مشاركات عشوائية

UFC Vegas 66 Predictions - MMA Fighting

featured image

UFC Vegas 66 is headlined by a fight between middleweight contenders, but it’s the co-main event that could provide a real glimpse into the future.

It’s not a blow against Jared Gunner vs. Sean Strickland, the main event of Saturday’s show at UFC APEX in Las Vegas. They have endeavored to have numbers next to their names – Cannonier is No. 5 in the World MMA Fight Rankings and just challenged Israel Adesanya for a UFC title, Strickland is tied for No. 1. 11 – and have developed enough followers to earn the top spot.

But both fighters have a lot of work to do to win a second title (Strickland recently lost to the current middleweight champion Alex Pereira) and they’ve been in the neighborhood long enough that their match lacked a certain spark, to be nice. This seems more obligatory than unavoidable.

The main co-event between Arman Tsarukyan and Damir Ismagulov, on the other hand, might be a late entry into the Fight of the Year discussion. Tsarukyan can already expect to make this list after an impressive back-and-forth with Mateusz Gamrot last June, but he could mess around and claim another spot if Ismagulov is up to it. At 24-1 with five wins in five UFC outings, there’s no reason to believe Ismagulov won’t live up to the hype.

In his UFC debut, Tsarukyan gave the future lightweight champion Islam Makhachev anything he could handle and a win over Ismagulov keeps him on course for a rematch somewhere down the road; On Ismagulov’s side, he’s looking for a signature win to establish himself as the one to watch at 155 pounds and that’s exactly what Tsarukyan represents.

In another main card action, the flyweight contender Amir Albazi welcomes replacement at short notice Alessandro Costa at the UFC, Alex Caceres makes UFC No. 1 27 appearance against another featherweight vet Julien Erosa, Drew Dober fighting Bobby Green in a duel of light attackers, and Michal Oleksiejczuk looks to keep wins coming at middleweight when he fights Cody Brundage.

What: UFC Vegas 66

Where: UFC APEX in Las Vegas

When: Saturday, Dec. 17. The seven-fight preliminary card begins at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN+followed by a six-fight main card at 7 p.m. ESPN+.

(Numbers in parentheses indicate that MMA Fighting World Ranking)

Jared Cannonier (5) vs. Sean Strickland (T11)

You couldn’t pick a better rebound fight for Sean Strickland after the daring (read: insane) stand-up strategy he employed against Alex Pereira. Facing a two-division kickboxing champion known for his one-hit stopping power, Strickland bravely (read: incredibly) beckoned Pereira to bring him on. and, indeed, it was brought.

Now Strickland has another powerful punch ahead of him, but one that lacks Pereira’s elite punching skills. Jared Cannonier is certainly a dangerous knockout threat, I just don’t see him drawing Strickland into a knockout like Pereira did. It’s the lack of power that worries me the most.

According to statistician Richard Mann, Cannonier had trouble pulling the trigger in fights and it cost him, with four of his UFC losses by decision in fights where he was beaten.

Now, it must be considered that these losses were for Israel Adesanya, Robert Whittaker, John Blachowiczand Glover Teixeira, all former UFC champions. Strickland doesn’t quite fit into that category.

But Strickland is an effective pressure fighter and does a good job of avoiding major damage when he’s not playing chicken with a Brazilian juggernaut. This fight should be played mostly on the feet with a minimal mix of martial arts and that’s exactly what Strickland likes.

Strickland by decision.

Take: Strickland

Arman Tsarukyan (9) vs Damir Ismagulov (15)

What a treat!

Yeah, it’s a shame that contenders like Arman Tsarukyan and Damir Ismagulov have to be shuffled around because several high-ranking fighters are squatting in their place (I won’t name names, but you know who you are); On the other hand, we see these two lightweight stallions battling as soon as possible and isn’t that something to celebrate?

On this occasion, give me the most explosive Tsarukyan to catch Ismagulov and become the first fighter to finish the Kazakh blue-chipper. Tsarukyan is such a dynamic talent at just 26 years old, a complete fighter with elite wrestling and an aggressive stand-up style. He doesn’t just shoot for takedowns, he makes a string of takedown attempts. He does not just charge for the haymakers, he loves to chain combinations to unbalance his opponents. It’s funny.

Luckily for Ismagulov, the well-balanced also suits him. He also has excellent striking and wrestling defense, which could be exactly what the doctor ordered to deal with Tsarukyan. These two will show off their extraordinary adaptability in a Fight of the Night candidate that would only be more intriguing on paper if it were a five-round fight.

Regardless of who wins, expect these two men to be a factor in the 155-pound division for years to come.

Take: Tsarukyan

Amir Albazi vs. Alessandro Costa

It’s weird to call a heavy flyweight, but that’s as good a description as any of Amir Albazi’s approach to wrestling. He’s super aggressive at the top and someone who emphasizes damage over position. That’s not to say he can’t keep control when he has it, just that when he goes to the ground, he goes there to finish.

Alessandro Costa, short-term responder for an injured person Brandon Royval who himself replaced Alex Perez, actually has a similar approach when it comes to upper control. If Costa beats Albazi to the fist, he could give Albazi a taste of his own medicine and chase the ground and pound or a submission.

A problem Albazi had in his recent victory against Francisco Figueiredo dealt with striking from a distance, but that shouldn’t factor into this fight with Costa, who has a more compact stand-up style. This makes Costa a credible threat on the feet, as he likes to uncork his powerful left hand if his opponent’s chin drifts within range. It will be a tactical standing battle until one of the fighters scores a takedown.

I like that Albazi shoots first and sets the tone for an entertaining grappling match that ends with Albazi having his hand raised by decision.

Take: Albazi

Alex Caceres vs. Julien Erosa

These next two fights are great matchmaking elements, both in terms of crowd-pleaser potential and how difficult it is to call.

If he feels like Alex Caceres has been around forever, it’s because he did! One of the most memorable personalities of The Ultimate Fighter 12 (a season articulated around a George Saint-Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck title fight if you want a reference for how far back it goes), “Bruce Leeroy” has done an admirable job of, well, keeping his job. He’s never come close to a title shot, but he’s a good mid-level keeper and that’s the test he presents to Julian Erosa on Saturday.

Erosa is just as seasoned as Caceres, but you get the feeling he has the potential to shake up the top tier of the featherweight division if he can extend his three-fight winning streak. The lanky Erosa is a tricky style match for anyone, even the similarly built Caceres. It’s not so much Erosa’s measurements that are the problem as the unorthodox way he moves and attacks. Caceres has seen it all, but has never fought someone like Erosa yet.

Caceres’ submission defense has long been his Achilles heel and it’s going to trip him up again as Erosa has a good game. After some tense exchanges on the feet, Erosa would take this fight to the mat and lock in a choke to clinch the win.

Take: Erosa

Drew Dober vs. Bobby Green

Speaking of coin flips, Drew Dober vs. Bobby Green, everyone!

It’s weird, in my mind Dober feels like the fresher fighter, but he’s just two years younger than Green, has almost as many fights, and both men have been with the UFC since 2013. Green has a more notable pre-UFC resume with working for Strikeforce and King of the Cage, which is probably why he feels more familiar. Also, Dober didn’t tease retirement like Green has on a few occasions.

Forget the grappling, it’s going to be a gripping battle from start to finish, with the hard-hitting Dober looking for a knockout and Green using his one-of-a-kind style to dazzle and confuse Dober. When Green is at the top of his game, there are few in the lightweight division who can trade him. Do we have the best version of Green Saturday? Your guess is as good as mine.

This leads me to lean towards the more consistent Dober, who will have the most impactful moments in the fight to sway the judges. Green is damn near impossible to finish, but expect Dober to win on points after a nasty slugfest.

Take: dober

Michal Oleksiejczuk vs. Cody Brundage

It’s easy to get excited about Michal Oleksiejczuk’s prospects at 185 pounds. He was a fan-friendly scrapper as a light heavyweight, but looked like a new guy who was losing weight after his previous fight. His impressive performance may have had a lot to do with the fact that he was fighting Sam Alveybut stay!

Cody Brundage is your classic wrestler-drummer, with a twist. Like most wrestlers, he has a big right hand in the chamber, but he also likes to keep things loose, which can catch his opponents off guard (Tresean Gore learned this the hard way). That said, a disciplined striking style is enough to defuse Brundage.

Add the focus on takedown defense and Oleksiejczuk should navigate this fight. He’s noticeably faster at his new weight class, while still maintaining the pop that made him a player at 205 pounds. If Brundage can’t start his fight, it will be a short night for him.

Take: Oleksiejczuk


Cory McKenna def. Cheyanne Vlismas

Jacques Matthews def. Matthew Semelsberger

Said Nurmagomedov def. Saidyokub Kakhramonov

Rafa Garcia def. Maheshate

Rinat Fakhretdinov def. Bryan Battle

Cape Manel (11) def. David Dvorak (T14)

Sergei Morozov def. Travel News

Post a Comment