The UFC returns to U.S. soil this weekend after its second Fight Island series. UFC Las Vegas 12 on October 31, 2020, will take place at the UFC”s APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Former middleweight champion Anderson Silva will take on Uriah Hall in what is expected to be the final bout of Silva’s storied career. These two were booked to fight each other in 2016 but the fight did not push through because Silva had a cholecystectomy. Andre Fili and Bryce Mitchell fight in the co-main event of this 12-bout event.
Before the main card is a seven-fight prelims undercard which we are previewing in this article. Check out the fights:
Gruetzemacher competed for the WSOF and Strikeforce. He was also part of the TUF Team McGregor vs Team Faber. The 34-year old from Page, Arizona is a longtime training partner of former UFC champion Benson Henderson. Gruetzemacher is 2-2 inside the octagon and is coming off a knockout win over Joe Lauzon at UFC 223 in 2018. He has a record of 14-3 with seven knockouts and three wins via submission. He is 5-8 tall with a reach of 68 inches and is an orthodox fighter.
Alexander Hernandez is the former Hero FC lightweight champion. This 28-year old from St. Louis, Missouri 2-2 inside the octagon and is coming off a knockout loss to Drew Dober last May. Hernandez stands 5-9 tall with a reach of 72 inches while fighting out of the Orthodox stance. His record stands at 11-3 with four knockouts and two wins via submission.
This is a do or die for a former prospect who has seen his confidence get torn apart in the UFC. Hernandez loves to march forward and impose his strength on his opponents. He should be able to overpower Gruetzemacher who likes to wrestle but isn’t dangerous on the feet. This is Gruetzemacher’s first bout in 2.5 years after an ACL injury and I don’t like backing guys who are coming off long layoffs due to injury. Hernandez has more pop in his punches and he has superior takedown ability. If there’s anything left on that former prospect, this is the match to let it all out.
Prediction: Alexander Hernandez
Adrian Yanez is a veteran who has been fighting since 2014. He has appeared for promotions like LFA, Legacy FC, and Bellator. He joined the UFC via the Contender series and will be making his UFC debut here. Yanez is 5-7 tall with a reach of 70 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance. His record is 11-3 with six knockouts and two submission victories.
Victor Rodriguez fought for Power Plant Productions and the Alaska Fighting Championship before he was called by the UFC. The 28-year old from Alaska is a switch hitter who stands 5-5 tall. He has a record of 4-2 with all of his wins coming by knockout. In his last bout, Rodriguez knocked out Jared Mazurek inside two rounds.
Yanez is the superior boxer and has shown that he can hold his own against some of the elite wrestlers in this division. If Rodriguez ends up on top though, he can dish off some punishment. But he’s simply too easy to hit for Yanez and against a puncher of this caliber, he’s going to absorb plenty of punches. I don’t think this will go long. I have Yanez clipping Rodriguez in the opening round.
Prediction: Adrian Yanez
Sean Strickland is the former King of Cage middleweight champion. The 29-year old from New Bern, North Carolina successfully defended his KOTC belt five times before joining the UFC. Strickland is 8-3 inside the octagon and is coming off a TKO win over Nordine Taleb in October 2018. He is 6-1 tall with a reach of 76 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. His record stands at 20-3 with nine knockouts and four wins via submission.
Jack Marshman is the former BAMMA Londsdale Middleweight champion and Cage Warriors middleweight titleholder. The 30-year old from Wales joined the UFC in 2016 and has a record of 3-4 inside the UFC octagon. Marshman is an orthodox fighter who stands 6-0 tall with a reach of 73 inches. He has a record of 23-9 with 13 knockouts and 5 wins via submission.
Marshman takes this fight on short notice after Strickland’s original opponent tested positive for COVID-19. His best chance to win this fight is to outwork Strickland who can be tentative at times. However, Strickland is a grinder who has excellent wrestling and a good submission game. If he can’t take the fight down, his three-inch reach advantage should enable him to fight well from a distance and win on points.
Prediction: Sean Strickland
Cole Williams fought at PC MMA, MCC, and Chosen Few Fighting Championship before getting signed by the UFC last year. He was submitted by Claudio Silva during his octagon debut and will be fighting for the first time in over a year. Williams is six feet tall with a reach of 73 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. His record is 11-2 with four knockouts and four wins via submission.
Jason Witt four for Titan FC, Shamrock FC, Global Warriors, and Bellator among others. The 33-year old from Kansas City, Missouri was knocked out by Takashi Sato in his UFC debut. He is 17-6 with three knockouts and seven wins via submission. Witt is 5-10 tall with a reach of 70 inches and is an orthodox fighter.
Both fighters are coming off defeats to specialists during their short-notice UFC debut. This is the closest fight in terms of betting odds and you can make a case for either fighter here. But I think that Williams is the better striker and he has more pop in his punches. Sure, there is a chance that Witt turns out to be a surprise because we didn’t get to see much from him in his debut. However, he faces a two-inch height and three-inch reach disadvantage which could be the big difference in this fight.
Prediction: Cole Williams
Jacoby was a kickboxer for GLORY and fought in MMA for Bellator, WSOF, and Titan FC. The 32-year old from Fort Morgan, Colorado is also a former CFFC middleweight champion. Jacoby is 6-3 tall with a reach of 76 inches and is an orthodox fighter. He has a record of 12-5 with eight knockouts and one win via submission. He decisioned Ty Flores at the Contender Series last August to earn a UFC contract.
Justin Ledet fought for IXFA and Legacy FC before joining the UFC. The 32-year old Texan won his first three UFC bouts but has since lost his last three octagon assignments. Ledet is 6-4 tall with a reach of 80 inches and is an orthodox fighter. He has a record of 9-3 with two knockouts and five wins via submission.
Jacoby faces a two-inch reach disadvantage and based on what we saw from the Contender Series, he may have a problem with his gas tank. But if he’s worked on his cardio during his time off, then beating Ledet should not be a problem. Ledet is a terrific boxer but doesn’t have the output that wins decisions. He also has a poor ground game that Jacoby can exploit in this bout. I think Jacoby has more ways to win here and his kickboxing should outshine Ledet’s boxing skills.
Prediction: Dusty Jacoby
Cortney Casey fought for XFC and Pacific Xtreme Combat before coming to the UFC. The 33-year old from Arizona is just 5-7 inside the octagon and is coming off a loss to Gillian Robertson last June. Casey is 5-7 tall with a reach of 67 inches and is an orthodox fighter. He has a record of 9-8 with three knockouts and four wins via submission.
Priscila Cachoeira fought for XForce MMA and Curitiba Top Fight. She lost her first three UFC bouts but is coming off a win over Shana Dobson last February. The 32-year old Brazilian has a record of 9-3 with five knockouts. She stands 5-7 tall with reach of 65 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance.
Casey has a limited skill set but she has been able to manufacture ways to win fights. That should put her in a better spot than Cachoeira who has heavy hands and nothing more. With a solid ground game and sound defensive skills, Casey should be able to avoid getting nailed by the free-swinging Brazilian. I don’t think it would be easy though. I like Casey to win a hard-fought three-rounder.
Prediction: Cortney Casey
Miles Johns fought for XKO and LFA before coming over to the UFC. The 26-year old from Newton, Kansas is 10-1 with two knockouts and two wins via submission. Johns stands 5-7 tall with a reach of 66 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. He is coming off a TKO loss to Mario Bautista last February.
Kevin Natividad competed for WFF and LFA before joining the UFC just recently. The 27-year old from Tempe, Arizona has a record of 9-1 with five knockouts and one win via submission. He stands 5-6 tall with a reach of 70 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. He knocked out Kyle Estrada at LFA 85 last June.
Natividad was due to fight last month but withdrew after getting the COVID-19 virus. He owns a one-inch height advantage over Johns but other than that, the latter is the better fighter. Johns has better hands and a better ground game. If he uses his takedowns here, it’s not going to be a difficult fight to win. However, if he decides to stand and trade, it could be a long night. However, I think that Johns wins this fight wherever it goes.
Prediction: Miles Johns
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