I have been in the process of moving all week so my normal analysis won’t be there as I will give a winner and why for each fight, only time you won’t get my in-depth analysis.
Early Prelims @7PM/ET on FightPass:
Kai Kamaka (7-2) vs. Tony Kelley (6-1): Featherweights kick it off tonight. This fight is going to have some slow moments as both fighters are making their debut and cage jitters will be an issue. In the end Kamaka will use his wrestling to win some rounds and pick up a decision win 29-28.
Chris Daukaus (8-3) vs. Parker Porter (10-5): The main event of the early prelims is in the heavyweight division between two debut fighters. Most fans won’t know what to watch for in this fight that should be fun to watch. Daukaus will need to keep this fight on the feet as he will be outgunned on the mat and find himself submitted. Porter is a good striker with a plus ground game. I believe Porter will get a takedown late in round 1 but without the time needed to pick up a finish. Daukaus will grab a round 2 TKO victory.
Prelims @8PM/ET on ESPN/ESPN+:
Ashley Yoder (7-5) vs. Livinha Souza (13-2): We start the televised prelims off with a strawweight fight. I believe this fight will be significantly one sided. Yoder is a good fighter, but her skill set doesn’t put her as a favorite on her feet or on the mat. Souza is a really good rising fighter and should put on a full display of dominance. Souza wins this fight in round 3 via submission.
TJ Brown (14-7) vs. Danny Chavez (10-3): We step into the featherweight division. TJ debuted with a loss against Jordan Griffin which is a tough debut fight. Danny is making his debut here on this fight. Chavez needs to show that he has some ground game capabilities otherwise he is going to be out of the UFC fast. Brown I believe has the skills and potential to be good in the UFC and will show his dominance tonight. I have Brown winning via 2nd round rear naked choke submission.
Felice Herrig (14-8) vs. Virna Jandiroba (15-1): We move on to the strawweight division in what should be an interesting fight. Herrig is returning from a torn ACL and has a fire in her belly about returning to the cage. Virna though is a monster with the ability to find her way through this division and get a title shot within a year. This fight will probably be closer than the odds makers have it. I think in the end Virna will get her hand raised from a judges decision victory though.
Jim Miller (32-14, 1NC) vs. Vinc Pichel (11-2): The main event of the televised prelims is going to be an awesome fight in the lightweight division. I am really excited to see the matchup between these two as it could promise to be a really exciting fan favorite type fight. I believe Miller will get some ground time control and a handful of takedowns in what will lead to a upset, unanimous 29-28 decision victory.
UFC 252 Main Card @10PM/ET PPV on ESPN+:
Herbert Burns (11-2) vs. Daniel Pineda (18-11): The first fight on the main card should be over fast in the featherweight division. Nothing against Pineda as he has some skills, but will get dominated in this as he is taking on a monster. Burns will prove the odds makers right in this one and pick up an early KO victory in round 1.
#12 John Dodson (22-11) vs. #15 Merab Dvalishvili (11-4): We move right along to a fight that should be a passing of the guard. Dodson is a great of the UFC world and has given us some of the best fights we have seen at bantamweight and flyweight. He will always put on a show and does seem to have a fire again and be refocused after some tough years. This will be a test to see that though as he comes up against a rising star in the UFC bantamweight division in Merab. I think this fight will have its moments for both fighters, but Merab’s moments will be longer and far more. Dvalishvili wins this thing in round 3 via submission.
#5 Junior Dos Santos (21-7) vs. #6 Jairzinho Rozenstruik (10-1): This heavyweight fight should be really exciting as most fights in the heavyweight division tend to be. JDS needs to turn things around following back to back loses though and in order to do so will need to find the mat early and often. If he can take this fight to the mat where he will have a MASSIVE advantage this fight will not last too long, standing though we will possibly see the end of a JDS title contender again. Jairzinho has power hands and surprisingly quick hands, but a lacking ground game could get him in trouble with JDS in this one. His only loss of his career came in his last fight against Ngannou and he looks to get right back to the top with a win here. I think this fight will stay standing though and Rozenstruik will find the sweet spot on JDS’s weakening chin and pick up a round 2KO of the future HOF fighter.
#14 Sean O’Malley (12-0) vs. Marlon Vera (15-6-1): The co-main event will take place in the stacked bantamweight division between two young guys finding their footing in this division. O’Malley is a star already with his expressive personality, look, and skills. This kid could be the UFC’s next golden ticket as long as he stays healthy and keeps his suspensions at bay. There isn’t anything he doesn’t do already at an elite level and looks to climb to a title by the end of 2021. He takes on “Chito” Vera who has a pretty impressive skill set himself, though not equal to O’Malley’s. I think this fight will be close though for most of it and believe O’ Malley will find the victory with a late round 3 KO of Vera. O’Malley’s post fight interview I fully expect a call out of Ortega or the Zombie himself.
Champ Stipe Miocic (19-3) vs. #1 Daniel Cormier (22-2, 1NC): The Main event of the summer takes place to find out who truly is the baddest man on the planet and the true HW GOAT. The first fight DC landed a good clean combo, following an eye poke, but still looked the better fighter even without the infraction. The second fight DC came out on fire in rounds 1 and 2 and looked to be clearly the better fighter once again. Then Stipe made an adjustment and started landing multiple body shots crippling DC and gassing him. Stipe picked DC apart once that happened and picked up a TKO victory. This fight is so close the odds haven’t move all week and is considered even. I disagree with that, even as a Stipe fan and him having a significant reach advantage, DC has been the better fighter in both fights. The scorecards show it from the second fight and the strikes landed show it as well. I am not a believer that DC will retire at the end of this fight regardless of the stuff he has said about it because he is a proud man who would gladly take another shot at Jon Jones especially in HW. I think this fight goes back and forth as they both look to prove their dominance, but I expect a DC takedown and ground and pound at some point to weaken Stipe’s chin. The following round I believe DC picks up a round 5 KO and becomes the HW GOAT and HW champ once again.
- Matt Koontz