The return of the UFC to Sacramento is disappointing to say the least. Often, I will indicate wounds as a reason why a card will feel that way. Although there are plenty of wounds on this paper, they do not completely explain this feeling. Yes, the contests in the program initially seemed more competitive, but only barely. To be honest, I will launch a potential warning. Do you remember Julianna Pena? The last time we saw it, it was just one victory away from the challenge for the women's cock title. However, this was all back in January 2017. After taking time off to become a mother, he returns – replacing Sara Maman injured – against the former flyweight champion, Nicco Montano. It is difficult to predict how they behave, but it certainly could have important implications on the bantamweight division if both can show signs of their old self. We'll find out soon.
Preliminary rounds start on ESPN + at 17:00 ET / 2:00 PM PT on Saturday.
Julianna Pena (8-3) against Nicco Montano (4-2), female Bantamweight
There has never been any mystery about what Pena wants to do: aggressively chase his opponent, put them down and beat them. However, as I have already said, we have seen the last time 30 months ago. From that moment, she became a mother as well as spending all that time away from the training camp that instilled her brand style, Sikjitsu. Did motherhood affect you? What did the extended time do in a new field? Even if those things haven't changed, 30 months are long, long enough to be exceptionally rusty. It is highly unlikely that we will see the same Julianna Pena with whom we all knew.
For the whole discussion, how long it has been since we saw Pena, it's not that little time has passed since Montano fought the last time, after appearing for the first time in a cage in December 2017. I'm 19 months. Moreover, she is moving into a weight division after being unable to make weight for her defense of the planned title, forcing her to give up the title. Montano is a much more skilled striker standing compared to Pena, throwing a great variety of blows to break down his opposition with volume alone. However, she also did not face a wrestler of Pena's caliber. Will he be able to stand Pena's pressure?
It must be stated that there is no reason to feel confident choosing a woman. There are too many unknowns for both. The biggest weapon that each of them possesses will be denied as they will not be able to use it against each other in the way they usually do: their deep tank of gas. Consequently, it is a stylistic combination. If Montano had a greater ability to finish – all his victories in the TUF tournament went to decide – I would feel much more confident in taking it to take advantage of Pena's aggression. Alas, despite the lack of confidence in one way or another, I am less confident in his ability to clutter up enough of Pena's takedowns to secure a victory. Penalty by decision
Andre Fili (19-6) against Sheymon Moraes (11-3), Featherweight
The temptation is still there to call Fili a perspective as it does not seem to have reached its potential, but in addition to a general youthful spirit. However, his six-year UFC anniversary will arrive in October. It is no longer a perspective. This does not mean that the long-standing member of Team Alpha Male is still not improving. Although it is the rare product of the field that he is a better striker than the wrestler, Fili had a bad habit of shooting for takedowns while he was fighting extraordinary battles. Fortunately, he has broken this habit and improved the possibility of staying outside to take advantage of its length. It's not like he doesn't even hit takedowns from time to time, but he often beats them better than before.
His opponent, Moraes, will test him too hard on his feet. The Brazilian successes are extremely difficult, have a deep arsenal and have been shown to be lasting. He does not have enough credit for his fieldwork either because he has never achieved a submission victory so far in his career. In other words, it is the perfect test for talented prospects making their way into the featherweight scale. Although it may be inactive, it is due to the fact that it is almost exclusively a counter-bridge. In other words, it allows his opponent to set the pace of the race. Although overall this is a negative trait, Moraes has little trouble improving his production in a fight.
Fili is far from a defensive defensive, leaving Moraes open to let him fall asleep. However, Fili also has a deep gas tank and has enough of a game from the outside to give Moraes shorter problems. Fili tends to push fast and it would be wise to expect Morelia to slow down towards the end. This FOTN score is a good chance. Threads by decision
For the rest …
- At first sight of lanky Mike Rodriguez, c & # 39; s much to love about him. A gifted attacker who showed great progress in using his length to great effect. He is also more involved in his training and has shown signs of a difficult submission game, something heavy for heavyweights seems well equipped to defend himself. Unfortunately for him, he also showed no takedown defense. IS John Allan going to make him pay? Probably not, but fans should be grateful otherwise, since the Brazilian is a fun striker with enough power to put aside Rodriguez if he can connect cleanly. However, without even the threat of a takedown, Rodriguez should be able to play on his less athletic opponent, as his nearly 7-inch lead should set the win for him before the final bell sounds. Rodriguez via TKO of RD2
- The race of Darren Elkins last year, when he won six in a row, it was one of the best stories of the last few years. One of the less impressive members of the UFC roster, Elkins has put together a series of victories from six fights on the feathered ranks that have seen him bounce around several turbulences on the back of his toughness, determination and endless tank. However, he lost two in a row from his unlikely streak and faces a difficult stylistic challenge Ryan Hall. Hall is not particularly enduring and could be the worst attacker of the entire roster, perhaps making this match the first time. Elkins is the most technical striker in his UFC run. Nevertheless, there may not be a more complicated submission expert than the heel hook specialist. Elkins is not easy to store, but Hall will be ready for his constant pressure and should find a way to secure a submarine. Hall through the presentation of RD1
- Few knew who Pingyuan Liu it was when he first entered the UFC, much less knowing nothing about him apart from the UFC who wanted to expand into China. He proved to be incredibly scrapy, snatching two wins in two attempts. However, most people will not earn too many wins on Damian Stasiak and Martin Day. Nevertheless, he has shown a long life and is at his best going forward, although his time at Team Alpha Male has not yet made him a wrestler. His opponent, Jonathan Martinez, it's just as hard and loves his kicks, throwing them at all levels. He showed a better than expected ground game in his last race, although his value suffers from the same problem as Liu: no one has put a lot at stake in a win against Wuliji Buren. Nonetheless, I favor the American. Martinez by decision
- If it looks like the UFC is playing slowly Livia Souza – many expected him to be near the top of the lightweight division shortly after his UFC debut – it's not their fault that his original opponent has retired from his last two races, including this one. However, his new opponent, Brianna Van Buren, is the kind of physical bulldog that has caused problems for Souza in the past. Worse still, Souza is not a skilled striker enough to take advantage of the brief reach of Van Buren's 5. So why am I still favoring Souza to come out on top? Souza is a wizard on the ground and it's difficult to see Van Buren which avoids the rug given the wrestling is its bread and butter, it will not be a shock if Van Buren is overwhelming to win, but says that Souza takes it in a compromising position before that happens. Souza through the presentation of RD2
- I have to apologize to Vince Morales how I completely underestimated his abilities. After coming up short in a competitive race with Song Yadong, Morales really showed his impressive skill when he easily outclassed Aiemann Zahabi. The Tony Fryklund product with its re-raising skills tested by the aggressive product of Team Alpha Male, Benito Lopez. Lopez emerged from the Contender series as one of Dana White's favorites while going to 100 mph with little regard for defense. Despite his lack of attention to avoid damage, Lopez is a gangly 135er and I expect his length to allow him to overpower a game of Morales with his volume. Lopez by decision