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UFC Fight Night Holly Holm vs Ketlen Vieira Preview

Last week’s fight night was an exceptional one with multiple large underdogs hitting including a +290 and our main event (as unfortunate as it was). Blachowicz is back in contention to get his belt back from Glover Teixeira in what might be his last chance in his career to do so. This week we have the now 40 year old Holly Holm headlining in a clash-of-styles main event against Ketlen Vieira. Holly looking to make one last push at the top of the mountain as Father Time fights against her, while the decade younger Ketlen looks to make a large leap towards Bantamweight glory. Let’s get this UFC Fight Night preview started!

Photograph: MMAJunkie.USAtoday.com

Elise Reed vs Sam Hughes (+134)

The cross country athlete Sam Hughes out of Wofford has turned into a rising UFC star. Winner of her last fight where she utilized her wrestling to come back and take the fight, she faces a much tougher test today in Elise Reed, whose striking is levels above her. The X-Factor in this fight is Elise Reeds movement which is solid, and whether she can avoid the takedowns of Hughes. I think Hughes is able to get one and from there will be able to chain them, but the fight on the feet scares me.

Pick: Hughes +134 (.5u)

Chase Hooper vs Felipe Corales (-185)

Tall and lanky, you’d think Chase hooper doesn’t eat enough food. Truth is he just hasn’t filled out a large frame at the young age of 22 and as he does, will continue to impress in the octagon. Chase Hooper now trains with Wonderboy Thompson which will be massive for his kickboxing. Expect him to take leaps there in this fight and possibly take Felipe down, who has woeful takedown defense. Felipe has very quick hands and should have an advantage on the feet, but I’m eager to see where Hooper has made strides in working with his new training partner.

Pick: Hooper +150 (1u)

Omar Morales vs Uris Medic (+115)

An offensive striker in Uris Medic faces a sound defensive presence in Morales Saturday in the octagon. Medic leaves a lot of openings to get hit when throwing his extensive looping shots. Morales keeps a good guard on the feet and will be able to pump out jabs and use his leg kicks to slowly damage and pick up points throughout the fight. While Medic could knock Morales out, I trust Morales’ ability to block, evade and counter throughout the fight and get it done.

Pick: Morales -140 (1u)

Polyana Viana vs Tabatha Ricci (-130)

Neither of these ladies are great at striking. On the feet it will be ugly and unorthodox, but that’s not where the majority of the fight will take place. Viana has 8 submission wins to her name, and Ricci is starting to tack them on now too. A Judo black belt, Ricci will go for some odd takedowns and supplement them with a great ground game and jiu jitsu. Viana is nothing to be trifled with on the ground, but is not a gigantic concern considering Ricci’s expertise in the area. Whether it be picking up points or eventually getting the sub, Ricci comes out on top in this fight.

Pick: Ricci -130 (1.5u)

Eryk Anders vs Jun Yong Park (-210)

My bets and wagers aside, Anders will be putting his money where his mouth is if his press conference antics are true. Claiming he’s throwing $1000 on himself as a +180 underdog gains a lot of respect from me and shows me his confidence, though it has little to do with my analysis of the fight. My biggest concern with Anders is his volume. He tends to go quiet for minutes at a time and that could be a recipe for disaster against Park who pumps out his jab well and has solid leg kicks. A few points bring me back to Anders starting with his size. He’s massive for this weight class and moves exceptionally well considering his size. He has good grappling that he underutilizes, and against Park who leaves some to be desired there, that could be an avenue to win rounds. Lastly, he’s been training with Jiri Prochazka, the Light Heavyweight top contender. If he takes anything from him on the feet, that’s a big bonus for Anders.

Pick: Anders +170 (1u)

Chidi Njokuani vs Dusko Todorovic (+195)

Former Bellator star, Chidi Njokuani comes into this fight off of a 16 second win over Marc-Andre Barriault (a fighter I personally am high on). As a present to Chidi, they give him Dusko who is 1-2 in his last 3 fights against average opposition. He leaves a lot to be desired on defense and for a chin that gets cracked as often as it does, he engages in way too many heavy exchanges with his opposition. Chidi “Bang Bang” is not the guy you want to do that against. Dusko’s wrestling is very solid, but Njokuani’s movement should be able to avoid shots and probably put Dusko’s lights out in the first round

Pick: Njokuani ITD EVEN (1u) & Njokuani / Martinez ML Parlay +103 (1u)

Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Michel Pereira (-140)

We all know Michel Pereira as the flying striker who throws himself at opponents from the opening seconds of the fight until he withers from exhaustion. He’s got an incredible arsenal of strikes, and is only limited by how far his cardio can take him. As a polar opposite striker, Ponzinibbio relies on his accuracy and combinations to win his fights. Whether it be jabs, crosses, or leg kicks, everything he throws is measured and is never 1 shot at a time. Over the course of the fight as Michel withers Ponzinibbio will be able to find more and more success and could land a 3rd round finish.

Pick: Ponzinibbio +115 (1u) & Fight to not go the distance +120 (1u)

Holly Holm vs Ketlen Vieira (+200)

Crazy to think that The Preacher’s Daughter is now 40 and after a long layoff I’m anxious to see how she returns and in what form. Ketlen Vieira is coming off of a great decision win against Meisha Tate and looks to continue her ascension by knocking off the power striker in Holly. In her fight against Meisha she showed improvements on the feet, but where she would win this fight is in her grappling. As one of the best in the division, if she can consistently get Holly to the mat, this fight is hers and it’s over. I’m concerned with Holly’s layoff and that she downplayed knee injuries, claiming they were minor intrusions and nothing major. At her age, I think she might be losing a step and doesn’t deserve to be a favorite of this magnitude. Ketlen takes her next step up in the division by submission or decision in this one.

Pick: Vieira +200 (.75u) / Vieira by Dec +330 (.25u) / Vieira by Submission +700 (.1u)

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