UFC Fight Night: Luque vs. Muhammad 2 Predictions
Vicente Luque vs. Belal Muhammad
These two have past history, with Luque KO’ing Muhammad in just 79 seconds almost five years ago. Both have done very well since though and Luque is currently ranked No.5 in the division after winning 10 of his last 11 fights, while Muhammad is just one place behind after racking up six wins and a no-contest over the past three years.
Muhammad is far from the only fighter Luque has finished via strikes over the years as he has very dangerous, technical and high-output striking on the feet and carries his power into the later rounds thanks to solid cardio. Meanwhile, Luque is also a threat on the mat too, including having won his last two fights in a row via d’arce choke.
As for Muhammad, he’s a robust, well-rounded fighter who stays active on the feet throughout the fight while operating from distance, darting into range to land strikes at times. He doesn’t have much in the way of finishing power though, but he’ll keep his opponents guessing by also looking for takedown attempts and his solid wrestling game could be his best chance of gaining the upperhand on Saturday night.
I think this is a challenging match-up for Muhammad on the feet though and as in the first fight he’s likely to be outgunned again, leading to a second round TKO finish.
Prediction: Vicente Luque to win by TKO in Rd2.
Caoi Borralho vs. Gadzhi Omargadzhiev
This isn’t the most obvious choice for a co-main event as it features two fresh recruits from Dana White’s Contender Series, with Barralho having picked up two wins on the show to take his record to 10-1, while Omargadzhiev earned a win to go 13-0.
Barralho is 3″ smaller than his opponent here, yet actually has a 4″ reach advantage. He has an offensive karate-based style, staying light on his feet on the outside and backs that up with good Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ability on the mat.
Omargadzhiev can strike, but really he’s at his best with his relentless and dominating wrestling first-and-foremost, together with solid ground-and-pound, submission ability and an excellent gas tank.
So, two respectable fighters from the Contender Series with a lot to prove here and I favor Omargadzhiev to impose his will via that stifling wrestling game to emerge with a decision victory.
Prediction: Gadzhi Omargadhziev to win by decision.
Miguel Baeza vs. Andre Fialho
After putting together three victories inside the distance to start his UFC career, Baeza has since slumped to two defeats in a row, while former Bellator and PFL fighter Fialho lost out by unanimous decision to Michel Pereira in his promotional debut in January.
Baeza thrives when he’s on the offensive in the striking department with a good mixture of skill, volume and power, but the downside is that he’s less mindful of his defense, so he is there to be hit all too often and that cost him last time out as he suffered a TKO loss against Khaos Williams.
This fight is well matched as Fialho is also a big threat on the feet too with finishing power in his hands, as evidenced by 11 finishes from 14 finishes to date.
I believe Baeza has the technical edge here though and if his defense was more robust it’d be easier to pick him with more confidence. However, as things stand Fialho will likely have clear opportunities to land hard punches and that’s a real concern, but I’ll still take Baeza to make his own offense count and claim a second round TKO victory.
Prediction: Miguel Baeza to win by TKO in Rd2.
Pat Sabatini vs. T.J. Laramie
Both of these fighters were due to go up against other opponents recently, but those match-ups fell through and now a few weeks later they are going up against each other instead. It’s not necessarily the ideal time for the bout though since they seem at different stages in their careers, with Sabatini on a three-fight winning streak, while by way of contrast, Laramie is coming off a loss in his UFC debut.
Laramie’s defeat came by submission in just 52 seconds and he’ll have good reason to be concerned that could happen again as former Cage Fury champ Sabatini’s biggest strength is his submissions, accounting for 10 of his 14 career wins, and he’s got the ability to bring the fight to the mat in the first place.
On the other hand though, while he has a 2″ height and 4″ reach advantage, Sabatini’s striking is merely functional and that gives the young, hungry 24-year-old Laramie a route to success as he’s better technically as well as holding both a speed and power advantage.
Nevertheless, I think Sabatini’s ground advantage is going to be the difference-maker here and he’ll find a submission finish sooner rather than later.
Prediction: Pat Sabatini to win by submission in Rd1.
Mayra Bueno Silva vs. Wu Yanan
Two fighters who have yet to really find consistency in the UFC here, with Silva having faired slightly better with a 2-2-1 run, while Yanan has only managed to compile a 1-3 record so far.
Silva has solid muay thai ability and will use that to pressure her opponents on the feet, but there’s not much in the way of finishing power behind her strikes. However, on the mat she does have a very good submission game and that’s resulted in five finishes from seven career victories.
As for Yanan, she is a capable kickboxer who will strike in volume and has a 2″ height advantage. She did showcase some finishes both on the feet and on the mat in the regional circuit in China prior to joining the UFC, but hasn’t been able to replicate that since taking a step up in competition.
I think Silva is well placed to win this fight as she’ll be able to match-up to Yanan in the striking department, but will have also have a significant advantage on the mat, which will lead her to a second round submission stoppage win.
Prediction: Mayra Bueno Silva to win by submission in Rd2.
UFC Fight Night: Luque vs. Muhammad 2 Prelims
(Predicted winners in bold)
Devin Clark vs. William Knight
Lina Lansberg vs. Pannie Kianzad
Drakker Klose vs. Brandon Jenkins
Rafa García vs. Jesse Ronson
Chris Barnett vs. Martin Buday
Jordan Leavitt vs. Trey Ogden
Istela Nunes vs. Sam Hughes
Heili Alateng vs. Kevin Croom
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.