The UFC is back after a fun UFC 250 card, with a thinner, but fun card none the less. Headlining the event is former Flyweight title challenger Jessica Eye and Cynthia Calvillo. Eye looks to extend her winning streak to two, after losing in the title fight against Valentina Shevchenko. As for Calvillo, missed weight cuts forced her up to Flyweight and she gets an instant fast track to the title, as Eye is ranked one in the division. While people have crapped on this showdown, I think it’s an intriguing and important fight for the division. Is Eye going to re-climb the ladder or while a new contender rise?
UFC on ESPN 10 Main Card On ESPN/ESPN+ (9 p.m. ET):
125 lbs.: Jessica Eye vs. Cynthia Calvillo – At first I had Eye. I believed her striking and size advantage where going to be the X factors that got her by in this fight. Then came the missed weight cut and the look on an extremely drained Eye. Given this is a five round fight, I really don’t see how Eye is going to have the energy to endure the pace over twenty five minutes. Her best bet is to end it early, but her peppering shots don’t carry the power necessary to do such. On the other hand, Calvillo is a capable striker, but her bread and butter is grappling. Eye’s takedown defense is mediocre, so that could be a route to victory. Early on, Eye’s strength might hold her up, but the later this fight goes, the more vulnerable I see her to being taken down. Given my concerns over Eye’s bad weight cut, I’m going with Calvillo via late submission.
185 lbs.: Karl Roberson vs. Marvin Vettori – Man, the bad blood in this fight only escalated when Roberson missed weight. This is the third time this bout was scheduled, second time Roberson missed weight and Vettori is as pissed as ever. While normally I don’t like emotional fighters, I’m given an exception to Vettori. The man’s the more we’ll rounded fighter, whom lost a split decision to current Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya. In this fight, Vettori’s grappling edge tied in with Roberson’s inability to consistently stuff takedowns make me feel strongly that Vettori wins this fight. Given the anger, I’ll go with by submission.
155 lbs.: Kevin Aguilar vs. Charles Rosa – As much as I believe Rosa can come back on short notice and erase the mauling he received against Bryce Mitchell, I don’t see it. While Rosa has the massive grappling edge, Aguilar counters that with his solid takedown defense. On the feet, Rosa is tough as nails and at times throws in volume. However, Aguilar is the better striker whom showed real power on the regional scene. While it’s yet to show in the UFC, that still doesn’t take away from his solid boxing abilities. So with that, I have Aguilar notching the decision victory.
145 lbs.: Andre Fili vs. Charles Jourdain – This right here is likely the fight of the night. Fili is an active striker, who diversifies his attack. He’s also a solid wrestler, landing 14 combined takedowns in his last six fights. Fili often likes to blend wrestling with strikes, but isn’t afraid to stand and trade for three rounds either. Jourdain is primarily a striker and has some legit pop. His knockout victory over the Korean Superboy Doo-Ho Choi was shocking to say the least. I for one thought he was a sacrificial lamb, especially given his octagon debut. Boy was I wrong, he’s a legit striker with the abilities to put anyone to sleep. While that’s the case, I still feel that Fili is the more we’ll rounded fighter. The ability to wrestle is going to play a factor here and with that, I’m siding with Fili via decision.
135 lbs.: Mark De La Rosa vs. Jordan Espinosa – Both men have been pretty rough of late, so this is shaping up to be a must win fight. In my opinion, Espinosa is the better striker, wrestler and has pretty stout takedown defense. While this might be a coin flip of a fight in essence, I’ll take those advantages and say Espinosa gets it done via decision.
UFC on ESPN 10 Prelims Card On ESPN+ (7 p.m. ET):
125 lbs.: Mariya Agapova vs. Hannah Cifers – While Cifers may be the better volume striker, Agapova has a five inch height and six inch reach advantage. I expect that to aide in Agapova landing more and the cleaner of the shots over three rounds. So with that, I got Agapova winning via decision.
140 lbs.: Merab Dvalishvili vs. Gustavo Lopez – Kudos to Lopez for stepping in or short notice, but this is going to be a mauling. Dvalishvili has to be one of the worst fighters to debut against. A pressure wrestler, whom has cardio for days and will keep the same pace on you for three rounds. Expect a rinse and repeat of wrestling and dominant decision victory for Dvalishvili.
135 lbs.: Julia Avila vs. Gina Mazany – I’m not sure Mazany should be in this fight, I mean, she’s a good wrestler, but that’s about it. Avila is going to maul Mazany early and finish her by whatever method she wants. Let’s go with TKO.
125 lbs.: Tyson Nam vs. Zarrukh Adashev – I was excited when Nam finally got the chance to fight in the UFC. Two tough opponents out of the gate, led to two losses and this being a potential pink slip fighter. Fortunately, Adashev is a late replacement. While an experienced kickboxer, his MMA experience is thin. The opponents he’s beaten have had no experience at all. In my opinion, this is Nam’s fight to lose. He’s fought some top notch opponents in his career and fared well. So with that, I have Nam winning this via knockout.
170 lbs.: Christian Aguilera vs. Anthony Ivy – Both newcomers, and I don’t know much. Given that, I’ll go with the consensus and pick Ivy via TKO.