FIGHT OF THE NIGHT: Jessica Andrade (24-9-0) vs Erin Blanchfield (10-1-0)
A women’s flyweight gem is under the bright lights tonight, as the UFC treats fans to an amazing short notice main event, just a week after one of the biggest fights in the promotion’s history. Brazilian contender Taila Santos, who was originally supposed to be fighting tonight, had to withdraw from the bout after visa issues. Luckily for us, the great Jessica Andrade is risking her top three ranking to fill in on short notice, and I don’t think anybody is complaining. “Bate Estaca” has proven herself as one of the best mixed martial artists in the world, and established a reputation of highlight reel finishes and violence that every MMA fan can appreciate. Her opponent, Erin Blanchfield, rose to stardom after an upset win over Miranda Maverick back in December 2021, and has continued the trend with wins over JJ Aldrich and Molly McCann. Blanchfield is an undefeated stud, known for her superb grappling and cold-blooded demeanor. Although it may be a quick step up for Blanchfield, both of these women possess out of this world skill sets which makes it such a tightly contested fight. Stay tuned for a good one.
PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGHT: Zac Pauga (6-1-0)
After a knockout loss to Mohammed Usman in last season’s The Ultimate Fighter finale, Zac Pagua is looking to make a huge statement in a co-main event slot. Pagua is a well-calculated and able striker who was fighting in a bigger weight class in order to compete on The Ultimate Fighter. That decision got him a contract, but it also led to him learning a lesson about the power heavyweights possess. The man he faces tonight, Jordan Wright, is on a three fight skid, demonstrating a firecracker style with incredibly weak defense. Wright is naturally a middleweight, but decided to move up in hopes to revamp his dying career in the UFC. Pagua is a sizable favorite tonight and with a power advantage, it could be an incredibly quick night at the office for him. Expect an early KO win for Pagua.
PICK ‘EM WINNER OF THE NIGHT: William Knight (11-4-0)
William Knight finds himself in the closest fight of the night, with Vegas putting both Knight and his opponent, Marcin Prachnio, in negative value odds. In my humble opinion, I think William Knight is going to make Vegas look silly, with a rather easy win. Knight is returning to light heavyweight after a stint at the heaviest division in the promotion, and has a bunch of things going his way tonight:
- Prachnio is a Karate-styled fighter who needs space to work efficiently, and the Apex has a smaller cage.
- Knight has a significant grappling advantage and could look to easily use it tonight.
- Knight possesses a power advantage and will need one major shot to put Prachnio’s lights’ out.
If Knight is smart, stays in check, and balances his energy, I see no way he loses this fight.
UFC Vegas 69 may not have the biggest names on it, but I can guarantee that it will entertain. Follow me on Twitter @twsn_sbs and follow @TWSN___