I am very excited for this event. The Podcast was a lot of fun. The event begins Saturday at 4:15pm EST with the first 4 fights on the UFC Fight Pass. The rest of the event can be seen on Fox beginning at 6pm EST. The podcast covers the final 6 fights & below I have posted my write-up of the first 6 fights. My book still only has the lines for the main card so hopefully they will have the undercard fights up by tomorrow morning so I can include them in plays. I obviously have 2 dogs on the main card but I am holding out on giving them until Saturday morning because both lines are going up & I want to get more value. BOL to all & thank you to Bank for doing the podcast with me.
Fight Pass Prelims
115lbs - Juliana Lima (6-1-0) vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk (6-0-0)
This is the second ever strawweight bout in the UFC. Jedrzejczyk looked really sucked in at the weigh-ins & Lima missed weight. These 2 ladies are pretty similar but Jedrzejczyk is just a little better in nearly every area. I expect Jedrzejczyk to really put the pressure one Lima & bully her until she breaks. Jedrzejczyk was very impressive in her last bout when she retired Rosi Sexton & I expect her to pick up a rather easy TKO here. Jedrzejczyk definitely has the most power in the strawweight division & as long as she can make weight then she will have a bright future. My prediction is Joanna Jedrzejczyk to defeat Juliana Lima by KO/TKO.
170lbs - Andreas Stahl (9-0-0) vs Gilbert Burns (7-0-0)
Burns is a highly regarded BJJ world champion & might have a bright future in the UFC but he took this fight on short notice & is fighting up in weight class. Burns is a true lightweight & I expect Stahl to really bully him around & wear him out. Burns has also never been out of the 1st round. Stahl's size, power, striking, technique, wrestling, & aggression will prove to much for the Blackzilian fighter to overcome. I do look forward to seeing what Burns can do when he moves back down to his true weight class but unless this fight hits the mat early then I don't think he wins this fight. My prediction is Andreas Stahl to defeat Gilbert Burns by KO/TKO.
145lbs - Steven Siler (23-12-0) vs Noad Lahat (7-1-0)
Lahat had a lot of hype coming into his UFC but all of that stopped after he suffered a flying knee knockout by Godofredo Pepey. Lahat should try to get the TD & work from top control but I think Siler's TDD will hold up & as long as he doesn't get clipped then Siler should control this fight. Siler will find his opening & lock in a sub that'll finish the fight. I also don't think that Lahat is as focused as he should be coming into this fight since he's returning to Israel on Sunday to fight in the war. My prediction is Steven Siler to defeat Noad Lahat by submission.
155lbs - Akbarh Arreola (22-7-1) vs Tiago Trator (18-4-2 1NC)
This is the UFC debut for both men. Trator is coming in with a 9 fight win streak & Arreola is coming in with a 3 fight win streak but I don't understand why Arreola is given this opportunity because he's not very good. Arreola has beaten a lot of lower level compeition & so has Trator but Arreola has a glass jaw. If you have 5 knockout losses coming into the UFC then that number will go up rather quickly. Trator is a member of team Nogueira & really has the brighter future. I look for Trator to overwhelm & hurt Arreola on the feet before finishing the fight with some big GNP. My prediction is Tiago Trator to defeat Akbarh Arreola by KO/TKO.
145lbs - Mike De La Torre (12-4-0) vs Brian Ortega (8-0-0)
This is a very close fight that I've gone back & forth on. El Cucuy shocked many people by pushing Mark Bocek to limit & barely losing a split decision. I do think if El Cucuy can keep the fight standing then he should come away with the victory but I look for Ortega to drag this fight to the mat as soon as possible & lock on a submission that'll force Torre to tap. Ortega is coming in with some big hype & it'll be interesting to see how he does against tougher competition. My prediction is Brian Ortega to defeat Mike de la Torre by submission.
170lbs - Tim Means (20-6-1) vs Hernani Perpetuo (17-4-0 1NC)
This seems to me like a showcase fight for Means. Means has a lot of talent & power but faired poorly against upper competition. Luckily for Means, Perpetuo just isn't any good. If Perpetuo can get this fight to the mat then he might be able to lock in a sub but I look for Means to come out very aggressive & knock out Perpetuo inside the first 2 rounds. The loser of this fight should be cut because Perpetuo isn't a UFC caliber fighter & if Means can't beat him then he shouldn't be in the UFC either. My prediction is Tim Means to defeat Hernani Perpetuo by KO/TKO.