The UFC and ESPN hit a home run in their debut card to kick off their five year partnership. Now, they look to keep the momentum going as they head to Fortaleza, Brazil with an excellent Bantamweight rematch of Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes headlining the card. The winner should be in line for a title shot, but with current Bantamweight Champion T.J. Dillashaw clamoring for a rematch against Flyweight Champion Henry Cejudo, the winner of this could be unfairly left out of the title picture. Also on the card, Jose Aldo returns and BJJ wizard Demian Maia looks to end his three fight skid.
Without further ado, to the Predictions!
UFC on ESPN+ 2 Main Card (8 p.m. ET):
135 lbs.: Raphael Assuncao vs. Marlon Moraes – This is a fun rematch and it really could go either way. However, I’ve got Moraes. I believe Assuncao got him at the right time, early into his UFC career. Now, Moraes has settled down and he’s starching top bantamweight’s in one round. I mean, he ended Jimmie Rivera’s twenty fight win streak in 33 seconds. That’s crazy. As for Assuncao, it’s a crying shame he hasn’t fought for the title. He’s won eleven of his last twelve fights, which includes wins over Moraes, current Bamtamweight Champion T.J. Dillashaw, Pedro Munhoz and Aljamain Sterling. Assuncao is not over powering in any aspect, but he’s well rounded and has cardio for days.
Anyways, I believe Moraes is slightly better everywhere than Assuncao and with this new mean streak of knocking people out, he’s a little scarier than before. So with that, I have Moraes winning via decision.
145 lbs.: Jose Aldo vs. Renato Moicano – Awesome fight and yet another fighter on the card critics consider washed up. I mean, Aldo is only 32 years old and has only lost to two fighters in over 13 years. And in this fight, I can’t see him losing. Moicano is an excellent grappler and underrated striker, but he’s not taking down Aldo and not out striking him. It’s possible he could crack Aldo, but I’m taking my chances on the “washed up” Aldo to win this via decision.
170 lbs.: Demian Maia vs. Lyman Good – Maia has literally lost three fights in a row to the top three Welterweight’s in the division. He’s old, but I don’t think washed up. Cardio might be an issue, but Maia should control Good for at least two rounds en route to a decision victory.
155 lbs.: Charles Oliveira vs. David Teymur – Great Fight, but I’ve got Teymur. I believe Oliveira will unquestionably try and takedown Teymur. On the mat, he’s simply a submission wizard. However Teymur has shown solid takedown defense and Oliveira really doesn’t have the wrestling chops to put Teymur on his back. On the feet, Teymur is the better of the two and should have no problem outpointing the Brazilians route to a decision victory.
205 lbs.: Justin Ledet vs. Johnny Walker – I was super high on Ledet, but he seems like a bust of late. In my opinion, his woes continue as Walker’s significant power advantage pays dividends in this fight. So with that, I have Walker winning via knockout.
115 lbs.: Livinha Souza vs. Sarah Frota – Did Frota really miss weight by 7 pounds? Doesn’t matter though, Souza is going to steamroll her anyways. So with that, I have Souza winning via submission.
UFC on ESPN+ 2 Prelims (5 p.m. ET):
185 lbs.: Anthony Hernandez vs. Markus Perez – I mean, C’mon…Coin flip says Markus Perez via decision.
125 lbs.: Mara Romero Borella vs. Taila Santos – I’m not convinced with Santos based on her resume thus far. Borella has been on a roll of late and I see her using some takedowns to edge out Santos via decision.
170 lbs.: Thiago Alves vs. Max Griffin – Alves is all but a shell of his former self. This is a winnable fight, but Griffin has shown the ability to fight smart and pick apart foes on the outside. So with that, I have Griffin winning via decision.
265 lbs.: Junior Albini vs. Jair Rozenstruik – No clue who Rozenstruik is, but big baby Albini doesn’t offer anything other than a punchers chance. So with that, I got Rozenstruik winning via decision.
135 lbs.: Felipe Dias Colares vs. Geraldo de Freitas Jr. – Who? Corales via decision.
135 lbs.: Said Nurmagomedov vs. Ricardo Ramos – Nurmagomedov might be an awesome grappler, but I wasn’t too impressed with him in his debut against Justin Scoggins. Ramos has been rolling of late and handled a rather big Bantamweight in Kyung Ho Kang. I think he can keep this on the feet the majority of the feet and outpoint Nurmagomedov on the feet en route to decision victory.
125 lbs.: Magomed Bibulatov vs. Rogerio Bontorin – Bibulatov is a talented Flyweight and despite the recent setback against Moraga, he should get back on track here rather easily. So with that, I have Bibulatov winning via decision.