UFC Fight Night: Costa vs. Vettori Predictions
Aspen Ladd vs. Norma Dumont
Ladd’s weight cutting issues at bantamweight continued at UFC Fight Night 193 earlier this month when she started shaking uncontrollably while on the scale, leading to her fight with Macy Chiasson being cancelled, but thankfully for her this hastily arranged alternative fight with Dumont is taking place at 145lbs instead.
That’s one less hurdle for her to clear, though it’s hard to say how much of a toll that weight cut took on her body, while it’s also worth remembering this is her first fight back after a near two-year layoff due to serious knee injuries.
The knee aspect could really come into play as it’s crucial for Ladd to utilize her wrestling to get the fight to the mat, where she can unleash her devastating ground and pound, as on the feet it’s a different story since she doesn’t really have a whole lot to offer there.
On the other hand, Dumont is not only comfortable competing at 145lbs, she’s also a much more capable striker than Ladd and has a submission game too. She was also already training for a five round fight, which gives her an extra advantage the longer the bout goes.
So, this is a tough one to call, particularly due to there being several question marks surrounding Ladd heading into the fight. If she can’t get the fight to the mat then it’s going to be a tough night for her, but I do think she can make her mark if she does get the takedowns she need and so I’ll cautiously side with her to do that and get a third round ground-and-pound TKO stoppage.
Prediction: Aspen Ladd to win by TKO in Rd3.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Carlos Felipe
Despite being 42, Arlovski has still managed to win three of his last four fights and is coming off a unanimous decision win over Chase Sherman, while Felipe is on a three fight winning streak after initially losing his UFC debut against Sergey Spivak by majority decision.
The reason for Arlovski’s longevity is down to the fact that he’s not the type of heavyweight who just lumbers forward hurling heavy leather in the hopes of getting a big finish. Instead he’s a technical striker who stays patient, methodical, while being very mindful of his defensive responsibilities – which has been increasingly important as time has gone on because he has been stopped by hard-hitting strikers in the past.
One advantage Felipe has right off the bat is youth as he’s still only 26 – very young by heavyweight standards. He’s also a solid striker with good speed for his size, though not necessarily the most heavy-handed heavyweight around and while he’s not been finished in his 12-fight career to date, he’s certainly hittable.
I’m going back and forth about this one. Arlovski’s age and his chin are always a concern, and Felipe is a capable enough striker that he may well land some good shots here. On the other hand, Arlovski has shown a good knack for just technically outstriking opponents to eek out decision wins at this late stage in his career.
I just can’t shake the feeling that Arlovski’s bubble has to burst at some point and I’ll say it happens here, with Felipe securing a second round TKO stoppage.
Prediction: Carlos Felipe to win by TKO in Rd2.
Jim Miller vs. Erick Gonzalez
The 38-year-old Miller will for the time being become the fighter with the most bouts in UFC history (38) when he steps into the Octagon on Saturday night as he looks to shake off back-to-back losses against newcomer Erick Gonzalez, who has spent most of his 14-5 career to date in the Combates Americas promotion and has won his last two fights in a row.
It does feel like time is catching up with Miller as he’s clearly slowing down (though he was never that fast to begin with!), has less gas in the tank and while over the course of his career he’s always been a good grappler who can either grind his way to victory or deliver a submission finish from on top, in recent times he’s been coming off second-best at times.
As for Gonzalez, he’s at his best on the feet and will enjoy a 3″ height and reach advantage here, as well as having significant power and forward pressure, so that will certainly be somewhat of a concern for Miller.
We’ve reached the stage in Miller’s career where the UFC are having to hunt around and even bring in newcomers who he’s got a chance against. Even then it’s no guarantee, but I do think Gonzalez’s aggression and questionable takedown defense could play into Miller’s hands here, enabling him to get the fight to the mat and lock in a fight-ending submission in the opening round.
Prediction: Jim Miller to win by submission in Rd1.
Manon Fiorot vs. Mayra Bueno Silva
Both of these ladies records are almost identical, with Fiorot having a 7-1 run so far as a professional, while Silva is 7-1-1. That being said, context is important, and while Fiorot lost her first ever fight and has gone unbeaten ever since, Silva’s loss have come in her last three fights during her four-bout run in the UFC so far.
Unusually for a flyweight, Fiorot has so far proven to be a big finisher via strikes, having stopped all but one of her opponents in that fashion, with powerful punches being backed up by versatile kicking ability, making for potent combinations.
As for Silva, she’s a capable striker, but is less dangerous and more hittable than her opponent. However, on the mat Silva’s jiu-jitsu is a big asset and she’ll be a threat with submissions whether on top or fighting off her back.
However, I feel Silva may well struggle to get the fight to the mat in the first place, and Fiorot’s slick movement and combination work on the feet will cause her a lot of problems, leading to a third round TKO finish.
Prediction: Manon Fiorot to win by TKO In Rd3.
Julian Marquez vs. Jordan Wright
Heading into this fight both Marquez and Wright can proudly say that they don’t leave their fights in the hands of the judges, as they each have finished all of their career victories inside the distance.
On top of that they are both capable of delivering that finish wherever the fight goes, with Marquez having finished six of his opponents on the regional circuit via strikes, but then compiled three wins in the UFC via submission, while Wright has seven wins via strikes and five by submission.
Despite both men being the same height, Wright does actually have a sizeable 5″ reach advantage over Marquez and will use it with his karate based style with punches and kicks from range. He’s a fast starter who will put up high numbers offensively, but he doesn’t have much experience outside of the first round and his defense can be wide open at times.
That’s a worry as his durability is questionable, having been KO’d by Joaquim Buckley a year ago, while Alexander Hernandez KO’d him in 40 seconds on the Contender Series, but the result was later amended to a no-contest due to a drug-test failure.
Marquez is heavy-handed brawler and is more durable than his opponent here, having never been stopped by strikes in his 11-fight career to date. He is certainly hittable though and has to demonstrate that toughness at times.
Marquez has shown good finishing instincts by submission when the action hits the floor, often as a result of striking success, but Wright is a capable grappler too.
I’m not entirely sold on Marquez yet despite two wins since a very long layoff due to injury woes, but in what’s likely to be a hard-hitting striking battle to begin with I do feel he’ll stand up to the blows better than Wright, and whether on the feet or the mat I think that leads him to a second round TKO victory.
Prediction: Julian Marquez to win by TKO in Rd2.
UFC Fight Night: Costa vs. Vettori Prelims
(Predicted winners in bold)
Jun Yong Park vs. Gregory Rodrigues
Alan Patrick vs. Mason Jones
Tabatha Ricci vs. Maria de Oliveira Neta
Jamie Pickett vs. Laureano Staropoli
Khama Worthy vs. Jai Herbert
Jeff Molina vs. Daniel Lacerda
Livia Renata Souza vs. Randa Markos
Ross Cole is one of the most prolific mixed martial arts writers in the world, having written more than 17,000 MMA news stories for MMA Insight, which he founded in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts, and reaching millions of die-hard MMA fans in the process.
You can read more of Ross’s work at MMAInsight.com.