The new king of the lightweight division will be crowned at UFC 262 when Charles Oliveira takes on Michael Chandler for the vacant 155lbs title.
203 days after Khabib Nurmagomedov retired, the number three and four ranked fighters in the division go head to head to be crowned champion but the division will be far from settled after this fight.
In the co-main event both Tony Ferguson and Beneil Dariush will bring the chaos as both men enter a crossroads phase of their career, trying to get to the top but having to cross a top guy on their path.
Last week at UFC Vegas 26 we went 6/9 on an interesting card with one perfect pick to move to 308/482 (63.9%) with 134 perfect picks (43.51%).
We’ll look to improve that record with this 12 fight card, starting with the early prelims here.
Christos Giagos (18-8) vs Sean Soriano (14-6) – (Lightweight/155lbs)
A fun lightweight fight to open the card as Giagos takes on second-time UFC debutant Soriano. Giagos is 3-2 in the UFC so far in his second run with the company, with a decision win over Carlton Minus at UFC Vegas 17 last time out. Soriano on the other hand has won three-in-a-row en route to this short notice call up, with a first-round KO win in March.
Giagos is a good wrestler who knows nothing but to go at 100mph, which causes him plenty of problems going into the latter rounds of fights. Soriano is a good striker and definitely has the edge on the feet, but his last defeat came via rear-naked choke where he looked like a fish out of water on the ground.
If he can clip Giagos early he could get the finish but if Giagos gets his wrestling game going and paces himself enough to survive the full 15 minutes he should take the win.
PICK – Christos Giagos via Decision
Kevin Aguilar (17-4) vs Tucker Lutz (11-1) – (Featherweight/145lbs)
Two guys at different ends of their UFC career as Kevin Aguilar looks to snap a three-fight skid against UFC debutant Tucker Letz. Aguilar’s most recent defeat came in a split decision to Charles Rosa at UFC Vegas 2, while Letz has won 11 in a row since losing his first professional fight including two different appearances on Dana White’s Contender Series.
Aguilar has got great power in his hands as a traditional striker, but his defeat to Rosa wasn’t great considering he got well beaten at his own game. Lutz is one of those fighters who keeps everything technical and tidy, but he doesn’t really shine in any one area of MMA. He lacks a bit of head movement that Aguilar could take advantage of, but his recent performances are quite worrying.
Lutz has good wrestling to mix in to his attacks and if he can take the power of Aguilar, he has sufficient power of his own to do some damage and get a big debut win.
PICK – Tucker Lutz via Decision
Gina Mazany (7-4) vs Priscilla Cachoeira (9-3) – (Flyweight/125lbs)
An interesting women’s flyweight fight as two women look to make it consecutive wins in the UFC for the first time. Mazany has alternated losses and wins in her last four, losing to Julia Avila at UFC Vegas 2 before beating Rachel Ostovich via knockout at UFC Vegas 15. Cachoeira started her UFC career with three defeats in a row but finally got back in the win column with a 40 second KO win over Shana Dobson back in February 2020.
Mazany is a brilliant wrestler, who uses a grinding style and works hard to land big shots from top position rather than just lay and prey. Her fortunes changed when she moved down to flyweight, with her defeats coming at bantamweight and she looked much better last time out. Cachoeira is a powerful striker who looks to apply lots of pressure on the feet, but if Mazany looks to take this to the ground it will be pretty one-sided.
‘Danger’ will look for the takedowns, because that’s what she does, and should move to 2-0 in her more natural weight class at the expense of a not-so impressive Cachoeira.
PICK – Gina Mazany via Decision