Austin Lingo (7-0) Vs Youssef Zelal (7-2)
This fight was added literally one week ago. You have two fellow upcoming prospects from LFA facing off against each other. Austin Lingo is undefeated in his professional career, he is on a 3-fight finish streak all in round one. Youssef Zelal is coming off an emphatic flying knee knockout, but before that he was on a 2-fight losing streak against lackluster competition. Austin Lingo also trains with Sayif Saud and the guys at FortisMMA. If you know me, you know how I feel about FortisMMA fighters. I got Austin Lingo winning by Technical Knockout.
Andre Ewell (15-6) Vs Jonathan Martinez (11-2)
Andre Ewell has had a very interesting stint since joining the UFC. He’s currently 1-2 since joining the big show and has lost consecutive fights; both by stoppages. Granted, they were to Marlon Vera and Nathaniel Wood, two promising fighters. Jonathan Martinez himself is 2-1, coming off a very impressive finish of Pingyuan Liu his last fight out. I really don’t know what to expect this fight, I think Andre Ewell is the faster fighter and really only struggles with fighters with some type of wrestling background. Luckily for Andre Ewell, Jonathan Martinez doesn’t have any type of wrestling to his game plan. So I have Andre Ewell winning by decision.
Domingo Pilarte (8-2) Vs Journey Newsome (9-2)
This card is full of pick ’em fights between so many prospects. Domingo Pilarte was really impressive on his Contender Series fight but he had such a long lay off. He came back and dropped a decision to Felipe Colares. Journey Newsome also dropped a decision loss to Ricardo Ramos in his debut last year. Both fighters don’t really impress me much. Domingo Pilarte has the faster hands and can take a punch, especially hands from Journey Newsome. I got Pilarte by split decision.
Miles Johns (10-0) Vs Mario Bautista (7-1)
Miles Johns and Mario Bautista are about to throw some hands. This has the potential to be fight of the night. Mario Bautista has split his two fights, he lost to Cory Sandhagen in round 1 in his first fight. He followed that loss up with a THRILLING fight of the night win against Jin Soo-Son. These are two strikers who are willing to not bring it to the Mat. I give the cardio advantage to Bautista. He has the strong chin and can carry his power into the later rounds, whereas Miles Johns has power but I haven’t seen it in the later rounds of his fights. Miles Johns is a FortisMMA fighter though, and I stay loyal. Take that how you want, I would definitely not be surprised if Johns lost.
Alex Morono (17-5) Vs Kalinn Williams (9-1)
Kalin Williams is going to have a tough debut fight. He is going to be in Alex Morono’s backyard on only a weeks notice. Alex Morono is on a 3-fight winning streak and is coming off a win against Max Griffin and a really motivated one at that. So unless Kalin Williams decides to take him down and pull the old wet blanket, Alex Morono should have no troubles getting this win. There’s a lot of FortisMMA fighters on this card since it’s in Houston.
Andrea Lee (11-3) Vs Lauren Murphy (11-4)
Lauren Murphy is coming off a knock out finish against Mara Romero Borella. Whereas Andrea Lee had lost her last fight but was on a 7-fight winning streak. Lauren Murphy is past her prime and Lee is still a young fighter. Lee used to struggle with the takedowns and fighters imposing their will. I expect Murphy to try and smother her and fail to do so. Lee will piece her apart and win a grueling fight by majority decision.
Trevin Giles (11-2) Vs Antonio Arroyo (9-3)
Trevin Giles had so much steam when he first came into the UFC. He’s currently on a 2-fight losing streak, both by submission to Zak Cummings and Gerald Meerschaert. Antonio Arroyo looked god awful his last fight against Andre Muniz. This is a weird fight to be a featured prelim. Arroyo doesn’t impress me at all. I believe Trevin Giles wins this as long as he avoids the ground, uses his boxing, and maybe even mixes in some takedowns.
Derrick Lewis (22-7) Vs Ilir Latifi (14-7)
Congratulations UFC, this is the weirdest match up I have seen at Heavyweight in some time. Ilir Latifi is coming off back to back losses to Volkan Odzemier and Corey Anderson. Latifi struggled with his cardio and taking a shot at Light Heavyweight so I don’t really know what he’s thinking, moving up. Nonetheless, he was granted a top 5 heavyweight fighter, Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis. Lewis is in his home state of Texas where he is 7-0 in his career fighting there. I can’t help but think that Lewis is getting a set up fight. Latifi is literally coming off a knock out less than 7 months ago. Lewis should knock Latifi out here rather quickly, he’s just gotta make sure he doesn’t get taken down. If the Derrick Lewis that fought Blagoy Ivanov shows up, then it should be a rather fast night for The Black Beast.
Dan Ige (12-2) Vs Mirsad Bektic (13-2)
Another potential fight of the night chance here, this time it will be in the featherweight division. Mirsad Bektic has a lot of steam early in his career, but boy has he fallen off the tracks his last few fights. He went to a decision against Ricardo Lamas whose chin is made of glass, then he got brutally knocked out by Josh Emmett his last time out. His opponent is Dan Ige a Contender Series vet. Dan Ige is currently on a 4-fight win streak and has all the hype going into this one. The thing is, Mirsad Bektic can beat the 4 people Ige did as well. This is a tough fight to call. Bektic’s chin is suspect, but I think he has the advantage in the wrestling portion and the wrestling background to get the BJJ black belt to the ground even if he has that title. I got Bektic by a close decision, like razor thin. I wouldn’t be shocked if Ige proved me around.
Justin Tafa (3-1) Vs Juan Adams (5-2)
Well this is about the weirdest fight I have ever seen on a main card since I have been watching UFC. Both fighters here are very low caliber with 11 fights combined between the two. Juan Adams is a Contender Series alum who burst on the scene with a bloody finish his first fight. His second fight, he won a split decision and we all remember his fight against Greg Hardy his last time out. Justin Tafa is literally 3-1, I have nothing much to say about him. He’s not impressive at all to me and just got starched his last fight out against Yorgan De Castro. Juan Adams is in his hometown and is taking his training serious this time out. I believe that he’ll win with his wrestling or maybe even starch him seeing as Tafa just got slept.
Valentina Schevchenko (18-3) Vs Kaitlyn Chookigan (13-2)
Valentina Schevchenko is light years ahead of everyone in the women’s flyweight division. I don’t think I need to say much for this fight. Chook is a nice girl, she’ll maybe be able to take this to a decision. I just don’t see any path of victory for her, she’s so outclassed it’s scary. She literally just lost the fight before her last. Valentina is either going to piece her up for 5 rounds or take her down and get the ground or pound finish. #AndStill
Jon Jones (21-6) Vs Dominick Reyes (12-0)
As much as I love Dominick Reyes and enjoy watching him fight, I really don’t see him pulling off this upset. The good news for him is he has at least some type of path to victory, whereas the other title fight is clear as day. Jon Jones is the greatest fighter of all time but he hasn’t faced anyone as confident and powerful as Dominick Reyes outside of Daniel Cormier. If Dominick wants to win this fight, he has to rush in with reckless abandonment and catch Jon with something. The thing is, if he does do that, he’s more susceptible to being taken down. That’s how I expect this fight to play out. I expect it to almost go like Jon Jone Vs Alexander Gustaffson II. I hope I’m wrong because I would love to see Jon Jones finally get a slice of humble pie, but he’s too good and too smart to lose to someone in their 13th fight. #AndStill