Tag Archive for Prelims

Predictions! UFC ‘Chile’ ‘Prelims’ Preview – Pt. 1

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bringing a bevy of “Prelims” fights to both UFC Fight Pass and FOX Sports 2 this weekend (Sat., May 19, 2018) when UFC Fight Night 129: “Maia vs. Usman” storms Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile. MMAmania.com’s Patrick Stumberg kicks off the UFC Fight Night 129 “Prelims” party with the first installment of a two-part undercard preview series below.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) hits Santiago, Chile for the first time this upcoming Saturday evening (May 19, 2018) with a pair of Top 10-ranked Welterweight contenders at the helm. The FOX Sports 1-televised main event pits rising bruiser Kamaru Usman (No. 7) against Demian Maia (No. 5), who replaces the injured Santiago Ponzinibbio on short notice, while top women’s Strawweight prospects Alexa Grasso and Tatiana Suarez duke it out in the co-feature. UFC Fight Night 129’s main card also features rising Light Heavyweight prospect Dominick Reyes against Jared Cannonier and a clash between inaugural The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): “Latin America” alums Guido Cannetti and Diego Rivas.

Three of the seven “Prelims” undercard matches take place on Fight Pass, the rest on the oft-neglected FOX Sports 2. Let’s start with the former:

145 lbs.: Enrique Barzola vs. Brandon Davis

Enrique Barzola (14-3-1) defeated Horacio Gutierrez in his Octagon debut to win TUF: “Latin America” 2, only to lose a controversial decision to Kyle Bochniak his next time out. He’s since rattled off three straight, including a mild upset of TUF: “Latin America” 1 competitor Gabriel Benitez.

He will give up three inches of height and two inches of reach to Brandon Davis (9-4).

“Killer B” defeated Austin Arnett in an excellent slugfest to earn a contract on Dana White’s “Tuesday Night Contender Series.” Though he lost a decision to Kyle Bochniak in his Octagon debut, he returned less than one month later to out-slug Steven Peterson and earn “Fight of the Night” in the process.

He has knocked out three pro opponents and submitted another two.

This has the potential to be the most entertaining fight of the “Prelims” undercard, as both men are more than happy to bring it. Davis in particular is loads of fun, but unfortunately for him, Barzola has the tools to give him just as much grief as Bochniak did. “El Fuerte” is quite good at getting in and out of the pocket, keeping Davis from getting his longer combinations going, and he’s hit 21 takedowns in his last three fights, so any shenanigans from Davis will be punished by a trip to the mat.

If Davis just had a bit more stopping power, this would be infinitely more intriguing. As is, “Killer B” doesn’t have enough firepower to keep Barzola from picking him apart and manhandling him on the inside. In short, Barzola potshots and slams his way to victory.

Prediction: Barzola via unanimous decision

135 lbs.: Enrique Briones vs. Frankie Saenz

Enrique Briones (16-7-1) wound up on the wrong end of an incredible upkick knockout on TUF: “Latin America,” but came back strong with a “Fight of the Night” finish of Guido Cannetti at UFC 180. Things went right back to bad, and “Henry Bure” enters the Octagon on the heels of one-sided losses to Cody Garbrandt, Douglas Andrade and Rani Yahya.

His stoppage wins are split 8/6 between knockouts and submissions.

Frankie Saenz (11-4) got off to a red-hot start in UFC, winning three straight and scoring one of the biggest numerical upsets in UFC history over Iuri Alcantara. He went on to lose three straight, including a narrow decision loss to Augusto Mendes that earned “Fight of the Night,” before returning to the win column with an equally narrow decision win over Merab Dvalishvili in Dec. 2017.

Briones is by no means a bad fighter, but this feels like a gimme for Saenz, who has proven he can at least be competitive against strong Bantamweight competition. He can match Briones’ grit and his wrestling, while not elite, should be more than enough to exploit Briones below average takedown defense.

Saenz can hold his own or at the very least survive on the feet long enough to open up his grinding clinchwork and takedowns, which will carry him to a wide decision victory.

Prediction: Saenz via unanimous decision

155 lbs.: Felipe Silva vs. Claudio Puelles

A first-round knockout of UFC vet Anton Kuivanen brought Felipe Silva (8-1) to the Octagon, where he made an immediate impression by stopping Shane Campbell in 73 seconds. He was a tiny bit less successful against Mairbek Taisumov, who put the Brazilian to sleep with one punch.

All eight of his stoppage wins have come in the first round.

Claudio Puelles — representing Team Chuck Liddell on TUF: “Latin America” 3 — fought his way to the finals before suffering a technical knockout loss to Martin Bravo. He’s been out of action since that Nov. 2016 bout, as injury scrapped a planned fight with Sage Northcutt.

Though he’s just one inch shorter than Silva, he will give up five inches of reach.

Puelles is a good-sized Lightweight with a wide skillset, but I’m not sure he’s quite UFC-ready yet. He struggled against Bravo’s rudimentary striking offense and his wrestling toolbox doesn’t look all that deep. Silva’s sheer power and lethality in the clinch make this a majorly rough matchup for the Peruvian.

Puelles is just 22 years old, so he has plenty of time to develop, but Silva and his kickboxing pedigree will give him a rude reminder that there are levels to this. He batters Puelles with clinch knees and body shots for an early finish.

Prediction: Silva via first-round knockout

UFC Fight Night 129’s other four “Prelims” undercard bouts include a rematch between Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja, so be sure to stop by tomorrow at the same time as always.

Remember, too, that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 129 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 2 at 8 p.m. ET, before the FOX Sports 1 main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

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Predictions! UFC Fight Night 128 Fight Pass ‘Prelims’ Preview

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bringing a bevy of “Prelims” fights to both UFC Fight Pass and FOX Sports 1 this weekend (Sat., April 21, 2018) when UFC Fight Night 128: “Barboza vs. Lee” storms Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. MMAmania.com’s Patrick Stumberg kicks off the UFC Fight Night 128 “Prelims” party with the first installment of a two-part undercard preview series below.

The lightweight division continues to churn out quality matchups, the latest of which headlines this Saturday’s (April 21, 2018) UFC Fight Night 128 mixed martial arts (MMA) event on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Said main event pits Edson Barboza, fresh off a mauling from newly-crowned division champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, against Kevin Lee, who succumbed to interim titleholder Tony Ferguson’s grappling late last year.

The supporting cast, meanwhile, features a rematch between featherweight veterans Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson and a top-flight bantamweight showdown between Brett Johns and Aljamain Sterling.

After last week’s 10-Prelim bonanza, we’re back to a more reasonable seven this time. Here are the first three, which take place on UFC Fight Pass.

135 lbs.: Leslie Smith (10-7-1) vs. Aspen Ladd (6-0)

Smith, entering her ninth year as a professional, enters the cage this Saturday on a winning streak for the first time since 2013. Undaunted by her knockout loss to Cris Cyborg, Smith upset Irene Aldana in a Fight of the Night-winning brawl before beating down unbeaten Brazilian Amanda Lemos in Glasgow. “The Peacemaker” stands three inches taller than Ladd at 5’9”, but their reaches are identical.

Ladd went 8-1 as an amateur, losing only to Cynthia Calvillo, before making her Invicta debut in 2015. She beat the likes of Amanda Cooper and Sijara Eubanks on her way to the Octagon, where she pounded out Lina Länsberg midway through the second round. She has stopped four pro opponents with strikes.

Ladd is a quality talent, but the stylistic matchup does not favor her. She’s an aggressive, come-forward striker who absorbs an inordinate amount of strikes until she can lock up a takedown and go to work with ground-and-pound. The problem here is that Smith hits way harder than Ladd does, is inordinately difficult to finish, and does not get tired.

Ladd’s strategy of pushing the pace until opponents succumb is profoundly ill-suited to dealing with the indefatigable Smith. “The Peacemaker” wears her down with body shots for a late stoppage.

Prediction: Smith by third-round TKO

135 lbs.: Merab Dvalishvili (7-3) vs. Ricky Simon (12-1)

Dvalishvili, a product of the vaunted Serra-Longo team, flipped the script on “Lookin’ for a Fight” by knocking out the favored Raufeon Stots in just 15 seconds. This set up a UFC debut against Frankie Saenz, who narrowly edged the Georgian in a grappling-heavy contest. Two of his three pro stoppage wins have come by knockout.

Though Simon emerged victorious on the Tuesday Night Contender Series, his split decision over Donavon Frelow wasn’t enough to earn him a UFC contract. Undeterred, he went on to batter Chico Camus for the vacant LFA Bantamweight title before flattening Vinicius Zani in his first and only defense. He replaces Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes, who ran afoul of USADA, on around a month’s notice.

Simon looked meh against Frelow, solid against Camus, and looked terrifying against Zani. He’s got great wrestling, great hands, and plenty of time to improve at age 25. The problem is that Dvalishvili is a tank of a bantamweight, incredibly strong and adept in the grappling. His strength and the threat of his takedowns are enough to shut down Simon’s high-octane striking.

It’s also worth noting that Simon slowed down against Camus right around the start of the third round, and Camus was not the sort of suffocating wrestler Dvalishvili is. The Georgian battles back from a rough first round to grind his way to a controversial split decision.

Prediction: Dvalishvili by split decision

170 lbs.: Tony Martin (13-4) vs. Keita Nakamura (33-8-2)

Cardio issues led Martin to start his UFC career 1-3, suffering submission losses to Beneil Dariush and Leonardo Santos despite starting strong in both fights He got back on track with three straight wins, only to lose a split decision to Olivier Aubin-Mercier in his last bout. This will be his first appearance at welterweight since his fourth pro fight in 2012.

“K-Taro” has alternated wins and losses since rejoining the UFC in 2015 with a come-from-behind submission of Li Jingliang that earned him Performance of the Night. Most recently, he rebounded from an entertaining loss to Elizeu Zaleski with a split decision over Alex Morono in Saitama. 15 of his 17 submission wins have come by rear naked choke.

I’m definitely interested in seeing how Martin looks at 170. His sheer physicality was a big part of his success at 155, but it also held him to only a few minutes of quality action. Nakamura is a quality test for him, incredibly savvy on the mat but frustratingly inconsistent with his fight IQ.

Though “K-Taro” is never far from an out-of-nowhere choke, Martin is the cleaner striker and his wrestling figures to be a match for Nakamura’s judo. In addition, I expect Martin’s gas tank to hold up far better at 170, giving him the energy needed to exploit Nakamura’s lapses. Martin grinds out a victory on the feet and the mat.

Prediction: Martin by unanimous decision

Four prelim bouts remain, including the return of Magomed Bibulatov. Same time as always, Maniacs.

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How To Watch UFC 222 ‘Prelims!’

It all goes down later tonight (Sat., Mar. 3, 2018) at UFC 222 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, as UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg locks horns with promotional newcomer and former Invicta FC champion Yana Kunitskaya.

In addition to the 145-pound headliner, former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar will try to become the first fighter to beat undefeated featherweight contender Brian Ortega in the co-main event. Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski will also step inside of the Octagon when he takes on towering Dutch veteran Stefan Struve.

Before Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya headlines the PPV card a slew of UFC 222 preliminary bouts are scheduled to take place on Fight Pass and FOX Sports 1.

Check out below to find out when and where you can catch the action.

How to watch UFC 222 Fight Pass “Prelims” (Start time: 6:30 p.m. ET)

ONLINE:

Brazil and Latin America — Blocked
All other countries — Fight Pass on UFC.tv

CABLE/SATELLITE:

Central/South America

Brazil — Combate
Mexico — UFC Network
Argentina — UFC Network
Bolivia — UFC Network
Chile — UFC Network
Colombia — UFC Network
Ecuador — UFC Network
Panama — UFC Network
Paraguay — UFC Network
Peru — UFC Network
Dominican Republic — UFC Network
Venezuela — UFC Network

How to watch UFC 222 FOX Sports 1 “Prelims” (Start time: 8 p.m. ET)

ONLINE:

United States — Blocked
United Kingdom — Blocked
Brazil — Blocked
Latin America — Blocked
All other countries — Fight Pass on UFC.tv

CABLE/SATELLITE:

North America and Canada

United States — FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes
Canada — Sportsnet 360

Central/South America

Brazil — Combate
Mexico — UFC Network
Argentina — UFC Network
Bolivia — UFC Network
Chile — UFC Network
Colombia — UFC Network
Ecuador — UFC Network
Panama — UFC Network
Paraguay — UFC Network
Peru — UFC Network
Dominican Republic — UFC Network
Venezuela — UFC Network

Pacific Rim

Australia – FUEL TV
New Zealand – Sky Sports
American Samoa – FOX South East Asia
Brunei – FOX South East Asia
Cambodia – FOX South East Asia
China – FOX South East Asia
Cook Islands – FOX South East Asia
Fiji – FOX South East Asia
French Polynesia – FOX South East Asia
Futuna Island – FOX South East Asia
Hong Kong – FOX South East Asia
Indonesia – FOX South East Asia
Kiribati Islands – FOX South East Asia
Laos – FOX South East Asia
Macau – FOX South East Asia
Malaysia – FOX South East Asia
Micronesia – FOX South East Asia
Myanmar – FOX South East Asia
Nauru – FOX South East Asia
New Caledonia – FOX South East Asia
Niue – FOX South East Asia
N. Mariana Islands – FOX South East Asia
Papua New Guinea – FOX South East Asia
Pitcairn Islands – FOX South East Asia
Palau – FOX South East Asia
Singapore – FOX South East Asia
Solomon Islands – FOX South East Asia
South Pacific Islands – FOX South East Asia
Tahiti – FOX South East Asia
Thailand – FOX South East Asia
Tokelau – FOX South East Asia
Tonga – FOX South East Asia
Tuvalu – FOX South East Asia
Vanuatu – FOX South East Asia
Vietnam – FOX South East Asia
Wallis Islands – FOX South East Asia
Western Samoa – FOX South East Asia

Europe / Middle East / Africa

United Kingdom / Ireland – BT Sport 1
Algeria – Abu Dhabi Sports
Armenia – Setanta Sports
Azerbaijan – Setanta Sports
Bahrain – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Belarus – Setanta Sports
Chad – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Comoros Islands – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Djibouti – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Egypt – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Georgia – Setanta Sports
Iraq – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Jordan – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Kazakhstan – Setanta Sports
Kuwait – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Kyrgyzstan – Setanta Sports
Lebanon – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Moldova – Setanta Sports
Mauritania – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Morocco – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Oman – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Palestine – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Qatar – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Saudi Arabia – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Tajikistan – Setanta Sports
Turkmenistan – Setanta Sports
Tunisia – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
United Arab Emirates – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Uzbekistan – Setanta Sports
Yemen – Abu Dhabi Sports 6

If you find yourself mobile tonight and unable to view UFC 222 from the comfort of your own home, feel free to find a participating bar near you!

The UFC 222 preliminary card stacks up as follows:

FS1 “Prelims”

Ashley Yoder vs. Mackenzie Dern

Beneil Dariush vs. Alexander Hernandez

John Dodson vs. Pedro Munhoz

C. B. Dollaway vs. Hector Lombard

Fight Pass “Prelims”

Mike Pyle vs. Zak Ottow

Bryan Caraway vs. Cody Stamann

Jordan Johnson vs. Adam Milstead

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 222 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

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Predictions! UFC 222 ‘Prelims’ Preview – Pt. 2!

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bringing a bevy of “Prelims” fights to both UFC Fight Pass and FOX Sports 1 this weekend (Sat., March 3, 2018) when UFC 222: “Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya” storms T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. MMAmania.com’s Patrick Stumberg continues the UFC 222 “Prelims” party with the second (and final) installment of a two-part undercard preview series below.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s Featherweight champion Cris Cyborg will look to go undefeated (2-0) against Invicta champs this Saturday when she takes on Russian standout Yana Kunitskaya in the main attraction of UFC 222, live from Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.

Earlier in the evening, Frankie Edgar throws down with Brian Ortega in a top-notch featherweight clash, Sean O’Malley trades hands with Andre Soukhamthath at bantamweight, and Andrei Arlovski throws down with Stefan Struve in a potentially disastrous heavyweight battle.

FOX Sports 1, as usual, will host four UFC 222 “Prelims” undercard bouts before the main attractions begin (check out the Fight Pass portion here). So, let’s have a look:

115 lbs.: Ashley Yoder vs. Mackenzie Dern

Ashley Yoder (5-3) went 1-1 on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 23, but earned a call to enter the Octagon after a submission win in Invicta. She has yet to taste UFC victory, though, losing decisions to Justine Kish and Angela Hill.

“The Spider Monkey” owns four professional wins by armbar, three in the first round and two in a combined 1:17.

A multiple-time world champion in both gi- and no-gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Mackenzie Dern (5-0) made the transition to mixed martial arts (MMA) in 2016 under the Legacy banner, eventually moving to Invicta for her last two fights. Though perhaps better known for her issues making weight, she’s nonetheless picked up three submissions in her five victories, including an Imanari choke of current UFC competitor Montana De La Rosa.

She will give up four inches of height to the 5’7” Yoder.

I am genuinely more interested in the fight between Dern and the scale than between Dern and Yoder. Yoder is almost exclusively a grappler and is going up against a woman who’s beaten Gabi Garcia, won ADCC, and earned more world-level medals than Yoder has MMA fights. The question is whether Dern can keep her weight in check and get the finish.

Barring a complete meltdown the likes of which would have Sara McMann wincing, Dern should utterly dominate this fight, wrapping up a submission if and when she wants it.

Prediction: Dern via first-round submission

155 lbs.: Beneil Dariush vs. Alexander Hernandez

A knockout loss to Ramsey Nijem in his second UFC fight didn’t stop Beneil Dariush (14-3-1) from winning seven of his next eight bouts, including consecutive victories over prospects James Vick and Radhid Magomedov. “Benny” enters the cage winless in his last two, however, having suffered a shocking knockout loss to Edson Barboza and settled for a draw with Evan Dunham after gassing out late.

Six of his nine stoppage victories have come by submission.

San Antonio’s Alexander Hernandez (8-1) has not tasted defeat since a split decision in his third professional fight. His current streak includes three consecutive finishes, including one in RFA and another in LFA.

He steps in for the injured Bobby Green on a week’s notice.

I cannot for the life of me find full footage of any recent Hernandez fights, not even on the seedier websites that give my adblock a hernia. All I’ve really got are short highlights from his last two fights, which show a quick, athletic, well-rounded fighter who’s comfortable from either stance and can finish fights on the feet and the mat.

They do not, however, show anything that could really trouble Dariush, especially not on short notice. Dariush’s ground game is top-tier for the division, he has underrated power in his kicks and punches, and his gas tank is generally solid when he doesn’t punch himself out like against Dunham. He holds his own in all areas of the game, ultimately wearing down Hernandez with low kicks en route to a late finish.

Prediction: Dariush via third-round submission

135 lbs.: John Dodson vs. Pedro Munhoz

This was supposed to happen on the main card of UFC Fight Night 125 before Pedro Munhoz (15-2) missed weight. Luckily, I was on main card duty that week, so I can copy-paste my pick with zero ethical conflicts.

I can’t look at John Dodson (19-9) and not see lost potential, even with his clear love for and dedication to the sport. His game has just never evolved from hurling left hands in new and exciting ways. He utterly lacks any kind of offense from his lead hand and his output fluctuates strangely, leading to unnecessarily close and dull fights.

See: Wineland, Eddie.

Luckily, though, I don’t see him challenging for the title with the Big Three (Dominick Cruz, T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt) and Marlon Moraes in the way, he’s still well-equipped to beat the majority of the division, including “The Young Punisher.”

Munhoz has an absolute bear trap of a guillotine and is tougher than a $ 2 steak in hockey pads, but his wrestling has not developed as it should, forcing him to use pressure striking to provoke opponents into ill-advised takedown attempts. While he has enough power and aggression to make this work more often than not, he can look worryingly mortal when the choke isn’t there.

Unless he can become the first person to dent Dodson’s chin, it won’t be there. Take Munhoz’s ground game out of the equation and you have a solid-but-not-spectacular bruiser, the sort who Dodson loves leading on merry, painful chases around the Octagon. Dodson’s freakish athleticism, speed and reflexes keep him on his feet as he potshots the advancing Munhoz for three full rounds.

Prediction: Dodson via unanimous decision

185 lbs.: C.B. Dollaway vs. Hector Lombard

From the end of 2014 through the first half of 2017, the MMA career of C.B. Dollaway (34-8-1) seemed like one disaster after another, as he went winless (0-3) with two knockout losses and suffered serious injury from an elevator mishap before UFC 203. He managed to return to action last July, picking up a decision over fellow veteran Ed Herman.

He will have five inches of height and reach on Hector Lombard (16-8).

It feels like eons ago that Lombard was on a 25-fight unbeaten run and considered a genuine contender for the best Middleweight on the planet. He enters the cage this Saturday on a four-fight losing streak that includes stoppage losses to Neil Magny, Dan Henderson and Anthony Smith.

He owns 19 finishes via (technical) knockout and another seven by submission.

This is not an easy decision to make. Dollaway’s overeager striking offense looks like the perfect way to get demolished by a Lombard counter, but Lombard is on one hell of a crappy run. 185-pound division has thoroughly passed both men by — each is more likely to get sent to Queer Street a couple more times than to re-enter title contention.

Dollaway will be making that trip first. Lombard may have lost those fights, but he still hurt Magny and Henderson badly. The reach difference won’t mean much when it’s Dollaway looking to slug inside; therefore, expect Lombard to crunch him in the first few exchanges.

Prediction: Lombard via first-round knockout

I’ll say one thing for certain: UFC 222 is going to be something unique … for better or worse. See you Saturday, Maniacs.

Remember, too, that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 222 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

Current UFC “Prelims” Prediction Record for 2018: 39-10

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LIVE! UFC 221 ‘Prelims’ Recaps

The action returns to the Octagon later tonight (Sat., Feb. 10, 2018) at UFC 221 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Perth Arena in Perth, Australia, as former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold takes another shot at divisional gold when he takes on the formidable Yoel Romero in the main event. In addition to the headlining act, heavyweight knockout sensation Mark Hunt will look to dispose of rising contender Curtis Blaydes.

But, before the premier bouts get underway on PPV starting at 10 p.m. ET, UFC 221’s “Prelims” action will go down on Fight Pass starting at 6:30 p.m. ET and FOX Sports 1 starting at 8 p.m. ET.

Find out what happened right here as the UFC 221 undercard recaps roll in real-time:

Damien Brown vs. Dong Hyun Kim

The FS1 headliner pitted Australian brawler Brown (17-12) against South Korean knockout artist Kim (16-8-3). Kim looked to attack Brown’s lead leg early and often. Brown returned favor and knocked Kim to the ground with his own leg kick. Surprisingly, not many punches were thrown to this point in the fight, although Kim was able to bloody the Australian’s left eye towards the end of the first round. In the second, Brown opened up with an overhand right counter. Kim would find a home for tight right hand inside followed by a short left. Both men exchanged hard leather during an inside exchange, allowing Brown to score some valuable points. Kim returned favored with a nice jab. Brown would drop Kim again with another leg kick before the end of the frame. In the third and final round, Kim score a quick one-two combo. Brown returned with a nice body kick before nearly catching Kim with a head kick. Brown launched a few body kicks before finding a home for a right hand. Neither lightweight showed much urgency, but did land methodically throughout the final few minutes. In the end, it was Kim who walked away with the split-decision nod.

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Rob Wilkinson vs. Israel Adesanya

In one of the most anticipated fights of the evening, undefeated kickboxing sensation Adesanya (12-0) made his Octagon debut against talented Australian middleweight Wilkinson (11-2). The UFC newcomer came out switching stances and landing a nice leg kick then a left hand. Wilkinson closed the distance and put the striker against the cage before looking for a standing guillotine choke. Adesanya was eventually taken down but quickly got back to his feet. When the action broke, Adesanya started to land some offense, including a lead hook into a right hand. In Round 2, Adesanya opened up with a slick high kick that just missed. Adesanya followed that up with a sticking jab. The former kickboxer then dug a hard left into Wilkinson’s body before landing a sharp knee in the clinch. Wilkinson closed distance again and desperately tried to take “Style Bender” to the canvas. Adesanya kept the pressure up with big combinations, knees to the head, and uppercuts inside. Wilkinson wasn’t able to defend for too much longer as the referee jumped in for the TKO stoppage.

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Jeremy Kennedy vs. Alexander Volkanovski

The only featherweight bout on the card saw rising Australian contender Volkanovski (17-1) put his 13-fight win streak on the line against undefeated Canadian youngster Kennedy (11-1). The longer Kennedy opened up from range before sneaking in for a takedown attempt. Volkanovski defended nicely before landing his own takedown via sweep. Volkanovski started to score short elbows and punches down the pipe as Kennedy struggled to cover up. Kennedy didn’t offer much outside of a few transitions with his legs and his lack of defense really started to show on his face. In Round 2, Volkanovski quickly secured another takedown along the cage. Kennedy returned to his feet before eating a hard knee inside by Volkanovski. The Canadian tried again to grab a leg and take Volkanovski down, but Volkanovski remained heavy, switched his stance, and ended up in top control. From there, “The Great” blasted Kennedy with thudding body shots that went unanswered. Volkanovski followed that up with nasty elbows to the side of the head as the points continued to rack up. Kennedy tried to defend in turn, but the pressure was too much. Volkanovski would earn the second-round TKO finish with seconds left in the round.

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Jussier Formiga vs. Ben Nguyen

In the opening FS1 preliminary bout, ranked flyweight contenders Formiga (21-5) and Nguyen (18-7) locked horns in a crucial 125-pound matchup. Nguyen opened up with a flurry that back the Brazilian against the cage. Formiga fought the hands well and landed a counter punch off the break. Formiga then caught Nguyen with a nasty counter right hand as Nguyen rushed inside yet again. The Brazilian tripped Nguyen and landed in side control. Formiga quickly and effortlessly moved over into full mount. From there, the grappling expert landed hard ground-and-pound before the first bell sounded. In Round 2, Formiga suffered a cut on his forehead during an early exchange that started to drip down his face. The Brazilian shook it off and landed a nice spinning kick to the body. As Nguyen swung a looping hook, Formiga quickly changed levels and dragged the rising contender to the canvas, quickly passing to half guard. Nguyen was able to get back to his feet, which is a win in its own right. Nguyen followed that up some good strikes on the feet, but unfortunately suffered an eye poke towards the end of the frame. In the third round, Nguyen landed some short punches inside, including an uppercut that stung Formiga. Out of nowhere, Formiga blasted Nguyen with a devastating spinning back fist that dropped Nguyen in his tracks. Formiga jumped on Nguyen’s back and quickly sunk in the late rear-naked choke finish.

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Ross Pearson vs. Mizuto Hirota

UFC veteran Pearson (20-14, 1 NC) headlined the Fight Pass portion of the event and tried to stop a four-fight losing streak when he took on Japanese veteran Hirota (18-9-2). Pearson opened up with a nice body kick before sticking Hirota with a stiff jab. “Real Deal” then caught Hirota with a nice counter left inside. Hirota kept his hands low with confidence but Pearson started to slip his shots and scored good points. In Round 2, Pearson continued to find a home for his counter left inside, although Hirota was able to score damage to the Englishman’s body and lead leg. Hirota would add to his efforts with a nice jab, but Pearson landed the more powerful punches in most exchanges. Pearson kept the pressure going with quick lefts coming in and impeccable shot selection. Hirota returned favor with a huge right hand that buckled Pearson and opened a cut. In Round 3, Pearson landed a nice head-body combination inside. Hirota came back with more lead leg kicks, but Pearson kept busy by sticking his left uppercut on the counter. Both men started to throw with more power with under 30 seconds remaining, but nothing significant landed for either lightweight. In the end, it was Pearson who did enough on the judges’ scorecards to walk away with the unanimous decision win.

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Teruto Ishihara vs. Jose Quinonez

In the lone bantamweight matchup of the evening, Team Alpha Male standout Ishihara (10-5-2) aimed to capture his fourth Octagon victory when he met wily 27-year-old Mexican fighter Quinonez (7-2). Quinonez opened up with a few low leg kicks before securing a brief takedown. Ishihara was pinned against the cage but defended nicely to limit damage. That was until Quinonez took Ishihara’s back and secured a tight body triangle. Ishihara broke the lock and got back to his feet. From there, Ishihara was finally able to land some offense in the clinch before tripping Quinonez to the canvas. He also landed a flush left hook before the first bell. In Round 2, Ishihara came up high with a head kick. Quinonez responded with a whipping front leg kick. Ishihara decided to close the distance and landed a nice takedown along the cage. Quinonez came back with more leg kicks on the feet, but it was Ishihara who led the way with pace and persistence. Ishihara then landed a big counter left that dropped Quinonez before the end of the round. The third frame saw Quinonez land a nice right hand over the top. Ishihara offered a lot of feints and remained mobile before and after throwing strikes. Quinonez was able to land a partial head kick before blocking a Ishihara takedown attempt. Quinonez opened up a little more with his hands down the stretch and was able to score some valuable points. Fortunately for Quinonez, his efforts scored him a unanimous decision win.

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Luke Jumeau vs. Daichi Abe

The opening bout of the evening saw New Zealand lightweight Jumeau (13-4) take on undefeated Japanese prospect Abe (6-1). Jumeau opened up with a nice one-two down the pipe, as Abe immediately started to leave his hands down by his hip. Jumeau came back with a big overhand right before catching Abe with a nice left hook. Abe was able to land a short right after Jumeau caught his leg from a kick. The Japanese striker then piled on more right hands along the cage as Jumeau covered up. Abe then dropped Jumeau with a right counter inside, but the New Zealand native stayed alive. In Round 2, Jumeau came out quickly to secure a takedown, although Abe got right back up. Jumeau landed a painful body kick. Abe was waiting for his counter shots to land, but Jumeau showed solid head movement inside to avoid most of the attacks. The third and final frame saw Jumeau continue his comeback on the feet. Abe tried to counter when the opportunity presented itself, but he kept loading up on his shots. Jumeau was able to sneak in a slick head kick that caused some swelling over Abe’s right eye. Abe came back with a strike that seemed to be a punch, but the fight was stopped after Jumeau protested it was an eye poke. Jumeau snapped a few body kicks in after the action resumed, following his efforts up with a leg kick that buckled Abe. In the end, it was Jumeau who did enough over the final 10 minutes to walk away with the unanimous decision win.

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MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 221 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

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How To Watch UFC 221 ‘Prelims!’

It all goes down later tonight (Sat., Feb. 10, 2018) at UFC 221 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Perth Arena in Perth, Australia, as former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold takes another shot at divisional gold when he takes on 185-pound tank Yoel Romero for interim title rights. In addition, heavyweight veteran Mark Hunt will look to continue his winning ways when he locks horns with rising contender Curtis Blaydes.

Before Rockhold vs. Romero headlines the PPV card a slew of UFC 221 preliminary bouts are scheduled to take place on Fight Pass and FOX Sports 1.

Check out below to find out when and where you can catch the action.

How to watch UFC 221 Fight Pass “Prelims” (Start time: 6:30 p.m. ET)

ONLINE:

Brazil and Latin America — Blocked
All other countries — Fight Pass on UFC.tv

CABLE/SATELLITE:

Central/South America

Brazil — Combate
Mexico — UFC Network
Argentina — UFC Network
Bolivia — UFC Network
Chile — UFC Network
Colombia — UFC Network
Ecuador — UFC Network
Panama — UFC Network
Paraguay — UFC Network
Peru — UFC Network
Dominican Republic — UFC Network
Venezuela — UFC Network

How to watch UFC 221 FOX Sports 1 “Prelims” (Start time: 8 p.m. ET)

ONLINE:

United States — Blocked
United Kingdom — Blocked
Brazil — Blocked
Latin America — Blocked
All other countries — Fight Pass on UFC.tv

CABLE/SATELLITE:

North America and Canada

United States — FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes
Canada — Sportsnet 360

Central/South America

Brazil — Combate
Mexico — UFC Network
Argentina — UFC Network
Bolivia — UFC Network
Chile — UFC Network
Colombia — UFC Network
Ecuador — UFC Network
Panama — UFC Network
Paraguay — UFC Network
Peru — UFC Network
Dominican Republic — UFC Network
Venezuela — UFC Network

Pacific Rim

Australia – FUEL TV
New Zealand – Sky Sports
American Samoa – FOX South East Asia
Brunei – FOX South East Asia
Cambodia – FOX South East Asia
China – FOX South East Asia
Cook Islands – FOX South East Asia
Fiji – FOX South East Asia
French Polynesia – FOX South East Asia
Futuna Island – FOX South East Asia
Hong Kong – FOX South East Asia
Indonesia – FOX South East Asia
Kiribati Islands – FOX South East Asia
Laos – FOX South East Asia
Macau – FOX South East Asia
Malaysia – FOX South East Asia
Micronesia – FOX South East Asia
Myanmar – FOX South East Asia
Nauru – FOX South East Asia
New Caledonia – FOX South East Asia
Niue – FOX South East Asia
N. Mariana Islands – FOX South East Asia
Papua New Guinea – FOX South East Asia
Pitcairn Islands – FOX South East Asia
Palau – FOX South East Asia
Singapore – FOX South East Asia
Solomon Islands – FOX South East Asia
South Pacific Islands – FOX South East Asia
Tahiti – FOX South East Asia
Thailand – FOX South East Asia
Tokelau – FOX South East Asia
Tonga – FOX South East Asia
Tuvalu – FOX South East Asia
Vanuatu – FOX South East Asia
Vietnam – FOX South East Asia
Wallis Islands – FOX South East Asia
Western Samoa – FOX South East Asia

Europe / Middle East / Africa

United Kingdom / Ireland – BT Sport 1
Algeria – Abu Dhabi Sports
Armenia – Setanta Sports
Azerbaijan – Setanta Sports
Bahrain – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Belarus – Setanta Sports
Chad – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Comoros Islands – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Djibouti – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Egypt – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Georgia – Setanta Sports
Iraq – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Jordan – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Kazakhstan – Setanta Sports
Kuwait – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Kyrgyzstan – Setanta Sports
Lebanon – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Moldova – Setanta Sports
Mauritania – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Morocco – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Oman – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Palestine – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Qatar – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Saudi Arabia – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Tajikistan – Setanta Sports
Turkmenistan – Setanta Sports
Tunisia – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
United Arab Emirates – Abu Dhabi Sports 6
Uzbekistan – Setanta Sports
Yemen – Abu Dhabi Sports 6

If you find yourself mobile tonight and unable to view UFC 221 from the comfort of your own home, feel free to find a participating bar near you!

The UFC 221 preliminary card stacks up as follows:

FS1 “Prelims”

155 lbs.: Damien Brown vs. Dong Hyun Kim

185 lbs.: Rob Wilkinson vs. Israel Adesanya

145 lbs.: Jeremy Kennedy vs. Alexander Volkanovski

125 lbs.: Jussier Formiga vs. Ben Nguyen

Fight Pass “Prelims”

155 lbs.: Ross Pearson vs. Mizuto Hirota

135 lbs.: Teruto Ishihara vs. Jose Quinonez

170 lbs.: Luke Jumeau vs. Daichi Abe

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 221 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

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UFC 221 predictions: ‘Rockhold vs Romero’ FOX Sports 1 ‘Prelims’ undercard preview

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bringing a bevy of “Prelims” fights to both UFC Fight Pass and FOX Sports 1 this weekend (Sat., Feb. 10, 2018) when UFC 221: “Rockhold vs. Romero” storms Perth Arena in Perth, Australia. MMAmania.com’s Patrick Stumberg continues the UFC 221 “Prelims” party with the second (and final) installment of a two-part undercard preview series below.

Perth, Australia, won’t get to see local favorite Robert Whittaker defend his Middleweight title, but they still get to see a world-class match as Yoel Romero steps up to face Luke Rockhold in the pay-per-view (PPV) main event of UFC 221 this weekend (Sat., Feb. 10, 2018) inside Perth Arena.

Earlier in the evening, Oceanic knockout artists Mark Hunt and Tai Tuivasa take on Curtis Blaydes and Cyril Asker, respectively, and Jake Matthews attempts to reassert his status as a top mixed martial arts (MMA) prospect at the expense of Chinese slugger Li Jingliang.

Four FOX Sports 1 “Prelims” undercard bouts will set the stage before we get to the paid content (check out the Fight Pass portion here), though, so let’s have a look:

155 lbs.: Damien Brown vs. Dong Hyun Kim

Damien Brown (17-11) made his fellow Aussies proud at UFC Fight Night 101, surviving early adversity to edge Jon Tuck by split decision. “Beatdown” wasn’t quite as successful seven months later in Auckland, however, suffering a one-punch knockout loss to Vinc Pichel. The good news for his is that he rebounded well, taking Frank Camacho to a “Fight of the Night” split decision in Nov. 2017.

He’s stopped eight opponents via submission, six by form of choke.

Dong Hyun Kim (15-8-3) — best known for his insane war with Polo Reyes at UFC 199 — has dialed back his brawling a bit to secure two consecutive UFC victories. After a grappling-heavy victory over Brendan O’Reilly, he took on the smoldering husk of Takanori Gomi in Saitama and knocked him silly in just 90 seconds.

He will have an inch of height and two inches of reach on Brown.

Before anything else, please go to UFC.com and look at Kim’s haircut. Back? Alright, let’s get into it.

This just seems like a rough style match up for Brown. Kim looks to be the stronger grappler and showed that he knows how to scrap against Reyes, surviving the Mexican bruiser’s best shots for more than two rounds before finally succumbing. Brown is going to have to out-technique him, for which he doesn’t appear to have the toolbox.

If Kim does go full zombie again, it could come back to bite him, but he’s shown a willingness to actually fight smart recently. He mixes up straight punches and takedowns for a comfortable victory.

Prediction: Kim via unanimous decision

170 lbs.: Rob Wilkinson vs. Israel Adesanya

Rob Wilkinson (11-1) earned (and defended) the Australian FC Middleweight title before answering UFC’s call in Nov. 2017. Stepping up on short notice for Abu Azaitar, Wilkinson took on the returning Siyar Bahadurzada and succumbed to the Afghan’s power partway through the second round.

He has submitted six professional opponents … all in the first round.

Israel Adesanya (11-0) — currently ranked the No. 5 middleweight kickboxer on the planet by LiverKick.com — put together a 65-5-2 record in the discipline despite splitting his time with MMA since 2012. His time in our sport of choice has seen him stop all 11 of his opponents, including Kenan Song and Melvin Guillard, with strikes in less than two rounds apiece.

He stands one inch taller than Wilkinson at 6’4.”

Fans should be as excited about Adesanya’s debut as they were about Gokhan Saki’s. Adesanya may not have quite the list of accomplishments “The Rebel” does, but unlike the Turkish slugger, he’s in his athletic prime at 28. It also helps that he’s a joy to watch, packing the sort of fluid and destructive attack his nickname suggests.

Wilkinson is a fairly solid wrestler, which is worth keeping an eye on after another striking prodigy in Muslim Salikhov got wrecked on the mat, but Adesanya’s got good hips and a knack for throws in the clinch. After the way Wilkinson struggled to manhandle a blown-up Welterweight in Bahadurzada, I don’t see him shutting down Izzy. Adesanya wears him down at range before polishing him off once he’s good and tired.

Prediction: Adesanya via second-round technical knockout

145 lbs.: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Jeremy Kennedy

Despite standing a mere 5’6,” Alexander Volkanovski (16-1) has emerged as a Featherweight prospect worth watching during his three-fight Octagon tenure. The former Australian FC champ brutalized both Yusuke Kasuya and Mizuto Hirota before outclassing New Zealand’s Shane Young on UFC’s last venture to “The Land Down Under.”

Nine of his 12 professional finishes have come by form of knockout.

Jeremy Kennedy (11-0) — who has had fights with the likes of Josh Emmett and Mirsad Bektic fall through — has used dominant wrestling to put together a three-fight win streak in the competitive Featherweight division. His victims include inaugural The Ultimate Fighter: “Brazil” winner Rony “Jason” and Kyle Bochniak, who was last seen beating prospect Brandon Davis.

“JBC” stands five inches taller than Volkanovski, though their respected reaches are identical.

Though Volkanovski is still a little too over-reliant on the overhand right, his wrestling technique, bottomless gas tank, and sheer power are enough to make him a massive handful. Even better, Kennedy doesn’t have the style to exploit Volkanovski’s lingering issues. He’s at home in the clinch and relentlessly pursuing takedowns, which plays right into Volkanovski’s sledgehammer hands.

Volkanovski’s strength gives him the edge inside and Kennedy’s usual gameplan puts him well within that overhand right’s limited range. Unless Kennedy has a jab and commensurate distance striking game to go along with it, the local boy overpowers him in the pocket for either a grinding-heavy decision or late stoppage via strikes.

Prediction: Volkanovski via unanimous decision

125 lbs.: Jussier Formiga vs. Ben Nguyen

It’s been more than eight years since Jussier Formiga (20-5) beat Shinichi Kojima to become the world’s top Flyweight, but he’s certainly done well for himself in UFC. After a rough 1-2 start that featured losses to John Dodson and Joseph Benavidez, the Brazilian won five of his next seven bouts, most recently choking out “Ulka” Sasaki in Japan.

He has two inches of reach on ‘Ben 10.”

Ben Nguyen (17-6) went from viral sensation to legitimate contender in just five UFC fights, losing only to Louis Smolka in a barnburner during that span. His latest win was his biggest to date, a 49-second submission of Tim Elliott that earned him “Performance of the Night” honors.

He has knocked out nine opponents and submitted another five.

For my money, Formiga has the best back takes and back control since a prime B.J. Penn. He excels at exploiting any tiny opportunity he’s given and is an absolute leech once he gets his hooks in. He’s held his own on the mat against the likes of Wilson Reis and Ray Borg and has a significantly better body of work against world-class Flyweight fighters.

I just can’t pick against Nguyen, though. “Ben 10” might be the biggest puncher in the division and has shown much, much improved scrambling and takedown defense since that donnybrook against Smolka. He’s young, explosive and packs more than enough heat to crack Formiga’s jaw. Though another Formiga victory through positional brilliance is possible, my gut says Nguyen scores his biggest scalp to date.

Prediction: Nguyen via first-round technical knockout

If nothing else, Romero vs. Rockhold is some A++ matchmaking — can’t wait! See you Saturday, Maniacs.

Remember, too, that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 221 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

Current UFC “Prelims” Prediction Record for 2018: 25-3

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UFC 221 predictions: ‘Rockhold vs Romero’ Fight Pass ‘Prelims’ undercard preview

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bringing a bevy of “Prelims” fights to both UFC Fight Pass and FOX Sports 1 this weekend (Sat., Feb. 10, 2018) when UFC 221: “Rockhold vs. Romero” storms Perth Arena in Perth, Australia. MMAmania.com’s Patrick Stumberg kicks off the UFC 221 “Prelims” party with the first installment of a two-part undercard preview series below.

With Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker on the mend, two of the 185-pound division’s most freakish athletes do battle in Perth, Australia, this Saturday night (Feb. 10, 2018) as Yoel Romero faces former division roost-ruler, Luke Rockhold, in UFC 221’s pay-per-view (PPV) main event.

The Aussie faithful will also get to see Mark Hunt face rising Heavyweight prospect Curtis Blaydes and up-and-coming knockout artist Tai Tuivasa throw down with Cyril Asker.

Before all that, though, we’ve got seven “Prelims” undercard matches that will set the PPV stage. Here’s the Fight Pass line up:

155 lbs.: Ross Pearson vs. Mizuto Hirota

Once feared as among the division’s premier strikers, Ross Pearson (19-14) enters the cage this weekend having lost four in a row and five of his last six bouts. He last fought in New Zealand, where local favorite Dan Hooker timed a vicious knee to turn the lights out in the second round.

He stands one inch taller than Mizuto Hirota (18-8-2) at 5’8.”

Hirota — who won Lightweight titles in both Sengoku and DEEP — finally picked up his first UFC victory in Dec. 2016 with a decision over Cole Miller. Things have been a tad disastrous since, however, as he was battered by Alexander Volkanovski and pulled from a fight with Charles Rosa because of a failed weight cut.

“Pugnus” has stopped 10 opponents with strikes, including fellow Japanese standouts Satoru Kitaoka and Masakazu Imanari.

This is probably the Japanese mixed martial arts (MMA) fanboy instincts I’ve tried so hard to suppress talking, but I’ve got Hirota here. The book is out on Pearson, who is just 2-6 in his last eight bouts and had to settle for split decisions in those two victories. Hirota is as durable as they come, can handle himself on the inside, and has the takedown prowess to ruin Pearson’s day.

Pearson does have a habit of coming up big when he’s been counted out, of course, and is sharper than Hirota with his boxing. Still, I believe Hirota can weather his best shots and eke out a decision through effective grinding.

Prediction: Hirota by split decision

135 lbs.: Teruto Ishihara vs. Jose Alberto Quinonez

The ever-charismatic Teruto Ishihara (10-4-2) rattled off two brutal knockouts following his draw with Mizuto Hirota in The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): “Japan” finals, only to suffer consecutive upset defeats to Artem Lobov and Gray Maynard. When UFC next returned to Japan, “Yashabo” took on Filipino striker Rolando Dy and survived a late surge to win a unanimous decision.

This will be his first Bantamweight appearance since 2014.

Jose Alberto Quinonez (6-2) defeated Bentley Syler and Marco Antonio Beltran on his way to TUF: “Latin America” finals, where he lost a decision to former victim Alejandro Perez. Though he has fought just three times since that Nov. 2014 defeat, “El Teco” has yet to taste further defeat in UFC, most recently defeating former castmate Diego Rivas in Mexico City.

He has knocked out two professional opponents and submitted another.

Ishihara’s power is catastrophic, but there just hasn’t been any development in his game since joining UFC. He’s still a one-handed slugger with cardio issues and iffy defensive wrestling. Despite training with Team Alpha Male, his takedowns aren’t much better — the ones he tried on Dy looked more like football tackles than polished double-legs. If he can’t get rid of his opponents early, he’s in trouble against someone with a solid sprawl.

Quinonez is more polished all around, can wrestle fairly well and proved that he can fight through heavy firepower against Joey Gomez. Clean boxing and resilience carry him through the early storm, after which he takes over with punches and takedowns.

Prediction: Quinonez by unanimous decision

170 lbs.: Luke Jumeau vs. Daichi Abe

Luke Jumeau (12-4) put submission losses to future UFC competitors Li Jingliang and Jake Matthews behind him with six consecutive stoppage victories, including a technical knockout of TUF: “Nations” competitor Vik Grujic. “The Jedi” upset Dominique Steele in his Octagon debut, but couldn’t quite handle the relentless pressure and wrestling of Shinsho Anzai in “The Animal’s” native Japan.

All nine of his professional finishes have come inside of two rounds.

Daichia Abe (6-0) made his professional MMA debut in Pancrase in April 2016 and won its Welterweight title little more than one year later, felling former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) standout and professional boxer Hiromitsu Miura with punches. He went on to face Korean bruiser Hyun Gyu Lim in his debut, fighting through an eye poke to drop “The Ace” late and secure a decision victory.

Four of his six wins have come by form of knockout, three in the first round.

The X-factor here is Abe’s judo. The two are well-matched on the feet, both packing plenty of skill and aggression, but Jumeau’s takedown defense and bottom game remain underdeveloped. Grujic and Anzai demonstrated that you don’t even need all that much craft to dominate him on the ground … just gusto and determination.

It’s a toss-up so long as it stays on the feet, with Abe’s power giving him a slight edge. It’s a wash on the ground, though, and that decides it. Abe holds his own in the exchanges and mixes in enough throws and top control to take the decision.

Prediction: Abe via unanimous decision

Four more UFC 221 “Prelims” undercard bouts to preview and predict tomorrow, including the Octagon debut of one of the world’s best kickboxers. See you there, Maniacs.

Remember, too, that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 221 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

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UFC Fight Night 125 results: ‘Machida vs. Anders’ live updates, fight recaps – ‘Prelims’

It all goes down later tonight (Sat., Feb. 3, 2018) at UFC Fight Night 125 live on FOX Sports 1 from inside Arena Guilherme Paraense in Belem, Brazil, when former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida looks to knock off rising undefeated middleweight contender Eryk Anders. In addition to the main event, former UFC women’s bantamweight title challenger Valentina Shevchenko will make her flyweight debut against undefeated Brazilian prospect Priscila Cachoeira.

But, before the premier bouts get underway on FS1 starting at 10 p.m. ET, UFC Fight Night 125′s “Prelims” action will also go down on Fight Pass starting at 7:30 p.m. ET and FOX Sports 2 starting at 8 p.m. ET.

Find out what happened right here as the UFC Fight Night 125 undercard recaps roll in real-time:

Sergio Moraes vs. Tim Means

In the FS2 “Prelims” headliner, welterweight submission expert Moraes (13-3-1) looked to bounce back from a recent knockout loss to Kamaru Usman when he took on wily veteran Means (27-10-1, 1 NC). Moraes opted to pull guard 30 seconds into the fight and dragged the bigger Means on top of him. Means defended nicely and got back to his feet, where Moraes started to catch “Dirty Bird” with countless power hooks. In Round 2, Moraes continued his assault on the inside, launching looping punches every time Means came into range. Means worked on the outer edges with his jab and short kicks to the Brazilian’s lead leg. Means caught Moraes with a stiff left hand, but Moraes responded with hard shots to the body. Means came back with a combination on the exit, which finally pushed Moraes back. In Round 3, Means started to push the pace and move forward, but Moraes kept swinging for the fences and created some hesitation in the veteran. Moraes came back with a big kick to the body and head, as Means took his time with his lead jab, hard knees inside, and digging punches to the body. Means kept landing and really started to break down the Brazilian, but Moraes dropped to the canvas and invited the grappling exchange. In the end, it was Moraes who walked away with the split-decision win.

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Alan Patrick vs. Damir Hadzovic

The lone lightweight bout on the card saw Brazilian veteran Patrick (15-1) lock horns with Bosnian knockout artist Hadzovic (11-4). Both men exchanged early inside, but it was Patrick who secured a quick takedown after Hadzovic bolted in for a knee. Hadzovic returned favor by landing a hard short elbow in the clinch. Patrick came back and scored another takedown, but Hadzovic quickly threatened with a slick arm bar attempt off his back. Patrick shook it off and landed heavy ground-and-pound from full guard. In Round 2, Patrick aggressively pushed the pace with combinations on the go before going back to the takedown along the cage. Patrick took Hadzovic’s back and nearly sunk in the rear-naked choke finish, but Hadzovic defended nicely with his chin tucked and his hands busy. Patrick would ride out the position for the remaining minutes of the frame. The third and final round saw Patrick land a nice flying knee inside. Hadzovic returned favor with a few body shots before the Brazilian yet again dragged him to the ground. Patrick was still unable to pass Hadzovic’s guard, but Hadzovic did little to transition off his back. The Brazilian kept the pressure on and worked for another submission finish, but Hadzovic held on, fought the hands, and refused to give in to a stoppage. Instead, Patrick would have to settle for the unanimous decision win.

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Maia Stevenson vs. Polyana Viana

Streaking women’s flyweight veteran Stevenson (6-5) made her Octagon debut against top-flight Brazilian finisher Vianna (10-1), who has finished all of her professional wins by knockout or submission. Stevenson opened up with a nice combination before Viana secured a quick takedown off a counter right hand. The Brazilian then looked to lock up an arm bar, but a bloodied Stevenson fought well. Viana did more work along the cage with hard knees in the clinch before dragging Stevenson back to the canvas and scoring some heavy ground-and-pound. Stevenson was forced to give up her back and Viana wasted no time sinking in the rear-naked choke in Round 1.

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Iuri Alcantara vs. Joe Soto

Sparking off the FS2 preliminary card was a bantamweight matchup pitting former UFC title challenger Soto (18-7) against Brazilian veteran Alcantara (36-9, 1 NC). Alcantara landed a heavy body kick early, while Soto shot inside to close the distance. Alcantara kept the pressure on with body shots that hurt the former title challenger. The Brazilian followed his efforts up with hard elbows inside before Soto dropped to the canvas and the referee jumped in for the early TKO stoppage.

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Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Joseph Morales

The opening bout of the evening saw undefeated flyweight prospect Figueiredo (14-0) take on 23-year-old finisher Morales (9-1). Figueiredo swept early for a quick takedown. Morales did well to tie the hands up and land a few upkicks when there was spacing. Figueiredo kept the pressure on with some good stiff punches and elbows from full guard. When the action returned the feet Figueiredo caught Morales with a sticky left jab that dropped the youngster. Figueiredo quickly went for a guillotine choke, but Morales hung on until the end of the frame. In Round 2, Figueiredo connected on a superman punch before attacking the body of Morales. Morales tried to lock up a guillotine during an exchange inside, but Figueiredo sneaked his head out and gained top control. Morales did a good job once again limiting damage. Morales landed a big counter right hand when the action returned to the feet, but Figueiredo returned favor with a nasty left hook that dropped Morales. Morales covered up as Figueiredo rained down heavy ground-and-pound until the referee jumped in for the second-round TKO stoppage.

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MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 125 fight card, starting with the UFC Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by the FOX Sports 1 “Prelims” bouts at 8 p.m. ET, before the main card start time at 10 p.m. ET, also on FOX Sports 1.

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UFC on FOX 27 predictions: ‘Jacare vs Brunson 2’ FOX Sports 1 ‘Prelims’ undercard preview

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bringing a bevy of “Prelims” fights to UFC Fight Pass and FOX Sports 1 this weekend (Sat., Jan. 27, 2018) when UFC on FOX 27: “Jacare vs. Brunson 2” storms Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. MMAmania.com’s Patrick Stumberg continues the UFC on FOX 27 “Prelims” party with the second (and final) installment of a two-part undercard preview series below.

Two Strikeforce veterans meet again in decidedly different circumstances this Saturday (Jan. 27, 2018) when “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza throws down with the resurgent Derek Brunson at UFC on FOX 27, which takes place inside Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The FOX Sports-televised card also sees Dennis Bermudez face Andre Fili in a clash of fighters on the rebound and one of the best prospects in the game, Gregor Gillespie, throw down with the durable Jordan Rinaldi.

In addition to the six FOX Sports 1 “Prelims,” this article will also include the second Fight Pass undercard bout that was announced just yesterday (check out a preview here), further supporting my theory that UFC operates solely to make my life difficult.

Anyway, let’s begin:

155 lbs.: Erik Koch vs. Bobby Green

Denied a Featherweight title shot in 2012 because of injuries, Eric Koch (15-5) is just 2-4 since that layoff and has seen four fights fall apart due to further issues staying healthy. After missing two additional years of action, Koch submitted Shane Campbell, only to fall victim to Clay Guida’s patented smothering in Oklahoma City.

“New Breed” has submitted eight professional opponents.

Bobby Green (23-8-1) punched his way unto UFC prominence with four consecutive wins in the Octagon, most notably a split decision over Josh Thomson. He is winless since, however, dropping three straight before holding Lando Vannata to a split draw in Oct. 2017.

“King” will make just his fourth Octagon appearance since 2014.

The combined amount of unrealized potential here is mind-boggling. Koch looked like an absolute stud during his title run, stopping Raphael Assuncao with one punch, while Green held his own against some top-notch lightweights. Now they’re fighting for their UFC lives.

Koch is more exciting thanks to the fact that he actually bothers to punch jaws instead of just running his own, but I’ve got Green. Koch has consistently struggled with capable wrestlers and doesn’t have enough firepower to crack Green’s beard. In addition, Green is arguably the best opponent Koch has faced since 2013, while the inverse isn’t even remotely true. Boxing and takedowns keep Green afloat in UFC’s deepest division.

Prediction: Green via unanimous decision

145 lbs.: Mirsad Bektic vs. Godofredo Pepey

Mirsad Bektic’s (11-1) path of destruction — hampered only by persistent injuries — had many labeling him a future champion in the 145-pound division. After four UFC victories and two rounds of rearranging Darren Elkins’ face, however, “The Damage” roared back to knockout Bektic in one of the greatest comebacks in recent memory.

Bektic is an inch taller than Godofredo Pepey (13-5), but will have a three-inch reach disadvantage.

Brazil’s Pepey bounced back from a 1-3 UFC start to earn three consecutive bonus-winning first-round stoppages, including a flying triangle of Andre Fili in Rio de Janeiro. He’s gone 1-2 since, a submission of Mike De La Torre sandwiched between decision losses to Darren Elkins and Shane Burgos.

Eleven of his 12 professional mixed martial arts (MMA) finishes have come in the first round.

By all rights, Bektic should utterly obliterate Pepey. He is by far the sharper, more powerful striker and — if he elects to take it to the mat — Pepey’s guard is nowhere near scary enough to save him from Bektic’s Earth-shattering ground-and-pound.

The real question is where Bektic’s mind is at. That was a rough, rough loss to Elkins and the psychological impact of being knocked out while miles ahead has me worried. Still, he’s young enough to rebound and so outclasses Pepey on paper that I’m comfortable picking him anyway. He comes out looking to make a statement, flattening the Brazilian early and pummeling him until the referee steps in.

Prediction: Bektic via first-round technical knockout

125 lbs.: Katlyn Chookagian vs. Mara Romero Borella

Following a perfect (7-0) amateur career, Katlyn Chookagian (9-1) defeated Isabelly Varella for the CFFC Flyweight title before knocking out Stephanie Bragayrac in her sole defense. Her UFC run has seen her go 2-1 as a Bantamweight, falling to Liz Carmouche, but edging Lauren Murphy and Irene Aldana.

She stands three inches taller than Mara Romero Borella (12-4) at 5’9.”

Undaunted by three consecutive (technical) knockout losses, Romero Borella put together a six-fight unbeaten streak, including a decision over UFC veteran Milana Dudieva in her sole Invicta appearance. Three months after that last victory, she overcame short notice to submit Kalindra Faria in her Octagon debut, needing just 2:54 to do so.

She has stopped four opponents via armbar.

Romero Borella is clearly a major threat on the ground, but it remains to be seen how well she can consistently implement her trips. Chookagian has proven that she can physically hold her own against Bantamweights and mixes up her striking and grappling well enough that the Italian should struggle to bring her down, leaving her at the mercy of Chookagian’s combination striking.

Stopping Faria is legitimately impressive and it’s entirely possible that I’m not giving Romero Borella enough credit, but Chookagian’s superior stand up and proven takedown defense have me leaning her way. Leg kicks and boxing earn Chookagian the judges’ favor.

Prediction: Chookagian via unanimous decision

115 lbs.: Randa Markos vs. Juliana Lima

Though ranked No. 14 at the start of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 20, Randa Markos (7-5) upset Tecia Torres and Felice Herrig before running afoul of Rose Namajunas in the semifinals. She’s alternated losses and wins in UFC proper, going 3-4 overall but giving top prospect Alexa Grasso everything she could handle in Aug. 2016.

She will give up two inches of reach to Juliana Lima (9-4).

Lima — who welcomed Joanna Jedrzejczyk to UFC back in 2014 — rebounded from that loss with wins in three of her next four bouts, the sole loss coming to Carla Esparza at UFC 197. This set up a fight with late replacement Tecia Torres, who handed “Ju Thai” the first submission loss of her career.

She owns two wins by (technical) knockout, though none since 2013.

For being ostensibly a Muay Thai specialist, Lima has relied almost entirely on her wrestling during her UFC tenure, being remarkably ineffective when she can’t impose her takedowns. Unfortunately for her, Markos can keep up with her in that department and packs a thudding right hand with which to control the striking.

The X-factor here is Markos’ propensity for lapses in fight IQ, but Lima is straightforward enough that the path to victory should be clear. Markos sprawls-and-brawls, possibly giving up a takedown or two, but keeping that alternating record intact over the course of 15 minutes.

Prediction: Markos via unanimous decision

125 lbs.: Justine Kish vs. Ji Yeon Kim

Injury ended Justine Kish’s (6-1) TUF 20 run before it could begin, but she got off to a strong start in UFC proper with wins over Nina Ansaroff and Ashley Yoder. She wasn’t as lucky against Felice Herrig, who used superior grappling to overcome Kish’s sheer strength and take home a unanimous decision.

She has submitted two of her seven professional MMA opponents.

Ji Yeaon Kim (6-1-2) — who went to draws with vastly more experienced opponents in her first two professional fights — rattled off six straight to earn a spot on UFC’s roster. She debuted last June against Lucie Pudilova, landing some solid blows on the striking specialist, but ultimately losing the decision.

This will mark her Flyweight debut.

Kish is by far the bigger name, but I’m honestly leaning toward Kim. Kish’s game is fairly empty outside of decent knees and monstrous physical strength, which should be less of a factor when she doesn’t have her customary size advantage. She’s plodding and easy to hit on the feet, where even the fairly rough Kim should be able to find the mark.

Kish’s one clear avenue of victory is grinding out Kim the way she did Ansaroff. She’s not a great wrestling technician, though, and will struggle to brute-force her way into top position the way she did at 115 pounds. Kim picks her off with power punches, racking up enough damage to overcome the time she spends with her back on the fence.

Prediction: Kim via split decision

155 lbs.: Vinc Pichel vs. Joaquim Silva

Vinc Pichel (10-1) made it all the way to the semifinals of TUF 15: “Live,” only to run into Al Iaquinta and, in his UFC debut, get suplexed into oblivion by Rustam Khabilov. Though he missed all of 2013, 2015 and 2016, he enters the cage on a three-fight win streak, most recently wiping out Damien Brown with one punch in Auckland.

All eight of his (technical) knockout finishes have come inside of two rounds.

Joaquim Silva (10-0) — representing “Team Shogun” — saw his TUF: “Brazil” 4 run come to an end in the semifinals courtesy of teammate Glaico Franca. He has enjoyed considerably more success in UFC proper, however, racking up three consecutive victories.

“Neto BJJ” has finished eight opponents in the first round, five of them via strikes.

Silva has been booked to fight Gregor Gillespie and Mairbek Taisumov during his UFC tenure. Both would have eaten his face. Pichel isn’t on their level, but his wrestling and punching power make this a rough match up for “Netto BJJ,” nonetheless.

So long as Pichel stays busy and doesn’t let Silva outland him the way he did Brown, he should be able to control from top position and keep Silva’s dangerous hands at bay with his height and reach advantages. Steady takedowns secure Pichel’s second win in almost four years.

Prediction: Pichel via unanimous decision

145 lbs.: Austin Arnett vs. Cory Sandhagen (7-1)

Austin Arnett (15-3) was a little more pyrite than golden early in his career, starting off 2-2, but put together 13 consecutive wins to earn a spot on “Tuesday Night Contender Series.” Though he ultimately came up short, he put on one of the season’s best fights against Brandon Davis, slugging it out for 15 fun minutes.

He owns six wins each by knockout and submission.

Cory Sandhagen (7-1) won his first five MMA bouts, winning a regional title in the process, before suffering a career-first loss to Jamall Emmers in his LFA debut. The loss appears to have invigorated him, as he has since knocked out his last two opponents in a combined 4:07.

This will be his second fight in nine days.

If Sandhagen isn’t dead on his feet from fighting twice in less than two weeks, I see him taking this. He’s a fluid, dangerous striker with great instincts in his scrambling and takedown defense. While Arnett’s got a beard on him and some solid pop in his hands, his defense isn’t great and he ran out of steam against Davis when he couldn’t put him away early.

Arnett’s experience is an X-factor, but Sandhagen’s strength of schedule looks as good … if not better. Sandhagen’s fluidity carries him to victory in an entertaining, competitive striking battle.

Prediction: Sandhagen via unanimous decision

The rematch between Jacare vs. Brunson is some tantalizing stuff, and there’s some solid match ups here and there to support it. See you Saturday, Maniacs.

Remember, too, that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on FOX 27 card this weekend, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, and then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 5 p.m. ET before the FOX main card action kicks off at 8 p.m. ET.

Current UFC “Prelims” Prediction Record for 2018: 13-1

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