We are back at the UFC Apex facility for another fight night, although now the UFC is starting to run out of fights to rebook and we have a somewhat lackluster card with few international faces.
That being said, we still have some nice odds and fun fights to take a look at.
We have a main event in the Flyweight division that could determine the next crack at Valentina’s crown between Jessica Eye and Cynthia Calvillo, while Karl Roberson and Marvin Vettori will put their rivalry to bed in the co-main.
Jessica Eye vs. Cynthia Calvillo (FLW)
After one of the most devastating knockouts of 2019, Jessica Eye (15-7, 5-6 UFC) rebounded by defeating one of the top up-and-comers in Viviane Araujo, nearly doubling the Brazilian’s strikes. Eye has nice footwork, but mainly exists as a point-striker without many avenues to get the finish when the fight is not going her way. Still, she boasts a 63% striking defense and has some wrestling in her back pocket if she needs control time for the victory.
Cynthia Calvillo (8-1-1, 5-1-1 UFC) will be making her Flyweight debut on Saturday after two weight misses at Strawweight. Calvillo has been up against UFC competition since her second professional bout where she defeated Gillian Robertson. She is a grappling technician with aggressive control and little space given to her opponents, as well as three RNC finishes in the UFC.
Calvillo’s last fight is my evidence for her ability to get the victory here. After two rounds of getting outworked by Marina Rodriguez’s May Thai, she put on a grappling clinic in the third round that showed her heart as well as gas tank. The new weight class should pay immediate dividends in her power, as she has an infamously hard cut to make 115 pounds. Eye’s mediocre grappling defense won’t be enough to let her outpoint Calvillo on the feet, so it’s a matter of time until Calvillo ends it with ground and pound or sinks in the choke.
Take the Shot: Cynthia Calvillo via Round 4 Knockout
Karl Roberson vs. Marvin Vettori (MW)
After a fifteen second knockout over UFC Light Heavyweight Ryan Spann on the Contender Series, Karl Roberson (9-2, 3-2 UFC) made his way to the UFC Middleweight division, where he got wins over Darren Stewart and Jack Marshman, but lost in submission to Cezar Ferreira. Moving up to LHW, he fell to another triangle choke from Glover Teixeira, but has now secured his position back in the Middleweight division off two straight decision victories. Roberson has great striking, especially off the clinch, and has shown he can get work done on the ground against non-elite grapplers. I like his use of reach more at the lower weight class and think MW is the correct home for him.
Marvin Vettori (14-4-1, 4-2-1 UFC) was fired up after Roberson cancelled this fight the first time after failing his weight cut, practically starting a brawl in the hotel lobby. Vettori is a talented grappler with eight submissions to his name, as well as nasty top control. His striking has improved leaps and bounds since his debut, as he only narrowly lost a decision to Israel Adesanya, one of the most technical strikers in all of combat sports. Vettori’s grappling control should limit Roberson’s submission likelihood and his 66% striking defense will keep him safe from Baby K’s long power strikes.
Take the Shot: Marvin Vettori via Round 2 Submission
Andre Fili vs. Charles Jourdain (FTW)
Andre Fili (20-7, 8-6 UFC) is pretty much the cutout Alpha Male fighter with his power coming from an overhand right, decent wrestling, and a flashy inconsistency. Fili spices things up with his kicking game and pressure, moving his opponent forward to tee off on them. His wrestling is decent, but nothing groundbreaking. However, that may be the thing to set him apart in this match.
After a poor debut against Desmond Green, Charles Jourdain (10-2, 1-1 UFC) secured a huge upset, knocking out Doo Ho Choi in the second round of their Fight of the Night brawl. Jourdain boasts a high striking rate and obvious power, although has struggles with his grappling. Jourdain is yet to see a fight reach a decision and will be looking for another striking war to get the win. Fili’s grappling and size, as well as tenure in the promotion give him a precise skillset to outwork Jourdain and diminish his power.
Take the Shot: Andre Fili via Unanimous Decision
Charles Rosa vs. Kevin Aguilar (LW)
Recently losing a decision to top prospect Bryce Mitchell at UFC 249, Charles Rosa (12-4, 3-4 UFC) has an incredibly polished ground game, boasting as elite of an armor as you can have as well as impressive skill at finding chokes from the mount. Rosa fights on the back foot, throwing kicks to control range and set up the takedown. Although not the most threatening in the standup department, he is willing to pull guard to get into the arena of his choosing.
Kevin Aguilar (17-3, 2-2 UFC) came into the UFC after an insane war on the Contender Series, but was most recently seen on the wrong side of a knockout from Zubaira Tukhugov. Aguilar is a boxer who is as good as they come with amazing combinations and striking, plus a power that has earned him 10 knockouts. The “Angel of Death” does not want to touch the ground, but his takedown defense rate of 83% gives him a method of escape.
I am not in the slightest bit surprised by these odds, as Aguilar’s boxing and takedown defense show clear advantages over some weaknesses in Rosa’s game. However, Aguilar does not possess the pocket boxing to truly make Rosa uncomfortable on the feet and Rosa’s unrelenting ground pressure should keep Aguilar on his toes. As long as this fight finds its way to the ground, which it will, Rosa will find the sub.
Take the Shot: Charles Rosa via Round 2 Submission
At time of writing, a Fili-Vettori-Calvillo parlay nets +310 odds, while Charles Rosa remains a reliable underdog with +150.
Until next time, Freaks.