Josh Emmett vs. Jeremy Stephens
Both of these featherweights are coming into this main event on a high, with Emmett having made a name for himself with a KO win over Ricardo Lamas, while Stephens has impressed with back-to-back victories over Gilbert Melendez and Doo Ho Choi.
This should be an entertaining fight as both fighters are likely to be looking to exchange on the feet. Emmett stays busy and has a high output, although despite his first round stoppage of Lamas, he’s not especially heavy-handed, with just four finishes due to strikes in 13 career victories.
Stephens on the other hand does have a higher finishing ratio and has found ways to take out opponents with everything from punches and elbows through to a head kick and flying knee – though it’s generally his hands that get the job done, backed up by solid leg kicks.
I think Emmett will be able to hang with Stephens for the most part, but ‘Lil Heathen’s’ power and experience will eventually take it’s toll, and given that he’s had a knack for producing third round finishes throughout his UFC career (10 out of 13 victories), I’ll take him to do so here as well via TKO.
Prediction: Jeremy Stephens wins by TKO in Rd3 @ $14 – BET NOW
Jessica Andrade vs. Tecia Torres
This is an intriguing fight for the women’s strawweight division between two in-form contenders, with Andrade putting in a career-best performance in her victory over Claudia Gadelha, while Torres has strung together a trio of wins that culminated with defeating Michelle Waterson.
On the feet these two have contrasting styles, with Torres preferring to work on the outside with rangier strikes and footwork, while Andrade is all about getting inside to rough up her opponents with aggressive onslaughts.
Torres could well provide some frustration for Andrade with her movement, but the Brazilian has shown that she is relentless when stalking her pray, is good at closing down her opponents and has impressive cardio for someone who is also as strong and powerful as anyone in the division.
Given the way that Andrade was able to handle a tough customer like Gadelha, I do think Andrade can give Torres real problem at close range, both with punches and potential takedown attempts, and she’s dangerous with ground & pound and submission too.
Torres is a good fighter though, so she may well avoid been stopped inside the distance, but Andrade’s offensive pressure and aggression on the feet and mat will lead her to a decision victory.
Prediction: Jessica Andrade wins by decision @ $1.80 – BET NOW
Ovince Saint Preux vs. Ilir Latifi
Two top 10 light-heavyweights are on tap here, with OSP currently holding down the No.5 spot on the rankings after a three-fight winning streak, while Latifi is No.8 after clocking up four victories in his last five Octagon outings.
OSP will have a 6” inch height and 7” reach advantage against the short, stocky Latifi, and he’ll use that to his advantage with kicks from range and straight punches, while he’s also effective in the clinch.
However, despite his athleticism, Saint Preux striking technique hasn’t progressed the way you might expect and there have been times when his cardio has been suspect.
As for Latifi, given his bulky frame it’s no surprise he has big power in his hands, though aside from leg kicks he does just tend to just wade in winging his ‘sledgehammers,’ which means his striking accuracy leaves something to be desired.
Though he is a genuine KO threat, Latifi’s real strength is wrestling and when he does get into the clinch or on top on the mat he’s tough to deal with. However, OSP also comes from a wrestling background and has good submissions, with the rare Von Flue choke being his speciality.
Given that OSP’s form dips up and down it’s tough to pick him with any great amount of certainty, but his range fighting should serve him well against an opponent of Latifi’s stature and he won’t be easily outmuscled, so I believe he can emerge with a decision victory here.
Prediction: Ovince Saint Preux wins by decision @ $4.50 – BET NOW
Max Griffin vs. Mike Perry
The main card on FOX opens up with a battle of hard-hitting strikers, with Perry coming off a decision loss to Santiago Ponzinibbio after KO’ing his previous two opponents, while Griffin has lost two of his last three bouts.
Both fighters are likely to meet each other in the center of the Octagon here and go on the offensive, and I think that’s the kind of fight Perry excels in.
Griffin has a kickboxing background and carries some power, but I don’t think he’s the kind of technician required to expose holes in Perry’s own striking game.
Instead, though he’s by no means the finished article on the feet, I think this is a fight that favors Perry, who will prove to have the edge in the striking range, has a strong chin and with the hometown support behind him has the potential to finish the fight inside of 10 minutes.
Prediction: Mike Perry wins by TKO in Rd2 @ $5 – BET NOW
(Predicted winners highlighted in bold)
Renan Barao vs. Brian Kelleher
Sara McMann vs. Marion Reneau
Angela Hill vs. Maryna Moroz
Alan Jouban vs. Ben Saunders
UFC Fight Pass:
(Predicted winners highlighted in bold)
Russell Doane vs. Rani Yahya
Sam Alvey vs. Marcin Prachnio
Alex Perez vs. Eric Shelton
Manny Bermudez vs. Albert Moraes