Arguably the best fight of the year not on a pay-per-view card headlines UFC Vegas 32 this weekend as Cory Sandhagen puts his number one contender status on the line against the returning former champion TJ Dillashaw.
The two were supposed to fight back in May, only for Dillashaw to sustain a cut in training forcing the bout to be postponed. In what should be an incredibly close fight, the winner is likely to get the next title shot against the winner of Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan’s rematch.
Elsewhere on the card, two young female prospects go head-to-head when Miranda Maverick and Maycee Barber square off on the main card in the flyweight division. Knockout sensation Adrian Yanez also returns to the octagon to take on Randy Costa too.
Last time out at UFC Vegas 31, we went 7/10 with one perfect pick on the night to move up to 370/576 (64.24%) with 164 perfect picks (44.32%).
We’ll look to improve on that here with this 13-fight card and after starting with the early prelims here, we finish off our prelims picks now.
Micky Gall (6-3) vs Jordan Williams (9-4) – (Welterweight/170lbs)
An intriguing welterweight fight between CM Punk’s slayer Micky Gall against Jordan Williams looking to earn his first win in the UFC. Gall has yo-yo’d wins in the UFC since 2016 in his last six fights, losing to Mike Perry last time out at UFC Vegas 4. Williams lost his UFC debut to Nassourdine Imavov at middleweight in October last year.
Gall is a wrestler with good jiu-jitsu skills and really poor striking but his submission is capable of earning him a win against anyone on the ground. Williams on the other hand is a complete wild man of a fighter who has a background in his wrestling but great power in his hands, with seven knockouts in his nine professional wins. Williams’ power is scary good and while he gets hit a bit himself, Gall’s striking is nothing for him to worry about.
With Williams’ defensive wrestling chops, his size advantage and the power in his hands, I think he gets a memorable stoppage win on the feet early on.
PICK – Jordan Williams via Knockout, Round 1
Nassourdine Imavov (9-3) vs Ian Heinisch (14-4) – (Middleweight/185lbs)
A very interesting middleweight bout between two unranked 185lbers as Imavov takes on Heinisch. Imavov saw a six-fight win streak snapped in a defeat to Phil Hawes at UFC Vegas 19 while Heinisch has lost three of his last four, including to Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 258.
Imavov is a terrific grappler who looks to take his opponents to the ground but is also confident on the feet with his striking. One thing he struggles with though is pressure, and Heinisch loves to grind his wrestling into the ground and really push forward against his opponents. That’s a positive for him and with his good kicks and knees, mixed in with his brilliant cardio he’s got the edge here.
Heinisch is not on the best of a momentum swing but he’s got the tools to edge a decision win here.
PICK – Ian Heinisch via Decision
Punahele Soriano (8-0) vs Brendan Allen (16-4) – (Middleweight/185lbs)
A real banger at middleweight in the featured prelim bout of this card. Soriano is an undefeated knockout artist with five knockouts and two submissions in his career while Allen is a very highly rated prospect who has lost just one of his last nine fights with a submission win against Karl Roberson last time out at UFC 261. Soriano KO’d Dusko Todorovic at UFC Fight Island 7 in his last time out.
Soriano has got great kickboxing but it’s his hands that are the most violent weapon he has. Nobody has ever tried to take him down in the UFC yet but that will change in this fight, with Allen being a great wrestler with an excellent submission game on the ground. Both prospects are really good at implementing their style on a fight and it could go either way.
With that said though, Allen’s capabilities on the ground give him the edge here. There’s every chance he could get clipped and put to sleep while trying to enter for a takedown, but if he gets the fight down the fight is in his world and I think he’ll be able to get the submission win.
PICK – Brendan Allen via Submission, Round 2