Two elite standouts in a excess weight class crawling with expertise take center phase inside Flash Discussion board in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, this Saturday (Oct. 10, 2020) when former Bantamweight title challenger Marlon Moraes requires on all-action finisher Cory Sandhagen. The evening will also see Edson Barboza search for his very first Featherweight acquire versus wrestling ace Makwan Amirkhani and Heavyweight veteran Ben Rothwell trade arms with Marcin Tybura.
UFC Struggle Island 5 characteristics seven “Prelims” undercard bouts this weekend, break up 4/3 for your benefit. Let’s get to it!
135 lbs.: Ali AlQaisi vs. Tony Kelley
Ali AlQaisi (8-4) introduced a 5-struggle win streak into his Octagon debut, which pitted him against previous Titan FC champ Irwin Rivera. Although he stored it close, “The Royal Fighter” in the long run finished up on the completely wrong stop of a break up selection for his 1st decline because 2017.
He gives up three inches of height and two inches of attain to “Primetime.”
Tony Kelley (6-2) sat out for practically a few yrs pursuing a slender break up selection decline to Kevin Aguilar in a 2016 bid for the Legacy FC Featherweight title, returning in May of last year with a 1st-spherical guillotine choke. He would miss out on yet another 15 months ahead of duking out with Kai Kamaka III in UFC 252’s Struggle of the Night. He’s submitted a few pro foes and knocked out two other people.
When the jury’s out on whether or not Kelley is essentially most effective served dropping in body weight, he unquestionably lucked into a favorable matchup in his Bantamweight debut. His duration, movement, high output, and significant striking arsenal all seem like stable counters to AlQaisi’s constrained offense. Plus, although he gave up five takedowns to Kamaka, the Hawaiian hardly ever managed to maintain him down for prolonged.
So very long as Kelley’s gas tank retains up, he’s received the instruments to outclass AlQaisi virtually wherever the fight goes. He outworks “Royal Fighter” on the feet for a wide determination get.
Prediction: Kelley via unanimous final decision
145 lbs.: Giga Chikadze vs. Omar Morales
However his “Contender Series” bid proved unsuccessful, Giga Chikadze (10-2) has but to flavor defeat in the Octagon, amassing a excellent (3-) document around the system of a year. The previous Glory standout most not long ago took a unanimous choice about Irwin Rivera in Might, but was forced to withdraw from a planned August bout versus Alex Caceres.
He’s scored 6 expert blended martial arts (MMA) wins by sort of knockout, even though none in the Octagon.
Two-to-a single odds did not quit Omar Morales (10-) from smashing Harvey Park on “Contender Series” and earning a contract in the process. He’s created the most of the opportunity with entertaining Octagon victories in excess of Dong Hyun Ma and Gabriel Benitez.
This will be his Featherweight debut.
I’m much more torn on this than I imagined I’d be. On a person hand, Morales is largely a striker, and there is not numerous Featherweights I’d select to conquer Chikadze in a pure standup fight. On the other, “Venezuelan Fighter” is a large phase up in competitors Brandon Davis experienced dropped four of six coming in, Jamall Emmers did not wake up until halfway through the next round, and Rivera is a purely natural Bantamweight whom Chikadze dwarfed. This will be Chikadze’s initial time dealing with a legitimate contender in MMA, and the actuality that Morales scored a takedown in his Octagon debut indicates that he may have sufficient of a floor activity to throw off the Georgian’s offense.
At the close of the day, however, I can’t decide on against Chikadze when his opponent figures to give him the specific sort of fight he desires. Chikadze wins a prolonged-variety kicking fight to make it 4 straight in UFC.
Prediction: Chikadze by using unanimous selection
135 lbs.: Tracy Cortez vs. Stephanie Egger
Tracy Cortez (7-1) battled her way to a conclusion earn over Mariya Agapova to protected a agreement on “Contender Sequence,” placing up a UFC debut versus Duda Santana. When that fell by means of, she as a substitute took on Vanessa Melo, whom she defeated for her seventh consecutive victory.
She is the shorter woman by two inches.
A standout judoka who after defeated Ronda Rousey on the mats, Stephanie Egger (5-1) has gained 3 straight considering the fact that a 2016 break up conclusion loss to Alexa Conners in her Invicta debut. The operate notably features a determination above Japanese enthusiast-favorite “KING” Reina Miura, whom she defeated by selection below the Rizin banner.
She ways in for Bea Malecki on minor more than a person week’s recognize.
Egger has explained that she does not want to be as opposed to Ronda Rousey, but she almost certainly need to have made some genuine standup to differentiate herself from the “Rowdy” one particular. Her hanging is painfully underdeveloped to the point that Cortez, who depends a lot more on aggression than any distinct technical prowess, really should have very little problem bullying and battering her across the cage. To make matters worse for the Swiss newcomer, Cortez is a stout wrestler in her have appropriate, restricting her odds of getting the favorable clinch she requirements.
Cortez only loses this combat if she will get profoundly sloppy closing the distance and arms Egger a physique lock on a silver platter. In virtually each and every other scenario, she beats Egger up for a cozy conclusion.
Prediction: Cortez by way of unanimous decision
125 lbs.: Bruno Silva vs. Tagir Ulanbekov
4 many years just after slipping to Dileno Lopes on The Final Fighter (TUF): “Brazil 4,” Bruno Silva (10-5-2) stepped up in bodyweight to facial area Khalid Taha at UFC 243, ultimately succumbing to the German’s arm-triangle choke in the third spherical. He would not struggle all over again right until previous March, when he dropped a aggressive decision to late substitution David Dvorak in Brasilia.
He stands 3 inches shorter than Tagir Ulanbekov (12-1) at 5’4.”
Ulanbekov liked a dominant operate on the Russian circuit, choking out Vartan Asatryan for the FNG Flyweight belt prior to controversially dropping it to Zhalgas Zumagulov in his 1st defense. He then took his abilities to GFC, getting its Flyweight champion as nicely during his a few-struggle stint.
He was slated to debut in July, but withdrew soon after the loss of life of coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.
You have received to feel for Silva, whose Octagon tenure has pitted him versus a Bantamweight powerhouse, an up-and-coming dark horse, and now 1 of the most effective Flyweight potential customers in the activity. Ulanbekov is much, much far too proficient a wrestler and grappler for Silva’s jiu-jitsu to engage in a element, and whilst he’s not a notably devastating striker, his length and sharp jab will neutralize Silva’s perilous stand up.
Very last 12 months, just one of Ulanbekov’s schooling associates, Abubakar Nurmagomedov, received tapped even though on leading. Silva experienced superior pray that fortune smiles on him in comparable manner, due to the fact in any other case, Ulanbekov’s going to potshot and grind him into oblivion.
Prediction: Ulanbekov by way of unanimous choice
Three additional UFC Combat Island 5 “Prelims” undercard bouts keep on being to preview and predict, each of which features an undefeated prospect. Very same time tomorrow, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will produce Are living round-by-spherical, blow-by-blow coverage of the whole UFC Combat Island 5 combat card this weekend, starting off with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to start out at 5 p.m. ET, then the remaining primary card equilibrium at 8 p.m. ET (also on ESPN+).
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