Claudio Ribeiro vs Joseph Holmes
Claudio Ribeiro ML (-180)
Dana White Contender Series pick-up Claudio Ribeiro will be making his return to the Octagon against Joseph Holmes. Ribeiro was giving veteran knockout artist Abdul Razak Alhassan everything he could handle on the feet until Alhassan landed a perfect one hitter quitter. I expect this fight to look exactly the same, with Ribeiro walking Holmes down, battering his legs, and making Holmes have to fight defensively in respect of Ribeiro’s pure power and physicality. The difference in this spot is Holmes has absolutely ZERO one shot knockout power coming back at Ribeiro. Holmes will want this fight on the mat to get his jiu-jitsu going, but I just don’t see him being physically strong enough to get Ribeiro down. Holmes is a skinny long frame for the division and Ribeiro is an absolute unit, I see Ribeiro reversing any clinch position and getting out of grappling scenarios with sheer power and strength. Ribeiro should finish Holmes inside the distance.
Aljamain Sterling vs Henry Cejudo
Henry Cejudo ML (-115)
Former flyweight and bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo makes his much anticipated return to the UFC to challenge Aljamain Sterling for his bantamweight title. Cejudo left the UFC as a two-weight champion and arguably the pound for pound best fighter in the world. He returns to a favorable stylistic matchup in Aljamain Sterling. Cejudo will have cleaner, more energy-efficient striking on the feet, while Sterling will empty his gas tank with dynamic and sometimes wild striking and will struggle to get Cejudo down. Sterling has one path to victory, take you down, take your back, and control you. Cejudo’s wrestling is worlds above Sterling’s, he holds a 93% takedown defense in his career. The easy takedowns Sterling landed on Petr Yan and an injured TJ Dillashaw will be scrambles, reversals, and knees to the face against Cejudo. Henry will fight at a much more efficient pace, and just as we saw in the first fight with Yan, the further into the fight and the more Sterling struggles to land takedowns, we will see his energy begin to wilt. I think this fight plays out extremely similar to that first fight between Yan and Sterling, and Cejudo gets him out in the fourth or fifth round.
Jessica Andrade ML / Khaos Williams ML (-104)
Drew Dober / Matt Frevola O1.5 (-130)
Parker Porter / Braxton Smith U1.5 (-185)
All Odds via Betfred Sports
For more UFC content, check out the links below!
Post-Fight Matchmaking: UFC Vegas 72