Demian Maia vs. Kamaru Usman
This is an intriguing fight that will reveal for certain whether Usman as is good as his 7-0 UFC record suggests.
As impressive as that win-loss ratio sounds, Usman hasn’t yet faced much in the way of top-tier talent, but even so, it’s hard not to be impressed with his imposing wrestling, athleticism, physicality, and not forgetting that he can strike well too.
Maia on the other hand is coming off two losses in a row after an impressive run of his own before that, and it’s highlighted some of his past weaknesses when it comes to his striking and ability to get certain opponents to the mat.
However, make no mistake, if he does manage to get his opponent down he’s still a world class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu technician who can tie just about anybody up in knots.
You can never count Maia out in a fight like this, his BJJ is too good for that, but Usman does look like being the calibre of wrestler and having the physicality to foil his attempts to get the fight where he wants it, and should also have the edge in the striking department, so I think the younger man comes out on top via a late stoppage here.
Prediction: Kamaru Usman to win by TKO in Rd4 – BET NOW
Alexa Grasso vs. Tatiana Suarez
This looks like a being a striker vs grappler match-up as Grasso tries to prove she’s still got the potential to be a star against TUF 23 winner Suarez.
Despite being tipped for big things, Grasso has underperformed in her 2-1 run in the UFC so far, and this is a challenging match-up for her as she’s going to have to work hard to keep this fight on the feet, where she is at her best.
That’s due to the fact that Suarez is a strong, talented wrestler, who won’t be afraid to step into striking range in order to get her hands on Grasso and bring her to the mat.
In her UFC fights Grasso hasn’t been fighting with the kind of grit that would likely be required to keep Suarez at bay, so I think she’ll end up on her back and will find it difficult to get upright again afterwards, leading to Suarez emerging as the winner.
Prediction: Tatiana Suarez to win by decision – BET NOW
Jared Cannonier vs. Dominick Reyes
This should be a fun one, with both Cannonier and Reyes having the striking prowess to cause each other problems.
The undefeated Reyes in particular has so far lived up to his ‘Devastator’ nickname with some swift and spectacular finishes on his resume, and in addition to a TKO win inside the Octagon he also showed he’s developing his all-round game by submitting his last opponent.
Cannonier has fought tougher opposition so far, although when he’s come up against more challenging fighters like Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira he’s come up short.
Perhaps Reyes will suffer a similar fate as this is a step up for him to, but I think he will prove to be up for the challenge and emerge with a TKO victory inside of 10 minutes.
Prediction: Dominick Reyes to win by TKO in Rd2 – BET NOW
Andrea Lee vs. Veronica Macedo
Andrea ‘KGB’ Lee finally makes her UFC debut on Saturday night, while Macedo makes only her second visit to the Octagon after a 21-month layoff.
A former LFA champion, Lee has good muay thai, and indeed has also won titles in that sport, but will have to be careful of Macedo, who is talented striker in her own right with a background in karate and a penchant for kicks and flashy spinning attacks.
Lee always has a good submission game under her belt however, and that’s counted for the majority of her stoppage wins to date.
Macedo’s skills on the mat are a concern, as his her long layoff, so I think Lee has the edge here and will secure a late stoppage via submission.
Prediction: Andrea Lee wins by submission in Rd3 – BET NOW
Guido Cannetti vs. Diego Rivas
As one of the few fighters from Chile on the line-up, Rivas is sure to have plenty of support on Saturday night as he goes up the against the 38-year-old veteran, Cannetti.
Neither of these two fighters has made a big impact in the UFC so far, but it feels like there’s more upside to Rivas’ game at this stage in their respective careers.
Cannetti will offer up a high output early in the fight, but tends to fade if he doesn’t get the quick finish and also has shaky submission defense, so the younger Rivas has routes to victory here and will emerge ahead on the scorecards to give the Chilean support something to cheer about.
Prediction: Diego Rivas wins by decision – BET NOW
Chad Laprise vs. Vicente Luque
Both Laprise and Luque have been finishing fights in some style of late, with Laprise claiming three TKO victories in a row, while Luque has five stoppage wins from his past six outings.
Each has a high output on the feet, but Luque is particularly aggressive and will push the pace, while Laprise is a bit more restrained, yet still effective with his offense.
Luque find a significant amount of success with submissions, but Laprise has never been tapped out before and I think it’s more likely the two will be engaged on the feet for the most part here.
If the fight finishes early it’s quite possible it’ll be Luque who is emerging with his hand raised, but I think the longer it goes the more it favors Laprise, who will maintain his consistent approach over three rounds to emerge with a decision victory.
Prediction: Chad Laprise wins by decision – BET NOW
(Predicted winners in bold)
Zak Cummings vs. Michel Prazeres
Brandon Moreno vs. Alexandre Pantoja
Poliana Botelho vs. Syuri Kondo
Gabriel Benitez vs. Humberto Bandenay
Enrique Barzola vs. Brandon Davis
Henry Briones vs. Frankie Saenz
Claudio Puelles vs. Felipe Silva