Opening main card bout: Alexandre Pantoja vs. Askar Askarov at flyweight. Both of these fighters will be coming into this fight off of decisive victories. Pantoja fought the headliner Deiveson Figueiredo to a Unanimous Decision loss where he showed flashes of brilliance. Pantoja caught UFC prospect Matt Schnell with a knockout shot late in the first round; after Pantoja recovered from being stunned in a back and forth fight. Pantoja has won inside the distance (61.5%) of the time in 26 pro fights. Askarov was phenomenal against Tim Elliott almost finishing him in the first round after landing an explosive combination. Askarov grinded out Elliott keeping him off balance and wearing on him to a Unanimous Decision. Askarov has been to a decision one time in his pro career in twelve pro fights. I am feeling fireworks are coming for this one. Taking UNDER 2.5 rounds (+200).
Second main card bout: Ariane Lipski vs. Luana Carolina at women’s flyweight. This is more of an even fight than people are giving credit for. Lipski has been average thus far in the UFC. (47.05%) of Ariane Lipski’s seventeen pro fights have gone to decision. Carolina isn’t a flashy fighter but she will exchange blows and grapple her opponent when needed. (57.14%) of Carolina’s fights have gone to decision. Lipski has the striking advantage and at 26 is a year younger than Carolina. Lipski has more experience and I think that wins her this fight. Rolling with Ariane Lipski ML (-120).
Third main card bout: Marc Diakiese vs. Rafael Fiziev at lightweight. This is one of the lesser talked about fights on the card. Marc has been to decision (52.9%) over seventeen pro fights. That doesn’t take away from his body of work and the strides in his game from working with American Top Team. Fiziev is 1-1 in the UFC. Fiziev is known to rumble and will go where the fight goes. That benefits Marc and I believe he will put his arsenal on display in this bout. Highly possible Marc may even come up with a finish if he can catch Fiziev at the right time. My wager: Marc Diakiese ML (-165).
Co-main event: Jack Hermansson vs. Kevin Gastelum at middleweight. Two ultra talented fighters that continue to look impressive even in defeat. Hermansson is the taller fighter by 4″ and will have a reach advantage. Hermansson is coming off an TKO defeat at the hands of Jared Cannonier. Prior to that loss Hermansson was on a four fight win streak finishing threee of those bouts inside the distance. Hermansson has only lost one fight by decision in his entire pro career. Gastelum is coming off back to back decision losses by heavy handed Darren Till, and current UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya. (67%) of Gastelum’s pro victories were finished inside the distance. Both fighters coming off of tough losses will be looking to make a statement at the middleweight division. Great chance for a submission or KO/TKO to occur here. My wager: NO (Fight Does Not Go The Distance) (-110).
Main event: Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Joseph Benavidez at flyweight. This is a rematch that resulted in Benavidez being stopped by Figueiredo. Neither fighter has fought anyone since they fought each other February 29th of this year. I don’t see what would have changed in all reality. Figueiredo is the stronger fighter. Benavidez is quicker and more tactical so I see this fight making it past two full rounds. Once the pace slows down in the championship rounds I see Figueiredo overpowering Benavidez to get his hand raised. My wager: YES fight completes 2 full rounds (-140).