It’s take two in the heavyweight division for this weekend’s main event as Curtis Blaydes takes on Derrick Lewis in their rearranged fight from November 2020.
The two were scheduled to meet at UFC Vegas 15 before a positive COVID-19 test ruled Blaydes out just hours before the weigh-ins. They’ll meet now, knowing that the path to the heavyweight title shot they both feel they deserve is now clearer than it was back then.
Last week at UFC 258 we went 6/10 with our predictions, with three perfect picks to take us up to 230/359 (64.07%) with 104 (45.22%) perfect picks since we started out back in June 2020.
We have a monster 15 fight card this weekend, so the predictions will be split into three parts rather than the usual two. We’ve already predicted the first five fights of the night, so will get on with the rest of the prelims here.
Nate Landwehr (14-3) vs Julian Erosa (24-9) – (Featherweight/145lbs)
Currently 1-1 in his third stint in the UFC, Landwehr takes on the impressive Julian Erosa in a potential fight of the night on this card. Landwehr’s current stint started with a defeat to Herbert Burns, before an impressive win last time out against Darren Elkins via decision. Erosa is in his second stint with the company after losing three in a row first time out, before a win against AJ Bryant in CageSport before a return win against Sean Woodson last June.
Landwehr is a pressure fighter and will throw a lot of volume, but is also very capable in the ground game. Erosa is a talented grappler who has got good power in his hands too, with 11 submission wins and ten knockouts in his career to date. Despite his huge size advantage, Erosa tends to prefer just going to war and that should favour Landwehr who has great technique and is more durable.
‘The Train’ has the better techniques on the feet and mixes his attacks up more, and thus I think he’ll be able to get the nod in a great fight that goes the distance.
PICK – Nate Landwehr via Decision
Eddie Wineland (24-14-1) vs John Castaneda (17-5) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)
The man probably known to most UFC fans as the guy who got starched by Sean O’Malley takes on the guy known to most UFC fans as the man who got dominated by Nathaniel Wood in this one. Eddie Wineland is a vet in the UFC having made his debut in 2011, but his record of 6-8 is less than flattering, while Castaneda got beaten on his company debut.
Wineland has a super right hook, great pressure and good takedown defence too which has seen him finish all his wins in the last decade bar one via stoppage. Castaneda is a good kickboxer too, with a bit of a speed advantage over Wineland. Castaneda doesn’t have as much power though and while ‘Sexi Mexi’ loves to throw a calf kick or ten, Wineland’s added experience should see him able to land the more notable strikes in the fight and take the win.
PICK – Eddie Wineland via Decision
Drakkar Klose (11-2-1) vs Luis Pena (8-3) – (Lightweight/155lbs) A return to the octagon for Drakkar Klose after being knocked out in a crazy fight against Beneil Dariush in March 2020, as he takes on ‘Violent Bob Ross’ Luis Pena in the lightweight division. Pena was submitted in his last bout against Khama Worthy in June, meaning he has now lost two of his last three. Pena is a fantastic grappler, with really good submission skills and has a huge size advantage in this fight. On the feet he’s not the most polished though and he’s struggled to use his length in the past. Klose is a power puncher who has great boxing, but he has struggled in the past against long fighters. Pena has the attributes to cause Klose a lot of problems, but he doesn’t use those attributes usually. Stepping in on just two-weeks notice for this fight, it’s unlikely he’ll be able to use them here. If Pena can get into clinch situations against the cage and take the back he will have success, but the likelihood is that Klose kicks his lead leg hard to beat him up and lands big powerful strikes every time he gets within distance of Pena to take a win.
PICK – Drakkar Klose via Decision
Jared Gordon (16-4) vs Danny Chavez (11-3) – (Featherweight/145lbs)
A fun fight in the featherweight division as ‘Flash’ Gordon looks to make it back-to-back wins for the first time since 2017 when he takes on Danny Chavez. Gordon bounced back from a defeat to Charles Oliveira by beating Chris Fishgold back in July, while Chavez won his debut with the company against an overweight TJ Brown at UFC 252 in August.
Chavez is a fantastic striker who throws calf kicks for days, while Gordon is a wrestler who looks to wear his opponent down from top position. The problem for Gordon in this fight, is that Chavez has really good takedown defence and the leg kicks will really effect his ability to get in close and shoot for takedowns. If Gordon can get the fight down, he’ll have the advantage over Chavez and ‘The Colombian Warrior’ has shown some cardio issues in the past later in the fight.
PICK – Jared Gordon via Decision