Fight One: Takashi Sato (16-6) (-110) vs Themba Gorimbo (10-4) (-110)
Winner: Takashi Sato by KO/TKO or Decision
Fight Two: Victoria Leonardo (9-4) (+400) vs Natalia Silva (14-5-1) (-550)
My Bet: Natalia Silva ML
Fight Three: Chase Hooper (11-3-1) (-120) vs Nick Fiore (6-1) (-105)
My Bet: Nick Fiore by KO/TKO or Decision
Fight Four: Ilir Latifi (16-8) (+130) vs Rodrigo Nascimento (9-1) (-155)
My Bet: Rodrigo Nascimento by KO/TKO or Decision
Fight Five: Orion Cosce (8-1) (-160) vs Gilbert Urbina (6-2) (+130)
My Bet: Orion Cosce by KO/TKO or Submission
Fight Six: Karolina Kowalkiewicz (14-7) (-150) vs Vanessa Demopoulos (9-4) (+125)
My Bet: Karolina Kowalkiewicz by Decision
Fight Seven: Maheshate (9-2) (+130) vs Viacheslav Borschev (6-3) (-155)
My Bet: Viacheslav Borschev by KO/TKO or Decision
Fight Eight: Michael Johnson (21-18) (+120) vs Diego Ferreira (17-5) (-150)
My Bet: Michael Johnson by KO/TKO or Decision
Fight Nine: Andre Fialho (16-6) (+140) vs Joaquin Buckley (15-6) (-175)
My Bet: Joaquin Buckley by KO/TKO
Fight 10: Emily Ducote (12-7) (+120) vs Lupita Godinez (9-3) (-150)
My Bet: Lupita Godinez by Decision
Fighting at a catchweight of 120 pounds are two usual strawweights Emily Ducote and Lupita Godinez. After making her UFC debut close to 10 months ago, Ducote won her debut in an impressive fashion but lost to the main eventer of this card, Angela Hill in her next fight. Now, Ductoe is looking to show that she belongs back in the rankings of the Strawweight Division with a win over Godinez. Godinez is also a victim of Angela Hill, but rebounded with a close win over Cynthia Calvillo about a month ago, and is now looking for her second win in a row.
As the odds suggest, I expect this to be a close fight. There are two clear paths to victory here, Godinez needs to get Ducote’s back to the cage and try and get the fight to the mat, while Ducote needs to find openings to land strikes on the feet. Although it is tough to confidently side with either one of these fighters, my pick is Godinez who I believe wins a decision.
Fight 11: Edmen Shahbazyan (12-3) (+245) vs Anthony Hernandez (10-2) (-315)
My Bet: Anthony Hernandez by Submission or Decision
In the co-main event of the evening, middleweights Edmen Shahbazyan and Anthony Hernandez are looking to make their case for an opponent inside the top 15 with a win this Saturday night. Once looked at as a top prospect in the UFC, Edmen Shahbazyan has had a bit of a fall from grace as of late. After knocking out Brad Tavares, Shahbazyan went on to lose his next three in a row. In his last octagon appearance, Shabazyan proved he still has something left to prove as he was able to knockout Dalcha Lungiambula, and is looking to carry this new momentum into another win streak. His opponent, Anthony Hernandez, has won four of his last five fights inside the octagon, three of which by submission, and is looking to make Shabazyan his next victim.
This is an intriguing matchup for Shahbazyan as he was dominated on the ground in his losses, but all of his opponents turned out to be legit contenders. Hernandez has not proven himself as a legit contender yet, but he is a threat on the ground, so if Shahbazyan can defeat Hernandez he proves he’s one step closer to getting back into the top ranks of the division. Unfortunately for Shahbazyan I am not expecting him to be the winner of this matchup. Every time Hernandez has been in the octagon recently he seems to have gotten better, and I have no reason to believe he can’t capitalize on Shahbazayn’s biggest weakness. However, Shahbazyan is an excellent striker and If Hernandez tries to stand and strike with him, he may get upset, but I think he will use the right game plan and earn his fourth win in a row.
Fight 12: Mackenzie Dern (12-3) (-185) vs Angela Hill (15-12) (+155)
My Bet: Mackenzie Dern by Submission or Decision
In the main event of the evening, Mackenzie Dern puts her number eight ranking on the line against Angela Hill. In her first 10 appearances inside the octagon, Dern holds a 7-3 record but has lost two of her last three. Her opponent, Hill, has lost three of her last five but won her last two in a row against Lupita Godinez and Emily Ducote. Now, Hill is looking to extend her win streak to three and enter the top 10 by defeating Dern this Saturday night.
This fight is an obvious clash of styles as Mackenzie Dern is one of the best grapplers in all of the UFC while Hill excels on the feet. I believe that this fight will come down to whether or not Dern can hold her own enough on the feet to get the fight down to the mat. If the fight hits the mat, it should be easy for Dern to implement her game plan, but getting Hill down may be easier said than done. Hill defends takedowns at a 77% rate and is known for her constant pressure on the feet, making it even for opponents to enter in for a takedown. If this was a three round fight, I may be taking the underdog Hill as I could see her succeeding early on, but I do think as the fight goes on she won’t be able to keep the pressure on Dern at the same rate and the fight will hit the mat. I am predicting a third, fourth, or fifth round submission win for Dern or potentially a decision.
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