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UFC Vegas 64 Predictions

UFC Vegas 64 Predictions

It should be asked: What does Marina Rodriguez need to do to make the unmistakable leap to the front of the line of contenders in the strawweight?

Currently sitting at number five in the World MMA Fighting Rankings, Rodriguez finds herself having to pass another top-ranked opponent at number nine Amanda Lemos in the main event of UFC Vegas 64. Rodriguez already has victories over Yan Xiaonan (6), Mackenzie Dern (7) and Tecia Torres (10) and Michelle Waterson-Gomez (12), so it seems absurd to prove anything to anyone at this point, but this is the case when the four names are over 115 pounds (current champ Carla Esparza and former champs Jessica Andrade, Rose Namajunas, and Zhang Weili) have a death grip on the top spots.

Will victory help the dominant decision in the Rodriguez case? Does she need to clear Lemos with a headshot from the hurricane? How about presenting a fly bar? Why does it feel like Rodriguez is stuck on a competing treadmill?

What if Lemos wins? Will that permanently relegate Rodriguez to jogging, too? Would the fine finishing touches put Lemos ahead of Rodriguez for the championship title at the time?

Like last week’s unfortunate Arnold Allen against Calvin Cuttar that left us as many questions (if not more), one feels that neither Rodriguez nor Lemos will be closer to any answers by the end of Saturday night.

In another major card move, Neil Magne goes to the UFC welterweight win as he battles Daniel Rodriguez, veteran heavyweights Chase Sherman and Josh Parisian Square, and Tagir Ulanbekov and Nate Manis look to return to the winning column. , Grant Dawson intervenes at short notice as he tries to hand Olympian Mark Madsen his first loss.

what or what: UFC Vegas 64

where: UFC APEX in Las Vegas

When: Saturday 5 November. The preliminary seven-card fight begins at 4PM EST on ESPN+, followed by a five-card major at 7PM ET on ESPN+.


Marina Rodriguez vs Amanda Lemos

I’m not making any outlandish predictions about Marina Rodriguez’s title chances, but she should beat Amanda Lemos.

Look at those names above again. It’s not just the quality of the confrontation that Rodriguez had, but the diversity. She adapts well and makes opponents play her game, which is to fight from a distance and mix it with Muay Thai. It’s hard to get Rodriguez out of her comfort zone.

Lemos certainly has the potential to end the fight for Rodriguez, but my expectations for her as far as being a top-tier strawweight have been tempered by her recent performance. She scored a controversial win against Angela Hill, was trucked by Jessica Andrade (no shame in that, it’s Jessica Fricken Andrade), and then succumbed well against Michelle Watterson Gomez after a mediocre opening round. We know Lemos are dangerous, and we don’t know if they can deliver a full performance against an elite opponent like Rodriguez.

This is the second course for Lemos’s five rounds, and its first time has passed just over three minutes. Rodriguez had 25 minutes twice and looked great doing it. I don’t think Lemos is going to take her away, which means she’ll have to win judges, which isn’t exactly in her purview.

Look for Lemos to take a lot of risk and some home turmoil, only to find themselves falling further and further behind in the scorecards to the technically superior Rodriguez.

picking Rodriguez

Neil Magney vs. Daniel Rodriguez

Neil Magney has always been the ultimate spoiler and I think it’s time to roll some balls down the Daniel Rodriguez title track.

After a controversial win over Li Jingliang at UFC 279, Rodriguez wisely makes a quick turnaround to not only move from the controversial scorecards but to maintain some semblance of career momentum. Rodriguez was out for a year before fighting Lee and turns 36 in December, so now is the time to push for a championship opportunity while still being seen as a new name.

The problem is that Magny thrives in these situations where he is overlooked in favor of his opponent’s story. The ‘Haitian feel’ has its fair share of losses, but that’s what happens when you present yourself as a fighter willing to score in any match and consistently deliver on that promise. Think of all the tough names who thought they could beat Magny but ended up with another L in the column instead: Li, Robbie Lawler, Carlos Condit, Johny Hendricks, Hector Lombard, Kelvin Gastelum, etc. Incidentally, there are three former welterweight champions in the UFC.

In a straight fight, Rodriguez could hang out with anyone at 170 pounds, but I expect Magny to indulge in some martial arts here. He will beat Rodriguez’s early attack, then turn things around halfway through the fight and take the reins before he makes a decision or finishes in the third round.

picking Magny

Chase Sherman vs. Josh Parisian – Battle Canceled

You know what’s more satisfying than a crowd-pleasing heavyweight knockout? Introducing a confusing heavyweight to the masses.

Call it fantasy booking, but I feel the fun is in the air and not just the kind of fun you get when you put two knockout machines against each other, but the kind you get when said knockout machines also have questionable defense. This has all the stuff of a fight that can be finished in less than two minutes, hence the main card situation, and I’m being careful and expecting we’ll see something completely unexpected.

Yes, this fight will get its fair share of pigs and pangins, but I would expect Sherman to hurt the Parisian first and chase him to the end. From there, a wild struggle ensues, and Parisien somehow ends up in a beneficial position where he can start throwing ground strikes. With Sherman collapsing and his defenses open, Parisien will make a strategic decision not to come out with a barrage of punches in hopes of stopping, but instead go to his jiu-jitsu and follow him instead.

And so it must be done.

picking Parisian

Tager Ulanbekov vs Nate Manis

Nate Maness has a good size of 125 pounds after a previous lightweight competition earlier in his career, but he’ll have a hard time stopping Tajir Ulanbekov’s takedowns. Team member Khabib Nurmagomedov completes the elite wrestling you’d expect with some intense boxing and has been touted as a potential title contender for good reason.

Ulanbekov got a reality check in his last fight with Tim Elliott as the veteran veteran used some ethically questionable techniques, shall we say, to gain an advantage and hand Ulanbekov his first loss in the UFC. You can bet Ulanbekov has learned from that experience, which means we can see a much more aggressive and sinister version of the Russian lead.

Manes has to keep this guy standing up until he has a chance. When he finds the range, Maness is a serious threat because he mixes hits to the head and body beautifully and has some subtle power. Elliot caught Ulanbekov in his last fight and if he made that kind of mistake against Manes, he might not recover this time.

Having said that, I don’t know if Manes has the takedown defense for repeatedly inflicting Nurmagomedov’s disciple, so this guy probably goes the same way Manes lost to Omar Nurmagomedov: Manes is on his back for most of the fight with Ulanbekov raining punches down on him.

picking Ulanbekov

Grant Dawson vs. Mark Madsen

Given the power advantage Grant Dawson already has against just about anyone in the lightweight division, it’s somewhat understandable that Mark Madsen and his team went for a 30 percent penalty after Dawson lost weight on Friday. Then again, Dawson also fought this fight at less than three weeks’ notice to help keep Madsen on the card, so it feels like a bit. But this is neither here nor there.

Dawson is a fearsome wrestler, but how effective is he against an opponent who has an Olympic silver medal for Greco-Roman wrestling in his trophy case? It would be great to see what Dawson comes up with to bring down Madsen and vice versa. Dawson may have to rely on his hitting to prepare takedowns, which had not been his specialty up until this point in his career.

Another factor to consider for Dawson is how he performed in the third round. He has shown a knack for finishing the race late, but ironically he’s also visibly slowing down in the last five minutes, and that will be a problem for him against Madsen, who has a great gas tank for a fighter who turned 38 recently. He skipped the two rounds and turned into a war of attrition in the end.

Give me (Madson) the underdog to get past Dawson

picking Madsen

Introductions

Shaylan Nordanbeck defeated. Darek Miner

Miranda Maverick defeated. Shana Young

Mario Bautista defeated. Benito Lopez

Poliana Viana def. Jin Yu Fry

Johnny Munoz def. Lyudvik Shulinian

Jake Hadley defeated. Carlos Candelario

Tamires Vidal def. Ramona Pascual


#UFC #Vegas #Predictions

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