UFC Fight Night 195 Main Card On ESPN+ (7 p.m. ET):

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145 lbs.: Aspen Ladd vs. Norma Dumont – This is a fun fight that, in my opinion, is basically a title eliminator in the Women’s Featherweight division. With the weight class being so shallow, Aspen Ladd with one victory could catapult herself into a title fight. However, Norma Dumont with a third straight victory would certainly have a better case. Either way, this fight should be a good one. Ladd is a well rounded fighter, who is physically one of the strongest women on the roster. With excellent wrestling, and ferocious ground-and-pound, Ladd is a problem for anyone who stands across from her. Dumont won’t be intimidated though, as the Brazilian is a solid striker. With fast hands, good movement and striking accuracy, Dumont will try to evade Ladd’s wrestling and pick apart the Bantamweight contender.

As for a prediction, I have Ladd winning. While Dumont’s size at Featherweight could spoil this pick, I am in the belief that Ladd’s wrestling and strength overcome the weight discrepancy. Perhaps, another reason I have Ladd winning is that I believe she is one of the best female fighters in the UFC. Unfortunately, Ladd has seen inactivity and injuries halt her from being in title contention. Of course, the loss to Germaine de Randamie hurt, but the dominance she displayed in her other four UFC fights can’t be overlooked. I mean, she finished three of those fights via stoppage. In the end, I foresee Ladd getting back on the horse, ultimately finishing Dumont in the third round via TKO.

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265 lbs.: Andrei Arlovski vs. Carlos Felipe – Andrei Arlovski may be long in the tooth, but the veteran continues to defy odds and defeat younger competition. With excellent striking technique, durability and cardio, Arlovski seemingly lulls opponents into fighting at distance. Something that the Pitbull has mastered. However, Felipe may not partake in that game. The Brazilian likes to pressure opponents and land strikes at a high output. Not afraid of the brawl, Felipe will sit down in the pocket and go toe-to-toe with anyone.

As for a prediction, I have Arlovski winning. In what should be entirely a striking contest, it’s Arlovski who I favor. The veteran is more technical, has a sharp jab and is excellent at managing distance. Felipe’s style is fun, but in fights like this, he is going to walk forward and eat a lot of punches. As the rounds wane, Arlovski’s cardio is going to aid him in winning the later rounds, and ultimately the fight via decision.

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155 lbs.: Erick Gonzalez vs. Jim Miller – This fight will either go two ways. One, Erick Gonzalez will shutdown Jim Miller’s wrestling and grappling, and will outpoint the veteran over fifteen minutes. Two, Miller will exploit Gonzalez’s iffy grappling abilities and either control the UFC debutant or lock in his nineteenth submission victory. While I can see either scenario play out, I’m more keen on the latter. In forty nine professional fights, thirty seven of which come in the octagon, Miller has seen it all. Gonzalez literally doesn’t present a skill set that Miller hasn’t yet fought. However, Miller is long in the tooth and cardio, as well as durability issues don’t exactly improve as you age.

As for a prediction, I’m going with the veteran Miller. From the tape I’ve seen on Gonzalez, he is a pressure fighter who prefers to strike. The problem that I’ve seen in several of his fights though, is that pressure often leads him into grappling exchanges. At times, he has shown decent grappling abilities and other times he has been handled. In this fight, I believe he gets handled. The question though is if Gonzalez evades being submitted? I think not.

125 lbs.: Manon Fiorot vs. Mayra Bueno Silva – The implications for this fight are high, as the winner should be catapulted into the division’s top fifteen rankings. Manon Fiorot has been nothing but flawless thus far in the UFC. She is a powerful kickboxer, who strikes at a high output. Defensively sound, Fiorot uses her excellent mobility to evade her opponents. Mayra Bueno Silva is a submission artist, who has keyed on being a striker. In four UFC fights, Silva has yet to attempt a takedown. Instead, her opponents have initiated the grappling, only to find themselves on the wrong side of a submission.

As for a prediction, I have Fiorot winning. If Silva inclines on strictly striking with Fiorot, I believe she is headed for a bad night. While Silva has shown good offensive striking, the same can’t be said defensively. Absorbing nearly five significant strikes a minute, Silva makes for an easy target. As long as Fiorot sticks to strictly striking, she should land over 100 significant strikes on Silva en route to a decision victory.

185 lbs.: Julian Marquez vs. Jordan Wright – This is an excellent fight to open the main card, as both men have zero intentions of winning by decision. It’s a fight that will be settled on the feet, and one in which could very well end within the opening minute of the fight. Julian Marquez is a powerful striker who isn’t afraid to brawl. While his takedown defense isn’t the best, he has shown the ability to pop back up. Obviously given that Jordan Wright is a striker too, Marquez won’t have to worry about that. What Marquez will have to worry about is the power of Wright. Of the Beverely Hills Ninja’s twelve wins, seven have come via knockout, including the last three.

As for a prediction, I have Marquez. In a fight where both men are going to trade heavy shots, only Marquez has shown the durability to withstand the punishment. Wright on the other hand, has not. The other problem with Wright I have is his experience. Before debuting with the UFC in 2020, Wright had fought eleven opponents who had a combined record of 25-45. For a man that has seen the second round only twice, perhaps the level of competition coming up the ranks had something to do with that. So with that said, I predict that Marquez will win via knockout.

UFC Fight Night 195 Prelims Card On ESPN+ (4 p.m. ET):

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185 lbs.: Andrew Sanchez vs. Bruno Silva – This may be Andrew Sanchez’s last stand to impress the UFC, as the former TUF winner just hasn’t been able to build any momentum in the UFC. The wrestler has been plagued by cardio issues, which has seen him be stopped in the third round in three of his four losses. However, Sanchez has shown talent inside the octagon and will need to tap into against Bruno Silva. A devastating striker, who has won seventeen of his twenty wins by knockout. That includes a UFC debut that saw Silva stuff ten takedown attempts of Turman, and eventually win via knockout.

As for a prediction, I have Silva. Before signing with the UFC, the Brazilian had caught my eye. On the regional scene, Silva was knocking everyone out including former Bellator Champion Alexander Shlemenko and then undefeated prospect Artem Frolov. While the suspension may have cost Silva a few years from the octagon, his debut showed me that he’s ready to keep this train going. Now, Sanchez will try to wrestle, and even may succeed a few times. However, unless he’s completely retooled his conditioning, Sanchez should be winded by round three. From there, Silva will put him away via knockout.

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170 lbs.: Ramazan Emeev vs. Danny Roberts – This is an intriguing fight, and one that may comfort Danny Roberts. Not necessarily in victory, but in avoiding being finished. Something that has plagued Roberts, as he has been stopped in all four of his UFC losses. The reason I point this out is because Ramazan Emeev has yet to stop anyone in the UFC. Being that of a wrestler, Emeev has resorted to grinding out his opponents over fifteen minutes. A formula that has obviously been successful given he’s 5-1 inside the octagon. Roberts though isn’t an easy task, as the striker has proven to be a finisher, winning five of his seven UFC victories via stoppage. However, Roberts will need to be better in the takedown defense department if wants to get off his offense.

As for a prediction, I have Emeev winning. I just think that against lesser wrestlers, Roberts has struggled to keep the fight upright. And while Emeev might not have the best takedown accuracy, his dedication to controlling his opponents against the cage while working for the takedown has led him to being successful. In fact, in Emeev’s last two fights, his takedown accuracy is 38%. However, he has a combined eight takedowns in those two fights. So with that said, I predict that Emeev will win via decision.

125 lbs.: Luana Carolina vs. Lupita Godinez – This is a bold move by Lupita Godinez, as she will have to overcome a weight and size disadvantage among fighting a skilled fighter in Luana Carolina. However, Godinez is well rounded and physically strong. Two attributes that I do believe aided Godinez in making the decision to take this fight. Carolina is a striker, who is accurate and throws with volume. With good takedown defense, she can be a handful for anyone who dares to strike with her. Throw in a four inch height and eight inch reach advantage in this fight, and it’s hard not to think Carolina won’t find success on the feet with Godinez.

As for a prediction, I have Godinez. By the smallest of margins, I do believe that Godinez will get it done. While Carolina has the edge on the feet, Godinez’s wrestling and strength advantage is going to be the factor that turns this fight in her favor. Even though I stated Carolina has good takedown defense, she has yet to fight someone who is as physically strong as Godinez. I expect Godinez to close the distance and bully the Brazilian against the cage. Perhaps, even accumulating cage control time in the clinch. Regardless, I believe Godinez will make history and win her second fight in a seven day span via decision.

145 lbs.: Ludovit Klein vs. Nate Landwehr – Under the radar fights like this are some of my favorites. Nate Landwehr is a madman, who has already committed to a kill or be killed style in the UFC. While it has led him astray in two fights, he does have a win over Darren Elkins. Regardless, Landwehr has made it known that he’s willing to go toe-to-toe with anyone. While Ludovit Klein may not oblige in a brawl, I do believe he will entertain a striking battle. The Slovak is an excellent counter striker, who likes to keep range and throw up head kicks. In Klein’s last eight wins, he has finished seven opponents via knockout, with three of them coming by head kick.

As for a prediction, I have Klein winning. While I do believe he won his last fight, albeit being close, the sudden wrestling approach may have been what cost him. It’s not a knock on him trying to round out his skills, more so than implying that he shouldn’t completely abandon his strength of striking. In this particular fight, I believe Klein returns to form. Landwehr is a pressure striker, who abandons defense in exchange for getting his shots off. Klein, being that of a counter striker, is going to eat that up. In the end, I predict that Klein hands Landwehr his third knockout loss.

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135 lbs.: Danaa Batgerel vs. Brandon Davis – What excellent matchmaking, as these two men are pure entertainment whenever they step inside the octagon. Brandon Davis is a gritty fighter, who isn’t afraid to brawl. In fact, he more than welcomes it. In twenty two professional fights, Davis has never been finished via strikes. He’ll need that durability, as Danaa Batgerel is a heavy-handed striker. With five of his nine victories coming via knockout, the Mongolian standout is not one to brawl with. The only weakness that Batgerel has shown in the UFC is his takedown defense. Coincidentally, lack of takedown defense is the reason why Davis lost five of his six UFC losses. I guess the silver lining here for both, is that neither wrestle much.

As for a prediction, I have Batgerel winning. In what I expect to be an all out striking contest, Batgerel gets the nod on the feet for me. The Mongolian holds several edges, including power, striking output and striking defense. While Davis does have excellent durability, cardio and good size for the division, his pressure style seems like a recipe for disaster here. Just ask Kevin Nativadad, who was rudely met by Batgerel’s patented hooks. However, Davis’ durability see’s him go the full fifteen in a barnburner decision defeat to Batgerel.

115 lbs.: Ariane Carnelossi vs. Istela Nunes – This is an excellent fight to start the card, as both women fancy themselves strikers. Ariane Carnelossi is a tank, whose power and physical strength have aided her to steamroll the competition. With good cardio, pressure and a high striking output, Carnelossi doesn’t just need her power to defeat her foes. Then there is the Muay Thai Specialist Istela Nunes. With a 50-4 record in Muay Thai, the transition to mixed martial arts has been relatively smooth for Nunes. The striker has built up a 7-1 record, with a notable win over veteran Mei Yamaguchi.

As for a prediction, I have Carnelossi winning. While I expect the fight to be competitive, I just can’t get behind the inactivity of Nunes heading into this fight. She hasn’t fought in over three years, and has dealt with a suspension and an injury along the way. To be given a knockout artist in Carnelossi in your UFC debut, is a tough go. In the end, I see Carnelossi outpointing Nunes on the feet and winning via decision.

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