The UFC’s next event features young contenders Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Cyril Gane trade blows in the headliner. UFC Vegas 20 at the UFC’s APEX Facility in Las Vegas happens this Saturday night. This event was supposed to be headlined by Dominick Reyes and Jiri Prochazka but that bout was scratched after Reyes suffered an undisclosed injury.
But before the big boys slug it out in the main event, an interesting fight card featuring a mix of grizzled veterans and young up-and-comers will precede the show. Let’s take a look at this weekend’s prelims undercard bouts and make our predictions.
Alexander Hernandez fought for LFA and RFA before joining the UFC in 2018. The 28-year old from St. Louis Missouri 4-2 inside the Octagon with his losses coming at the hands of Donald Cerrone and Drew Dober. This former Hero FC lightweight champion has a record of 12-3 with five knockouts and two submissions. Hernandez is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-9 tall with a reach of 72 inches.
Thiago Moses also fought for LFA and RFA. This 25-year old from Sao Paulo, Brazil if a former RFA lightweight champion and LFA lightweight title challenger. He joined the UFC via the Contender Series. After losing his Octagon debut, Moses has won three of four bouts and has a record of 13-4 with three knockouts and six wins via submission. He is an orthodox fighter who is 5-9 tall and has a reach of 70 inches.
Moses is less dangerous if he is forced to fight on his back foot. If Hernandez comes out aggressive early on, he has the skills to bully Moses around the ring and neutralize his weapons. However, if Hernandez opts to be reactive and just counter, Moses will overwhelm him. Hernandez takes charge here and uses his aggression to beat Moses using a sprawl and brawl attack to win on points.
Prediction: Alexander Hernandez
Alonzo Menifield is a veteran of Bellator and LFA who used to play professional football for the CFL and Arena Football League. The 33-year old from Los Angeles, California fought and won twice in the Contender Series before joining the UFC. He won his first two UFC bouts but has lost two in a row to Devin Clark and Ovince Saint Preux. Menifield is six feet tall with a reach of 76 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance. He has a record of 9-2 with 8 knockouts and one win via submission.
William Knight is a 32-year old from Hartford, Connecticut. A veteran of CES MMA and CFFC, Knight won twice in the Contender Series before earning his UFC deal. He won his UFC debut, defeating Aleksa Camur at UFC 253. He has a record of 9-1 with eight knockouts. Knight is six feet tall with a reach of 70 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.
Knight is limited on his feet and isn’t really an offensive wrestler. However, if he gets his opponent on his back, his ground and pound is quite scary. To beat him, one has to avoid his leg kicks and beat him out by outpunching him. Menifield has the skills to do those and he also has the takedown defense to stay on his feet. However, Menifield tends to struggle in the clinch and I think that Knight is going to wear him down against the cage. When he’s tired, Knight is going to get on top of Menifield and pound him out.
Prediction: William Knight
Alex Oliveira fought in Brazil before joining the UFC in 2015. After a decent start to his Octagon career, he has lost four out of his last six bouts and heads to this contest after getting submitted by Shakvat Rakhmonov at UFC 254. Cowboy is 33-years old and has a record of 22-9 with 12 knockouts and five wins via submission. He is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-11 tall with a reach of 76 inches.
Ramazan Kuramagomedov is an undefeated prospect from Dagestan, Russia. This 24-year old fought for ACB and appeared in the PFL in 2018. He joined the Contender Series in 2019 but did not earn a contract. However, after back-to-back submission wins, Kuramagomedov finally got his call, but on very short notice. He is 8-0 with one knockout and four wins via submission. He is an orthodox fighter who stands 6-1 tall with a reach of 73 inches.
Kuramagomedov is taking this fight on five days’ notice, replacing Randy Brown. He has sharp punch combinations and power kicks that help him control the pace of the fight. However, if he can’t find his rhythm early, he gets lost. If Oliveira can take advantage, then he’s got a good chance here. Oliveira has raw power and physicality but he’s a low-output fighter who relies on top control to conserve his energy. That’s not going to work against a more versatile striker and a better wrestler. Kuramagomedov needs to survive the early onslaught. Then it’s his fight to win.
Prediction: Ramazan Kuramagomedov
Alexis Davis is the number 11 ranked female flyweight in the UFC. This 36-year old from Ontario, Canada is a former Canadian grappling champion. She fought for Strikeforce and Invicta FC before joining the UFC. Davis opened his UFC career with a 6-2 record but heads to this bout having lost her last three bouts. She has a record of 19-2 with two knockouts and eight wins via submission. Davis is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-6 tall and has a reach of 68 inches.
Sabina Mazo is a former Legacy Fighting Alliance women’s flyweight champion. The 23-year old from Medellin, Colombia lost to Maryna Munoz in her first UFC bout but has won three straight bouts after that. She has a record of 9-1 with two knockouts and one win via submission. Mazo is 5-7 tall with a reach of 70 inches.
Mazo has all the physical advantages here. She is 13 years younger than Davis, is one inch taller, and has a two-inch reach advantage. Mazo also has the takedown defense to keep this a striking battle and the kickboxing skills needed to outwork Davis. I won’t count out Davis because she always brings a tough fight and we’ve seen Mazo get involved in close fights. I like the younger and busier fighter to win this bout.
Prediction: Sabina Mazo
Ronnie Lawrence fought for Valor Fights, Bellator, and LFA before joining the Contender Series last September where he defeated Jose Johnson. Lawrence has a record of 6-1 with three knockouts. Known as “The Heat”, this 28-year old from Murfreesboro, Tennessee is a switch hitter who stands 5-8 tall with a reach of 68 inches.
Vince Cachero fought for CXF and LFA before joining the UFC last year. Cachero lost to Jamall Emmers in his UFC debut, dropping the bout via unanimous decision. This 31-year old from Hawthorne, California is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-6 tall with a reach of 68 inches. He has a record of 7-3 with two knockouts and two wins via submission.
Lawrence has the takedown game to put Cachero on his back and the gas tank to do that all night. However, he is vulnerable to being caught, especially when closing the distance and Cachero should be looking for that opportunity to time him with a big shot. Cachero is the much better striker here but if he can’t stop the takedowns, that edge is useless. Given all these things, I think Lawrence has more avenues to win this bout.
Prediction: Ronnie Lawrence
Maxim Grishin competed for the PFL before joining the UFC. This 36-year old from Tambov, Russia lost to Marcin Tybura in his UFC debut before knocking out Gadzhimurad Antigulov in his most recent bout. Grishin is an orthodox fighter who stands 6-3 tall with a reach of 78 inches. He owns a record of 31-8 with 16 knockouts and six wins via submission
Dustin Jacoby is a former kickboxer who fought for promotions like Bellator, WSOF, and Titan FC. He joined the UFC in 2011 but after two straight losses, he was cut. This 32-year old from Fort Morgan, Colorado joined the Contender Series last year and won a UFC contract. Jacoby defeated Justin Ledet via knockout in his UFC debut and has a record of 13-5 with 9 knockouts and one win via submission. Jacoby is an orthodox fighter who stands 6-3 tall with a reach of 76 inches.
Grishin is a good kickboxer who has a very good motor and plenty of experience. If Jacoby can keep up with his opponent’s offense, his versatility and firepower will help him win this bout. I expect Grishing to push Jacoby in this fight, looking for him to tire. But while I expect Grishin to give a good fight, Jacoby should be able to control the center of the octagon and land the more noticeable shots to earn a decision.
Prediction: Dustin Jacoby
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