The UFC returns to the Apex in Las Vegas once again for yet another fight night card, this time headlined by female featherweight Norma Dumont and short-notice replacement Aspen Ladd.
Ladd was pulled from UFC Vegas 38 just two weeks ago after missing the bantamweight limit by one pound, scrapping her fight with Macy Chiasson. But after Holly Holm pulled out of this card with an injury, the UFC called her in up a weight class to fill in for this main event.
Elsewhere on the card the legendary Jim Miller makes a return while two Contender Series alum in Jordan Wright and Julian Marquez meet in a fun middleweight scrap.
Last week at UFC Vegas 39, we went 6/9 with three perfect picks on a rather forgettable card to move us up to 434/679 (63.92%) with 187 perfect picks (43.09%) since June 2020.
We’ll look to improve on that record here, starting with the early prelim bouts.
Istela Nunes (7-1) vs Ariane Carnelossi (13-2) – (Strawweight/115lbs)
An interesting UFC strawweight bout opens up the card between debutant Nunes and the returning Carnelossi. Nunes steps in after over three years away for her debut, while Carnelossi looks to make it back-to-back wins in the UFC after KO’ing Na Liang at UFC 261.
Nunes is a tidy kickboxer with good striking from range, but three years away from the fight game after injuries and a doping suspension is never a good look. Carnelossi is a pressure fighter with cardio for days and good power in her hands, as her brilliant nine knockout career wins show.
Carnelossi has been more active than Nunes despite a serious injury herself and while her striking is quite as polished, her pressure game is a nightmare for Nunes. She’s not the best on the back foot and with good power and a fast pace coming back at her I think Carnelossi can secure a win.
PICK – Ariane Carnelossi via Knockout, Round 2
Danaa Batgerel (9-2) vs Brandon Davis (14-8) – (Bantamweight/135lbs)
A fun bantamweight scrap next as Danaa takes on Brandon Davis who looks to kick off a second run in the UFC with a win. Batgerel has knocked out both of his latest opponents in the first-round, while Davis lost five of seven in his first UFC run but has since gone on a four-fight win streak in GCMMA.
Danaa is a super talented striker with a brilliant left hook and great power in all his limbs, while Davis is a very solid boxer who’s durability and volume is his strength. Danaa likes to stay patient and pick his shots, showing great intelligence and a methodical approach. Davis on the other hand likes to charge his opponent to force them onto the back foot and likes to take a shot to give one.
He struggled in the UFC his first time around and he hasn’t shown much different while away, but he racked up the victories. Against Danaa, I think the power and accuracy of the Mongolian could be too much. I don’t think he’ll get finished, but I do think he gets beat up and defeated.
PICK – Danaa Batgerel via Decision
Nate Landwehr (14-4) vs Ludovit Klein (17-3) – (Featherweight/145lbs)
A banger at featherweight here as Landwehr looks to get a win over the highly rated Klein. Landwehr got knocked out in stunning fashion against Julian Erosa last time out with a flying knee at UFC Vegas 19, while Klein was pipped in a brilliant fight against Mike Trizano last time UFC Vegas 26.
Landwehr is a brawler, with solid striking and good knockout power as his eight career knockouts show. Klein on the other hand is a brilliant kickboxer with great speed and angles, but also able to mix in some wrestling too if needed. This fight is likely to go one of two ways – either Klein starches the usually-hittable Landwehr early, or he survives and makes it a brawl to force Klein into deep water.
The likelihood for me is the former. Klein hits so hard and so clean, plus he showed against Trizano that he can go 15 minutes no problem. Don’t be surprised if he lands one of his trademark head kicks to wrap this one up early.
PICK – Ludovit Klein via Knockout, Round 1