The UFC is making Saturday nights great again with another action packed fight card LIVE from Las Vegas, Nevada this evening. The Prelims kick off at 6 PM est. The Main card will get underway at 9 PM est. The fights will be held at the UFC Apex, the host of Dana White’s Contender series. The one major difference for tonight will be the size of the octagon. Normally, the cage is 30 feet. However, the cage will be at 25 feet for this evening. The feature bout on the card is a welterweight battle between Tyron Woodley and Gilbert Burns. Let’s take a look at each match-up starting with the main card, providing current odds, and predictions on the action.
“The Chosen One” Tyron Woodley vs. “Durinho” Gilbert Burns
Odds: Woodley (-180) Burns (+142)
The main event features 2 welterweight contenders that’ll launch themselves into a title shot with a victory. Woodley is hoping to rebound after an ugly defeat in losing his title to current champion, Kamaru Usman. At the age of 38, time is not on Woodley’s side as he hopes to receive another crack at UFC gold. Gilbert Burns is on fire beating his previous 5 opponents in the octagon. The latest was an impressive knockout against Demain Maia. The BJJ black belt will take the tutelage from his teammate, Mr. Usman to execute an efficient gameplan vs. the former champ.
Prediction: Burns by split decision
“Baga” Blagoy Ivanov vs. Augusto Sakai
Odds: Ivanov (-110) Sakai (-115)
The co-main event of the evening features 2 ranked heavyweights ready to make a name for themselves in the division. A win by either competitor should catapult their name up the charts. Blagoy Ivanov is hoping to rebound from a decision loss vs. Derrick Lewis. The former WSOF champion holds a UFC record of 2-2. Augusto Sakai has been nothing short of impressive during his 5 fight win streak. Last time in the octagon saw Sakai take care of Marcin Tybura in 59 seconds! This fight should be an excellent match-up. Sakai has finished 11 of his 14 opponents via strikes. However, Ivanov has yet to be knocked out as a professional. Who will prevail? With a lot at stake in this fight, this is sure to be a fight to watch tonight!
Prediction: Sakai via strikes, round 2.
Catchweight Bout (150 lbs)
Billy Quarantillo vs. “The Alpha Ginger” Spike Carlyle
Odds: Quarantillo (-135) Carlyle (+108)
This fight was bumped up to the main card after Kevin Holland was forced out of his fight with an injury. Quarantillo vs. Carlyle has an excellent chance to receive fight of the night honors. This bout will feature fireworks with an explosive ending! This bout will feature the rare catchweight bout after Spike Carlyle jumped in on short notice, but couldn’t get his weight down to 145. Billy Quarantillo was attempting to launch his name up the featherweight rankings with a fight in the division but settled on this fight because…He wants to fight! Spike Carlyle is entering the octagon on a 5 fight win streak. Carlyle defeated Quarantillo’s teammate, Aalon Cruz, in his last appearance. Billy wants to get revenge for his teammate by defeating Carlyle tonight. Carlyle described the fight this evening in one word “Massacre”. I’m tuning in for this one!
Prediction: Carlyle via KO, Round 1
“The Predator” Roosevelt Roberts vs. “Chata Tuska” Brok Weaver
Odds: Roberts (-375) Weaver (+280)
The only blemish during the weigh-in’s came at the expense of Brok Weaver. He was the only competitor to miss weight for tonight’s event. He weighed in 2.5 lbs over at 157.5 lbs. As a result, Weaver will forfeit 20% of his purse to Roosevelt Roberts. The stare down on the podium was filled with emotion for both fighters. Roberts is taking a personal issue with Weaver after it was documented by Brok that he orchestrated a dog fight in which the dog lost part of his ear. Roberts called Weaver a “dog abuser” and called tonight’s contest with Brok Weaver as a “fight to the death”.
Prediction: Roberts via split decision
Women’s Strawweight Bout
Makenzie Dern vs. “Shockwave” Hannah Cifer
Odds: Dern (-450) Cifers (+320)
The Mackenzie Dern hype train was temporarily derailed in October after her loss Amanda Ribas. However, we can just chalk it up to a bad night at the office, and shaking off the rust after the first fight since the birth of her child. Dern is determined to get back on the winning side of things in the octagon with an impressive showing in Las Vegas tonight. That sounds like a nice story, but Hannah Cifers has a different version of how things will turn out tonight. Cifers is attempting to rebound after a loss to Angela Hill her last time in the cage. Cifers is currently 2-2 in the UFC, and will look to avoid the submission, and win in shocking fashion at UFC Fight night. Which story will come to fruition? Only time will tell.
Prediction: Dern by submission, round 1. Bonus: Submission by rear naked choke.
Women’s Flyweight Bout
“Blonde Fighter” Katlyn Chookagian vs. “La Pantera” Antonia Shevchenko
Odds: Chookagian (+112) Shevchenko (-140)
The main event of the Prelims feature 2 women’s flyweights attempting to enter the title conversation. For Chookagian, she wants another crack at the belt. For Shevchenko, she wants to see who the is best women’s fighter in the Shevchenko family. Antonia is the older sister to current Flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko. Antonia is a muay thai specialist who holds a 2-1 record in the UFC since her return from a 12 year hiatus. Chookagian could be nicknamed the “Decision Queen”. 10 of her victories have come via the judges scorecards. Katlyn looks to score points and get the decision. Hopefully, Shevchenko can push the pace of this fight.
Warning: This fight could be a snoozefest.
Prediction: Chookagian via Split decision
“D-Rod” Daniel Rodriguez vs. “Gifted” Gabriel Green
Odds: Rodriguez (-350) Green (+260)
Gabriel Green steps in for the injured Kevin Holland to make his UFC Debut. He carries a 6 fight win streak into the octagon. However, Mr. Green hasn’t fought in almost 2 years. Can he shake off the rust vs. D-Rod?
Daniel Rodriguez enters the octagon fresh off his UFC debut victory over Tim Means. A participant in the Dana White Contender series, D-Rod hopes to carry the momentum of a 7 fight win streak as motivation to finish off his opponent this evening.
Prediction: Rodriguez via strikes
Light Heavyweight Bout
“Sweet Dreams” JaMahal Hill vs. “White Bear” Klidson Abreu
Odds: Hill (-125) Abreu (+100)
The undefeated JaMahal Hill looks to extend his clean sheet as he faces off vs. Klidson Abreu. Hill brings heavy hands and a powerful punch to the octagon. Abreu brings a talented BJJ game to the contest. This will be an interesting battle. Can Abreu avoid the big punch? Can Hill defend the take down? Well, Hill was taken down 6 times in his last fight, so it may present quite a challenge for him. The battle of Southpaws will fight to control the octagon, and secure a victory at UFC fight night.
Prediction: Abreu via submission
Tim Elliott vs. “Raw Dawg” Brandon Royval
Odds: Elliott (-170) Royval (+135)
Brandon Royval was scheduled to be on Dana White’s contender series, but steps up to the big leagues making his UFC debut against Tim Elliott. Royval has won 5 of his last 6 fights. The lone loss came against Casey Kenney who’s also on this card. What can we say about Timmy Elliott? I think the guy is a very exciting fighter. The unpredictability in the octagon is a joy to watch. However, taking a big risk doesn’t necessarily generate a nice reward. Elliott is on a 2 fight losing streak, and could be facing a must win here tonight. Royval is a good striker, and should be faster on his feet. Elliott is a fantastic wrestler, and shows good submission defense. This should be an interesting battle.
Prediction: Royval via unanimous decision
“Da Last Samurai” Louis Smolka vs. Casey Kenney
Odds: Kenney (-290) Smolka (+220)
Casey Kenney attempts to bounce back after a decision loss against Merab Dvalishvili. A former participant in Dana White’s contender series, Kenney was riding a 6 fight win streak before his recent loss. Louis Smolka enters the octagon on the heels of a knockout victory over Ryan MacDonald. Smolka is in the midst of his second run with the UFC. He left in 2017 after experiencing personal issues. He appears to be focused, and ready to make a run into relevancy within the bantamweight division. Smolka left reporters with this quote “I’m going to hit him until he breaks”. Looking forward to it!
Prediction: Kenney via submission