After a successful first season, the UFC is back with a second season of Road to UFC. The year-long tournament pits eight fighters from four different weight classes against each other with a UFC contract for the winner of each division.
All four quarterfinals cards take place this Saturday and Sunday on Asia primetime with each card featuring four tournament matchups across various divisions and a showcase bout highlighting emerging prospects looking to make a statement. Saturday’s two cards will highlight fighters from the Featherweight and Flyweight divisions, while Sunday’s bouts feature the Bantamweights and Lightweights.
In our headlining bout, RUFC veteran Won Bin Ki squares off with Bahatebole, while Chang Ho Lee faces off with Rana Rudra Pratap Singh. Undefeated stars like Shin Haraguchi and Daermisi Zhawupasi also adorn the card, with Flyweight finishers Sim Kai Xiong and Peter Danesoe covering the showcase bout.
Won Bin Ki (17-8) vs. Bahatebole Batebolati (7-1-1) (LW Quarterfinal)
Won is returning from last year’s season where he suffered a first-round knockout to Jeka Seragih, securing a knockout of his own on the regional circuit in January. Batebolati is coming out of the LFA, where he went 1-1 with a narrow split decision victory. I think Won has the technical advantages everywhere in this fight, with superior volume and shot selection along with the grappling threat. Unless he gets caught, I think he finds a late finish or dominant decision.
My Pick: Won Bin Ki via Knockout
Chang Ho Lee (7-1) vs. Rana Rudra Pratap Singh (11-1) (BW Quarterfinal)
We have a fun clash between two grapplers here. Both impress with their finishing ability on the mat, although Singh has fought truly poor competition. With Lee’s advantages in transitions and even in the striking realm (which I expect to not be heavily contested here), I expect him to run through Singh on the mat for a finish.
My Pick: Chang Ho Lee via Submission
Windri Patilima (8-0) vs. Shin Haraguchi (5-0) (LW Quarterfinal)
We have a fun clash of finishers here. Patilima is an aggressive grappler with numerous finishing threats from top position, though his striking defense is porous. Haraguchi is much more well-rounded and will benefit from a large edge in technical striking, along with a background in wrestling. I expect Haraguchi to deny takedowns for an early knockout.
My Pick: Shin Haraguchi via Knockout
Eperaim Ginting (6-0) vs. Daermisi Zhawupasi (6-0) (BW Quarterfinal)
We have a battle of two top-notch grapplers with their undefeated records on the line. Ginting has fought poor opposition to this point in his career but has managed to find the finish even when getting into trouble. Zhawupasi has also secured all of his victories on the mat with five submissions and one GNP TKO, though he is much more active off his back. I expect some fun scrambles, but for the superior jiu-jitsu of Zhawupasi to catch a submission before the midway point.
My Pick: Daermisi Zhawupasi via Submission
Sim Kai Xiong (5-0) vs. Peter Danesoe (5-2) (FLW Showcase)
I would have preferred seeing this in the Flyweight tournament over some of the other matchups, but it should be a fun stylistic clash regardless. Xiong is a strong wrestler who mixes in ground and pound well with his submission threat and is composed at range striking, though he often grounds fights quickly. Danesoe has gone 1-2 in ONE Championship with an obvious background in Muay Thai training out of Thailand. While I expect Danasoe to have a clear edge on the feet, his poor takedown defense will keep him grounded on the mat, where Xiong will find a late submission or clear decision victory.
My Pick: Sim Kai XIong via Submission
Check our home page each day leading up to the weekend for all four events’ predictions and read the first three batches of predictions here and here and here!
Categories: Road to UFC
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