For the eighth consecutive week, the UFC is back in action. The promotion heads to Uruguay for the first time, as they continue there global expansion. Headlining the event is Flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko and challenger Liz Carmouche. This is Shevchenko’s second title defense and a rematch against one of the only two women to beat her.
UFC on ESPN+ 14 Main Card:
125 lbs.: UFC Women’s Flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko vs. Liz Carmouche – No disrespect to Carmouche, but I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, nobody is going to beat Shevchenko at Flyweight. Welcome to the Shevchenko era… this fight ends via TKO.
170 lbs.: Mike Perry vs. Vicente Luque – Here’s your fight of the night. Two willing brawlers going to toe to toe. Luque though is an excellent grappler and it’s interesting how he rarely uses it. He’s developed into such a technical, yet powerful striker and I really believe he’s a contender that’s blossoming in front of us. As for Perry, the former slugger has adapted his game into a more technical approach. He’s not exerting the energy he used to when was a wild man and it’s bettered him into a legit fighter.
As for a prediction, I’ve got Luque. I think it’s going to be a close back and forth fight, then Perry is going to rock Luque and force him to grapple. When he finds ease in getting Perry down, he will exploit that to grab the victory. So with that, I have Luque winning via decision.
145 lbs.: Humberto Bandenay vs. Luiz Eduardo Garagorri – This is on the main card? Garagorri via submission.
205 lbs.: Ilir Latifi vs. Volkan Oezdemir – Tough fight to call, but I have Latifi. The mans a bull, who’s got legit pop in hands despite his lack of technique. He’s also a pretty good wrestler, which is exactly why I think he wins. Oezdemir just hasn’t developed enough takedown defense for me to believe he keeps this fight upright. So with that, I’ll go with Latifi via decision.
185 lbs.: Oskar Piechota vs. Rodolfo Vieira – I don’t think Piechota is bad, but all the hype around Vieira’s ground game has me picking him via submission.
145 lbs.: Enrique Barzola vs. Bobby Moffett – I really don’t think Moffett has a chance if he can’t take Barzola down. And given Barzola is tough to take down and in general, a tough opponent to look good against. So with that, I have Barzola winning via decision.
UFC on ESPN+ 14 ‘Prelims’ Undercard:
170 lbs.: Gilbert Burns vs. Aleksei Kunchenko – Fun fight, but I’m going with Burns. Despite the undefeated record and some legit pop in his hands, Kunchenko seems a bit too hesitant to throw enough volume with me to pick him. Now, Burns has had a shaky chin in the past, but I feel like he’s rolling now with solid striking and excellent grappling. Given Kuncenko’s excellent takedown defense, I expect this fight to take place on the majority on feet. However, despite that, I still favor Burns to win the striking match and fight via decision.
265 lbs.: Cyril Gane vs. Raphael Pessoa – All I know is Gane trains with Ngannou and lives to talk about. That and he’s already knocked out three foes heading into his octagon debut. So without further ado, Gane wins this via knockout.
115 lbs.: Marina Rodriguez vs. Tecia Torres – This is a tough fight to call. On one end, Torres is a perennial top ten Strawweight, who just can’t seem to beat the top of the division. On the other end, Rodriguez has already fought two tough foes with great success. I really want to side with Rodriguez, but something tells me that Torres is going to sneak this one out any way she can. Three consecutive defeats is a death wish for some in the promotion, so I don’t think she can afford a 4th straight loss. So with that, I have Torres winning via decision.
125 lbs.: Rogerio Bontorin vs. Raulian Paiva – This is going to be a really fun fight, but it’s Paiva who liken here to walk away with the victory. Despite his octagon debut defeat, I thought Paiva showed excellent counter striking, as well as takedown defense. Often, Paiva reversed the numerous takedown attempts in his favor. With a little more time inside the octagon, I truly believe we have the makings of a contender. So with that, I have Paiva winning via decision.
135 lbs.: Geraldo de Freitas vs. Chris Gutierrez – I believe it’s going to be a long night for de Freitas, as he struggles to takedown a more advanced fighter than his last foe. In the end, Gutierrez is going to pick apart de Freitas on the feet en route to a TKO victory.
155 lbs.: Alex da Silva vs. Rodrigo Vargas – Ive got da Silva taking this fight. Vargas has had a lengthy absence, is making his UFC debut and eleven years the elder of the young upstart. So with that, I have da Silva using his speed to cruise to a decision victory.
125 lbs.: Veronica Macedo vs. Polyana Viana – Both women are in desperate need of a victory. From what I’ve seen thus far, I believe Macedo gets the job done. I like her karate style and as long as she can keep this fight upright, she should outpoint Viana. So with that, I have Macedo winning via decision.