The grudge match we’ve all been waiting for what seems like forever is finally here! Here are my predictions for the nine prelims of the night.
- Tyson Nam vs Jerome Rivera
My Pick: Nam by decision
2. Darrick Minner vs T.J. Laramie
My Pick: Laramie by TKO
3. Andre Ewell vs Irwin Rivera
My Pick: Ewell by decision
4. Randy Costa vs Journey Newsom
My Pick: Costa by TKO
5. Sarah Alpar vs Jessica-Rose Clark
My Pick: Clark by decision
Jordan Espinosa vs David Dovrak
The sixth fight of the night will be the first flyweight fight of the night between the 13th and 14th ranked flyweights Espinosa and Dovrak. It feels like it’s been a while since there was a ranked flyweight bout so this one will be exciting. Statically both of these fighters are finishers Espinosa has a 60% finish rate and Dovrak an 83% finish rate. Espinosa is primarily a wrestler while Dovrak is mainly a striker. This fight will more than likely depend on who can keep the dominant position and prevent their opponent from taking over. Dovrak is on an impressive 14 fight win streak and I believe that, while he doesn’t have the UFC experience Espinosa has, has the advantage in this fight with his striking.
My Pick: Dovrak by TKO.
Mayra Bueno Silva vs Mara Romero Borella
The second women’s fight of the night will be taking place in the flyweight division between Silva and Borella. Silva is a grappling based fighter with four of her six wins coming by way of submission. Her opponent, Borella, is a UFC vet with six fights in the promotion. Both fighters are coming off of losses for this fight, the first of Silva’s pro career and the third straight for Borella. In Borella’s defense, she has fought some of the divisions toughest in Kaitlyn Chookagian and Lauren Murphy. I believe this fight will mostly play out on the feet and while Silva is a skilled grappler, she’s also a skilled striker with an average of over four significant strikes landed per minute. For this reason, I believe Silva is the more rounded fighter and will have the advantage.
My Pick: Silva by decision.
Miguel Baeza vs Jordan Wells
Next up is a welterweight bout between the undefeated prospect Miguel Baeza and UFC rookie Jordan Wells. Baeza is coming off of a huge knockout victory over UFC legend Matt Brown and could very likely be a contender with a few more wins. Wells is making his debut on less than a week’s notice, and with a victory could make a statement like Kevin Croom did last week. Baeza has proven that he is nothing short of exciting as he has ended both of his UFC bouts via knockout. While less is known about his opponent Wells, it’s hard to not admire his grit for taking a short notice fight against a killer. With three wins by knockout and three wins by submission, Wells has the potential to steal the show Saturday night. With that being said, Baeza has looked very strong in his career so far and I expect that viability to continue.
My Pick: Baeza by KO
Mirsad Bektić vs Damon Jackson
The final prelim of the night is another short notice bout between Mirsad Bektić and Damon Jackson. Jackson is making his return to the UFC after 3 years of being away from the promotion against a solid opponent in Bektić. Bektić -while on a two-fight losing streak- is a strong featherweight with a victory over Ricardo Lamas. This fight is a thrilling clash between power striker and skilled grappler as Jackson “the leech” thirteen career submissions and Bektić has six knockouts. Picking a winner for this fight is difficult as I can see it going either way due to both fighters’ skillsets, so I think it all depends on positioning. If the fight is a standup battle then Bektić should have the advantage, but if it ends up on the ground, I can see Jackson catching Becktić in a submission. Regardless this fight will be entertaining and both fighters are only a few victories away from being a top 15 featherweight.
My Pick: Jackson by submission.