After an interesting UFC 237 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the UFC treks northeast to Rochester, New York. This will be the sixth consecutive week of UFC fight card’s, as well as the promotions first visit to Rochester, New York. Headlining the event is former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos against Kevin Lee, who makes his Welterweight debut. RDA has suffered two straight losses, one in an Interim Welterweight fight against Colby Covington and the other against the now current Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman. As for Lee, the Motown Phenom is 1-2 in his last three contests and now seeks a restart at Welterweight. The cut down to 155lbs. was tougher than the fight for Lee, so with an extra 15 pounds we may very well see the best of the phenom.
UFC on ESPN+ 10 Main Card (8 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Kevin Lee – This is a good fight, but I see it playing out with Kevin Lee using his wrestling to grind out a victory. RDA has the striking and power to hurt Lee, but he lacks the ability to thwart off power wrestlers. When RDA is the one coming forward with pressure, he’s at his best. He’ll mix in heavy leg kicks and takedowns. When RDA gets backed up and is pressured, he gets stuck on the cage and is often taken down. The latter is what I fully expect Lee to implement in his gameplan. So with that, I have Lee winning via decision.
185 lbs.: Ian Heinisch vs. Antonio Carlos Junior – I was really impressed with Ian Heinisch in his UFC debut. He showed to be scrappy, with a pretty good gas tank. He completely neutralized Cesar Ferreira’s game, avoiding the dangers on the ground. The same dangers he will presumably have to face against a submission artist like Carlos Junior. The difference is, Carlos Junior was formerly a Heavyweight and since he’s dropped down to Middleweight, his strength advantage is apparent. Tie that in with excellent grappling and submissions, and you get a man on a five-fight win streak. With four of those five victories coming via rear-naked chokes. Make it six fights in a row and a fifth rear-naked choke.
145 lbs.: Megan Anderson vs. Felicia Spencer – I cant say I’ve ever seen Felecia Spencer fight, but from her record, she’s got solid grappling and a prowess for submissions it seems. And given Megan Anderson got easily take down and controlled by a natural Bantamweight in Holly Holm, that’s definitely a concern. At the end of the day though, I have Anderson. She’s a solid striker, with nice pop in her hands. Her eventual clash with Cyborg awaits. So with that, I have Anderson winning via TKO.
170 lbs.: Vicente Luque vs. Derrick Krantz – Gotta respect Derrick Krantz for taking this fight on days notice. With all due react though, Vincent Luque is the complete package. Armed with legit power in his hands, it’s only a matter of time before the future Welterweight contender puts the debuting Krantz down. Luque has won eight of his last nine fights and four in a row all by finish, make it five with this one coming via a TKO victory.
155 lbs.: Nik Lentz vs. Charles Oliveira – The only justifiable reason for this odd trilogy, is that the previous two fights won Fight of the Night honors. Other than that, Charles Oliveira won one and the other fight was a no contest due to an illegal knee by Oliveira. I’m not seeing anything different from their previous encounters, in that Oliveira is just the better fighter. So with that, I believe it’s only a matter of time before Oliveira eventually sinks in the fight ending submission victory.
155 lbs.: Austin Hubbard vs. Davi Ramos – Squash match. Ramos easily gets to the mat and wins via submission.
UFC on ESPN+ 10 “Prelims” Undercard (5 p.m. ET):
135 lbs.: Sijara Eubanks vs. Aspen Ladd – This is an awesome rematch. Both have improved since their first encounter and I’m still somewhat unsure who will take this one. Sijara Eubanks finally moved up to 135 lbs., which seemed like a no brainer given the missed weight cuts. A trip to the hospital costing her a title shot, missed weight on weigh ins costing her a percentage of her pay and criticism probably aided the trip up.
As for the fight, I have Aspen Ladd. Her wrestling is just so good and while Eubanks is naturally strong and has good takedown defense, her cardio issues eventually will no longer keep her upright. Although, early on, Eubanks power and the fact that Ladd’s striking defense is a tad questionable could lead to a potential finish. At any rate, I’ll take Ladd’s wrestling and volume ground-and-pound en route to a close decision victory.
155 lbs.: Desmond Green vs. Charles Jourdain – It’s a rarity that Desmond Green fights an opponent who made weight, but Charles Jourdain is a professional and made it. As for the fight, I have Green. He’s a good striker at range, has a knack avoiding getting hit and his takedown defense is solid. Mix in the fact that he’s fighting in his hometown and I doubt we’ll see him walk away with anything but a decision victory. Lock it in!
170 lbs.: Michel Pereira vs. Danny Roberts – If you haven’t seen Michel Pereira against Dae Sung Kim, do yourself a favor and check it out. With that said, aside from Pereira’s flashy and dynamic abilities, the opponents he’s faced have had iffy records at best. Danny Roberts is a tough task, but given his durability issues, it isn’t completely out of the question for Pereira to strike gold in his UFC debut.
As for a prediction, I have Roberts. Despite the chin concerns, Roberts is a good striker whom if taken down, has a formidable submission game. Pereira is very much unproven and from what I’ve seen, his gas tank isn’t very good. So with that, I have Roberts winning via TKO.
145 lbs.: Grant Dawson vs. Mike Trizano – I’ve doubted Mike Trizano in his first two UFC fights, but he’s a good striker whom has solid takedown defense. He’s got two split decision nods at Lightweight and now is dropping back down to Featherweight. Grant Dawson is a pure wrestler and a good one at that. In his debut, he accrued 6 take downs en route to a decision victory. As for a prediction in this fight, I’ve got Dawson. I believe Trizano will stuff his fair share of takedowns, but the amount of body kicks he throws is going to open up opportunities for Dawson to get this to the mat. In a close fight, I’ve got Dawson winning via decision.
205 lbs.: Patrick Cummins vs. Ed Herman – Patrick Cummins has kind of plateaued. Either he’s going to physically overwhelm his opponent against the cage, take them down and control them. OR, Cummins wrestling gets stuffed and his lack of chin and striking abilities get him battered and likely finished.
Luckily, this is a fight where I believe Cummins can physically overwhelm his opponent. Ed Herman is a Middleweight, fighting 20 lbs. above his natural weight class. Herman is durable and has decent takedown defense, but Cummins should still be able to get him to the ground. Herman holds a significant striking and power advantage, but I don’t expect him to be able to throw much with Cummins grinding him down for three rounds. So with that, I have Cummins winning via decision.
185 lbs.: Zak Cummings vs. Trevin Giles – As good of a fighter Zak Cummings is, I believe Trevin Giles is going to batter and finish the veteran. Of more recent, I’ve noticed Cummings getting into 50/50 exchanges. Against a powerful puncher like Giles, that’s not going to work. Tie in the fact that Cummings isn’t a successful takedown artist and I believe it’s going to be a long night on the feet for Cummings. So with that, I have Giles winning via TKO.
145 lbs.: Julio Arce vs. Julian Erosa – Julio Arce may not have the power necessary to be a contender, but he’s got a well rounded game good enough to rack up wins. Add in a hell of a chin and the ability to comeback in the later rounds, and I’m going to say Arce should easily beat a defensively poor Julian Erosa via decision.