The UFC looks to get back on track with another card at the APEX in Las Vegas this weekend as Michelle Waterson takes on Angela Hill in the main event.
Originally scheduled to be headlined by Thiago Santos vs Glover Teixeira, that bout was postponed after Glover tested positive for COVID-19. However after last weeks card fell apart at the last minute and ended up with just 7 fights, the UFC are making up for it with a 12 fight card this weekend.
Of the 7 fights last week, I correctly predicted 6/7 winners, with 2 of the 6 being perfect picks (winner, method, round). I have already broken down and predicted the seven prelims fights here, so now I will do the same for the five main card bouts.
Billy Quarantillo (14-2) vs Kyle Nelson (13-3) – (Featherweight/145lbs)
An interesting bout between two very well rounded fighters in the featherweight division. Billy Quarantillo is a fantastic wrestler with good grappling skills with five submission wins on his record. He’s also a solid striker which shows when he employs his favoured game-plan of a fast pace and grinding strikes into top position. Nelson on the other hand lost his first two UFC fights being stopped by Diego Ferreira and Matt Sayles before finally getting a win against Marco Polo Reyes in 96 seconds with strikes. When Nelson was beaten by Sayles, he was the stronger man physically but his cardio eventually let him down when the pace was picked up and he ended up getting beat. I feel Quarantillo’s pace will do similar to Nelson here and he’s arguably a better wrestler too. While he may not get the finish, he should get the win at least.
PICK – Billy Quarantillo via Unanimous Decision
Ed Herman (25-14) vs Mike Rodriguez (11-4-1) – (Light Heavyweight/205lbs)
After two straight wins for 39 year old Ed Herman, he looks to make it 3 in a row for the first time since 2012 when he takes on ‘Slow’ Mike Rodriguez. Rodriguez won his last fight just a few short weeks ago, knocking out Marcin Prachnio with a vicious elbow and punches in the first round. He’s the far bigger man for the fight, with a 2.5inch height advantage and a 5.5inch reach advantage but he’s also far more powerful and energetic. Herman himself has stopped shooting for takedowns in recent years and now prefers to clinch and land big knees. If Rodriguez chooses to try and steamroll Herman, it’s all on how the elder statesman’s chin holds up. If it does, he will look to use all his experience to drain the energy of Rodriguez and land his own heavy shots. Herman hasn’t beaten anyone still on the UFC roster since 2013 and I don’t think that changes with Rodriguez riding a wave of momentum.
PICK – Mike Rodriguez via Knockout, Round 1
Andrea Lee (11-4) vs Roxanne Modafferi (24-17) – (Flyweight/125lbs)
Roxanne Modafferi has traded wins and losses since May 2017, going 4-4 in the UFC. Her most recent fights saw her beat the hottest of prospects in Maycee Barber, before being well beaten by Lauren Murphy last time out. Andrea Lee has lost her last two bouts via split decision, including her last bout against Lauren Murphy also. Lee is a solid kickboxer with good wrestling takedown defence, something that will come in handy against Modafferi. These two previously fought each other in Lee’s 3rd professional bout, where Modafferi managed to get a decision win. But six years later with the age and experience gap the same, Lee is a much better fighter now. I struggle to predict Modafferi’s fights because she tends to turn up against fighters she shouldn’t and vice versa. Lee is good enough though to avoid Modafferi’s best attempts and land shots of her own to get her a win on the scorecards.
PICK – Andrea Lee via Unanimous Decision
Ottman Azaitar (12-0) vs Khama Worthy (16-6) – (Lightweight/155lbs)
My pick for fight of the night, as two hard hitting knockout artists square off. Ottman Azaitar made his UFC debut just over a year ago with a stunning knockout of Teemu Packalen, forcing the Finnish fighter to faceplant into the mat with one punch. Khama Worthy’s most recent fight was against Luis Pena back in June, where he scored a surprising submission win in the last round with a guillotine. Between them, 23 of their 28 wins have come via stoppage. This will be a straight up war and I can’t see it going the distance. Azaitar has never lost and throws absolute bombs but he’s never fought anyone remotely as good as Khama Worthy. The issue there, is that Worthy has been knocked out five times before and therefore we know he has a limit to the damage he can take. We saw though that he can fight on the ground as well as throw bricks of his own. His experience advantage and the fact that he has fought (and knocked out) fighters better than Azaitar mean I’ll pick Worthy for this, but it could honestly go either way.
PICK – Khama Worthy via Knockout, Round 2
Michelle Waterson (17-8) vs Angela Hill (12-8) – (Strawweight/115lbs)
A late main event change means these two strawweights headline the card as ‘Karate Hottie’ Michelle Waterson looks to bounce back from two straight losses against Angela Hill, who fights for the fourth time in 2020 and fifth time in the last 12 months. Hill was on a three-fight win streak before a controversial split-decision loss to Claudia Gadelha last time out. Waterson’s fighting style goes with her nickname. A karate base with rangey striking skills and good defence takedown and crafty submission skills, while Hill uses her range well and comes with volume and a gritty heart to push limits. Hill has Muay-Thai skills and uses her knees really well on the inside, so Waterson needs to look to take this to the ground. Overall, Waterson has always been deemed as undersized for this division and despite being very similar in build to Hill she’s nowhere near as powerful. Hill can grind out a win everywhere and physically is just too strong in my opinion, so I believe she’ll land the bigger shots and secure a decision.
PICK – Angela Hill via Unanimous Decision