts. I believe that she will make quicker work of Letourneau than her last two opponents because in my mind Joanna's last two opponents were tougher competition than this one. I am going to call that Joanna Jedrzejcyk will win by knockout in the first round.
(C) Ronda Rousey vs. (#7) Holly Holm: The main event is in the bantamweight division and we will see Ronda Rousey defend her title. The challenger is the number 7 ranked Holly Holm and she has a record of 9-0. Holm has six wins by knockout and retired from boxing with a record of 33-2-3. Holm is a strong boxer and kickboxer with a perfect takedown defense. Unfortunately both that and her perfect MMA record will be broken tonight because she is facing Ronda Rousey. I shouldn't have to say anything about Ronda because everybody already knows everything necessary. Ronda has a 12-0 record and an unstoppable armbar. Nine of her 12 wins are by armbar, the other three are by knockout. Her last four fights combined lasted just over two minutes. Before MMA she won the bronze medal in Judo in the 2008 Olympic Games. I think Holm is going to think she can get inside and beat up Ronda like Bethe thought she could, but Ronda will be able to hold her own in striking and even use her phenomenal Judo if she needs to. I think Holm will go in too confident and Ronda will be able to use Holm's momentum against her to take her to the mat and finish with a first round TKO.
- Mike W.