The UFC suffered another setback when Glover Teixeira had to pull out of his September 12 headliner against Thiago Santos due to the COVID-19 virus. With Teixeira out, the co-main event between Michell Waterson and Angela Hill has been promoted to main event status.
Before the main card, seven-fight prelims will open the show at the UFC’s APEX facility in Las Vegas where most of the events have been held since the pandemic struck. Let’s take a look at each prelims bout and pick which fighters will emerge victorious:
Matt Schnell is the 9th ranked flyweight in the UFC. The 30-year old is a former Legacy FC flyweight champion who lost his first two UFC bouts but has won four out of his last five octagon assignments. Danger is 5-8 tall with a reach of 70 inches and is an orthodox fighter. He has a record of 14-5 with two knockouts and eight wins via submission.
Tyson Nam is the 15th ranked flyweight in the UFC. The 36-year old has fought for promotions like WSOF, Elite XC, and King of the Cage. He is a former flyweight champion at Destiny MMA and X1 World Events. Nam is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-7 tall with a reach of 68 inches. His record stands at 19-11 with 11 knockouts and one win via submission.
Schnell has a 4.5-inch height advantage but I think he will have a hard time here. Nam is hard to take down and has never been submitted in over 30 bouts. The latter is a very hard puncher and Schnell is notorious for having a shaky chin. Nam is a very good defensive grappler and his one-punch knockout ability makes him dangerous here. The problem with Nam is that he doesn’t let his hands go as often as he should. But given Schnell’s deficiencies, that shouldn’t be a problem here. I think Nam knocks Schnell out.
Prediction: Tyson Nam
Julia Avila is ranked 14th in the women’s bantamweight division of the UFC. The 32-year old has fought for promotions like Invicta FC, HD MMA, XKO MMA, and King of the Cage. She is a former HD MMA bantamweight champion who joined the UFC last year. Avila is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-8 tall with a reach of 68 inches. She has a record of 8-1 with four knockouts and one win via submission.
Sijara Eubanks is the 15th ranked bantamweight in the UFC. The 35-year old fought for Cage Fury Fighting Championships and Invicta before joining the UFC in 2018. She is 2-2 in sided the octagon and has an overall record of 5-4 with two knockouts. Eubanks stands 5-4 tall with a reach of 67 inches and is an orthodox fighter.
Avila isn’t quite busy on the feet but she can hold her own on her feet because she owns some of the heaviest hands in the division. She also has good cardio which will help her survive a grinding fight if that’s where this will go. Eubanks has excellent jiu-jitsu and top control but she hasn’t been able to produce enough finishes. If Eubanks can’t finish Avila, she’s in trouble. The longer this fight goes, Avila takes over. She batters Eubanks in the second half of the fight and probably gets a stoppage win here.
Prediction: Julia Avila
Matt Frevola fought for World Series of Fighting and Titan FC before joining the Contender Series in 2017. The 30-year old from New York is 2-1-1 inside the octagon and has a record of 8-1 with one knockout and three wins via submission. Frevola is 5-9 tall with a reach of 71 inches and is an orthodox fighter. Frevola defeated Luis Pena via split decision last October.
Roosevelt Roberts is the former CXF lightweight champion who joined the UFC via the Contender Series. Roberts is 4-2 under the UFC banner and has a record of 10-2 with three knockouts and five wins via submission. He is an orthodox fighter who stands 6-2 tall with a reach of 73 inches. Roberts is coming off a submission loss to Jim Miller last June.
Roberts has a five-inch height advantage and a two-inch reach edge over Frevola. He has the advantage on the feet, whether fighting at a distance or at close ranger where he is more technically equipped. Frevola can’t implement his wrestling game here because Roberts is a threat to submit him via guillotine. Nor does Steamrolla have the physicality to overpower Roberts. Frevola’s best shot here is to make this fight ugly, which is tough given Roberts’ skillset. I think Roberts will find a way to get to Frevola’s neck.
Prediction: Roosevelt Roberts
Bobby Green is a former King of Cage Lightweight and junior welterweight champion who also competed for Tachi Palace Fights, Strikeforce, and Affliction. The 34-year old is an amateur All-State wrestler who has been with the UFC since 2013. Green is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-10 tall with a reach of 71 inches. He has a record of 26-10 with eight knockouts and nine wins via submission. Green is coming off back to back wins over Clay Guida and Lando Vannata.
Allan Patrick is a former Bitetti Combat lightweight champion in Brazil. The 37-year old joined the UFC in 2013 and has an octagon record of 5-2. Patrick is a southpaw who stands 5-11 tall with a reach of 74 inches. He has an overall record of 15-2 with four knockouts and two wins via submission. Patrick’s last fight was a knockout loss to Scott Holzman at UFC 229 in October 2018.
Patrick is tall and rangy for this division but we still see him get lost on his feet. He hasn’t landed more than 40 strikes in a fight and that’s going to be a problem against Green whose pace and volume was too much for Clay Guida. Green is too good with his striking that Patrick won’t be able to take him down easily, if at all. King’s steady offense is going to beat Patrick’s low-output style. It’s either Green wins an easy points decision or he gets his first stoppage in seven years.
Prediction: Bobby Green
Frank Camacho is a former Micronesian Games wrestling gold medalist and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blue belt world champion. The 32-year old won the Pacific Xtreme Combat lightweight title in 2015 and joined the UFC in 2017. He is 2-5 inside the octagon and is coming off back to back stoppage losses. Camacho is 22-9 with 17 knockouts and two wins via submission. He is 5-10 tall with a reach of 73 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.
Brok Weaver fought for Island Fights an Atlas Fights before joining the Contender Series last year where he defeated Devin Smyth to earn a UFC contract. Weaver is 15-5 with two knockouts and three wins via submission. Weaver was submitted by Roosevelt Roberts in his last bout at UFC on ESPN 9. He stands 6-0 tall with a reach of 73 inches and is a southpaw fighter.
Camacho has too many miles in the gas tank and his brawling style appears like it’s caught up with his body. That’s going to put him in trouble against Weaver who also loves a slugfest but is the cleaner, faster, and more durable fighter here. If Camacho wants to win, he needs to take this fight down to the mat. However, Weaver has good defensive wrestling and is good at finding the neck. In most probability though, Camacho will stand and trade with Weaver and he’s going to get smoked.
Prediction: Brok Weaver
Bryan Barberena fought for Dakota FC and KOTC before joining the UFC in 2014. The 31-year old is 5-5 inside the octagon and is coming off back to back losses to Vicente Luque and Randy Brown, both by knockout. He is a southpaw who stands 6-0 tall with a reach of 72 inches. Barberena is 14-7 with 10 knockouts and two wins via submission.
Anthony Ivy fought for Bellator, RFA, LFA, and Fury FC before heading to the UFC. The 30-year old was knocked out by Christian Aguilera during his octagon debut. He has a record of 8-3 with five knockouts and three wins via submission. Ivy is an orthodox fighter who is 6-2 tall with a reach of 74 inches.
Ivy is uncomfortable on the feet and because Barberena’s relentless pressure is going to be an issue for him here. To win this fight, Ivy has to turn this to a wrestling match. If he is able to take Barberena down multiple times here and control the fight from the top, he can grind out a decision. Barberena isn’t too hard to take down but in order to take this fight to the mat, Ivy will risk getting clipped. Barberena’s power and persistence will be the difference here.
Prediction: Bryan Barberena
Sabina Mazo is a former Legacy Fighting Alliance flyweight champion. The 23-year old Colombian has won her last two UFC bouts against Shana Dobson and JJ Aldrich. She has a record of 8-1 with two knockouts. Mazo stands 5-7 tall with a reach of 70 inches and is an orthodox fighter.
Justine Kish a former World Muaythai Council kickboxing world champion. The 32-year old Russian fought for Ring of Combat and RFA before joining the UFC. She has a record of 7-2 with two submission wins. Kish stands 6-4 tall with a reach of 64 inches and is an orthodox fighter. She defeated Lucie Pudilova via decision last January.
Justine Kish’s technical deficiencies, especially on the ground, have been more glaring in recent fights. I just find it difficult to give her this fight as she’s up against a rangier and more technically skilled opponent in Mazo. For as long as Mazo keeps this fight at a distance and she doesn’t get too confident in the clinch, she’ll strike her way to victory here. I’m looking at a dominant points win for Mazo.
Prediction: Sabina Mazo
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.