The UFC’s second event in their second Fight Island series will feature former UFC women’s bantamweight champion, Holly Holm. The Preacher’s Daughter will take on 6th ranked bantamweight Irene Aldana in a fight that should put the winner in title contention. This fight was supposed to take place last August but Aldana tested positive for COVID-19 and the bout had to be rebooked.
Before Holm and Aldana take center stage this Saturday, a seven-bout prelims undercard opens the show for this UFC event at the Flash Forum in Yas Island Abu-Dhabi. Former interim champion Carlos Condit is one of the fighters who will appear in the prelims as he takes on Court McGee.
Let’s take a look at the fights in the prelims and make our predictions:
Kyler Phillips fought for CXF and LFA before making an appearance in the Contender Series where he picked up a TKO win over James Gray Jr. The 25-year old from Phoenix Arizona was a contestant at TUF 27 where he lost to Brad Katona. Phillips is 7-1 with four knockouts and one win via submission and is coming off a win over Gabriel Silva in his octagon debut. He stands 5-8 tall with a reach of 72 inches and is an orthodox fighter.
Cameron Else is a protege of Cowboy Cerrone. This 29-year old from England for fought BAMMA, Brave CF, WCMMA, and FFC. He has a record of 10-4 with six knockouts and four wins via decision. He has won six straight fights but is taking this fight on one week’s notice. Else stands 5-8 tall and is a switch hitter.
Else’ record is deceiving because while he has a six-fight winning streak, only one came against an opponent with a winning record. He has decent grappling but I’m not sure how that works against an above-average wrestler in Phillips. The latter has more than enough striking chops to trade Else. Phillips’ wrestling will also make Else uncomfortable here. After watching Phillips’ UFC debut, I have no doubt that he is going to win this bout inside the distance.
Prediction: Kyler Phillips to win inside the distance -285 at SportsBetting
Carlos Condit is a former interim UFC welterweight champion and the final WEC welterweight champion. The Natural Born Killer also fought for Pancrase and Shootboxing in Japan. He has a record of 30-13 with 15 knockouts and 13 wins via submission. The 36-year old has lost eight out of his last 10 bouts including his last five. He stands 6-2 tall with a reach of 75 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance.
Court McGee was the winner of The Ultimate Fighter Season 11. The 35-year old known as the Crusher has a record of 19-9 with five knockouts and five submission wins. McGee has dropped four out of his last five bouts and is coming off back to back defeats at the hands of Dhiego Lima and Sean Brady. McGee stands 5-11 tall with a reach of 75 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance.
These are two struggling fighters who need the win badly so I expect a good fight from both. No doubt that Condit has a clear edge when it comes to striking but I’m not sure if that plays a factor here as the Crusher is expected to force him to fight on the mat. McGee has underperformed but if he can get on top of Condit, he will earn enough top control to grind out a win here. And yes, don’t forget Condit has been taken down 13 times in his last three fights.
Prediction: Court McGee -133
Charles Jourdain is a former TKO featherweight and interim lightweight champion. The 24-year old from Quebec joined the UFC in 2019 and defeated Doo Ho Choi at UFC Fight Night 165. He has a record of 10-3 with seven knockouts and three wins via submission. Jourdain is a switch hitter who stands 5-9 tall with a reach of 69 inches. He is coming off a split decision win over Andre Fili last June.
Joshua Culibao fought for UFC and Hex Fighting Series before joining the UFC this year. The 26-year old from Sydney has a record of 8-1 with five knockouts and is coming off a TKO loss to Jalin Turner in his UFC debut. The Aussie stands 5-10 tall with a reach of 73 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance.
Culibao is the biggest underdog in the card and after getting destroyed in his UFC debut, you can’t argue with that. But while he is still raw, he figures to have enough striking skills to hold his own against Jourdain, especially with his reach advantage. He also has the takedown skills to exploit Jourdain’s wrestling. But then again, I could be wrong. Jourdain has a more diverse striking and has the power to end this fight. However, I think Jourdain is too pricey.
Prediction: I will go with the over 2.5 rounds here at +110 at BetOnline
Jordan Williams appeared at Bellator before the first of his three Contender Series appearances. The 29-year old from Santa Rosa, California will be making his octagon debut here after signing his UFC contract two weeks ago. Williams is 9-3 with seven knockouts and one win via submission. He stands 6-1 tall with a reach of 75 inches and is a southpaw fighter.
Nassourdine Imavov started his career with a 3-2 record but has won his last five bouts. The 25-year old from France trains with UFC heavyweights Francis Ngnanou and Ciryl Gane. He last fought for Ares Fighting Championships and is coming off a TKO win over Jonathan Meunier. He stands 6-3 tall and is an orthodox fighter. Imavov has a record of 8-2 with three knockouts and four wins via submission.
Imavov is taller by three inches but he faces a slight reach disadvantage. He is also the faster and sharper striker in this bout. However, I don’t think that he has enough punching power to put Williams away. Williams isn’t too hard to beat but Imavov’s questionable wrestling and tendency to leave himself open when trading in the pocket are weaknesses that Williams should be able to exploit.
Prediction: Jordan Williams inside the distance -115 at BetOnline
Loma Lookboonmee is a kickboxer and Muay Thai fighter. She fought for Invicta FC and Pancrase before joining the UFC last year. Lookboonmee is 1-1 inside the octagon and has an overall record of 4-2 with one knockout. She stands 5-1 tall with a reach of 61 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.
Jinh Yu Frey is the former Invicta FC atomweight champion. The 35-year old Korean-American also challenged for the Rizin super atomweight title. Frey was stripped of her Invicta FC title after missing weight at Invicta FC 39. She has a record of 9-5 with one knockout and two wins via submission. Frey stands 5-3 tall with a reach of 65 inches while fighting out of the southpaw stance.
Lookboonmee’s biggest disadvantage is her lack of size but that shouldn’t be a worry here as she will face a natural atomweight in Frey. LookBoonmee is the better striker and more technical on the feet. Unfortunately, Frey doesn’t have the takedown game to take her opponent off her game. Frey’s slow-paced style will doom her against a very active Lookboonmee who piles up more than enough points to win this fight.
Prediction: Loma Lookboonme
Casey Kenney is the former Tachi Palace Fight flyweight champion and Legacy Fighting Alliance flyweight and bantamweight champion. The 29-year old from Tucson, Arizona is 3-1 inside the octagon and is coming off a win over Louis Smolka last May. Kenney has a record of 14-2 with two knockouts and five wins via submission. He is a southpaw fighter who stands 5-7 tall and has a reach of 68 inches.
Heili Alateng fought for Road FC before joining the UFC. The 28-year old from Beijing, China has a record of 14-7 with four knockouts and three wins via submission. He is 2-0 inside the octagon and is coming off a win over Ryan Benoit last December. Alateng is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-5 tall with a reach of 66 inches.
Alateng has punching power especially in his right hand. But his lack of activity has led him to lean on his wrestling in many of his bouts. If that’s how he fights here, he will have a problem as Kenney is a stronger wrestler who has more than enough striking to hold his own on the feet. No question that Alateng has the tools to be a contender but unless his volume picks up, he’s going to have to depend on getting the knockouts to succeed. That won’t happen here.
Prediction: Casey Kenney
Italy’s Luigi Vendramini fought under Aspera FC and Samurai Fight before coming over to the UFC. The 24-year old known as the Italian Stallion lost to Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos in his UFC debut. He has a record of 8-1 with four knockouts and four wins via submission. Vendramini is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-8 tall.
Jessin Ayari joined the UFC from Germany and won his UFC debut against Jim Wallhead Since then, he’s lost back to back fights to Darren Till and Stevie Ray. The 28-year old from Nuremberg in Germany has a record of 16-5 with three knockouts and eight wins via submission. He is an orthodox fighter who stands 6-0 tall with a reach of 73 inches.
This one was hard to pick because both fighters have not fought since 2018. The danger here is we don’t know which one of them will show up, if at all. But when you base this fight on what they did before their layoffs, I like what I saw from Ayari. He has the size and strength to bully Vendramini here and his length should prevent Vendramini from getting him on his back. I like Ayari to pressure his opponent and outstrike him for the win.
Prediction: Jessin Ayari
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