Deiveson Figueiredo 19-1 vs. Alex Perez 24-5 for the 125lb Flyweight Belt
Way too far too fast for Perez, he is in deep trouble. Just look at his record: He lost to Benevidez (who DF convincingly knocked out his last 2 fights), then has wins against Formiga, Espinosa, and De la Rosa – whom have a combined 9 losses in their last 10 fights…. Add in that Formiga was just released by the UFC, and you see that none of that has aged well. My only worry is the weight cut for Deiveson, as he’s absolutely shredded with muscle (keep an eye on the weigh ins). No real interest in this smaller division, but could be an interesting fight to see how skilful the finish by Deiveson will be. But it’s coming. Inside the distance, for the god of guerra.
Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko 19-3 (undefeated without Amanda losses since 2011) vs. Jennifer Maia 18-6-1
Man vs. boy here (woman vs. girl sounds a bit weird). Maia has no head movement (and that’s why it’s coming off) and has no chance in a lucky punch. The women’s side is still developing, so there are massive discrepancies in talent and ability. (Nunes can’t find a fight she’s so good). There are levels to MMA, and between these two, maybe more levels than any championship fight since Cormier vs the Black Beast.
“Platinum” Mike Perry, 29 vs. Tim “The Dirty Bird” Means, 36
In between knocking out 60 year olds in casinos during covid, is Mike even training? Has he still got the “God’s gift” tattoo? Will he be sporting the dumb and dumber haircut? Did he really have 25lbs to cut 2 days ago? So many questions with Perry. My biggest one is how did he have that much trouble with Mickey freaking Gall. Mick suks. All we know about Means is he’s a tough out for anyone. Bruising, painful looking exchanges is all I can visualize with Tim. Lot of shins. Dirty shins, even. Let’s face it though, he’s never been in a “big” fight, moreso, “lots” of fights. Been fighting since 2004 is a red flag, except Perry is already draped in it. Tim Means gets it done for all of us, but only because Perry is not prepared himself. (read: If Perry seems fit – bet Perry. I just don’t think he’s fit and healthy).
Paul “Bearjew” Craig, 32 vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, 38
“Hey, I’m Shogun.” Not kidding, greatest nickname ever?? With wins against Chuck Liddell, Forest Griffin, Rampage Jackson, Overeem twice, Lil Nog, Machida. Holy s%&t!! And how is he only 38, I feel like I watched this guy when I was 17 (I’m older than him)….. but despite this, I just cannot go for any of these washed up Brazilians. He’s 27-11-1. Glover Texiera’s run aside, it just doesn’t end well for these ex heroes, and they surely never know when to hang em up (Belfort, Anderson Silva, Machida, Aldo, All the Nogs, etc)… Paul Craig’s fights include 17 finishes in his last 18 fights. Of course, he’s been on the losing end of roughly half of them in the UFC, so he’s no gem….. But, he’s a past champion in two other companies, and his whole Scottish vibe is rubbing off on all of us. And he just seems like the type who passionately trains and so he’s probably evolving and getting better every year. Let’s go Bearjew, a first time favourite ever – from my memory (!!) – finish what you started in round of one of the last meeting with Rua.
My pick: Man, I think Shogun. Look at those WINS…..
Brandon “The Assassin Baby” Moreno vs. Brandon Royval
What are the chances of two identical brandon’s fighting in the UFC? I’d say better than Jennifer Maia’s chances Saturday but here we are… Now, I liked Royval’s last win versus the somewhat overrated Kai Kara France. I didn’t exactly see that coming – but the smallest divisions, who knows. Here? I’ll take Mexico over Colorado all day long. And, I like Moreno – won me over with his reasoning on why he cut his hair – “it was either that or sleep on the couch, and, we just got married.” Good stuff dude. He’s also a scrapper. Aggressive style, works hard. Moreno probably by decision, hard to finish in the 125’s.
Alan Jouban, 38 vs. Jared “Nite Train” Gooden, 26 +150 line
Same size, both have power, Jouban has the experience, Gooden has the youth. Jouban is a big media guy now, so the company is either giving him an easy win, or this is Jouban’s retirement fight to the world of scarf and skinny pants. I don’t trust Alan at all, somewhat because of his GQ smooth thing with Brendan Schaub, but mostly because of his chin. Will he try to wrestle him for the first two rounds, setting up a fatigued brawl in the third? That’s probably his best chance, and could be a fun fight actually with that blueprint…. I just talked myself into Jouban. May regret this, but I like Louisiana. Good card this is.
Louis “The Monster” Cosce, 25 vs. Sasha Palatnikov, 31
Sasha is a 5 and 2 Hong Kong upstart from the Univ of Buffalo, who fights total unknowns on small regional Chinese circuits, whats not to like? On paper, all of it. I give him no chance, despite me having a very intelligent Hong Kong posse actually looking forward to this fight. HK pride, no doubt? Let’s see. Upon 2 minutes of research, I can only see the two recent losses and his last win against a 3-4 fighter. Yikes. Taking the American here, but Sasha would be a fun win for the boys.
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Katlyn Chookagian
Wrestler versus a more active striker in Chook. I see a close decision, but the line is -260 Calvillo? What? I’d think Cynthia controls her on the ground, but this a coin flip. And it’s on the main card? That’s a mistake. This one will be like looking into the sun. Gun to head, take the points.
Daniel Rodriguez 33, 13-1 vs. Nicolas Dalby 36, 18-3-1
“D-Rod beat Tim Means with an aggressive style and low defense rate.” – I’ll admit the stats guys like him, and in fights like this, where I have no opinion, I like their opinion. D-Rod it is.
Antonina Shevchenko vs. Ariane Lipski +150 line
Now this is a very intriguing fight. Pits possibly the two most attractive opponents since the Olympic field hockey finals, any year. Antonina is a superb athlete, in obvious display in any of several workout videos you can google with her sister the bullet, this week. Ariane Lipski (tudo bem?) – did anyone see her leg submission vs…. Calderwood, last… January? (I just had to look all of that up- but it was cool, and I thought it was last month, so she clearly made an impression). She has to take the fight to the ground, and keep the long Shevchenko down. I definitely want it to happen, don’t think it will, but somehow am ok to lose money on her, trying.
Joaquin Buckley 11-3, vs. Jordan “The Beverly Hills Ninja” Wright 11-0
In a card chock full of good nicknames, come on. There is exactly zero chance this nickname wins, right? Wins the fight I mean, he’s won me over with the name, everyone loves a Chris Farley movie. I wasn’t writing a column this week until I saw it. Buckley, on the other side, is the guy who had one of the most viewed KO’s in the history of the sport, a month ago vs Kasanganay. I didn’t think it was ALL that, but…. there is only one bet here, and it’s not the ninja. Yes, high on the list for potential over hype on JB, but the other dude is from Beverly hills. Don’t overthink it!!