Man, I love UFC on back to back weekends. I can’t believe I thought I needed a break from this. Last week delivered for us. Hopefully tonight’s fights can deliver an entertaining night as well. There are a bunch of interesting matchups and some young talent trying to establish themselves, and some established talent trying to get closer to a title shot.



Curtis Blaydes is one of the most underrated guys in the heavyweight division. He is 7-2 in the UFC, 12-2 overall, with both of those losses coming at the devastating hands of Francis Ngannou. He has wins over Aleksi Oleinik, Mark Hunt, Alistair Overeem, and some lower ranked opponents. His wins over Oleinik and Overeem were finishes by his vicious ground and pound. After watching Stipe Miocic embarrass Ngannou by wrestling him, I thought Blaydes had the tools to beat Ngannou, but Ngannou caught him and TKO’d Blaydes 45 seconds into the first round. Blaydes is a volume striker and has an endless gas tank. He also has great wrestling. He uses his pressure style to get guys to the cage, then he will try for a takedown so he can ground and pound them into oblivion. Outside of Ngannou, this has been a sound strategy. A win for Blaydes here gets him one step closer to a title shot.

Standing in his way is the legend and one of the all time great heavyweights, Junior Dos Santos. JDS is 15-5 in the UFC, 21-6 overall. JDS’ resume is littered with great heavyweights, and he has beaten some of the best. He has wins over 5 future/current heavyweight champions. Fabricio Werdum, Shane Carwin, Frank Mir, Cain Velasquez, and Stipe Miocic. Cain and Stipe did avenge those losses. Cain did it twice as they had a trilogy of championship fights. JDS had a great 2018 and beginning of 2019, with wins over Blagoy Ivanov, Tai Tuivasa, and Derrick Lewis. Iit looked like he was back and was going to make his way back to the title, possibly finishing the trilogy with Stipe. Then, as we saw with Blaydes, he ran into the freak of nature Francis Ngannou. It was a bad TKO, Ngannou caught JDS over his shoulder as JDS had his back to Ngannou. It was weird, but showed a level of power we might not have ever seen before. It was a weird fight, JDS is pretty much a pure boxer. He doesn’t grapple, even though he has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

It seems this fight will be on the feet, as long as Blaydes wants it to be on the feet. He will probably try for a takedown relatively quickly. JDS is still dangerous in a standup fight. He might be coming off a loss, but he had 3 straight wins, 2 by TKO, before losing to Ngannou. He still has power and technique. His takedown defense has been pretty good, and he has to be somewhat confident if it goes to the mat, but we wouldn’t know because he actively refuses to use BJJ. JDS’ biggest defensive flaw though is against heavy pressure that backs him up. It seems to be a great styles matchup for Blaydes here.

Curtis Blaydes by 2nd round TKO


This is an intriguing matchup. Both are former lightweights that moved up to welterweight to avoid bad weight cuts. Rafael Dos Anjos has been at welterweight a little longer, and has several welterweight fights under his belt. RDA is 4-3 at welterweight, but has lost 3 of his last 4. Granted, those losses are to Colby Covington, Kamaru Usman, and Leon Edwards. All 3 of those guys are ranked in the top 5, and Kamaru is the champion. It’s crazy to see RDA in this spot in his career. When he absolutely dominated/destroyed/decimated Anthony Pettis to win the lightweight title, I thought he would cement himself as one of the best of all time. At the time, it was the most lopsided title winning fight (I think Kamaru might have passed him with his win over Tyron Woodley). Now, just a couple of years later, it seems that RDA is a gatekeeper for the welterweight division. He was able to get into title contention, but couldn’t beat the top of the division. 

Chiesa is relatively new to welterweight division. He is 2-0 at welterweight, with wins over Carlos Condit and Diego Sanchez. Chiesa is an aggressive wrestler. He constantly moves forward so he can go for a takedown and make it a ground battle. He was successful at this with Condit and Sanchez, but they are also at the end of their careers and those wins don’t mean as much as they would have several years ago. Chiesa shows good promise, but he hasn’t rounded out as a fighter. His striking and striking defense were still pretty weak his last fight. He is going to need to work on that if he wants to move up to the top ranks of the division.

RDA is the better overall fighter and his gas tank is endless. He has had many 5 round wars in his career. Chiesa hasn’t faced anyone the level of RDA yet, and has shown his gas tank isn’t endless. But most of his gas outs were at 155, and he must feel better at 170. Chiesa’s path to victory is getting RDA down and smothering him or submitting him. Unfortunately for him, RDA has never been submitted. RDA has excellent takedown defense, and his striking is better than Chiesa’s. RDA’s path to victory is outlasting Chiesa on the feet, possible TKO with his relentless pressure and volume of strikes thrown, or even a submission. He just has more tools.

Rafael dos Anjos by decision


This is a battle of two fast flyweights looking to make a move up the division. Perez had a hot start to his career in 2018, until he ran into Joseph Benavidez and abandoned his gameplan. Which led him to being knocked out. Espinosa got off to a good start winning his debut fight against Eric Shelton. But he got submitted in 90 seconds in his second fight against Matt Schnell.

With Cejudo giving up the title, Perez and Espinosa can see a path to title contention with a win here. The winner will probably need another win after that at least, but there are fewer people between these guys and the title.

Alex Perez by decision


Both of these fighters are pretty active and like to stand and trade. Hannah Cifers has shown some promise and her gas tank is pretty good. She can take some shots and give them just as well. She had some good wins in 2019 against Polyana Viana and Jodie Esquibel. She is going up against Angela Hill, the Cowboy Cerrone of strawweight division. She fought 4 times in 2019, a couple of fights on short notice too. Hill has shown a lot of promise, but her gas tank just can’t keep up with her style. She tends to gas out at the end of fights, and this seems to be the way she loses fights. It also leads to lots of split decisions and possible draws.

Hannah Cifers by decision


Jamahal Hill is making his UFC debut. Hill got a contract off Dana White’s Contender Series. He is a lanky kickboxer with an ok wrestling game. Hill goes up against former heavyweight Darko Stosic. Stosic was very athletic at heavyweight, but he is more plodding at light heavyweight.

Jamahal Hill by 1st round TKO



Two young guys that made UFC in the last year. Both were overmatched in their debuts, and for Bevon Lewis his second fight too. Bevon Lewis was finished late in his debut against Uriah Hall, then lost a decision to Darren Stewart. Dequan Townsend lost his debut against Dalcha Lungiambula, a fight he took on 7 days notice. Lewis showed good striking in his fight against Hall and was probably winning on the judges’ scorecards, but Hall did Hall things and caught him. Stewart was just better than him. Dalcha was beating Townsend soundly before finishing him in the third. Townsend doesn’t have the power to stop Lewis.

Bevon Lewis by 3rd round TKO


Arnold Allen and Nik Lentz lost their original opponents and UFC matched them up. I love that they did it. This is a good matchup. Allen has been an intriguing prospect for what seems like forever. He has a lot of skills, he just needs to put it all together. His last fight was a dominant win over Gilbert Melendez. He goes up against Nik Lentz. Lentz is a bit of a journeyman. He was at featherweight for a while, then moved up to lightweight because of weight cuts. But then he has gone back to featherweight. He is a grinder and is a tough son of a bitch. His speed is not there though, he was slow at light weight, and it’s not much better at featherweight.

Arnold Allen by decision


Lucie Pudilova by decision


Montel Jackson by 1st round TKO


Lina Lansberg by decision


Brett Johns by decision


Herbert Burns by 1st round submission

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