By Christopher Carpenter
The trilogy is finally here, and I hope you’re all well and just as excited for this weekend as I am. The battle for (what many to believe determines the greatest heavyweight of all time) the heavyweight championship is upon us this weekend adorning a stacked main card. Rising star Sean O’Malley is returning for the co-main event so this card is exciting to say the least.
Christopher Daukus vs Parker Porter
Starting off the prelims is a heavyweight bout between Christopher Daukus and Parker Porter. Both men have been competing professionally for some time and both are making their UFC debut Saturday night. Neither fighter has fought this year, and since this is a heavyweight bout, I’m interested to see if they have been staying in shape. Daukus and Porter are power strikers, each with several knockout victories to their name so there’s a good likelihood of a finish. On paper, Daukus seems to have more power, as he has two more career knockouts than Porter does. For that reason, I see Daukus winning this fight.
My pick: Daukus by TKO
TJ Brown vs Danny Chavez
The second fight of the night is a featherweight bout between DWCS veteran TJ Brown and the debuting Danny Chavez. TJ Brown is one fight into his UFC contract, and although he lost that fight, he still has plenty of potential. His opponent, Danny Chavez, is a prospect who’s on a three-fight win streak. Chavez is a skilled striker with a few solid knockout wins on his record, and many decision victories. Brown on the other hand is a submission specialist with 9 of his 14 victories coming by way of submission. He has the clear advantage in grappling in this fight and that is definitely a key to victory for him on Saturday. If the fight is mainly on the feet, I expect Chavez to have the edge, but if it ends up on the ground, I see Brown taking it.
My pick: Brown by submission
Felice Herrig vs Virna Jandiroba
The first women’s fight of the night will be in the strawweight division between number 15 ranked Felice Herrig and top prospect Virna Jandiroba. Nearly two years have passed since Herrig last stepped in the octagon, and since then her opponent Jandiroba has been making a name for herself. Herrig has fought and done well against some of the best in Paige Van Zant and Michelle Waterson, and it’s hard to know if her time off has helped her or hurt her. Jandiroba hasn’t yet fought this year, but in her last fight she was able to demonstrate her strong grappling skills. This has been something Herrig has struggled with in the past and I think that Jandiroba’s grappling outclasses Herrig’s, giving her the advantage in this fight.
My pick: Jandiroba by submission
Herbert Burns vs Daniel Pineda
The fourth fight of the night is a featherweight bout between the Daniel Pineda and prospect (and brother of welterweight’s number one contender Gilbert Burns) Herbert Burns. If Herbert Burns isn’t on your radar yet, he should be. A blackbelt in jiu-jitsu, a potential knockout of the year in January, and a dominant victory in his last fight, Herbert has looked incredible in the UFC so far. Pineda, his opponent, shouldn’t be slept on as he is also a submission expert with 18 on his professional record. He also has never had a victory go the distance, so this fight will absolutely be an exciting one.
My pick: Herbert Burns by submission
Livinha Souza vs Ashley Yoder
The fifth prelim of the night is another women’s strawweight bout between Livinha Souza and Ashley Yoder, and the winner could potentially enter the rankings. Looking at film and stats, this fight appears to be a striker vs grappler, Souza being the grappler and Yoder the striker. Yoder is a veteran in this weight class and has fought some of the division’s best in Mckenzie Dern and Angela Hill. Souza is three fights into her UFC tenure and has shown solid striking with great grappling pressure and submission attempts. If Souza can land the takedown, I think she will have the advantage and be able to control the fight till the final bell.
My pick: Souza by Decision
Jim Miller vs Vinc Pichel
Closing out the prelims is a lightweight fight between the legend Jim Miller and veteran Vinc Pichel. Both of these men are ironically coming off victories over Roosevelt Roberts, and each fight should be a good preview for how the fight will unfold. Miller is on the cusp of having the most fights in UFC history, where he and Cowboy are currently tied for the record. In his fight against Robert, Miller showcased impressive top control and pulled a first-round arm bar to secure the victory. In Pichel’s fight against Roberts, he showcased sound striking and grappling throughout three rounds which won him the decision. He proved that he’s a well-rounded fighter who can still compete. Both of these men have very similar fighting styles so it will be an interesting clash, but I think Miller will be able to win this one.
My pick: Miller by decision
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