After an unbelievably epic UFC 202 fight card, the UFC is back in action a week later on big Fox. Headlining the card is a Welterweight showdown between contenders Demian Maia and Carlos Condit. For Maia, a win over Condit all but guarantees a title shot (After Stephen Thompson). It would mark his six consecutive victory, one in which includes notable wins over Neil Magny, Gunnar Nelson and Matt Brown. And for Condit, a win over Maia gets him right back where he want to be, on the cusp of another shot at UFC gold.
Co-Headling the card is a Featherweight contest between Charles Oliveira and former UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis. Oliveira will look to build off his victory over Myles Jury last year in December, while Pettis who makes his Featherweight debut, will look to put an end to a three fight losing streak.
Also on the card, is the return of Paige VanZant against the Aussie Bec Rawlings, as well a rematch between longtime UFC veterans Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller. Other than that, the card is rather lacking… Anyways, let’s get to the Predictions!
UFC on FOX 21 Main Card (8 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Demian Maia vs. Carlos Condit – What a great main event, that has big implications riding on it. For Maia, this a chance to earn a title shot. He’s won five straight heading in and now faces the former Welterweight Interim Champion Carlos Condit. The aforementioned Condit recently thought about retirement after his split decision loss to then Champion Robbie Lawler. However, he’s back and hungry for another opportunity at UFC gold. And a win over Maia would put him right back into title contention. As for the fight, Maia is going to look to take this one to the ground and dominate like he usually does. And Condit is very susceptible to the takedown, but he’s also very good in getting back up from him back. However Maia is a completely different person on the ground – just ask every opponent who he’s been on top of and still hasn’t got up. As for his combatant Condit, he’s one of the more well rounded fighters who thrives on the feet. He’s got an arsenal of strikes, volume to back it and the a pace with cardio like no other. And it’s only this reason alone I’m picking Condit – Cardio. In a five round fight, I doubt that Maia is going to knock Condit out or submit him. And Maia’s cardio has always been suspect. So when Maia fades, Condit is going to take control and TKO him. Lock it in!
145 lbs.: Charles Oliveira vs. Anthony Pettis – Oliveira most recently defeated Myles Jury and in a crowded Featherweight division, a win is important here to stay in relevancy. For Pettis, this must feel like a rock bottom. He had it all, the flashy kicks and slick submissions, the cover of the Wheaties Box and the UFC Lightweight Championship. And then he lost his Championship, then dropped a split decision to Eddie Alvarez and again took an L to Edson Barboza. For a guy who never lost more than two fights in a row, three is new territory. So now Pettis drops down to Featherweight, in hopes of getting back on track – And I think he does, as Oliveira has always struggled with strikers. However, Pettis is vulnerable to the takedown and that’s exactly what Oliveira’s gameplan is going to be. But, I believe Pettis will pick him apart on the feet before any of that happens, especially when you consider the body kicks Pettis will unload on Charles Oliveira’s body. So with that, Pettis via TKO!
115 lbs.: Bec Rawlings vs. Paige VanZant – Little do people know, but Bec Rawlings has the third longest winning streak in the Strawweight division at 2. Obviously it’s nothing to go crazy about, but in a shallow division – Rawling could surprisingly be a contender with a victory here. As for VanZant, it’s been since December of 2015 since she last stepped into the Octagon. She took time off to be a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, in which she finished as the runner up. Anyways, as for the fight…I’m going with VanZant. Although she might be green, I’ve always liked her feisty style and the heart that she shows. Rawling on the other end is decent everywhere, but recklessness on the feet where she loads up on punches kills her in the later rounds. And VanZant has great cardio, so while Rawling fades – VanZant beats her down. VanZant via decision.
155 lbs.: Joe Lauzon vs. Jim Miller – This is a rematch between two UFC veterans, who at this point in their careers are more interested in entertaining the fans then winning UFC gold. In other words, this should be an awesome fight! In the last one, Miller used a heavy wrestling attack to stifle Lauzon. He could very well implement the same gameplan, but something tells me that this isn’t the same guy from 2012. Back then, he a little pep in his step and seemed rejuvenated. And now, he’s like a shell of himself. Not to say Lauzon isn’t either, but I was very impressed with his last victory over Diego Sanchez. So with that, I’m going to side with Lauzon via decision.
UFC on FOX 21 “Prelims” (6 p.m. ET):
185 lbs.: Sam Alvey vs. Kevin Casey – Finally, two fighters I know about! Alvey, recently halted a two fight skid, as he defeated Eric Spicely via submission at UFC Fight Night 91. Meanwhile, Casey most recently fought to a draw against Elvis Mutapcic at UFC 199. And oddly enough, in Casey’s last five fights, he’s 1-1-1 with 2 no contests. As for the fight, I got to go with Sam Alvey. I like his patience on the feet, as he doesn’t swing for the fences like a Francisco Rivera. He instead carefully picks his shots and with heavy hands, that makes him even more dangerous. As for his combatant, Casey is a decent striker with good power in his hands. His bread and butter however is top control on the ground, where he not only applies lethal ground-and-pound, but also is threat in the submission department. Casey’s demise however is his over muscular physique. It takes too much energy to feed all that muscle and it shows in the later rounds when he fades. So, if Casey doesn’t blitz Alvey early, I’m fairly confident that Alvey will TKO Casey in round 3.
145 lbs.: Enrique Barzola vs. Kyle Bochniak – What in the hell is with this card? I again am clueless…so I’m going with Bochniak via decision for no reason whatsoever.
155 lbs.: Shane Campbell vs. Felipe Silva – No clue who Felipe Silva is, but I know Campbell is a Shaolin…so I got him via decision!
UFC Fight Pass “Prelims” (4:30 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: Thibault Gouti vs. Chad Laprise – Gouti is fighting for the third time this year and has not been successful in his previous two. He lost his UFC debut in 24 seconds and then in a fairly competitive bout, lost to Olivier Aubin-Mercier. His combatant Laprise is a TUF winner that has recently fell on hard times, as he’s dropped two straight fights. His most recent defeat came in a highly competitive fight against UFC veteran Ross Pearson. And while Laprise has hit this rough patch, there’s no reason to panic on this potential Lightweight contender. As for the fight, I’m siding with Laprise. He has more tools in his tool chest and I’m confident he will be able to dictate where this fight goes. Laprise via TKO!
185 lbs.: Alessio Di Chirico vs. Garreth Mclelland – I’ve seen the South African Garreth Mclelland before and I haven’t remotely been impressed. Even when he defeated Bubba Bush, he put himself in terrible positions throughout the fight. Di Chirico I have no idea about, but he can’t be any worse then Mclelland…Di Chirico via KO!
155 lbs.: Jeremy Kennedy vs. Alex Ricci – Who and Who? Um, I’m going with Ricci here, as he’s 11 years old and will have that “Veteran experience” over Kennedy. Ricci via decision!
185 lbs.: Adam Hunter vs. Ryan James – When you have over 500 fighters on the roster, you have fighters you don’t know about and fights like this… And the only Adam Hunter I know is the comedian, so I guess I pick him via TKO.