UFC FIGHT NIGHT 167 – ANDERSON BLACHOWICZ
After a poor weekend of predictions last week, we’re hoping to bounce back in New Mexico, where light heavyweight’s Corey Anderson and Jan Blachowicz headline the card.
A fight that will live up to expectations, as both guys are in the hunt for a title shot, so there’s a lot at stake. Blachowicz gets my vote, but only slightly. As both fighters like to walk their opponents down, it will be a case of who can out-strike the other. Anderson however, has only fought once within the past year, creating a cloud of doubt over his sharpness, after fighting just under 3 months ago. With it also being a five-round fight, I can see the polish fighter edging the championship rounds to help him gain a UD win. The early rounds will be key for the American, who will need to be aggressive from the outset and keep Blachowicz on the back foot, if he has any chance of taking home the victory. A win for either fighter will see them firmly in the #1 contender seat, to face Jon Jones, the thought of that opportunity will no doubt motivate the two fighters for the Sunday morning clash.
Welterweights Michel Pereira and Diego Sanchez compete in the Co-main event, where rookie meets veteran in a contest that has already been fuelled by trash-talking. Sanchez has vowed to leave his counterpart in a “pool of blood,” whereas the rising star has made it clear that he doesn’t see how Sanchez can beat him. And I tend to agree with him, as Sanchez isn’t the fighter he used to be, especially coming off of wins against fighters who aren’t that well-rounded as Pereira is. With a height and reach advantage, Pereira will be hoping to keep his opponent at arms-length and counter anything that the American throws his way. I see the Brazilian winning via tko, to improve his UFC record to 2-1.
The women’s flyweight matchup between Montana De la Rosa and Mara Romero Borella is an interesting one. Both fighters are coming off the back of defeats, and are still trying to find their feet in the 125lb division. Despite the Italian Borella competing in five fights in the UFC, they have been sporadic over a 4-year period, where she hasn’t been able to gain any momentum. Her counterpart, De La Rosa, will be hoping to make a name for herself and go 2-1 in her UFC career. I think she will win the fight via submission as the previous 2 wins from three fights both came from the #12 ranked flyweight controlling the fight on the ground. A close encounter that could see either of the competitors come out on top.
Brok Weaver takes on Rodrigo Vargas in a lightweight bout, which isn’t the most appealing. Both men are hoping to make strides in the division, as they each come into this contest off the back of defeats. Vargas’ previous and only ever fight in the UFC, was against Alex Coelho back in August. The Mexican will be hoping to bounce back from that defeat and I can see him finishing the fight early. Those who know of Vargas know that his 10-3 professional record speaks for itself, where you can expect to see good technical striking, alongside a powerful kicking game. For this one, Vargas wins via TKO in the first or second round.
Ray Borg returns to the octagon after a somewhat underwhelming 2019. The move in weight from bantamweight to flyweight may do the American the world of good when it comes to retaining muscle. He takes on Brazilian Rogerio Bontorin who has a very impressive record of 16-1 in his professional career. Unfortunately for Borg, I don’t see him winning this matchup. Ever since he was caught up in the aftermath of the Khabib v Conor press conference, his body has never healed. It’s a shame but it seems that his career is on the decline, considering a loss last year to Casey Kenney. I believe the Brazilian will prove too much of a match for Borg, in what I reckon looks likely to go the distance.
The first fight of the main card is a lightweight matchup of Lando Vannata v Yancy Medeiros. Vancy has fought twice in two years and could unfortunately face the chop from the organisation if he doesn’t produce a big win Sunday morning. Vannata has a 1-1 record from his previous two fights, where the win came against a tough opponent in the form of Drakkar Klose. Expect a close fight but for me, Vannata edges the contest to complete the predictions for this weekend!