A week after a thrilling UFC 224 card in Brazil, which featured eleven finishes, the UFC heads further down South America to Chile. This will be the promotions first event in Chile and outside of Brazil, the second market in South America the UFC has attempted to tap into. Headlining the event, is a pair of welterweight contenders in former title challenger Demian Maia and rising superstar Kamaru Usman. Maia heads into this bout on a two-fight losing streak, falling defeat in a Welterweight title fight against Champion Tyron Woodley and then losing in an absolute mauling against Colby Covington. As for Usman, he’s on an absolute tear, winning all seven of his UFC fights. With superior wrestling abilities and an ever improving striking game, Usman is shaping up to be Championship material. This will be by far his toughest fight to date, but stylistically a favoring one.
To the Predictions!
UFC Fight Night 129 Main Card on FOX Sports 1 (10 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Demian Maia vs. Kamaru Usman – Just like the Woodley fight, this is stylistically a terrible fight for Maia. And given I been saying Usman is a future Champion for the past two years, I obviously I have Usman winning. Now Maia can pull a rabbit out of his hat if he can get Usman down, but I just don’t see it. I see a beat down that ends in the third round… Poor Maia.
115 lbs.: Alexa Grasso vs. Tatiana Suarez – Grasso is solid, but Suarez is a force. With superior wrestling and I mean superior, Suarez is a tough task for any Strawweight. If she could improve her striking, I have no doubt she will be unbeatable. Even without it, she’s Championship material. In fact, not only will she easily win this fight, but she will be the UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion in 2019. O, Suarez via dominant decision.
205 lbs.: Jared Cannonier vs. Dominick Reyes – Fun fight, but Reyes is the next big thing at Light Heavyweight. A division that is starved for young and fresh contenders. And while Cannonier is no walk over, he’s a stepping stone right now for the accession of Reyes. So with that, add another to the highlight reel, as Reyes lays waste to Cannonier via knockout.
135 lbs.: Guido Cannetti vs. Diego Rivas – Cannetti is wild and aggressive and in a fight I have no idea who to pick, that works for me. So with that, I have Cannetti via knockout.
125 lbs.: Veronica Macedo vs. Andrea Lee – This should be a fun back and forth fight that comes down to cardio. Given Macedo’s over a year layoff and Lee’s four fights in 2017, I’m edging Lee to be ready for three hard rounds. So with that, I have Lee winning via decision.
170 lbs.: Chad Laprise vs. Vicente Luque – While Laprise is finally building momentum in his promising career, it comes to a halt here. Luque is a stud. His striking is slowly beginning to catch up to his superior grappling abilities. In this fight, I could very well see Luque beating the striker (Laprise) at his own game. In fact, I predict Luque will drop Laprise at some point in the fight and then submit him. How about that!
UFC Fight Night 129 Prelims on FOX Sports 2 (8 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Michel Prazeres vs. Zak Cummings – Finally Prazeres has been forced to move up in weight. In only took three times of missing weight. Anyways, as for this fight, I have Cummings winning. I have to believe that his 6′ inch height and 8′ inch reach advantage will aid him here. That and also a strong wrestling game that will neutralize the grappling heavy Prazeres. So with that, I have Cummins winning via decision.
125 lbs.: Brandon Moreno vs. Alexandre Pantoja – This is going to be a wild fight wherever it goes. On the feet I edge Pantoja, as he offers a more technical game featuring leg kicks. Moreno is a little too wild and hittable at times to trust his standup. On the ground, both men are excellent at scrambling and have savvy submission artist.
However, the one aspect I believe will decide this fight is the wrestling abilities of Moreno. We all know Pantoja has had trouble with wrestlers. In his most recent fight against Dustin Ortiz, he was taken down seven times and thoroughly controlled. I see more of the same happening here after Moreno realizes that on the feet he’s outmatched. So with that, I have Moreno winning via decision.
115 lbs.: Poliana Botelho vs. Syuri Kondo – Don’t know too much about either women, but I know Kondo strikes in volume. And evidently that’s all I need to say that she gets it done via decision.
145 lbs.: Gabriel Benitez vs. Humberto Bandenay – Initially I was enamored by Bandenay’s size at featherweight, but he’s still green as a fighter. I mean, a little over two years ago, he lost against two mediocre fighters. Hell, one of them has a losing record. On the other hand, Benitez just won a huge fight over Jason Knight. He showed a real improvement in his striking and if he can get his wrestling down, we might have something here. So with that, I have Benitez out working Bandenay and submitting him in the later rounds.
UFC Fight Night 129 Prelims on Fight Pass (6:30 p.m. ET):
145 lbs.: Enrique Barzola vs. Brandon Davis – While Barzola is the favorite and rightfully so, I see potential in Davis. He’s a gritty striker, who can brawl or fight at distance. He’s got solid footwork and throws in volume. The knock on Davis is his wading cardio in the later rounds. That definitely could come into play in this fight, as Barzola heavily relies on taking down foes. And in this fight, given Davis is the better striker, Barzola will certainly look to take Davis to the mat. However, I’m confident in Davis to keep distance and shrug off takedowns. On the feet, he will pick apart Barzola en route to a decision victory.
135 lbs.: Henry Briones vs. Frankie Saenz – I feel for Briones, as his last three bouts have come against former UFC Bantamweight Champion Cody Garbrandt and two top twenty Bantamweight’s in Douglas Silva de Andrade and Rani Yahya. It doesn’t get any easier here. So with that, I have Saenz using his solid wrestling abilities to smother Briones and take this via decision.
155 lbs.: Claudio Puelles vs. Felipe Silva – No clue, but I think I remember Silva absolutely crushing some poor soul. So with that, I got Silva winning via KO.