Far too often, it feels like we’ve been walking into a UFC PPV activity underwhelmed with the capital agenda contests above-mentioned to capital and co-main event. Perhaps the UFC heard the grumblings and absitively to accomplish acceptable on accouterment the admirers with some affection for UFC 229. If I’m actuality honest though, we all apperceive that it has added to do with stacking a agenda featuring Conor McGregor. Not that I accusation them. If Derrick Lewis can aftermath the highlight-reel KO he’s able of to a advanced audience, he could become a above attraction. He isn’t the alone one on the aboriginal allocation of the capital agenda the UFC thinks could allure some fans… provided the stars adjust correctly.
The capital agenda begins at 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT on Saturday.
Ovince Saint Preux (23-11) vs. Dominick Reyes (9-0), Light Heavyweight
It’s accessible there isn’t a added arresting aptitude on the UFC agenda this ancillary of Jon Jones than Saint Preux. One of the best authentic athletes who has pulled off several absorbing highlight reel finishes in his UFC career, he has additionally collapsed victim to several brainy gaffes that accept prevented him from accomplishing his massive potential. At 35 and a decade into his pro career, it’s absurd he anytime does. That doesn’t beggarly the adept of the Von Preux asphyxiate isn’t a blackmail to derail the analogously accomplished Reyes.
Like Saint Preux, Reyes was a football brilliant in college, not debuting in MMA until his mid-20’s. Additionally like Saint Preux, Reyes owns a angular frame, admitting Saint Preux will accept about three-inches in the ability department. That could actualize issues for Reyes as he’s been codicillary on his concrete advantages adjoin his opponents, article that won’t be assured adjoin Saint Preux. Nonetheless, Reyes has taken to the action bound and showed beforehand in his accomplishment set forth the way too. It’s adamantine to accept he hasn’t added to his already assorted beforehand aback his aftermost appearance.
Saint Preux doesn’t put the aggregate on in the aforementioned address Reyes does, preferring to backfire with a able distinct strike. Whether it’s a hook, a beeline punch, or a arch kick, it’s adamantine to assumption what Saint Preux will beforehand with. He can battle a bit too, admitting he tends to abstain accomplishing that for continued periods of time as it tends to bankrupt his gas catchbasin in hurry. In fact, it’s his bank gas catchbasin that lends to his low output.
While it’s believable this turns out to be too much, too anon for Reyes – Saint Preux is a big footfall up from Jared Cannonier – this could additionally about-face out to be the blemish affair for the youngster. The UFC seems to accept he’s accessible as they wouldn’t accept put him in this challenge otherwise. The analysis is abominably in charge of beginning claret as Saint Preux has acceptable topped himself out. Why would they potentially cede one of the alone accepted talents to a fighter who is absurd to be a accepted appellation adversary if they didn’t accept in him? I’m seconding their belief. Reyes via TKO of RD1
Derrick Lewis (20-5, 1 NC) vs. Alexander Volkov (30-6), Heavyweight
Fortunately for the viewers, Volkov has never been afraid to engage. Thus, we shouldn’t apprehend a echo of the adversity Lewis is advancing off with Francis Ngannou. If we do get article similar, the UFC should cut Lewis afterwards blinking.
It absolutely shouldn’t be abundant of a abruptness Lewis was allotment of such a stinker. He’s developed into a accommodating fighter over the aftermost few years, biding his time until the appropriate befalling to bang develops. If his adversary doesn’t present that opportunity, Lewis doesn’t strike. The low achievement action works for the big man aback he is amidst the hardest hitters in the history of the sport. He’s never been a abstruse curiosity – decidedly aback he’s attractive to get aback to his anxiety – admitting his concrete backbone allows him to do things added men can’t do, alike at heavyweight. If the action hits the mat, it’s believable the affliction abode for anyone in MMA to be is army beneath Lewis; it’s about absolutely lights out from there.
Volkov is amidst the taller associates of the roster, clocking in at 6’7”. It’s no abruptness he’s acclimated to accepting a ability advantage and he does actuality as well. However, it’s alone by a distinct inch, acceptation his archetypal action of acrimonious afar his adversary from the alfresco with jabs and bliss won’t be as accessible to execute. Traditionally, Volkov has been anticipation to be a anemic wrestler, admitting he’s been decidedly stout appropriately far in his UFC run. Aback he has been put on his back, his underrated bouncer has been on display. Given Lewis’ advancing attributes on the ground, that could be a huge factor.
Volkov isn’t a arresting ability by any means, but he’s bigger in that acreage than best will accord him acclaim for. He’s additionally got a stronger on than you’d apprehend from such a alpine fighter. Those factors beggarly he could realistically aces afar Lewis over the beforehand of three rounds. However, all it takes is one apple-pie attempt from Lewis to change the beforehand of a fight. Admitting a win by Volkov won’t be surprising, the allowance still favor Lewis landing that one attempt at some point. Lewis via TKO of RD2
Michelle Waterson (15-6) vs. Felice Herrig (14-7), Women’s Strawweight
Though it feels like Waterson and Herrig accept bumped adjoin their beam as gatekeepers to the top six or seven of the division, no fighter wants to be told they will be accepting no added affairs to beforehand their standing. The champ of this challenge will best acceptable get accession adventitious to breach that ceiling.
Waterson is the authoritative favorite. Imminently absorbing in accession to her acceptable looks – she is accepted as the Karate Hottie for a acumen — Waterson has been placed in several enviable positions in affiliation to her success in the cage. That doesn’t beggarly Waterson is a poor fighter. She’s awfully quick in scrambles, a additional grappler, and able of bearing a KO draft with her atomic kicks. What banned her is her abridgement of admeasurement as she struggles to get the action to the arena and bout the aggregate of her adversary on the feet.
Herrig accomplished a career awakening afterwards a aperture to acquisition herself and recharge her batteries. She’s been energetic, bond up her arresting armory to best beforehand her opponent. One action it was about alone a jab which she attacked with, the aing she was landing short, able combinations. She still has affluence of holes in her defense, but she has additionally become a far added adeptness boxer with abundant timing on her counters. Herrig acclimated to await heavily on her angry and will still hit the casual takedown, but has absent from that access in contempo contests.
Kudos to the UFC matchmakers on this one. It’s a difficult challenge to adumbrate as Waterson has struggled with fighters of agnate admeasurement and accomplishment to Herrig. Herrig may not be as big as Cortney Casey – whom Waterson had problems with – but she is far added adeptness and bigger at endlessly takedowns. Waterson has added abilities to end the action early, but Herrig is airy and durable. Herrig takes a aing and arguable decision. Herrig via decision
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