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UFC251: Usman Vs Masvidal

Prelim

Martin Day (8-3) Vs Davey Grant (11-4)

Fight Island is here and we’re starting off with a clash between two bantamweights. Martin Day is looking to avenge his lone UFC loss last time out against Pingyuan Liu. While Davey Grant is coming off a split decision win his last time out against Grigorii Popov. This fight should really go Martin Days way if he can avoid the take downs from Davey Grant and keep the fight standing. Davey Grant landed 6 take downs against Popov. what that tells me is he knows how to execute off someone’s weaknesses. If Martin Day can defend those, he should get the comfortable decision victory with the cleaner striking, pressure, and output.

Vanessa Melo (10-7) Vs Karol Rosa (12-3)

I’m not going to spend too much time on this fight. That being said you never put your money on someone who is 10-7. So i’m going to go with Karol Rosa by unanimous decision.

Zhalgas Zhumagulov (13-3) Vs Raulian Paiva (19-3)

This fight is going to be bonkers probably for all 15 minutes. Raulian Paiva is a dark horse of the flyweight division. His only two losses since joining the UFC were a split decision against Kai Kara France (Which I think he won clear as day) and a nasty doctor stoppage from a cut against Rogerio Bontorin. A lot of people like Zhalgas here in this spot because of his relentless pressure, and he has gone the distance a lot, so he’s got a ton of experience. I personally think Paiva is going to win this one. He has the take down defense (79%) to keep the fight standing. If he keeps his hands up stays moving and avoids the wild striking from Zhalgas he should get on a little win streak.

Marcin Tybura (18-6) Vs Maxim Grishin (30-7-2)

You guys remember Gian Villante Vs Maurice Greene last card? Well, here is another dumpster fight. Marcin Tybura is coming off his first win in his last 5 fights against Sergey Spivak. He used a heavy wrestling approach his last time out. I expect him to do the same here as he takes on Maxin Grishin who is taking this fight on almost a weeks’ notice. If you’re an MMA fan such as myself you know him from the PFL tournament. Grishin is okay not a bad addition to the UFC roster. The only thing is this fight is at heavyweight. Maxim Grishin is normally light heavyweight which is what he competed at in PFL. His only official loss since 2011 came from Magomed Ankalaev since than he’s won every fight or went a draw because PFL is weird and does two round fights. Maxim Grishin is going to have the striker advantage here. What worries me is his takedown defense is pretty sketchy and because Tybura is going to be the much bigger guy he could just hold him down for all 15 minutes and that’s what I expect him to do. So I’m going with Marcin Tybura by decision and get on a nice 2 fight win streak.

Leonardo Santos (17-3) Vs Roman Bogatov (10-0)

Leonardo Santos should be fighting Paul Felder or someone. Dude hasn’t lost since 1997 and is fighting some random ass newcomer. Leonardo Santos is coming off an insane highlight reel KO over Stevie Ray in his first fight since 2016. He could be something serious but for some reason he never ever fights, and he is now 40 years old. Roman Bogatov is making his UFC debut he’s 10-0 against decent competition. He’s got 5 submission wins and some decisions. I really don’t understand the match making here. Roman Bogatov is going to either get subbed immediately or toyed with and knocked out at some point. The fact Santos is fighting him is truly appalling.

Makwan Amirkhani (15-4) Vs Danny Henry (12-3)

This is another fight I don’t really care for like the Melo Vs Rosa one. I really have no idea how Danny Henry could even sort of win this. Makwan Amirkhani has insane volume in his striking and his take downs. If he could manage his cardio, he could probably be top 20 type fighter. Danny Henry has decent striking is OK on the ground, but he isn’t on Amrkhani’s level in either aspect. If Mr. Finland can keep his composure and his gas in the tank he should win this by submission or just a good old wrestle fest.

Elizeu Zaleski (22-6) Vs Muslim Salikhov (16-2)

Man, this fight is almost comain event worthy. I can’t wait for this one ZDS is taking on the “King of Kung-Fu” in a pivotal fight in the stacked welterweight division. Muslim Salikhov is one of the most dangerous strikers in the division. ZDS seemed like he himself was before getting knocked out by Jingliang Li in China. He did however rebound from that performance with a very narrow split decision win against Alexey Kunchenko. ZDS does have the grappling advantage here through if he is smart, he will look for the takedown early and work off that. If he is dumb, he will find himself in a striking match against Muslim and lose by dec or maybe even KO. I like Muslim and really hope he can defy the odds, but I think Dos Santos walks away with the submission victory, probably a rear naked choke.

Volkan Oezdemir (17-4) Vs Jiri Prochazka (26-3-1)

This fight is another balls to the wall fight. If you don’t know who Jiri Prochazka is than you should do some research on him. He is the current RIZIN light heavyweight champion, he hasn’t lost in 5 years. Volkan Oezdemir is a HUGE step up though in competition. Volkan has faced Cormier, Reyes, Smith, Cirkunov, and Rakic. Jiri Prochazka has insane hands and can put your lights out in the first round. The only thing is he’s seen the third once in his career that is very worrisome. Jiri isn’t going to fight too technical in there. He’s going to bring it and I kind of feel like that plays into Volkan Oezdemirs game plan too much. I see Jiri going out sad like he did against King Mo in 2015. I hope I’m wrong though the UFC LHW always needs some upcoming fighters.

Main Card

Paige VanZant (8-4) Vs Amanda Ribas (9-1)

Paige VanZant is making her long waited return since breaking her arm 100 times. Her last fight was against Rachael Ostovich in January 2019 she won by submission. Amanda Ribas has looked like a title challenger during her 4-fight win streak. She is coming off a dominating win against Randa Markos her last fight. Paige VanZant is a big name, but I don’t think it’s for her fighting. She isn’t really all that good she has lost 3 of her last 5 fights. Amanda Ribas is a -900 favorite for a reason. Paige VanZant is coming off multiple injuries like I said and hasn’t beat anyone good. This is going to be a domination for the Brazilian fighter Amanda Ribas. She just truly has no weaknesses while Paige has a ton.

Jessica Andrade (20-7) Vs Rose Namajunas (8-4)

The rematch a year in the making Jessica Andrade Vs Rose Namajunas II. Jessica Andrade won the last outing via Slam KO shortly after she defended the belt against Weili Zhang where she was beautifully destroyed. Rose hasn’t fought since the slam KO and was supposed to come back before people in her family passed away with Covid difficulties. I really don’t know what Rose we get here with all this outside drama surrounding her. She could go out there and stick and move and jab Andrade too death. Jessica Andrade is going to have to use her wrestling if she wants to be victorious here. She can’t be relentless she has to time then and not overextend her cardio. I honestly feel Jessica Andrade is going to win but I got to root for Rose Namajunas here after everything she has gone through.

Petr Yan (14-1) Vs Jose Aldo (28-6)

Now for the 3 title fights the first one is for the vacant bantamweight championship belt. Jose Aldo is coming off a loss to Marlon Moraes a very narrow one. Petr Yan is coming off an annihilation of veteran and future HOF fighter Urijah Faber. He is currently on a 6-fight win-streak and hasn’t looked like he had any weaknesses.  This will be Jose Aldo’s second fight at the bantamweight level. He looked like the bigger fighter against Marlon Moraes who himself isn’t small for that division at all. Petr Yan is going to be noticeably smaller and this will be the toughest test for Yan in his career. His most recent test was against Jimmie Rivera a lot of people reference this fight, but I mean he dropped him twice and took some hard shots. He can’t fight Jose Aldo like that he has to stay defensive sound and if Aldo uses his devastating leg kicks, he BETTER check them. A big thing that worries me is Petr Yan has never gone the full 25 his entire career of MMA. I have heard that Petr Yan can go all 25 so we will see what happens. I really hope Petr Yan continues his rise to stardom.

Alexander Volkanovski (21-1) Vs Max Holloway (21-5)

I really don’t know how this fight is going to play out any different than their first meeting back in 2019. Alexander Volkanovski is one of the smartest fighters and really knows how to put a game plan together against any of his opponents. Max Holloway is one of the greatest fighters alive and was dominated for all 5 rounds I don’t care what anyone says he was. Max Holloway is going to have to check the leg kicks here this time around because the first fight that was the difference maker. Even if he does somehow manage to check all the leg kicks, I just truly feel Volkanovski is that smart and will have some other game plan. I would even go as far to say this Max Holloway will be finished for the first time ever since 2012.

Kamaru Usman (16-1) Vs Jorge Masvidal (36-13)

The fight that everyone wanted, and we all thought we wouldn’t get it this soon. Because of COVID Gilbert Burns was forced to withdraw against Kamaru Usman. Now the grudge match between Kamaru Usman & Jorge Masvidal is set on 6 days’ notice. I’m really into conspiracy and I think they infected Gilbert with the … never mind I’m only kidding. Anyways, this fight is going to be very interesting the masses are all on Jorge Masvidal whereas the real MMA fans and bettors know Kamaru Usman is most likely going to ragdoll him and beat him up on the ground. Personally, I really want to see Kamaru Usman win. Jorge Masvidal has grinded for 16 years at this and is finally getting his shot at the belt. If the wrestlers, he brought in mimic’s Kamaru Usman well and if Usman falls in love with his hands and doesn’t look to take it to the ground than I think Jorge Masvidal can definitely knock him out honestly. I just think Kamaru is a smart fighter like Volkanovski and is going to have a perfect gameplan and continue his INSANELY impressive win streak.

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