UFC Vegas 15: Blaydes vs Lewis – Prelims Predictions

The heavyweight scene steps to the front of the queue for attention as Curtis Blaydes gets the fight he called for against Derrick Lewis.

The main event is a chance for both men to push towards the front of the queue for a title shot, with both fighters on impressive win streaks.

In the co-main, Anthony Smith looks to get back to winning ways when he takes on Devin Clark in the light-heavyweight division on a relatively below par card.

Last weekend we had an okay showing, with 7/12 correct picks but only two correct picks for the night. This moved our overall picks up to 175/264 (66.29%) with 80 perfect picks (45.71%) since starting our picks in June.

With eleven fights on the card scheduled, lets see what we can rustle up starting with the prelims here.

PRELIMS

Luke Sanders (13-3) vs Nate Maness (12-1) – (Catchweight/140lbs)

Two bangers meet up in the opening fight of the night as Luke Sanders and Nate Maness look to make it back-to-back wins in the UFC for the first time. Sanders is currently 3-3 in the organisation and won his last fight by KO’ing former champion Renan Barao in February 2019. Maness made his debut last time out, scraping past late notice opponent Johnny Munhoz Jr in August via decision. Sanders is a hard-hitting striker who has glaring deficiencies on the ground. Unfortunately Maness doesn’t have the skills on the mat to harm him in that way and in a stand up battle he is out-gunned. Sanders either hurts him in the pocket with some big shots, or picks him off for a judges decision.
PICK – Luke Sanders via Knockout, Round 2

Su Mudaerji (12-4) vs Malcolm Gordon (12-4) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

A striker’s paradise in this one as Su Mudaerji looks to make it back-to-back wins in the UFC as Malcolm Gordon looks for a maiden victory in the organisation. Gordon was tapped out on Fight Island by his short-notice opponent Amir Albazi which came as a shock since half of his wins in his career have come via submission. While Mudaerji did well to dominate against Andre Soukhamthath, Soukhamthath has a habit of imploding in fights. Mudaerji is a decent striker but has a level of wrestling far inferior to Gordon’s. If the fight goes to the ground then Gordon should be able to get a finish but if it’s on the feet, Mudaerji should be able to outstrike him. It’s a 50/50 fight but I think don’t Mudaerji has shown he can defend takedowns too greatly, so Gordon will take a win.
PICK – Malcolm Gordon via Submisison, Round 2

Kai Kamaka III (8-2) vs Jonathan Pearce (9-4) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

A six-fight win streak is what Kamaka is defending in this fight following a successful UFC debut against Tony Kelley back in August. Pearce was successful on Dana White’s Contender Series before a debut defeat to Joe Lauzon in August 2019 and this is his first fight since that loss. When Pearce fought Lauzon, he was absolutely battered to a first round knockout. He has a pressure game that is hard to implement against someone who is a better striker, which is what Kamaka is. Kamaka is also a better wrestler so he will control where this fight goes. He has had cardio issues in the past though but he should be good enough to secure the first two rounds at least to take a decision win.
PICK – Kai Kamaka III via Decision

Gina Mazany (6-4) vs Rachel Ostovich (4-5) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

A fight between two women who are likely fighting for their future in the organisation. Gina Mazany is a well-rounded fighter with good takedown defence and good striking, while Ostovich is a slick grappler and not much else going for her. Both of these women aren’t really UFC calibre as their records show, with three of Mazany’s four losses in the company coming in under two minutes. This one will likely go the distance either way, but I take Mazany because she’s got more to her game. This won’t be a great fight though.

Martin Day (8-4) vs Anderson Dos Santos (20-8) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

Two fighters coming off back-to-back defeats will be keen to get back to winning ways in this bantamweight clash. Day lost to Pingyuan Liu in November 2018 before returning on Fight Island and losing to Davey Grant via knockout, while Dos Santos lost two decisions to Nad Nirimani and Andre Ewell, the last of those coming in July 2019. Day has a big striking advantage in this bout to go with his height and reach edge. He has some weak takedown defence, but Dos Santos showed against Ewell that despite having a wrestling edge he couldn’t get it going and that could be a big issue in this fight too. Day should be able to pick Dos Santos apart at range and so long as he doesn’t give up sloppy takedowns, should be comfortable keeping it on the feet too.
PICK – Martin Day via Decision

Ashlee Evans-Smith (6-4) vs Norma Dumont (4-1) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)

The prelims headliner in the women’s bantamweight division comes between two women who each lost their last bout. Evans-Smith was beaten by Andrea Lee almost two years ago in her last fight, where she took a step back and switched gyms to James Krause’s Glory MMA. Dumont made her debut in February this year against Megan Anderson and was knocked out with relative ease in the first round. Much like the earlier women’s fight we spoke of, Evans-Smith probably shouldn’t be in the UFC anymore and Dumont hasn’t shown anything in her one octagon bout to show she does either. The difference there is that she went up a weight-class to fight one of the best in that division. Aside from that, there’s next to no footage of Dumont in the cage so it’s hard to pick her against someone who we’ve seen plenty of. Even though she’s not very good, she has shown enough and fought better quality opponents with success and therefore I have to pick her.
PICK – Ashlee Evans-Smith via Decision

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