The best fashionable-period blended martial arts (MMA) Heavyweight as soon as once again satisfies its most fearsome puncher this Saturday (March 27, 2021) when Stipe Miocic’s rematch with Francis Ngannou headlines UFC 260. The night will also see former Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley attempt to end his freefall versus Brazilian wrecker Vicente Luque and previous blue chip prospect Thomas Almeida meet up with the returning Sean O’Malley.
205 lbs.: Modestas Bukauskas vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk
Modestas Bukauskas (11-3) won and defended the Cage Warriors Light Heavyweight title en route to the Octagon, in which he debuted with a very first-round finish of late replacement Andreas Michailidis. Jimmy Crute proved more durable to crack, even so, flattening the Lithuanian a few months later on with a bonus-profitable knockout.
All but one of the wins for “The Baltic Gladiator” have appear by stoppage, eight of them by variety of knockout.
Although a failed drug check erased his debut Octagon victory about Khalil Rountree, Michal Oleksiejczuk (14-4) built inroads into the UFC Light Heavyweight division with brutal finishes of Gian Villante and Gadzhimurad Antigulov. He’s due to the fact struggled to preserve that momentum, tapping to successive submissions from Ovince St. Preux and the aforementioned Crute.
He stands a few inches shorter than Bukauskas and gives up 4 inches of attain.
This struggle will be decided by Bukauskas’ potential to stretch matters out. He’s received a legitimately outstanding gas tank that’s almost solitary-handedly carried him to victory in the previous, and his edge in speed and striking range ought to enable him to get more than as the battle progresses and Oleksiejczuk’s solitary-minded progress commences to gradual.
Unfortunately, truly surviving extended plenty of to get that snowball rolling appears to be like way too tall a endeavor. Bukauskas is effortless to strike even at the best of instances and struggles to maintain his back again off the fence, the two deadly flaws in opposition to a tension-preventing slugger like Oleksiejczuk. Devoid of the fear of takedowns to hold him sincere, hope Oleksiejczuk to march forward and slam still left arms into Bukauskas’ encounter and physique until eventually he crumples.
Prediction: Oleksiejczuk via first-spherical specialized knockout
125 lbs.: Gillian Robertson vs. Miranda Maverick
Here’s one more a person from the “wrote it just before it got canceled” pile …
A a single-and-finished TUF 26 operate didn’t quit Gillian Robertson (9-5) from successful six of her first 8 Octagon bouts and scoring 5 finishes in the process. Her ninth combat pitted her in opposition to Brazil’s Taila Santos, who correctly shut down “The Savage’s” wrestling to declare a unanimous decision in Dec. 2020.
She has tapped 6 experienced foes overall and pounded out one other.
An remarkable operate in Invicta, which integrated victory in the Phoenix Collection 2 match and a selection more than UFC veteran Pearl Gonzalez, introduced Miranda Maverick (8-2) to UFC previous calendar year. She entered her debut from Liana Jojua as a huge most loved and eventually proved the bookies suitable with a very first-round finish.
Though two inches shorter than Robertson, she’ll appreciate a two-inch attain gain.
This is a thing of a reckoning for both equally girls. Robertson has some of the very best top rated command in the whole division, but has shown an inability to get a lot carried out when the takedowns are not there. Maverick, on the other hand, is a potent wrestler and able striker who’s traditionally remaining herself open to takedowns in return. Equally are outfitted to exploit the other’s weaknesses the distinction is that Maverick’s seemingly resolved her greatest flaws, though Robertson’s bugbears reared their heads from Santos in her most new struggle.
Robertson can unquestionably damage Maverick’s day if the latter gets lazy with her very low kicks, and any prolonged exchanges on the mat will favor “The Savage.” Still, Maverick’s slight technical hanging edge and uncooked output should have her to a comfy selection victory.
Prediction: Maverick by way of unanimous final decision
185 lbs.: Abu Azaitar vs. Marc-Andre Barriault
Abu Azaitar (14-2-1) — originally slated to make his UFC debut from Siyar Bahadurzada in Sept. 2017 — observed injuries difficulties delay his arrival to the Octagon by another calendar year. He productively designed up for lost time with a unanimous choice about TUF: “Brazil” veteran Vitor Miranda, extending his unbeaten streak to 10 in the course of action.
He fights for the first time given that July 2018, obtaining withdrawn from prepared 2020 clashes in opposition to Alessio Di Chirico and Joaquin Buckley although failing a drug test along the way.
Canada’s Marc-Andre Barriault (11-4) claimed the TKO Middleweight title in 2017 and subsequently punched his ticket to UFC with two successful defenses. He’s still to taste victory in the Octagon, however, shedding three straight and viewing a knockout gain about Oskar Piechota overturned owing to a failed drug take a look at.
His 11 experienced wins involve eight by kind of knockout.
“Gladiator” was mediocre even at his most effective, an uninspiring brawler with just sufficient wrestling to bail himself out of tough places. He’s now 35 years aged and has not witnessed action in a lot more than 30 months, turning what was now a rough assignment into a nightmare. Barriault is by considerably the far more impressive striker and Azaitar lacks the specialized wrestling important to exploit “Power Bar’s” takedown defense the way other have in advance of.
Until Azaitar has made some definitely spectacular changes throughout his time absent, Barriault is also rough and as well strong for the German’s “swing significant and hope for the best” strategy. Barriault punishes him with growing frequency ahead of closing the present about the halfway stage.
Prediction: Barriault by using second-round technological knockout
Three extra UFC 260 “Prelims” bouts keep on being to preview and forecast, including a clash of devastating Mild Heavyweight finishers. Similar time tomorrow, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will supply Are living spherical-by-spherical, blow-by-blow protection of the total UFC 260 fight card correct right here, starting with the early ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches on the net, which are scheduled to start out at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard harmony on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, right before the PPV main card start off time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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