Two of Brazil’s best finishers square off in the UFC Octagon when Thiago Santos takes on Glover Teixeira in the main event of UFC Vegas 13 on Saturday, November 7, 2020, at the UFC’s APEX Facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. Both former 205-pound title challengers are looking to get another crack at the gold. Santos is currently the no. 1 ranked contender while Teixeira is 3rd in the rankings. However, only one of them is moving up in the rankings.
But before Santos and Teixeira exchange big blows, the event has a six-bout prelims undercard that features grizzled veterans and young prospects. Here are the fights in Saturday’s Prelims Undercard:
Trevin Giles is a veteran who has fought for promotions like Legacy FC, Fury Fighting, LFA, and RFA before joining the UFC in 2017. The 28-year old from San Antonio, Texas is a police officer who works with the Houston Police Department. Giles is 3-2 inside the octagon and is coming off a split decision win over James Krause at UFC 247 last February. He stands 6-0 tall with a reach of 74 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. His record is 12-2 with five knockouts and five wins via submission.
Bevon Lewis fought under House of Fame, LFA, and Xtreme Caged Combat. He has appeared in the Contender Series twice winning both times via knockout. The 29-year old from Riverside, California was finally signed by the UFC in 2018. However, he lost his first two octagon assignments to Uriah Hall and Darren Stewart. He has an overall record of 7-2 with three knockouts and is coming off a decision win over Dequan Townsend last January. Lewis is an orthodox fighter who stands 6-3 tall with a reach of 79 inches.
Lewis stands three inches taller than Giles and has a five-inch reach advantage over his opponent. However, he has struggled since moving to the UFC and facing better opposition. Giles has looked flat since returning from his hiatus and barely beat a natural welterweight in James Krause. That to me is worse than Lewis losing to Uriah Hall. Between Lewis’ physical advantages and Giles’ tendency to play to his opponents’ strengths, I like Lewis’ chances here.
Prediction: Bevon Lewis
Giga Chikadze competed for GLORY kickboxing and was a two-time featherweight tournament finalist before transitioning to MMA. The 32-year old from Georgia in the former Soviet Union for WSOF, Gladiator Challenge, and made an appearance in the Contender Series in 2018. Since joining the UFC, he is unbeaten in four Octagon appearances and is coming off a decision win over Omar Morales at UFC Fight Island 5 last month. Chikadze has a record of 11-2 with six knockouts and one win via submission. He is 6-0 tall with a reach of 74 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance.
Jamey Simmons fought under New League Fights, Pure FC, and LFA. Most recently he appeared under Caged Aggression and submitted veteran Shane West via rear-naked choke last month. The 28-year old from Milwaukee, Wisconsin has won three in a row, all by stoppage, and has a record of 7-2 with four knockouts and one win via submission. Simmons stands 5-5 tall and is an orthodox fighter. He will be making his promotional debut this weekend.
Chikadze volunteered to step in for Jeremy Stephens against Arnold Allen but the latter declined a fight with the Georgian. He is undefeated in the UFC and looks to have found his groove inside the octagon. Simmons is an unproven newcomer who will make his octagon debut here. Simmons has okay wrestling but has raw striking skills and questionable cardio. Chikadze’s striking is good enough to punish Simons when he overextends. This should be a short fight.
Prediction: Giga Chikadze
Marcos Rogerio de Lima has been fighting since 2009. He has fought under Renegade Fighting Championship, Shooto Brazil, and Strikeforce. The 35-year old from Sao Paulo, Brazil was a semi-finalist at The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 where he lost to eventual winner Antonio Carlos Junior. De Lima is 6-4 inside the UFC Octagon and is coming off a knockout win over Ben Sosoli last February. He stands 6-1 tall with a reach of 75 inches and is an orthodox fighter. Overall, de Lima is 17-6 with 12 knockouts and three wins via submission.
Alexander Romanov is a former Eagles Fighting Championship champion who also fought for League S-70. The 29-year old from the Republic of Moldova joined the UFC this year and after having three fights canceled due to COVID-19 related issues, he got his first taste of Octagon action last September where he submitted Roque Martinez. Romanov is 12-0 with five knockouts and seven wins via submission. King Kong stands 6-2 tall with a reach of 75 inches and is a southpaw fighter.
De Lima is a 205-pounder who can’t make weight and is fighting as a heavyweight. Despite that, he has horrific punching power which Romanov has never seen before. If he clips Romanov early, it’s going to be a quick fight. However, if Romanov survives the early onslaught and gets this fight to the mat, he’s going to win this bout. Romanov is dominant from the top position and he’s going to get the finish here. Considering his size, he should be able to ragdoll De Lima.
Prediction: Alexander Romanov
Darren Elkins is the former C3 lightweight champion who also fought for promotions like Total Fight Challenge and Hoosier FC. The 36-year old from Portage, Indiana has been with the UFC since 2010. After a career-high six-fight winning streak from October 2015 to January 2018, Elkins has lost four straight bouts heading to this contest. In his last bout, Elkins dropped a unanimous decision to Nate Landwehr last May 16, 2020. He has a record of 24-9 with eight knockouts and four wins via submission. He is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-10 tall with a reach of 71 inches.
Luiz Eduardo Garagorri fought under Frontiera Fight, Final Conflict Championship, and UDC Internacional before joining the UFC last year. He won his UFC debut against Humberto Badenay but lost to Ricardo Ramos in his next bout. Garagorria has not fought in nearly a year. The 31-year old from Uruguay is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-9 tall with a reach of 70 inches. He has a record of 13-1 with four knockouts and six wins via submission.
Elkins needs a win badly and he might just get that here after drawing what\s perhaps his easiest assignment in years. If he still has enough left in the tank, Elkins will walk through the fire before imposing his wrestling. Garagorri is dangerous on the feet but has struggled against elite grapplers. Elkins has taken severe damage in his recent fight but even a diminished Elkins has enough to beat Garagorri in what should be a grinder of a bout.
Prediction: Darren Elkins
Max Griffin has been fighting since 2009 and he has fought for various promotions like Gladiator Challenge, West Coast Fighting Championship, and Tachi Palace Fights. The 34-year old from Santa Barbara, California is the former Tachi Palace Fights welterweight champion. He joined the UFC in 2016 and has compiled a UFC record of 3-6. Griffin has won just once in his last five bouts and is coming off a loss to Alex Oliveira at UFC 248 last March. Griffin is 5-11 tall with a reach of 76 inches and is an orthodox fighter. He has a record of 15-8 with seven knockouts and two wins via submission.
Ramiz Brahimaj fought under Xtreme Knockout and LFA before joining the UFC. He was supposed to make his UFC debut last June against Takashi Sato but withdrew after one of his cornermen tested for COVID-19. The Fortis MMA prospect has won two of his last three bouts and is coming off a 55-second submission win over Carlos Martinez at LFA 62. Brahimaj has not fought since March 2019 and will be making his UFC debut in this bout. He has a record of 8-2 with eight wins via submission. He stands 5-10 tall with a reach of 73 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance.
Brahimaj has a dangerous submission game but there’s no proof that his wrestling skills are elite. If he can outwrestle Griffin, it’s his fight to win. However, Griffin has a much better striking game and is tough to finish. If Brahimaj can’t take this fight to the mat, he’s in for a long night. Superior striking beats good wrestling in this bout.
Prediction: Max Griffin
Gustavo Lopez fought for Cage Sport and Combate Americas before he was signed by the UFC this year. The 31-year old from Wapato, Washington lost to Merab Dvalishvili in his Octagon debut last June. He has a record of 11-5 with five knockouts and five wins via submission. Lopez is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-5 tall with a reach of 67 inches.
Anthony Birchak fought for WFF, Rage in the Cage, Xtreme Combat Promotions, MFC, and Bellator. The 34-year old from Tucson, Arizona heads to his UFC debut with three straight wins, all by stoppage. He has a record of 16-6 with five knockouts and 8 wins via submission. Birchak is 5-8 tall with a reach of 69 inches and is an orthodox fighter.
Birchak returns to the UFC after stints at Rizin, Combate Americas, and LFA. He has developed some good wrestling while he way away from the octagon. He has the edge in that department against Lopez. However because he is taking this fight on short notice, I’m not sure if he can put up a 15-minute war against Lopez. Lopez has good pop in his punches and he is a very active fighter who looks to make things happen. Birchak will try to take this fight to the ground and should be able to do so. However, I expect Lopez to hang around before turning up things in the third round.
Prediction: Gustavo Lopez
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