For the fifth consecutive week, the UFC is back in action as head to the home of the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas. Headlining the event is two top ranked Welterweight’s. One, a former Lightweight Champion in Rafael dos Anjos. The other, a rising star on a seven fight win streak in Leon Edwards. The implacations are high for this fight, as a win puts them perhaps a fight away from a title shot.
UFC on ESPN 4 Main Card:
170 lbs.: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Leon Edwards – Fun fight and I really expect this one to be a grind. The Brazilian dos Anjos rebounded from a tough 2018, where he lost two fights including a Interim Championship fight with Colby Covington. He took out a very tough Kevin Lee via submission, which was very surprising given his recent woes. However, the victory proved dos Anjos isn’t done and is very a much a player still at 170 lbs.
As for Edwards, a seven fight win streak including wins over Donald Cerrone, Vicente Luque and Gunnar Nelson have aided this very well deserved headliner. It’s also about damn time he fought someone highly ranked like dos Anjos. You’d think with a seven fight win streak, you’d be close to a title shot let alone a high profile fight.
As for a prediction, I’ve got dos Anjos. I just can’t believe how well he performed against Kevin Lee, who I see as a better version of Leon Edwards. Now I’m not saying Edwards can’t win this, but I feel his skill level just isn’t yet on par with the former Champ. So with that, I have dos Anjos winning via decision.
265 lbs.: Walt Harris vs. Aleksei Oleinik – Either Harris is going to knock out the tough Oleinik, or he’s going to get dragged to the ground and submitted. Given Oleinik’s ridiculous experience and the inconsistencies of Harris/Iffy ground game, I’m going with the veteran. So with that, I have Oleinik.
265 lbs.: Juan Adams vs. Greg Hardy – This just feels like its going to be a slobber knocker given the beef heading into this fight. And while Adams is definitely more seasoned and skilled, I think his agenda on headhunting to knock out Hardy is going to put him in a position for Hardy to utilized his one path to victory, power. So with that, I have Hardy winning via knockout.
155 lbs.: Dan Hooker vs. James Vick – This is a really fun fight that probably is a frontrunner for fight of the night. Two strikers, one dynamic, and the other who usually towers over his opponents. However, Hooker has the size and reach to match. And given his dynamic game, I believe he has more in the arsenal to outstrike Vick. So with that, I have Hooker winning via decision.
155 lbs.: Alexander Hernandez vs. Francisco Trinaldo – Has Hernandez had an easy fight since stepping into the Octagon? The answer would be no. However, with a tougher strength of schedule, he’s shown that he’s got the talent to compete with the top fifteen.
Trinaldo is a stud, but he’s older and has shown in a few times his cardio can be problematic when pushed with a faster pace. Hernandez is going to do such, with a combo of striking and wrestling. By round three, a tired Trinaldo will get finished by Hernandez via TKO.
265 lbs.: Andrei Arlovski vs. Ben Rothwell – This would of been a fun fight if it were 10 years ago. Now, it’s two worn down shells of themselves Heavyweights going at it. And at this moment, I’ll go with Rothwell who’s the less weathered of the two.
UFC on ESPN 4 Prelims:
145 lbs.: Alex Caceres vs. Steven Peterson – Gosh Caceres is frustrating. Obviously skilled, he often fights down to his competition. It could happen here against a wild and durable Peterson, but I’m hoping Bruce Leeroy shows up. So with that, I have Caceres winning via decision.
135 lbs.: Irene Aldana vs. Raquel Pennington – I love the toughness of Pennington, but you can only go so far with that. And while Aldana isn’t exactly a knockout artist, she will rack up the strikes. In an all striking battle, I’ll go with Aldana to out-point Pennington via decision.
205 lbs.: Klidson Abreu vs. Sam Alvey – Honestly, it’s hard to pick Alvey given his hesitancy to throw his hands. A little more volume, and he’d probably be a more successful fighter. Anyways, while I should go with the killer Abreu, It’s hard not to pick “Smilin”. So with that, I have Alvey winning by decision.
125 lbs.: Roxanne Modafferi vs. Jennifer Maia – Despite Maia’s missed weight cut, I believe she wins this fight. She’s the better all around fighter and despite Modafferi’s incredible progression, I can’t see her out-pointing and out-grappling Maia. So with that, I have Maia winning via decision.
135 lbs.: Ray Borg vs. Gabriel Silva – Borg’s stinker in his last fight has me questioning him at Bantamweight. However, I can’t see him dropping yet another low profile fight. So with that, I have Borg winning via decision.
135 lbs.: Mario Bautista vs. Jin Soo Son – This should be a really entertaining fight, as both men come to bang. My pick though is Son. He’s too tough and durable to break, whereas I’ve seen Cory Sandhagen take out Bautista within a round. So with that, I’ve got Son winning via TKO.
135 lbs.: Felipe Colares vs. Domingo Pilarte – Coin flip goes to… Pilarte via decision